All posts tagged: urban planning

New York City Grand Central Centennial celebrates with arts

New York City Mass Transit has a program called MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design, which commissions artists through a competitive selection process to create original, site-specific permanent artwork for stations. This spring, there was also auditioning for a role of a subway performer. Link and more info here.  Grand Central Diary is a video created by London Squared Productions. It is currently part of the exhibition “On Time / Grand Central at 100” (curated and organized by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design). It is now on view through July 7 at the New York Transit Museum Gallery, which is located at the terminal. Grand Central Diary is a short film that shows the everyday routines at the station from a fun and quarky perspective of animated objects at the terminal and nearby.

Kamppi Chapel of Silence in the World Design Capital 2012

Kamppi Chapel of Silence opened in May-June 2012 and immediately became a Helsinki World Design Capital architectural landmark. It has become a huge tourist attraction with thousands of visitors coming to see it on a weekly basis, and the architecture has gained international following. The Chapel is designed by the K2S Architects, and is built by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. It is a collaboration of the City of Helsinki and the Church. Kamppi Chapel of Silence is a unique concept in Finland, being a first of its kind. The Chapel was nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award. Nordic Architecture and Design Magazine FORM chose it as the building of the year within Nordic countries. The architectural shape brings in mind, for some, ideas of Noah’s ark, and for others it reminds them of egg or bowl shapes. What is extraordinary about it, is the element of cutting out the sounds of the city. When you enter the space you have come into contact with silence, …

A great Yellow city

There is only so much we can do with the urban panning? Move cafes to the rooftops, leave the city center only for taxis? Start using bikes in the city. What remains in the city that never sleeps aka *NYC* are the yellow cabs. As I have gotten used to them in everyday life, I thought to invent something that would describe my mindscape, or, rather, imagine together with the cabs. One rainy day I figured that the rain looked like yellow. The yellow rain landed on our coats, we hurried as usual, yet something was different. It was perhaps the awakening to the spring, the anticipation, or coming into this realization that the colors are there around us. The everyday is packed with shapes, colors, lived and animated livelihood, art, design. Anything. I love one thing, *pink*. Now, when That color arrives in the city, occupying the busy business and residential avenue of New York, something Is in the Air. Last year this extravaganza color paraded a good amount of time on the street …

Event about historic preservation at The Van Alen institute

Coming up is a super cool event about Historic preservation in New York. Preserving our ecosystems and heritage includes also streets and other public spaces, as well as historic buildings and architectural landmarks. Tomorrow on January 17th, Euro Circle network is hosting a benefit for the “Neighborhood Preservation Center”. The Van Alen Institute’s 6th floor gallery is the event location, and the address is 30 West 22nd Street New York. One of the event hosts Elin Jusélius is pursuing her Masters at Pratt in Historic Preservation. She told me that the basic idea of this event is to introduce the historic preservation field to people who are interested in learning more about it. EJ: Historic preservation (or heritage conservation as it is called outside of the US) is a changing field, it deals with both tangible and intangible heritage. It is closely linked to sustainability as it is always greener to keep existing buildings, than to build new ones. For instance, all buildings have ’embodied energy’, the energy spent on building it, on processing materials, …

The Egg provides environmental harmony

What is a role of architecture in democracy is a grand question to ponder. First critical question can be directed to the volume of buildings in our urban public spaces. The human scale, people and architecture relationship cannot be taken for granted. Architecture may also be a spoiled industry. The problem is that architecture is sometimes taken as harmless, not harming the environment. It is easier to point to the exploitation of environment by oil and gas industries. Democracy plays also with massive volume. It wants to show off. Former governor of NY Nelson Rockefeller commissioned a plan to elaborate Albany as a state capitol. Imagine a relatively small town in Upstate New York that has an appearance of a state capitol hosting democratic ideals in architecture. Such is the story of the Empire State Plaza. The story goes that Nelson Rockefeller drafted himself the basic designs for the Albany’s government campus. Architect Wallace Harrison revised the plan, which included mixed aesthetical styles in it. The aesthetics of Versailles, Indian capital Chandigarh’s urban designs by …

Bryant Park Yoga

The summer is full of colors which add dimension to the parks in the city. Yoga in Bryant park has invited attendees to sit, relax and stretch in a green area. This moment is quiet, waiting, before the rush…In case one wishes to escape the city, there is a ferry option going to the Governors Island, which attracts with its old time charm, and yet, it is becoming a center of all kinds of contemporary doings. It is possible to find the almost abandoned buildings, interiors and construction areas there, and even an old sanctuary/church. Things seem to be in-between state, so creative energy flows. The place is great for looking at water and the city from a little distance. The island has some green spots, and it is a perfect fit to do some modern mummy-like meditation or yoga. There is also program for the ‘art hungry’. Contemporary Finnish photography found its space in Governors Island this summer (exhibition called Bodies, Borders, Crossings: Photography and Video Art From Finland, curated by Leena-Maija Rossi and …

The Unisphere of Flushing Meadows Park, New York

The Unisphere of Flushing Meadows Park built for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair. Signs of social activism around the world are coming forth through the social media. The old world representations for ‘peace’ and ‘mutual understanding’ are still visible in the landscape, and also preserved in the architecture, in monuments and even in parks. The Flushing Meadows Park in New York City’s Queens is an example of the park, which shares an illusion of the timeless representation for ‘mutual understanding’. The globe functions as a symbol for the world cultures, for the one-world, for the United Nations, and many more. In the Flushing Meadows, it stands as a symbol for the peoples’ park and shared time together.

Our memories and futures

This is the day when we remember New York, the city with wounds, the city with radiant sparkle that lost so much of its future potential in one day, or did it start re-doing it? Dissonances are present in our memories, yet, we also recognize what our new futures might hold. Future is in people, in environment, in their harmonious co-existence. We can leave positive traces behind us, traces of the sun, traces of our bodies, movements, designs planting new hope. Let me share some of the silence and noise of the future potential. Give it away to the architecture that is there. Walk the High Line and look around you, sip a fruity cocktail in the luxurious Standard…When you stroll, find your own stone, find a wooden structure. I was walking ‘up’ the new High Line extension paying attention to the new park designs. As I went along, I was gladly absorbing a different atmosphere, I left the modernist and massive Standard behind me (believe me, I think it is fantastic), and stepped into …