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Karissa Rosenfield reports for Archdaily. The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) committee of the AIA New York Chapter has announced the winners of its 2014 biennial design ideas competition, QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm. In an effort to imagine the ways in which The Trust for Public Land and Friends of the Queensway could transform an abandoned railway in Central Queens into a vibrant urban greenway, entrants were challenged to design a vertical gateway for the elevated viaduct portion of a 3.5 mile stretch along the rail. Of the 120 submitted proposals from 28 countries, the jury selected the following winners to represent the diverse array of ideas generated: ENYA Prize ($5000): The Queensway Steps / Carrie Wibert of Paris, France 2nd Prize ($2500): Queens Billboard / Nikolay Martynov of Basel, Switzerland 3rd Prize ($1000): Make It! Grow It! / Song Deng and René Biberstein of Toronto, Canada Student Prize ($1000): Ebb & Flow / Jessica Shoemaker of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA Honorable Mention: Upside Down Bridge / Hyuntek Yoon of Queens, New York, USA Jury:
  • Claire Weisz, FAIA, Co-founding Partner at WXY, part of the QueensWay feasibility study team
  • Lisa Switkin, Associate Partner and Managing Director at James Corner Field Operations
  • Matthew Johnson, Senior Associate at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, project manager of the Highline project
  • Margaret Newman, FAIA, LEED AP, Chief of Staff to the Commissioner, NYC Department of Transportation
  • Ting Chin, Co-founder of Linearscape, winners of the 2012 ENYA prize
  • Susan Chin, FAIA, Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space
  • Frank Lupo, FAIA, Steering Committee Member of Friends of the QueensWay
  • Andy Stone, New York City Director of The Trust for Public Land
An exhibition of these proposals and other exemplary entries will be unveiled at an opening party on July 17, 2014 at the Center for Architecture. A series of discussion panels will also accompany the exhibition. More information and updates on these upcoming events can be found here.  
Henry Melcher reports for The Architect's Newspaper.
Queens Borough President striving to save Philip Johnson folly. There is a conspicuous and almost haunting irony to what’s left of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Queens' Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The Philip Johnson–designed New York State Pavilion, with its “Astro-View Observation Towers” and “Tent of Tomorrow,” was about more than showing off New York to the world. It was about looking into the future. But today, nearly 50 years after the fairgrounds opened its gates, it’s clear that “The Future” has not been kind to the pavilion. What remains standing in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is a crumbling, gated-off relic. But things may be looking up for this rusty ruin. In early February, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz led a walking-tour of the Pavilion to drum-up support for saving the structures. She was joined by elected officials, representatives from city agencies, and “People for the Pavilion”—an organization fighting to save the site. The Tent of Tomorrow's once-colorful roof is now a web of rusted cables. Much of the floor, which displayed an intricate map of New York State, has been eaten away by the elements. The metal on the adjacent Observation Towers is rusted and the concrete is chipped. Yet despite its current condition, the abandoned Pavilion retains its iconic stature and its space-age beauty. According to a recent study by the NYC Parks Department, it would cost $14 million to knock it all down, roughly $52 million to return it to its World’s Fair conditions, and upwards of $70 million to give it new use. The tour started in the Queens Theatre, an ideal spot to make the adaptive reuse case. The theater – first called “The Theaterama” – is original to the Pavilion; during the fair, it offered “360-degree panoramic film,” and works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein hung on its facade. Katz believes that 2014 offers a unique opportunity to save the Pavilion. “This is fifty years,” she said. “We need to do something about this. Otherwise, if we don’t do it now, what’s the impetus for accomplishing our goals?" While she doesn’t yet know “where the endgame is," she’s urging people at federal, state, city and local levels to work together to find a way forward. After so many decades of decay, there seems to be new momentum. The New York City Parks Department recently held listening meetings and posted an online survey to hear communities’ hopes for the Pavilion. And Katz has promised to start a task force to find options for the Pavilion’s future. “I think we all know the right direction; the right direction is to preserve this, to save this for generations to come,” said Katz.” To make it a useful part of the park, and to make sure it doesn’t fall down on people around it.”
