architecture

Thinking Big and Living Large in A/D/O’s new MINI Living Cabin

Micro Living in Action. Via A/D/O's facebook page.
Micro Living in Action. Via A/D/O’s facebook page.

Limited space is a hallmark of city life, so it’s not everyday that New Yorkers ask themselves, “where should I put the hammock.” A/D/O, the creative design hub and co-working space at 29 Norman Avenue, has answered this question, and many more in its new MINI Living Urban Cabin. The Cabin is installed in A/D/O’s courtyard, and is on view for free daily between 9am and 7pm through November 22nd. The instillation seeks to “create a house within a limited footprint that is inspired by local surroundings; a cabin that blends into the landscape and illustrates New York as a vibrant city that incorporates cultural influences from around the world.”  Continue reading

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Tour Local Relics & Architectural Marvels This Weekend During Open House NY! (10/14-10/15)

NY Sun Works' Greenhouse Project at PS84, Image Credit: Ari Burling
NY Sun Works’ Greenhouse Project at PS84, Image Credit: Ari Burling

This Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15, Open House New York will present a citywide celebration of architecture and urban design, for the 15th year in a row. One of the largest architecture festivals in the country, with more than 200 buildings and projects across the five boroughs, from historic to contemporary, will be opened up over the weekend for tours and talks with architects, urban planners, historians, preservationists, and city leaders.

The advance reservation tours are all sold out, but don’t worry—there are several unique locations you can still visit sans reservations (and for FREE) in North Brooklyn, as well as a couple not-to-be-missed in Long Island City. Check out the list below!

[[ NORTH BROOKLYN ]]

NY Sun Works’ Greenhouse Project at PS84 | 250 Berry St
Saturday 10am-2pm
The rooftop greenhouse at PS84 serves as an urban farm and hydroponic science lab for K-8th grade students. The lab was developed and programmed by NY Sun Works, a non-profit that builds hydroponic science labs in urban schools to teach students and teachers about the science of sustainability. Continue reading

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Climate Change, Architecture and Design Take Center Stage at A/D/O

Talking Tropics via Prototropic's facebook page
Talking Tropics via Prototropic’s facebook page

Design and architecture buffs abound here in Brooklyn, and Greenpoint has even been called the home design capital of the borough, but Talking Tropics, a new series of discussions at A/D/O, the creative design hub at 29 Norman Avenue, is putting Tropical cities like Shenzhen, Rio and Chennai at the center of “a conversation about climate change and the future of design, architecture and construction in island and waterfront cities.”

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Patrick Keely, The Prolific Architect of Saint Anthony of Padua Church

Saint Anthony of Padua Church - image via Historic Districts Council
Saint Anthony of Padua Church. Photo via Historic Districts Council

For years I passed the graceful façade of Saint Anthony of Padua church (862 Manhattan Avenue) and admired its beauty, but never really thought much about the man who built it. Recently I researched the life of the amazing man who built this Greenpoint landmark and his story is every bit as amazing as the church he built.

Patrick Keely (1816-1896) was the most prolific church builder in American history, constructing, by some estimates, seven hundred churches stretching from Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico and from New England to Iowa. He built St. Anthony’s in 1876. It is like many of his churches built in the neo-gothic style. Keely’s prolific career is all the more shocking when we consider that he never received any formal training as an architect. Continue reading

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Happening Now: “Automonuments” at Simon/Neuman² Gallery

Untitled (close up), 2010, Digital C print, 30 x 45 © Niv Rozenberg

Writing of Manhattan at the end of the 20th century, the architect Rem Koolhaas described a new kind of monument, one “available for meaning as a billboard is for advertisement:” Continue reading

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Forgotten Greenpoint: The Astral

The Astral © Greenpointers

The Astral is undoubtedly one of Greenpoint’s most iconic edifices. So much so, it even inspired it’s own novel. It sure is a purdy old pile o’ bricks, straight out of Victorian London, and with a great history to boot. While you may not know the fascinating story of the Astral, you’ve likely been inside the building while brunching at Brooklyn Label, or maybe you have noticed its picturesque brickwork while exiting Dandelion Wine shop, bottle (or two) in hand. So what makes this historic building distinctive enough to be designated both a city and a national landmark? Well, as mama always told you, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts. Continue reading

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“Hazardous Materials” Public Hearing on 77 Commercial St Project Tonight (8/20)

Tonight – August 20, 2013 at 6:30 PM there will be a Public Hearing on the 77 Commercial Street Project and an Informational Presentation on Newtown Barge and Box Street Parks at Automotive High School (50 Bedford Ave).

Like Greenpoint Landing, 77 Commercial St has also begun its ULURP process. (WTF is ULURP?) Approval of the proposal will mean 30-40 story towers in exchange for a park and affordable housing.

Aside from the impact on the character of the neighborhood as well as issues with infrastructure and transportation, the environmental issues at this site and the risk to public health are of great concern.

According to the convoluted and endless Environmental Assessment Statement issued on 8/1/13, the 77 Commercial St site is “currently or was historically a manufacturing area that involved hazardous materials” … “a site where there is reason to suspect the presence of hazardous materials, contamination, illegal dumping or fill or fill material of unknown origin.” When is the open house?!

Based on the findings in this statement, a detailed analysis of air quality, noise and hazardous material in respect to public health needs to be conducted. If you can get a word in edgewise this evening, it’s very important that questions with respect to these vital issues are addressed.

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Historical Greenpoint Walk With The Wooden House Project

Wooden House Project Tour

For anyone interested in exploring the history of Brooklyn, The Wooden House Project offers fantastic tours for lovers of Brooklyn’s wood-frame row houses. The walking tour I took through the streets of Greenpoint was an hour and a half long and was led by Elizabeth Finkelstein and Chelcey Berryhill. Continue reading

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