Over the first rainy weekend of Spring Break 2010, lads in tow we trundled up on the Amtrak to spend a few sodden days in Brooklyn. Having only really been to Brooklyn in a couple of three-hour sittings, we looked forward to digging the scene, as it were. Our “Nu”Hotel, situated directly across Smith Street from the famous Brooklyn House of D (at left), is on the northern end of the Boerum Hill neighborhood south of downtown Brooklyn.
The streets were lined mainly with older 3-4-story brick walk-up apartment buildings and rowhouses, with ground-floor retail on the north-south Smith Street and Court Street (with the latter moving into the adjacent Cobble Hill).
As you would expect, the shops featured a … Continue reading
More from the lads’ first trip to NYC next week. Happy Weekend.
While stumbling around the Northern Liberties neighborhood looking at all of the new development, I spied down a narrow street an apartment building with a Corbusier-meets-Mondrian facade. As I moved in for a closer look, I was confronted with the block-sized project that is The Piazza at Schmidts. Developed by Tower Investments, Inc., and designed (in whole or in part) by Erdy McHenry (who did Liberties Walk), the site features an “80,000 square foot open-air plaza with free events year-round, surrounded by three new buildings including 35 artist’s studios and boutiques, four new restaurants, 500 apartments and 50,000 square feet of office space” (according to their website; see also the New York Times Article).
As you move down the street, an open-air passage leads … Continue reading
Some Monday morning eye candy from last Friday’s Providence Journal feature on two beautiful new townhomes in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. They were designed by Melrose Partners, who seem to do a fair amount of beautiful work. Thanks to Larry from Providence for the tip. Happy Monday.
From some angles, the American Loft building at Brown and American Streets in Philly’s Northern Liberties looks more like a competition entry than an actual building.
But the 10-story, 40-unit building, designed by Winka Dubbeldam of New York-based Archi-Tectonics, is visually striking, with crisp detailing.
But this is an architect’s building in more ways than one: the best part of the design is to be seen around back.
Straight from the comic-book pages of the Archigram Walking City, the columns of the open parking garage look as though the building not only has rooftop views of the Delaware River, but can right well walk itself over for a float. Wicked cool.
As I do every year, I took off my birthday yesterday (38 Special!). This year I drove up to Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties and Fishtown neighborhoods to check out some architecture. A developer called “Onion Flats” has been putting up some cool contemporary constructions, and I went to investigate. What I found was that MANY developers are working on smaller and larger sections of these older residential communities, where the module is overwhelmingly the brick rowhouse, and every other block seemed to feature a new intervention.
Enter Liberties Walk, Tower Investment‘s mixed-use development designed by local architect Erdy McHenry, features a pedestrian-only walkway that runs for 3+ blocks. According to Plan Philly, the 4-acre site accommodates 25 galleries, restaurants, and shops … Continue reading
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — yes, THAT Goethe — is credited with describing architecture as “frozen music.” As the snow melts away from the brightly colored and delightfully detailed Pyramid Atlantic, some of that music will be pooling for public consumption.
Sonic Circuits, an organization dedicated to providing “DC’s music and art communities with the opportunity to sample experimental and avant-garde electronic music, with an emphasis on improvisation and artistic use of new technologies,” will be holding its next performance at the center on Friday, March 19, 2010, at 8:00 pm.
Last week I saw Ms. Chen perform as part of a ten-piece improvisational group playing John Zorn’s “Cobra”, part of Baltimore’s excellent Mobtown Modern series; her contributions were … Continue reading
On the rare occasions that the words “architectural character” and “Fenton Village” are used in the same sentence, they are usually also joined by the words “lack”, “dearth”, and “paucity” (ADMIT IT!). (For the uninitiated, the Fenton Village is centered one block east of Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, north of the train tracks.) These exclamations are not without foundation: Silver Spring Towers, Safeway, and 8120 Fenton Street are not doing the street any favors. Nor do the converted and expiring bungalows and four-squares suggest a Village with a unique character (cf. Forest Hills Gardens, et. al).
But the dedicated observer (thank you!) will notice that, scattered about its ten or twelve blocks, Fenton Village has many buildings … Continue reading
DC-based Division1 Architects are stepping up with some cool contemporary design on the Avenue in Silver Spring. Their ALC, Inc., headquarters building at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Ripley Street (just a few doors down from the new home of Joe’s Record Paradise!) transforms a shuttered Italianate-ish pawn brokerage into a multi-layered bit-of-the-other, with planes and masses sliding along and above each other and peek-a-boo window slot.
The use of the wood slats brings warmth to the crisp white brick and dark slate and adds a new color (no disrespect to the meineke or Pyramid Atlantic!) to the maroons and grays of the district. As it moves deeper into Ripley Street, the building also features the best addition … Continue reading