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Source: A|N Blog

NEW YORK CITY

Fulton Center, the $1.4 billion project under construction by the MTA intended to improve access to subway lines stopping at Fulton Street, Chambers Street – World Trade Center / Park Place and Cortlandt Street stations, is getting a new gadget. It’s called the “Sky-Reflector Net” and will operate like a giant kinetic oculus. Curbed reports that the 8,500-square-foot net-like surface will transform constantly, while the prismatic glass blades at the top of the dome that will scatter natural light throughout the interior of the station.

On the theme of transportation, a new “vintage camper” bar is now open at 415 Myrtle Avenue, between Clinton and Vanderbilt, according to Brownstoner. The venture, called Splitty, is serving delicious Chinese steamed buns and a good range of interesting cocktails, all for $10.

Also, have you heard that the company +POOL wants to put a floating pool, full of filtered river water, in the East River this August? Brokelyn reports that now is your last chance to own a tiny piece of it via Kickstarter.  (more…)

Brooklyn Fulton Ferry

New York is the ultimate city of water. With its 578 miles  of shoreline, its tidal rivers and straits, bays, harbors, and ocean frontage, New York became fabulously wealthy over the centuries by ruthlessly exploiting the surrounding waters for shipping, commerce, and energy. For 300 years it has expanded its territory into the sea, building bulkheads and walls to protect the land from surges and storms, whose turbulence and unpredictability have served as a regular threat to the city’s welfare. But its shores were for industry, not people. In the name of protection, it closed off most of its dangerous, wild waterfront to New Yorkers until the late 20th century.  (more…)

Les Halles-Paris-Hip Hop Center-Centre-Aux Halles-005A new Les Halles rises in the center of Paris and a Hip Hop Center is planned for the new development

In mid-2011, we reported on the battle over the architectural plans for Les Halles, the contentious redevelopment project at the center of Paris. David Mangin’s winning plan, which had both political and popular support, may not have been the most architecturally daring, but it was perhaps the most socially acceptable. Regarding the design, New York Times architectural critic, Nicolai Ouroussof, wrote“Arab and African immigrants from those neighborhoods have made the underground mall one of the most profitable in the city. Keeping them trapped underground serves the interests of developers and soothes the fears of the gentrified classes that live nearby.”

In our opinion, Les Halles is one of the most interesting places in the city where the convergence of the regional RER train lines in Paris leads to a unique juxtaposition of cultures—precisely the uncomfortable mixing that is likely going to be swept away with the redesign. Perhaps as a way to counteract criticism of white-washing, a Hip Hop Center (Centre Hip Hop Aux Halles) is part of the programming of the new Les Halles, which will open at the end of 2014.

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UntappedCities-Melbourne-MostLivableCity-SamChoudhary-1

While it is a city that often falls victim to comparison with Sydney with all its well-known icons like the Opera House, Harbor Bridge and the picturesque harbor, Melbourne has been able to build up a  reputation as a globally relevant city even though it doesn’t have any obvious landmarks. A culturally vibrant and creative city that is well known for its trendy shopping strips and animated public spaces, Melbourne has been topping the most livable city list for the last 10 years. (more…)

Stephane Malka green facade Paris Untapped Cities

Paris might receive a very futuristic new restaurant soon. Designed by architect and former graffiti artist Stéphane Malka, EP7 is meant to fuse the natural with the high tech in an exciting new way. According to Malka, it is referred to as “land art,” which might be a fitting term for the type of architecture that strives to integrate the organic and the man-made. The façade combines glass and raw wooden blocks that will allow vegetation to grow and flourish on the building. It would be interesting to see how the building would morph and change as the plants grow. The design is reminiscent of Jean Nouvel’s Musée du Quai Branly, which sparked a lively polemic when it opened. Are Parisians ready for EP7? We won’t know until the winner of the competition is announced. (more…)

The Municipal Art Society unveiled design proposals from four celebrated New York architecture firms that took on the challenge of re-imagining  the future of Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.  Presentations by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, H3 Hardy Architecture, SHoP Architects and SOM took place yesterday morning at the Times Center and were followed by a discussion moderated by Michael Kimmelman, the architecture critic of The New York Times.

SM_MAS1 copy Michael Kimmelman from The New York Times in conversation with the architects

The goal of the competition was to stimulate collective imagination to re-invision  the area. The future of Penn Station definitely needs some consideration. It is now the busiest transit hub in the western hemisphere. It was designed for 120,000 visitors per day but is now receiving five times that number. With the ongoing development of Hudson Yards and the potential expansion of Amtrak and NJ Transit into Midtown, the traffic at Penn Station will increase even more. It is a good time to reconsider the role the place will play in ten or fifteen years. Madison Square Garden’s fifty-year special permit expired and the City Council is discussing how long the next one should last. Change in the area is not an issue of if but when.  (more…)