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The Living Wins at MoMA PS1

Alan G. Brake reports for The Architect's Newspaper. Experimental firm to construct low carbon, self-building pavilion for 2014 Young Architects Program. The Living, an experimental New York–based practice lead by David Benjamin, has been selected to design and build the 15th edition of MoMA PS 1’s Young Architects Program (YAP). Known for using advanced technology to mimic biological structures or respond to atmospheric conditions, The Living’s proposal, called Hy-Fi, represents a new direction for the annual pavilion program. According to Benjamin’s proposal, Hy-Fi will use pioneering, self-building technology, and will be completely recyclable and nearly carbon neutral. Using innovative organic bricks invented by Ecovative and brick molds covered reflective film, developed by 3M, the circular structure will be strong, lightweight, and have extremely low embodied carbon. The organic bricks, which are placed at the bottom of the structure in a loose and porous way, are made from corn stalks and living root structures that give them strength. “We like that it uses agricultural byproducts, rather than high value agricultural products,” said David Benjamin. “This is the first load-bearing application of this material.” Organic dyes will be added to the bricks to give them vibrant, natural colors. The reflective brick molds function as growing trays for the organic bricks, and are incorporated into the top of the structure, reflecting daylight down into the pavilion. The circular forms will act as cooling towers, and after the summer ends it will be deconstructed and the organic bricks will be composted in Queens and the reflective bricks will be returned to 3M for additional research. “This proposal was the one that connected incredible research—really out of the box thinking about sustainability—with the architectural needs of the program,” Pedro Gadnho, the MoMA architecture curator in charge of the YAP, told AN. For the museum, Hy-Fi will act as a visual beacon, a trio of a multicolored and reflective towers extending above the concrete walls of the courtyard. The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program were LAMAS (Wei-Han Vivian Lee and James Macgillivray), Pita + Bloom (Florencia Pita and Jackilin Hah Bloom), Fake Industries Architectural Agonism (Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau), Collective-LOK (Michael Kubo, Jon Lott, and William O’Brien). In it’s 15 editions, the YAP has become one the leading showcases for architectural talent in the US. “People keep coming up with new things,” Gadanho said. “It’s pretty amazing, the new possibilities, and it is a testament of the importance of showing new architectural talent.” Previous winners have included SHoP, CODA, Interboro Partners, and Ball-Nogues, among others. The pavilion serves as a shade structure and platform for the annual summer “Warm Up” concert and performance series. Hy-Fi is expected to open in late June or early July.  
Hana R. Alberts reports for Curbed. When we learned Issac & Stern was designing a 50-unit residential building on Box Street in Greenpoint, we added, "[w]hich might actually be the perfect street for one of their buildings, name-wise." So that was prescient. BuzzBuzzHome spotted the rendering above on the architects' site, and yup, it's undeniably boxy. At least the design jives with the industrial character of the area and doesn't veer into Hot Karl territory. It will total about 40,000 square feet and rise to six stories, and according to DOB records, will house ten apartments per floor, and count among its amenities bike parking and recreational roof space. The developer is Waterbridge Capital LLC, which bought the lot for $1 million in April 2013.
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End in Sight

Ian Volner reports for Architect magazine.

With newfound modeling capabilities and insight into Antoni Gaudí’s vision, the chief architect of the Basílica de la Sagrada Família aims to complete the long-stalled project by 2026.

As construction deadlines go, 130 years certainly seems like a generous allowance. But in cathedral years, that’s almost a drop in the bucket. After all, Germany’s Cologne Cathedral broke ground in 1248 and wrapped up centuries later in 1880. The still-rising Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in Manhattan is already 121 years old, with no completion date in sight. Other structures, such as England’s Coventry Cathedral, were generations in the making, only to be destroyed by war, fire, or structural failure and then repaired or built anew. From the nave to the transept to the last finial of the westwork, creating a church fit for a bishop entails a long-term commitment. The fact, then, that the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain, first got underway 13 decades ago would be almost unremarkable but for the particular character of the basilica itself, and of the man who designed it. The massive church—technically not a cathedral by Catholic law, the official seat or cathedra of the bishop being the nearby Catedral de la Santa Creu—is unlike any other house of worship in the world with its well-known, spiky, fanciful, mud-castle-like ensemble of swirling towers and twisting columns. Its architect, Catalan-born Antoni Gaudí, was among the giants of European architecture and a major transitional figure at the moment when 19th-century Beaux-Arts historicism was giving way to 20th-century Modernism. Sagrada Família is the fullest expression of his highly idiosyncratic vision. Since its construction was first halted in 1936 amidst the tumult of the Spanish Civil War, the basilica’s state of incompletion has become part and parcel of its very identity: The cranes, rubble, and half-finished sculptural friezes around the site seem like permanent fixtures of the streetscape. Funding holdups, strikes, and problems deciphering Gaudí’s intentions have led to endless delays since construction resumed in 1939. Many have simply come to assume it will never be done. Toni García, a Barcelona native and culture writer for Spanish newspaper El País, joked that the state of affairs has entered the local patois: “When you want to say, ‘Oh, that’ll never happen,’ you say, ‘Sure—it’ll happen when Sagrada Família is finished.’ ”

Workers reinforce the project site to accommodate the anticipated construction of new structures, such as the Glory façade at the project’s south entrance, as well as towering additions to the existing structure.

