06/22/10 3:00pm

In March, the Dumbo Improvement District (DUMBO BID) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for design schemes and ideas that re-envision the public space known as the Pearl Street Triangle from professional architects and designers that reside or work in Dumbo.

Once a parking lot and illegal dumping site, the DUMBO BID with NYC DOT, opened the transformed Pearl Street Triangle on August 8, 2007, complete with its signature bright green paint, street furniture and public art features as a temporary treatment to gage the community’s response and usage of the space. In the three years since, the DUMBO BID is looking towards future uses of the public space and hopes that this competition will spur some thought on how the Pearl Street Triangle should evolve as an innovative and functional public space for Dumbo.

They showcased 8 design proposals in May. Last night, the DUMBO BID announced the winner of the Pearl Street Triangle “Ideas Competition.” The winner was by Brendan Coburn, AIA of Coburn Architecture (based at 45 Main Street) and his project designers, Yuliya Ilizarov and Abdou Ndoye titled “The Tracks: Ride the Rails!”

Project Name: The Tracks: Ride the Rails!
Description: The Tracks plaza takes it’s inspiration from the myriad of rail lines that at one time weaved their way through the industrial streets of DUMBO. As these tracks emerge from beneath the pavement surrounding the triangle they become the armature for a series of tiered seats that wind through the site to create three amphitheater-like spaces: the first, facing the Manhattan Bridge, is delineated by seating for films projected onto the masonry wall that encloses the arch beneath the bridge; the second, a performance and display space enclosed by two opposing tiers; and the third, where a low tier hugs a series of in-ground fountains. Shallow alcoves are molded underneath the higher tiers, welcoming local artists to display their creations.

All of the submissions were interesting and had a different spin on the use of the public space. There was even one that proposed adding a subway stop at the Manhattan Bridge anchor above the Triangle with an elevator/stairs down below. How do you think the space should be used? Other submissions after the jump.

04/22/10 12:00pm

If you haven’t checked out Brooklyn Navy Yard, which borders Vinegar Hill, Urban Oyster is bringing us a great chance to explore the Yards by bike. Explore the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s transition from being one of the nation’s foremost naval shipbuilding facilities to becoming a national leader for sustainable urban industrial parks. Learn about the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation’s sustainable development efforts including the nation’s first multi-story “green” industrial building, first solar and wind-powered street lamps, NYC’s first building-mounted wind turbines, adaptively reused historic structures, and new green buildings certified by the US Green Buildings Council.

First bike tour is on Sunday, April 25, and will occur each month through at least October.

Sunday, April 25, 1:45pm (approx 2 hours)
Sunday, May 23, 1:45pm
Sunday, June 6, 1:45pm

REQUIREMENTS: Each participant must supply his/her own bicycle & bring and wear a safety helmet at all times while on the Brooklyn Navy Yard tour. Need to rent a bike? Check out Ride Brooklyn Bike Shop. Also, check out Recycle-a-Bicyle in Dumbo for used/refurbished bikes.

Admission: $24 per person/ $20 for BHS members & BNYDC tenants and employees. Advance ticket purchase required. Click on the following link to check availability and purchase tickets.

Urban Oyster aims to reveal the hidden treasures of NYC and have fun tours such as the Brewed in Brooklyn Tour and the Food Cart Tour. They also organize the Brooklyn Navy Yard tour bus tours.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. View BNYDC’s Flickr photos page.

04/13/10 3:30pm

The DOB has issued a Full Vacate Order on the townhouses at 11, 13 and 15 Old Fulton Street due to “significant structural defects of rear wall entire building and rear yards to be vacated.” Commenters in a 2007 post about 11-15 Old Fulton Street, did mention that there are “severe structural issues with them, and the land they sit on,” so this may have affected the buildings.

DOB listing for:

  1. 11 Old Fulton Street
  2. 13 Old Fulton Street
  3. 15 Old Fulton Street

Top photo courtesy of epc.

{Three Vacant Buildings on Old Fulton Street, 18Jan2007}
{Old Fulton Street Townhomes Under Contract, 30Nov2007}

03/18/10 12:11pm

 [+] Click for larger

The Community Board 2 committee approved Toll Brothers’ building design for the vacant land on 205 Water Street on Wednesday night. The Brooklyn Paper reports that the CB2 committee felt the design “fit the DUMBO context, committee members also said they appreciated that the developers did not shoot for the full 12 stories that the current zoning allows. Instead, the housing will remain at seven stories, except for one luxury condo unit that will extend to nine stories on one side.”

