The latest news on New York architecture.

  • 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.  

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  • A Building Headed For Greenpoint's Box St. Looks Like... A Box

    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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