But now it seems that the proverbial pigs may be taking flight. In 2012, Barcelona-born architect Jordi Faulí assumed control of the project. The Construction Board of the Sagrada Família Foundation, the organization in charge of fundraising and advocacy for the project, could hardly have picked a more qualified candidate. Along with completing a doctoral thesis on the church’s design, Faulí has spent more than 20 years as a junior architect on the team overseeing the church’s construction. Shortly after his appointment as the chief architect of Sagrada Família, Faulí surprised everyone by declaring that the project would be finished far sooner than previously thought. “We anticipate finishing the six central towers around 2020, and completing the overall architectural form of the project around 2026, a hundred years after Gaudí’s death,” he said, adding this not-insignificant caveat: “provided circumstances allow us to follow the current rhythm.” However long it may last, Faulí and the project team, which has comprised as many as 300 workers, stonemasons, sculptors, bricklayers, and designers, have managed to achieve this accelerated pace by establishing a firmer idea of what the building should really be, and what tools they should use to make it possible.

Realizing the geometric complexity of Gaudí’s vision for Sagrada Família has been helped by the advent of 3D printing and modeling technology. Ultra-precise resin mock-ups made by consultants, such as 3D Systems, have assisted in guiding decisions about the project’s design and structural behavior.

Last fall, the Construction Board of the Sagrada Família Foundation released a new video showing a time-lapse projection of how construction will unfold over the next 13 years. The 76-second clip uses aerial photography and sophisticated digital imaging to show how new spires will spring up around the perimeter, how the masonry cladding will wrap around them, and how the pointed tympana will fill out the façade. The central dome will be topped by an enormous, apparently openwork, tower, completing the symbolic conceit that had been at the heart of Gaudí’s scheme: 18 individual spires to represent the prime dramatis personae of the New Testament, 12 for the apostles, four for the evangelists, one for the Holy Virgin, and another for Christ himself in the middle. is the definitive vision of the future church, the culmination of years of archival research—including the discovery of a trove of Gaudí documents in the Historic Archives of the City of Barcelona several years ago—to determine Gaudí’s intentions and to help the foundation make tough decisions about what could and couldn’t be done. “We commissioned the video when we had almost completed the investigation of the remaining parts of Gaudí’s design,” Faulí says. “For the first time, we had sufficient material to produce a virtual model.” The video also signals the vast technological leaps that have changed every aspect of the project, Faulí says. “This model couldn’t be produced before, primarily for technical reasons—advances in computer power, precise 3D scanning of the existing building, and 3D prototyping allowed us to work at a scale and a level of detail hitherto impossible to achieve.” Being able to model the building better goes hand in hand with completing it faster: the decorative details that once had to be hewn by skilled artisans are now done by fast-moving CNC (computer numeric control) cutters working from digital patterns; structural problems that would have daunted previous builders can now be solved with the click of a mouse.

An assortment of study models of the church and its components made over time by architects, modelmakers, and designers fill the model room in the basement of Sagrada Família.

Even more subjective design unknowns are now under the sway of the new computer-driven approach. Graham Lindsay, European sales director for advanced printing manufacturer and services provider 3D Systems, headquartered in Rock Hill, S.C., has been helping to develop prototype models of specific ornamental and structural units for Sagrada Família for several years. “One of the things that will happen is that we’ll print off a part in three or four different styles,” he says. “Then before they build that section, we’ll send the model to a group of well-known, renowned architects who can give some insight into what Gaudí would have thought, and they’ll discuss which part Gaudí might actually take.” The process helps assuage the concern of those who worry the current band of builders is departing from the conception of their illustrious predecessor. Such concerns do linger, however, and the project remains a contentious one. In particular, there is the tricky question of whether a building so long incomplete even should be finished, or whether Faulí and his collaborators are at risk of turning a beautiful semi-ruin into a half-baked mock-up of Gaudí’s ideal. Or worse: They could fail again to finish on schedule, leaving a mock-up that is still only partially complete. But Faulí, noting the mostly positive reaction of new visitors to the construction site, remains convinced that the final product will live up to expectations. Confidently, the architect is already looking ahead to what will follow after the 2026 deadline. “Although we aim to complete the structure in 13 years,” he says, “there will remain a host of tasks for the many artists and sculptors completing the symbolic narrative that Gaudí set out to provide.” Then, perhaps to hedge his bets, Faulí keenly muses: “Are the great cathedrals and basilicas of the world ever truly finished?”