The project will contain 67 market-rate units and 86 parking spaces in an underground garage. The current zoning in the landmark district of DUMBO doesn’t require 20-percent of the units to be below-market-rate housing at each residential complex — but the landmark zoning of 2007 requires that the project be voted on by the Landmarks Commission. After the project reaches the full community board, it heads to the commission for an April 6 vote.

“We loved the gritty nature of this industrial area, and that was our inspiration,” said Navid Maqami of GreenbergFarrow, the project’s architects. “The rust colors, steel and concrete — these are what you find in DUMBO.” In a Crain’s article, David Von Spreckelsen, a senior vice president at Toll says “Besides Brooklyn Heights, this is the only desirable place in Brooklyn where we would want to do a project now,” He mentioned how little inventory there is in Dumbo and that “recent resales of existing condos in the neighborhood have been between $800 and $1,200 per square foot.”

Toll bought the vacant lot at 205 Water St. for $100 per square foot in December.

{CB2: This project takes no ‘Toll’ on DUMBO, 18Mar2010, Brooklyn Paper}
{205 Water Street Plans Revealed at Community Board, 18Mar2010, Brownstoner}

{Toll Brothers to Build Condos at 205 Water St, 07Jan2010}
{Demolition at 205 Water Street, 24Jan2007}
{In the Press: Demolishing 205 Water Street, 27Jan2007}
{Stop Work Order Violation Issued at 205 Water Street, 14Feb2007}

04/24/09 12:00pm

Old Fulton Street

192 Water Street:

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a certificate of appropriateness to amend previous approval to alter ground floor and install a marquee in their last meeting for 192 Water Street. As previously noted, the owners are converting the ground floor and lower floor into a 250 person live performance theatre and plan on creating 10 condominium units on floors three through five.

9 Old Fulton Street:

Also, in an upcoming hearing on May 5, 2009, the LPC will be reviewing an application for 9 Old Fulton Street in the Fulton Ferry Historic District, a vacant lot, to construct a four-story building with a one-story penthouse (Zoned M2-1). According to the Fulton Ferry Landing Association, “the application was approved by the CB2 Land Use Committee over several no votes; a motion to approve without a rooftop “mezzanine” was defeated by one vote.” They follow with:

“The design has been described to us as a penthouse “cube” on top of the 4-story building. We have concerns that the bulkhead will encroach on the view of the Bridge, will be seen from the street, and will be inconsistent with the historic character of this row of houses, whose history extends back to the 1830’s. A Public viewing of the plans will be held at the Landmarks Preservation Commission office, 1 Centre Street, May 1st followed by a Public Hearing on Tuesday, May 5th, starting at 9:30 am on the 9th floor. If you are interested please come, see for yourself, and most importantly, speak to the LPC on May 5th about the importance of maintaining the character of this historic neighborhood.”

If anyone has design renderings, please email us.

{Stop Work Order Issued at 192 Water Street, 06Jan2009}
{192 Water Street Construction Moving Forward, 23Jul2008}
{Condo and Theatre Conversion at 192 Water Street, 02Jan2008}

04/23/09 11:42am

(Photo from storefrontnews.org)

From Dumbo Improvement District:

Please join the Dumbo Improvement District and Studio-X, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Raumlabor & Inhabitat tomorrow for

a real-time, ecologically based competition based on “Iron Chef” and held within Spacebuster by Raumlabor.

Spacebuster is a mobile inflatable structure – a portable, expandable pavilion – that is designed to transform public spaces of all kinds into points for community gathering.

The pavilion is comprised of an inflatable bubble-like dome that emerges from a step van that also houses the compressor that keeps the Spacebuster inflated. The dome expands and organically adjusts to its surroundings, be it in a field, a wooded park, or below a highway overpass. The material is a translucent plastic that allows the events taking place inside of the shelter – screenings, lectures, dinners or discussions – to be entirely visible from the outside. Likewise the exterior environments become the events’ backdrops.

IRON DESIGNER Features Teams of Third-Year M.Arch students from:

  • Columbia University GSAPP
  • Parsons The New School for Design
  • City College of New York
  • Pratt Institute

Thursday, April 23rd @ 7PM
Meet at the Pearl Street Triangle in DUMBO, Brooklyn
The winning team will be featured on Inhabitat.com

Sponsored by Studio-X/Columbia University GSAPP, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Raumlabor, Dumbo Improvement District and Inhabitat.

{Manhattan Bridge Arch Now Open Permanently, 20Apr2009}
{Bubblicious Spacebuster to Take On High Line, Dumbo, 20Apr2009, Curbed}