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  • Skyline Design: New York City's Future

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    NYC Future Skyline Design

    With real estate prices literally through the roof, building increasingly higher is the only foreseeable course for the future of the Manhattan's skyline. Since 9/11 building plans, in the world's most competitive urban canopy, became understandably more conservative, with most buildings topping out around the 1200 ft. mark. Unlike emerging cities like Shanghai, Dubai and Hong Kong, New York's skyline is no longer in the race for world's tallest. These days, smart growth is the goal, and to that end, ambition gives way to jurisprudence.

    Here are a few of the top new projects popping up around town:

    World Trade Center Site

    On the former site of the Twin Towers, One World Trade Center (pictured above) is proof that boardrooms don't always make great designers. Architect Daniel Liebeskind's original "Freedom Tower" proposal (sketches at the top of this post) called for a breathtaking memorial atrium in the sky, but over time his weightless glass tower gave way through a highly public design process to the more conservative WTC 1, composed of 8 triangular sides inverted upon one another, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merril. With a pinnacle height of 1776 ft., it will eventually stand as the highest point in the New York skyline.

    One World Trade Center Lobby

    At ground level, a 185 ft. concrete safety wall is wrapped in ultramodern lighting fixtures composed of LEDs behind a glass curtain (above). Through the use of modern lighting fixtures, you can always count on good design as a final result.

    Worlds Tallest Residential Towers

    In Midtown Manhattan, 432 Park Avenue (pictured above, courtesy of 432ParkAvenue.com) will offer an interesting collection of stacked vertical boxes. At 1379 ft. when completed, it's roof height will surpass that of even the Freedom Tower making it the tallest residential tower in the country. 

    Building upward has always been the aim of developers in Manhattan, and only through a series of forward-thinking building codes has the entire island been spared going 100% vertical over the years. It's these codes that mandate ground-level access to sunlight (spawning the classic set-back look of NYC's art deco skyscrapers), and it's this very regulation of sunlight access that has stalled the construction of Tower Verre (pictured below), arguably NYC's most adventurous building on the books.

    Proposed New York Skyscrapers

    Originally designed to be 1,250 ft., Tower Verre has been approved at a reduced 1,050 ft. to curb the reach of an afternoon shadow it could potentially cast over Central Park. 

    Like the Tower Verre, quite a few towers are being proposed at the 1200 ft range, approximately the height of the Empire State Building. Among them is the Vornado Tower (below) which is mildly reminiscent of The Shard in London.

    Empire State Building Photo

    15 Penn Plaza Street View

    Ground floors of the Vornado Tower (above) would contain retail spaces, lit by the light wells of the atrium like walls, and augmented with state of the art recessed lighting and energy efficient fixtures.

    Lastly, the massive Hudson Yards Development seeks to transform rail yards at the far western end of the island into a cluster of supertall Class A office buildings, providing Midtown Manhattan with an always-needed infusion of floor space.

    Hudson Rail Yards

    While it's unlikely that New York will ever hold the world's tallest building again, the city will always hold the world's heart as the consummate vertical urban environment. 

    Images:  Studio Daniel Liebeskind, the Atlantic, New York ObserverCurbed NY, NYC Architecture, City Land, Chelsea Now

  • Atlanta Retail Design: Make a Wish

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    Retail Design

    Shopping for shoes in Atlanta is an experience in and of itself, but the designers at Established Architecture have proven that retail design will make a huge impact on your experience. The redesign of Wish, a very hip Atlanta shoe boutique, has allowed the store to keep it's urban streetwear credibility while bringing in high-fashion labels. Monthly sales have increased 400% since launch. Design is an investment with a good return when it's done right.

     Modern Library

    From the outside you would never know the gorgeous experience that awaits you as step down the stairs into the basement... The white glowing resin boxes make a huge statement while drawing your eyes to the vibrant displays. The shoes are perched on top like works of art, making this destination a style-lovers emporium.  

     Innovative Shelving

    Undercabinet lighting is perfect for illuminating products, but also decor items in the home as well. Surrounding the lit shelving, walls are lined with books, perfectly placed and piled. Hopefully, hipster shoppers will make the connection between stye and well-read. It's a brilliant display concept, don't you think?!