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Squaring up

World Architecture News. 250 Bowery is a recently completed 40,000 sq ft new condominium building designed in a strategic partnership by Aldo Andreoli of AA STUDIO and Morris Adjmi of MA Architects. The building is located on the east side of the Bowery, between Houston and Prince Street in New York. The Bowery is the street that separates NoLiTa (North of Little Italy) from the Lower East Side. From the Civil War time until a few years ago, The Bowery was still considered the street of the homeless, the prostitutes and the drug addicts and was known for its flophouses. In the spirit of social reform, the first YMCA opened on the Bowery in 1873. Due in part to the presence of the music club CBGB, the Bowery also became known as one of the centres of Punk culture in the 1970s and 1980s. The CBGB was the club that saw the first performances, among other less famous bands, of the "Talking Heads", The "Ramones" and Patty Smith. But the vagrant population of the Bowery declined after the 1970s, in part because of the city's effort to disperse it. Since the 1990s the entire Lower East Side has been seeing a revival. The construction of 40 Bond designed by Herzog and De Meuron and developed by Ian Schrager was the beginning of the gentrification of this area into a hip downtown condo location. Bond Street is now considered one of the most prestigious addresses in town, with the construction of 25 Bond designed by BKSK and 31 Bond by DDG. As of July 2005, gentrification has been contributing to ongoing change along the Bowery. In particular, the number of high-rise condominiums is growing. In 2006, Avalon Bay Communities opened its first luxury apartment complex on the Bowery. That same year, the SANAA-designed facility for the New Museum of Contemporary Art opened between Stanton and Prince Street. A few years after SANAA's project the Bowery witnessed the construction of the new gallery Sperone-Westwater, designed by Sir Norman Foster and located just one block north of the New Museum. Cooper Square, located just three blocks north on the same street, have seen in the last few years, the construction of the new Cooper Union classroom and laboratory building, designed by Tom Mayne of MorphSis. Three Pritzker Prize winners have designed buildings just a few blocks away from the Bowery in the last four years, which sent a powerful message for the architectural potential of this area of downtown. 250 Bowery is located on the western side of the street, between Houston and Prince Streets. A well-known downtown developer purchased this site in 2004. He wanted to build a Condo-Hotel, a formula that was very fashionable before the recession. Problems in the excavation of the foundations delayed the construction, and when the sub-prime mortgages crisis hit the market the building went into default. Boutique condominium The site was purchased in 2010 by two young developers (VE Equities), who decided to build a boutique condominium on the distressed site. The selected architects were Aldo Andreoli of AA STUDIO and Morris Adjmi of MA Architects, who had just formed a new partnership. 250 Bowery as a condominium project was conceived during the recession, and this is the reason why the developers requested the design of smaller units, which are easier to sell in a difficult market. The previous design for a condo-hotel included a façade in Corten steel with slanted windows, a very costly design for a new building to be constructed immediately after one of the worst real estate recessions in the history of the US. The close presence of two landmarks such as the New Museum and the Sperone-Westwater gallery, two buildings designed more for being seen then for efficiency, was another important consideration during the conceptual phase of the design. The program was also calling for the design of four duplex penthouses to be built on the top two floors of the new building. This idea (together with the creation of private terraces on the roof of the building) maximised the return for the sale of these units, allowing the developer to charge a premium not only for the top floor, but also for the one below. As an additional financial consideration, the architects were asked to locate the scissors staircases and the elevator core in the southern portion of the building, in order to keep the commercial space on the ground floor open and column-free, thereby adding to its commercial value. Usually in New York developers don't want to spend additional money on the facades facing the lot lines (as they will be hidden by the construction of neighboring buildings) or the ones in the back of the building (since they are not visible from the street). A square façade Another important aspect was that the size of the building frontage and the allowed maximum height almost corresponded, therefore forcing the geometry of the façade to be squared (85' x 85'). In order to face these challenges the architects decided to choose a façade design incorporating a rigorous grid of squares within squares. The tradition of the Bowery as a commercial street, and its proximity to the iconic cast-iron district of Soho were the deciding factors behind shaping the building to look like a contemporary warehouse. But cast-iron is too expensive a material to use in a new condominium development in 2013 in New York, so in order to achieve the same look, the architects selected Alucobond for the construction of the façade, a versatile composite aluminium panelling system that is available in many custom colors which can be forged in different shapes. The result is a slightly reflective metal appearance very similar to steel. The warehouse look is also emphasized by the design of the windows, divided into nine panes and operable with a tilt. The architects convinced the developers to construct a similar façade on the back of the building, where the views of downtown are memorable and the apartments are quieter than on the Bowery itself. The two architects also have further collaboration projects in the pipeline, such as a 24-storey office building in Verona, Italy and the conversion of a 230,000 sq ft warehouse building in Brooklyn. Both designers enjoy reinterpreting historic forms as a basis to create something modern, while at the same time respecting the relationship to the city and its past.  
