Yesterday we reported that Columbia University has won LEED ND Platinum for its Manhattanville campus, in recognition for the sustainability goals the school has set out for its new 17-acre campus off 125th Street. A big part of that is the fancy green buildings the school will be building on the site, the first of which is the Jerome L. Greene Science Center (dubbed the Mind-Brain Institute) designed by Pritzker Prize winner and Times HQ architect Renzo Piano, who also helped created the LEED-certified master plan. The project is slowly taking shape in Harlem, but Columbia provided us with this cool video that shows the building coming together in all of one minute, 17 seconds.
With the exception of a deadly construction accident in March, things have been fairly quiet on the western front of Harlem. Starting nearly a decade ago, Manhattanville became one of the most hotly contested corners of the city, as Columbia University first worked to have the neighborhood rezoned for a new 17-acre campus, approved in 2007, followed by the state leading an eminent domain case on the school’s behalf to repossess the land of two local business owners, which culminated in 2010. (Since then, the city’s focus has shifted south, to another university-led redevelopment.)
All the while, Columbia has gone about the work of creating the most environmentally progressive neighborhood in the entire five boroughs, all from whole cloth.
Last week, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded Columbia’s new campus with LEED ND Platinum, the highest rating in the council’s new-ish neighborhood development program. It is only the fifth project in the state to earn such recognition, and the first to achieve LEED ND Platinum. The designation means that the project has embraced the goals of accessibility, density, design and environmental efficiency, creating a model for future development.
“We like to think of it as a three-legged stool: environment, economy, equity,” Jason Hercules, director of the LEED ND program, told The Observer. “Manhattanville excelled in all three.”
Since the beginning, there was a certain amount of awe at Michael Kimmelman’s rejection of the boldface designers and celebrity architects that make up the world of starchitecture. There was little sign of the flash and panache that had defined architecture criticism in the pages of The Times for many moons. In fact things were quite gritty, even grim, if uplifting in their earnest and realism. By and large, the city(s) and profession has been better off for Mr. Kimmelman’s critical eye.
Still, there has been a clamoring in many quarters for more. At times it felt like Mr. Kimmelman was ignoring certain notable projects worthy of, even demanding notice. There have been but a dozen newsworthy developments in New York alone, from the Signature Theater to Brooklyn Bridge Park. What did Mr. Kimmelman—really, what did The Times, what did the paper of record, the voice of god–think of these important projects? With the exception of the divisive NYU expansion, to which Mr. Kimmelman had an ingenious (and thus far ignored) solution, we still do not know.
But now, at least, he has graced us, after seven months on the job, with his thoughts on one of the world’s most renowned architects.
Gettin' High Line
The High Line may be getting its very own Tavern on the Green—call it the Pub under the Tracks.
Can We Get a Whit-Ness?
The Whitney Museum broke ground last week. Buried by all the fanfare was the fact that the august institution still has a good deal of money to raise before it finishes its Renzo Piano-designed museum in 2015, about $200 million, a little under one-third the cost of the new building. Any deals it can Read More
On a gray Friday in January, a largely empty church on 121st Street and Broadway was immaculate in the way of a rarely used living room. Even on a slushy winter morning, Corpus Christi’s floors gleamed.
At noon sharp, in the rectory next door, the Rev. Raymond Rafferty, the church’s pastor, leaned forward, checked his Read More
Chalk another one up for Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
Just a week after the firm unveiled its new designs for the Broad Foundation in LA, Columbia has just announced that the university has selected DS+R to design two new buildings at its new 17-acre Manhattanville campus. Both buildings will be an outpost of the Read More
project. The latter had some additional details about the design and, more importantly, some blurring pics and video of a fly-through of the museum.
The biggest news is the striking, as yet unseen western facade, with its huge, Hudson-facing windows. Perhaps Piano meant them as an homage to Marcel Breur’s unusual openings at Read More
What lies in store for the Whitney’s eight historic brownstones, which were recently sold to New Jersey entrepeneur Daniel Straus? Perhaps a look back at the museum’s past, since its founding in 1931 to the succession of successful and failed expansion plans that followed, can help answer that question.
SLIDESHOW: The Read More