     Plywood Walls

    The bright and cheery upstairs also demonstrates very innovative design. The surrounding raw plywood creates a calming feel, allowing the displays and clothing to really stand out. Clusters of mini-pendant lights are perfect for creating special lighting effects.

     Sculptural Hanging Display

    Custom hanging rods and shelves line the walls in a clever and sculptural way. They create visual interest, but are not so overpowering that they take away from the goods on display.

    A well planned and executed design is a huge part of the retail experience (and the shop's sales apparently). So if you happen to be in the planning stages, remember that investment in design can generate a huge return!

    Images: Established

  • Chalk Wall Art - Ace Hotel NYC

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    Chalk Wall Art

    Dana Tanamachi is deservably well known for her chalk wall art in several locations around the country, but we think her work at The Ace Hotel in NYC is beyond cool!

    For her mural in Room 1021 (below) she was inspired by vintage playbills from the Victorian era. Cool, right? Her work is so detailed and so clean.

    Dana Tanamachi Chalk Art

    Since it's what we do, we're also noticing the cool furnishings of this hotel. If you can't get away to visit The Ace Hotel, adding rich woods to your modern furniture and cool task lighting to your nightstand will help you get the look.

    We thought it might be fun to include a video on Dana's process. Check it out...

    Images: Ace Hotel

  • Living With Art in Tribeca

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    Modern Art

    Sometimes we take life way too seriously, but living with art definitely helps take that edge off! Designer Ghislaine Vinas worked with the owners of this 15,000 square foot Tribeca warehouse to turn it into a masterpiece that truly makes you not only want to be inside their space, but inside their imagination!

    Colorful Art

    This is the type of home you walk into and smile, the bold primary colors play a major part in that. I think each and every one of us hopes that one day we can be invited to a dinner party here.

      Wall Art

    The bold colors and patterns repeat throughout the home, but the consistency never feels boring or generic. There is a surprise around every corner!  Pairing bold colorful furniture with modern black furniture and graphic pillows will help you create a playful and dynamic living room like the one above. 

    Striped Walls

    Vibrant black and white stripes mix with the playful green accents, really making this room come to life without feeling chaotic. Solid black elements, like a rug or black table lamps are always great grounding elements.

    Modern Kids Decor

    A kid waking up in this room better get up and dance every single morning! Modern children's furniture mixed with playful accessories, graphic art and window treatments can create a room that is both playful and functional.

    Home Decor

    Carpet that looks like grass and life size toy sheep grazing on it...can it get any cuter?! We think not.

    Modern Bathroom

    Soaking in this modern freestanding tub under the neon clouds sounds like a perfect way to end the day.   

    Living with art, not to mention playful art, is a great way to help you feel happy at home, even if you don't live in a super cool loft in Tribeca. Your goal should be to step inside your home, leaving all your worries at the door.  

    Images: Interior Design

  • Modern Family in New York

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     Living In New York City

    When living in New York City there are typically two things you miss...your family and your square footage. This group of young professionals has come together to create a Modern Family in New York. They have renovated this 2700 square foot loft in the ever evolving Bushwick neighborhood and have vowed to live together for ten years. Two years in and they are still going strong.

     Modern Abstract Art

    What's great about having a modern family is that there's bound to be an artist connection! This great piece of abstract modern artwork was created by the boyfriend of one of the residents. Bold graphic artwork adds loads of character into the industrial loft space.

     Modern Black Sofa

    The black modern loveseat sits proudly in front of the industrial windows. Hanging round pendant lights at different levels is a great way to create a sculptural piece in a room with high ceilings.  

     Custom Wardrobe

    We all know that closet space in a loft is hard to come by in NYC. These custom designed wardrobes are are not only functional, but the wood creates some softness as it contrasts against the concrete floor and the crisp white walls.

     Modern Wallpaper

    Flocked damask Vera Wang wallpaper adds layers of visual interest behind the modern bed. A cluster of glass pendants lights add a bit of elegance into the room without being too over the top or too modern.

    Creating a beautiful, comfortable home with your modern family is a sure way to create priceless memories that will last a lifetime.  

    Images: New York Times

October, 2012