Hana R. Alberts reports for Curbed. When it was approved two years ago, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban's plan for contemporary twin duplex penthouses atop a 132-year-old cast-iron beauty in Tribeca was deemed "magical" and "breathtaking." Now two full renderings have been revealed, via the Times. The white metal addition, pictured above, will sport "a Vierendeel truss (named for the Belgian civil engineer who devised it), a cantilever that allows for glass exterior doors to be completely opened, creating an uninterrupted expanse between the interiors and the surrounding terraces." Developer Jourdan Krauss, president of Knightsbridge Properties, bought the cast iron building at 361 Broadway in 2002, waited for tenants' leases to expire in 2008, and then underwent a three-year façade fix-up, restoring some 4,000 ornamental pieces. The condo conversion, as it happens, fits neatly in line with the mini-boom occurring along lower Broadway. Then came plans for the addition as well as a total reconfiguration of the interior. The lower floors will house 11 duplex apartments (from a 2,850-square-foot 3BR to a 4,890-square-foot 5BR); all have double-height living rooms with ceilings of 17 to 25 feet. As for the penthouses, one will have four bedrooms and total 3,800 square feet, while the other will be five bedrooms and 4,560 square feet. Both will have ample outdoor space. Asking price estimates for those? "High $12 millions to $15 million," Krauss told the Times. Sales will begin next month. Ban, he of West Chelsea's out-of-the-box Metal Shutter Houses, is also responsible for the interiors, set to feature "white lacquer desks in the studies, floor-to-ceiling white lacquer cabinetry, and die-cast aluminum door levers. Amenities in the building will include a garden courtyard with 40-foot-tall bamboo trees; a water room with sauna and steam room; an exercise room; and a game room." Needless to say, it'll be pretty exciting to tour these spaces when they're complete.  
Hana R. Alberts reports for Curbed. The battle over the proposed rooftop addition for Upper West Side grande dame the Apthorp has been rollicking thus far. At a September community board meeting, residents, neighbors, and preservation groups spoke out against it, leading CB7 to issue a resounding "no" to Area Property Partners' penthouse plan. Then the proposal moved on to Landmarks, where starchitects including Robert A.M. Stern. A. Eugene Kohn, Michael Graves, and David Childs sent in supportive statements - also against the addition. The meeting ran so long that most of the commissioners had left by the time the public had finished delivering testimony, and now the issue is back on the LPC's agenda (warning: PDF!) for tomorrow. It's the last item listed on the schedule, meaning commissioners expect this one to take awhile. IMG_0250 IMG_0283 Curbed took a tour of the existing rooftop, which is semi-off limits due to structural concerns. A central issue in this debate is whether adding the four penthouse units—currently represented by the scaffolding erected up there (which used to be covered by orange netting so that folks could see its approximate visual impact)—degrades the landmark in any way. Two main detractions have been that it will impair the symmetry of the Apthorp's vaunted courtyard, which is also landmarked, and that it will close in the loggias, or pergolas (different folks have called them different things). These covered areas, punctuated with arches on both sides, would be incorporated into the (presumably pricey) apartments, and many have held that these symmetrical passageways are integral to the building's 1909 Italian Renaissance design. Check out this wealth of (admittedly amateur) photos of the rooftop and mocked-up scaffolding up close for the first time ever. Refresh your memory with the renderings, then place your bets on what Landmarks will say tomorrow in the comments section below.  
