February 2007

Much of the housing stock in cities across the country is a result of efforts by developers. Without delving into the politics and/or urban appropriateness of one solution type over another, I’d like to take a look at some of the current socio-economic factors guiding today’s real estate market, after highlighting some of the new, under construction and planned high rises in Brooklyn:


Atlantic Yards

J Condos
J Condominium see other 2 other DUMBO projects and a neighborhood blog Dumbo NYC, Brooklyn

Oro Condos Under Construction

Oro Condos (under construction) 306 Gold Street and the sister building at 313 Gold street

Williamsburg Savings Bank

One Hanson Place (former Williamsburgh Savings Bank)



Work begins at the Atlantic Yards site this week. Demolition of select properties, to be completed in part by minority- and women-owned firms, is the first step in preparing the site for future construction.




Proposed After

I’ve recently come across two academic explorations into sustainable housing, one in Chicago: IIT’s Urban House 1 (Green Bean writes about it) and one outside of Austin, Tx Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (Architecture Week covers it here).


Urban House 1


CMPBS laboratory
I think both of these explorations are critical to making green building more accessible to the general public. I appreciate the efforts in both veins, the research efforts intending to yield practical applications (CMPBS), and the actual implementation of said research in the market (IIT). These are ways for the academic institutions to make a more direct impact on our world, by moving the center of attention outside of the individual designer/architect outward to the community, the environment.

We may not be able to win the Super Bowl, but Chicago architects Sarah Dunn and Martin Felsen of Urban Lab won the History Channel’s City of the Future Competition!


A cool diagram of their concept can be found here and a brief synopsis of their propsal here.

One of my favorite designers, Hans Wegner, passed away at the end of last month. A Danish furniture designer, making some of the most beautiful, comfortable, organic and modern pieces. Pieces still in production can be found at Carl Hansen & Son.