May 27, 2007

New York 1

The redeye from Seattle delivered us to NYC at 8am EST on the 26th... Jon and Mara greeted us in the Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn. The first day was spent wandering the hood... eating, drinking and crashing. We met up with Rie at a rooftop bar in Williamsburg (great mojitos)... she and Sam are getting married this week.. congrats!
Sunday brought us to Lower Manhattan, where we toured a number of small projects. We were lucky to catch the Ini Ani Coffee Shop (LTL Architects) on it's final day of business (closing). Other highlights were the interior of Buddakan restaurant, drinks in the garden at "The Park," and Ando's Morimoto restaurant. The lighted glass-bottle wall in Morimoto stairwell was impressive... and those toilets had to be the best in town! The overall scale of new ICA by Gehry was smaller than expected... a good thing. The use of transitioning white film on the glass as the exterior skin softened the vertical breaks nicely (and was a much-welcomed change from his signature metal panels) ...the expression is an interesting one to compare to the Louis Vuitton boutique by Jun Aoki. The Porter Condominiums (SHoP architects) was a strong composition of new integrating with old, without relying on simple alignments and neoclassicism. (However note there have been waterproofing issues). The linear vertical slots of light after dusk brought a unique character and glow to the mass.

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