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Folk Art Fiasco

Sharon McHugh reports for World Architecture News. The architectural industry reacts to MoMA's decision to demolish the American Folk Art Museum to accommodate its expansion. As we all now know, MoMA has decided to tear down Tod Williams + Billie Tsein's American Folk Art Museum, a building widely acknowledged for its exceptional craft and its folded Tombasil skin, which, among its many accolades, received the RIBA's World Architecture magazine's ‘Best Building in the World' award in 2002. As the American correspondent for World Architecture News, I remember well the stiff competition there was for this award and the resounding unanimity on the jury's part to premiate the building the top spot. The building bested 300 entrants from 45 countries including buildings by Toyo Ito, Richard Rogers,  and Dominique Perrault, and was chosen for the top prize by a jury that included Peter Wilson of Bolles + Wilson, Benedetta Tagliabue of EMBT, Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre, and John Patkau of Patkau Architects.  In addition to scooping the Best Building in the World Award, the building also won in the categories of Best North American Building and Best Public/Cultural Building. Whilst jurors don't always get it right, clearly this trio of honors given on a world stage says something special about the building.  Kieran Long, the Deputy Editor of World Architecture and now Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Critic for the Evening Standard, declared the Folk Art Museum "New York's best building since Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim." World Architecture's editor Naomi Stungo questioned whether good architecture could be built in New York, especially after 9/11 which had just marked its first anniversary, and concluded that whilst "it is not easy to push for inspirational architecture in such a charged setting"...Williams and Tsien did just that. I, like many in our community, am deeply saddened that MoMA has elected to raze this jewel-box-of-a building to make way for a 40,000 sq ft expansion designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.   In the hope there is still time to influence MoMA's decision before the wrecking ball befalls the building, we have gathered here the thoughts of architects, writers, critics, and architecture fans from around the globe on this disappointing turn of events. We welcome hearing from you on the matter and urge you to take to your favorite social media platform if you believe the building is worth saving. "MoMA appears to believe it is impervious to criticism - or at least that fallout of the kind it is now facing won't seriously damage its standing as a cultural institution in New York. Based on the early reaction from art and architecture critics and architects in New York and elsewhere, it may have seriously miscalculated. The museum, already known for the corporate leadership style of its director, Glenn Lowry, and the connections of its board to the real estate industry, is in danger of permanently scarring its reputation." Christopher Hawthorne Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic "The idea that a museum would acquire and then demolish an important piece of contemporary architecture is unfathomable to many artists and architects in New York. While I admire the building, I don't think the Folk Art Museum is the masterpiece some of my colleagues believe it to be; its interior is mannered and overdesigned, its dark and contorted façade presenting a kind of barricade along the streetscape. There is also the complicating factor that Williams and Tsien are the architects of the new Barnes Foundation building in Philadelphia. By choosing to take that commission they helped guarantee that the original Barnes, in suburban Merion, Pennsylvania, would be stripped of its art and reduced to a sad architectural shell. Having endorsed the desertion of that building, their complaints about the fate of the Folk Art Museum ring somewhat hollow. Christopher Hawthorne Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic "I'm very disappointed," said Robert A. M. Stern, the dean of Yale's School of Architecture. "Justice has not been served." Robert Stern as quoted in the New York Times "In an architectural version of the battlefield paradox, DS+R would have had to destroy the building in order to save it. But that hesitancy shows in the provisional design for the next phase. The client is bent on art-world domination; the architects seem half-hearted. Instead of healing the scar left by the Folk Art Museum, they have left a gleaming gap. A triple-height ‘art bay', ample enough to accommodate house-size sculptures and outfitted with a glass wall that can be raised like a portcullis, opens directly onto the street. (No tickets needed.) Above that is a white-walled exhibition cube that, with a little deft stagecraft, converts to a black-box theater. These are neat tricks that will foster MoMA's deepening commitment to performance art, and activate 53rd Street, but they still replace an important work of recent architecture with a pair of stacked glass boxes. It's a disappointing trade-off, a Pyrrhic triumph of expansionist logic over irrational affection." Justin Davidson Architecture Critic, New York Magazine "The Folk Museum, ironically, may be the best building on the MoMA campus. (The museum purchased the building when the Folk folks were no longer capable of maintaining it, with an eye to expansion.) It was built in the wake of 9/11, as a mark of a new kind of sobriety in museum design, and it fast became a symbol of pride for the city - a rare work of idiosyncrasy in midtown. It would be a shame