Archives For design

Office Building Environmental AnalysisIn a previous article I dug into the first half of the Midcentury (un)Modern study conducted by Terrapin Bright Green that raised the question of what we should do with a group of over 100 energy deficient New York office towers built between 1958 and 1973. Once it became clear that a series of unique conditions were making this particular group of poorly performing buildings unadaptable the question became if there was a positive scenario for demolition and reconstruction. There could be a number of ways to stimulate or incentivize the replacement of these buildings to coax building owners into action–essentially paying them to make a change. However, even though it’s possible, is it positive? Is there a process that creates a new building while providing a net gain? Not only a monetary gain for the city, but a net gain in things like energy use, water consumption and air quality. Continue Reading…

Park Avenue Commercial Real EstateTime has a way of treating seemingly similar buildings very differently. More than just the years of abuse from the elements and the course of daily use, the change in priorities and cultural trends of how we live and work ripples through the built environment, re-calibrating the value of buildings at any given time. The empty warehouse spaces of SoHo that seemed valueless in the 40’s and 50’s were viewed differently twenty years later when artists filled the open floor plates with studios  and differently again when they were replaced with high end retailers at the turn of the century. The iconic landscape of commercial office towers in New York is going through a similar transition as demands for office space continue to evolve while a great deal of the building stock is not the gleaming, glass facets of One Bryant Park. Some office space, built in a specific time for a specific purpose, has fallen from grace in comparison to newer brethren. Continue Reading…

home blueprintThis is a guest post by Steve Lionais, owner of YellowBlue Designs. They market green house plans and blog about all things sustainability for the home.  Steve’s not an architect, but he’s passionate about design and living sustainably by partnering with architects and designers who truly offer a higher standard of green living. 

As the goal of a more sustainable residential fabric begins to seep deeper into the quiet streets of suburban America, the finer points of how to get these greener ideas to a consumer public remain up for grabs. A new potential homeowner is left with the choice of securing the services of an experienced architect (a decidedly uncommon route for most Americans) or going it alone for a sustainable house adventure by purchasing a pre-designed plan to be constructed. Tyler Caine and I recently had a discussion on the merits of both custom house designs and stock house designs. We discuss the pros and cons of each approach here in thinking about how we can achieve our green house goals. Continue Reading…

Bill Clinton InitiativeRegardless of your opinions of former President Bill Clinton, the guest list of the Clinton Global Initiative is nothing to sneer at. Those in attendance comprise a who’s-who at the international level from foreign dignitaries to business bellwethers. Yet despite being surrounded by some of the greatest minds in economics and political governance, President Clinton kicked off this year’s CGI gathering of his by tapping the design population for finding solutions to world problems. Continue Reading…