to lose it, and for such limited gain." Mark Lamster Architecture Critic, the Dallas Morning News "How will it all end? Around or after 2019, what you'll get in place of the Folk Art Museum will be two 2,000-sq-ft double-storey glass boxes. They look like glass squash courts, one atop the other, and the front can be opened to the sidewalk. Don't even think about MoMA's permanent collection hanging on the walls here; nothing can. The slide I saw of the ground floor space showed Charles Ray's Firetruck installed with its front end extending onto West 53rd Street - a weird choice, given that MoMA doesn't own this work. DS+R call the space an ‘art bay’, I guess because that sounds better than ‘gallery’ or ‘room’. It most closely resembles a Chelsea megagallery with a glass garage door that rolls up on warm days. My eyes are tearing up again as I write this." Jerry Saltz Senior Art Critic and Columnist New York Magazine "This was a good work, but New York City is ever changing. Not everything lasts forever, and sometimes you have to let go." Richard Meier as quoted in the New York Times Many architects said they feel badly for Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien, whose folk art building was a breakout project that raised the husband-and-wife team's profile. "It's devastating to them," the architect Frank Gehry said. "It's like tearing down my house in Santa Monica. It's their kind of beginning. We all loved it when it was done; it was a major piece of architecture on the street," he added. "I think Billie [Tsien] and Tod [Williams] deserve a major project in New York City, and let's get it for them and get on with it. That will get them their dignity back." Frank Gehry as quoted in the New York Times "It's not for lack of trying that we find ourselves at the same pass....We can't find a way to save the building." Elizabeth Diller as quoted in the New York Times  
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Comment> History Lesson.

Dana M. Cohen and Kevin L. Poulin. The Architect's Newspaper. Two structural engineers explain what they learned while preserving historic masonry. Although New York City is continually evolving, its architecture remains a testament to its rich history. For example, townhouses built from the Gilded Age to the Roaring Twenties evoke lavish lifestyles of luxury. Moreover, ornate terra-cotta façades are a tribute to the Renaissance Revival style, inspired by the Italian Renaissance and characterized by classical details; these façades are the by-products of advancements in travel and technology that allowed architects to see Italian architecture first-hand and document it using photography to replicate later. As structural engineers, we are often asked to upgrade or repair historic buildings while minimizing alterations to the façade. Balancing these competing interests, we recently completed retrofits of several historic masonry buildings in New York City. This article presents four lessons learned from our experiences that can help you with similar projects. Although it is not a comprehensive checklist for masonry façade renovation work, this article provides guidance based on our experiences. Make Conservative Assumptions Material testing allows us to quantify the strength of existing masonry. However, often this testing is too costly, too time-consuming, or too invasive. If testing is not feasible, design professionals should assume that façade masonry has limited strength based on age, type, and condition, as determined from a visual survey. As a point of reference, standard practice assumes that early-twentieth-century brick masonry in New York City in fair-to-good condition has an allowable compressive strength of 225 psi to 250 psi, and an allowable flexural tensile strength of 1 psi to 5 psi (normal to bed joints). The allowable compressive strength roughly corresponds to a relatively low compressive strength for the masonry assembly (brick and mortar) of 1,000 psi. The allowable flexural tensile strength is a nominal value that reflects the minimal tensile capacity of the existing assembly. These values contrast with the corresponding minimum values for new brick masonry, which has an allowable compressive strength of 625 psi and an allowable flexural tensile strength of 20 psi to 30 psi, as specified in the 2011 Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures. Existing building codes, including the New York City building code, typically provide little-to-no guidance on allowable stresses for old masonry. Usually, design assumptions are based on the engineer’s experience, and therefore it is important to engage an engineer that has a good working knowledge of the subject of masonry. The properties of masonry are dependent on the locally available materials and, therefore, can vary by region. Thus, the engineer should have experience not only with the type of masonry used (brick, terra-cotta, etc.), but also experience with the local varieties of the specific masonry type used. Furthermore, the engineer should have experience assessing the condition of existing masonry construction. Field-Test Masonry Anchors Anchor strengths in the field can vary significantly from the manufacturer’s published values. Whereas the manufacturer’s values are based on installations into new masonry in a laboratory setting, field strengths are highly dependent on the quality of the installation and the substrate. A discrepancy between published and field-strength values occurred on one of our recent townhouse projects, in which field-testing showed tensile strengths into 80-year-old brick at approximately 25 percent of the published ultimate values. Although allowable values typically include a safety factor of four to five, on our project this safety factor was not enough to offset the effects of poor installation and a poor substrate. Thus, field-testing of anchors is critical, as emphasized by the recent New York City mandate to test a representative sampling of each size and type of post-installed masonry anchor installed on a project. The current industry standard is to only perform pull tests in the field. This is because shear testing is logistically more difficult to perform. The New York City mandate, referenced above, requires that post-installed masonry anchors be pull-tested to twice the allowable load listed in the applicable evaluation reports, such as those by the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC-ES). While shear strength cannot be correlated with tensile strength, good tensile strength is typically an indicator of quality workmanship and a sound substrate, and by extension good shear strength. Field-testing of masonry anchors is neither time-consuming nor expensive; it can be completed in a day and is often performed free of charge by the manufacturer. However, testing must be discussed early on with the contractor so that he can accommodate it in the schedule and can complete it before the anchor design is finalized. Lastly, a statistically significant sample of each size and type of anchor must be tested to ensure that the data is meaningful. Replacement in Kind? Replacement in kind is common when existing masonry is damaged to a degree that it cannot be repaired. Even with extensive mock-ups, it is difficult to create a seamless transition between new and existing masonry. This is especially true for old brick when the original brick is no longer produced, either because the manufacturer no longer exists or because the clay source is gone. The design team must be cognizant of the potential for variations in color and texture, even when reusing old brick or creating terra-cotta replicas. The aesthetic impact of these potential variations must be conveyed to the owner, and ownership and the design team must collectively define permissible tolerances. On one of our recent façade-restoration projects, the owner was willing to accept larger discrepancies in the color and texture of the terra-cotta blocks at locations higher on the building where the blocks were less visible. We worked with the owner to identify these locations, and we used all new masonry at the most visible areas to ensure consistency. In areas where salvaged terra-cotta blocks were to be reinstalled, we specified an extensive cleaning procedure for the salvaged blocks. By cleaning the blocks, we were able to mute some of the existing staining and make the block coloring more even. Matching the color of the terra-cotta replicas to the even coloring of the cleaned blocks proved to be much easier than matching the original, splotchy coloring of the weathered blocks. Verify in Field Field verification is crucial when working with existing buildings. Multiple renovations can render the original design drawings ineffectual. Moreover, original drawings are often not available. Unfortunately, contractors often submit shop drawings without field-verified dimensions, with the intent to finalize dimensions during construction. However, for a successful project the design team, the contractor, and ownership must be active participants. The contractor must verify dimensions during the shop drawing process, and the design team must enforce this requirement. In addition, the design team must react to unforeseen field conditions quickly so as not to affect the project schedule. Sometimes there are bumps in the road. We have had projects in which the contractor did not field-verify critical façade dimensions when developing shop drawings. These oversights resulted in misaligned structural elements. On one recent project, we designed a new moment frame to provide additional lateral support for the rear masonry façade of an existing townhouse building. Because existing obstructions were not investigated during the layout of the moment frame, the locations of the frame and the supporting concrete piers/foundations were offset by several inches, requiring a rapid redesign during construction. On another project, we designed new steel supports for a terra-cotta cornice consisting of flat channels hung from tube steel outriggers; the cornice was to be hung by threaded rods from the channels. The cornice was not properly dimensioned by the contractor prior to fabrication and installation of the support steel. Consequently the installed channels were too short to support the last cornice block. Moreover, some of the threaded rods were not fabricated long enough to extend through the channels. Resolving these issues required the respective contractors to remove previously-installed work and necessitated some redesign effort, which was costly and time-consuming in all cases. The impacts of unverified dimensions are not always this severe, but it is vital to emphasize to ownership that the contractor must field-verify dimensions prior to fabrication and construction. Conclusion A masonry façade is long-lasting and durable, and is therefore an excellent medium for preserving a piece of the local history from the time the façade was constructed. But like any building component exposed to weather, these façades deteriorate over time. It is our responsibility to restore them in order to continue preserving the history that they embody. With the guidance provided above, we hope to make this a little less of a daunting task.   Dana M. Cohen is a Senior Staff II engineer at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. Kevin C. Poulin is an associate principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger.