MKCA’s overhauled UES seven-storey townhouse

Our friends at Michael K Chen Architecture: MKCA have undertaken a renovation of the interiors of a seven-storey townhouse with two stairwells, and adding new glazing to draw light from a rooftop patio. The footprint of the Neo-Grec building (1879) was expanded to 9,600 SqFt, and it now has five bedrooms; at one point the building was divided into 17 apartments. The office added a stairwell with irregularly shaped edges which extent behind the railings with handrails of thin braided bronze rods—and, among other interventions: an elevator, double-height windows, white surfaces and herringbone floors, as well as contemporary touches.

New renderings for OMA’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery Expansion

New renderings have been released by our friends at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture | OMA of their proposed expansion of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, which would also include a preservation and improvement, by the same firm, of the campus on which it stands. The new freestanding building would add 29,K SqFt of space for exhibitions, storage for the museum’s art collection, and visitor amenities. The concept is to incorporate amenities into the complex by means of a wraparound promenade. The project would also see an addition, to the existing nineteen-sixties home of the Gallery, of a new education wing on its lower level, and the repurposing of a parking lot into a landscaped public space.

Revised plans for Perkins Eastman’s Two Bridges tower

New renderings showcasing additional details have surfaced the 62-storey skyscraper by our friends at Perkins Eastman. The tower at 259 Clinton Street is part of a three-building waterfront development planned for the Two Bridges neighborhood. The current plans call for a 730′ tower, slightly taller than an earlier 724′ version, measuring over 592,K SqFt. A mixed-income residential building it is expected to contain 765 rental units, of which ~191 will be permanently affordable. The design is notable for the half-floor terrace at the top of the building. In 2017, members of city council and the Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer sought to force developers to submit the project to the city’s land use review process, in response to which the developers have revealed additional improvements for the neighborhood, including upgrades to the East Broadway subway station, making it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as new turf and equipment for the Coleman Playground, and a renovation of two other nearby playgrounds.

The Veiled Son

As a work of publicly displayed art, Jago’s Veiled Son will offer a new iconic symbol for the city of Naples. The work is inspired by the famed Rococo sculpture the Veiled Christ (1753), of Giuseppe Sanmartino. It will sit in a public space in Naples. Jago’s Veiled Son will lie within walking distance of Sanmartino’s masterpiece, which is housed in the Cappella Sansevero. Veiled Son will be the first public art project of the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina (also known as Museo MADRE), whose general director, Andrea Villiani, is extremely enthusiastic about Jago’s work and this milestone in the Museum’s history. Villiani, also a widely published art critic, has curated exhibitions for internationally acclaimed artists working in a diverse array of styles, including Daniel Buren, Mario García Torres, Boris Mikhailov, Elaine Sturtevant, Mark Leckey, and Alighiero Boetti.
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Jago: The Social Artist

Jago is an eclectic artist and sculptor, whose works are distinguished by their technical mastery, expressive exuberance, and vigorously in-depth psychological characterizations. Drawing on his study of the great renaissance and baroque masters, his work is born of continuous research of material, and thematic synthesis within a complex cultural and conceptual framework. Jago’s ability to manipulate stone, making it soft and alive, and turning it into flesh, has earned him comparisons to the great masters; Bernini, Michelangelo, and Da Vinci. Nicknamed the Social Artist, Jago has succeeded in breaking the wall that usually exists between artist and audience by engaging admirers of his work via social media (he currently has more than 52,000 followers on Instagram, and 250,000 on Facebook). Within this, he has effectively lifted the veil as he allows his followers to witness the creative process behind his works. Jago’s sculptures have been on view throughout Italy, at renowned museum and galleries such as Galleria Montrasio, the Venice Biennale, and in Rome at Museo Carlo Bilotti. For Habemus Hominem, his sculpture of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI undressed after his resignation, he was awarded the Holy See’s “Pontifical Medal” in 2012.
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Habemus Hominem by Jago

In 2009, on a commission from the Vatican, Jago created a bust of Pope Benedict XVI. He depicted the prelate with concave eyes after the style of the master sculptor Adolfo Wildt, who portrayed Pope Pius XI in a similar style, in a work now preserved in the Vatican Museums. After being told by the Vatican that the Pope did not approve of the likeness, and that the work would be rejected as it was, Jago exhibited his sculpture at the Italian Pavilion of the 2012 Venice Biennale, where it was finally seen by the Pope himself, who awarded him the Holy See’s “Pontifical Medal” that year. When Benedict resigned the papacy in 2013, Jago returned to the sculpture, stripping the bust of its papal vestments, in a process of “undressing,” and the result was Habemus Hominem. He sought to infuse the work with a sense of human frailty, and to brand it with the markings of age, to represent Benedict’s return to the status of a mortal.
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Vergine Bambina by Jago

The Concept

The idea for the Vergine Bambina (Virgin Child) was born and developed as a statement against corruption, as it takes on the form of conception without sin, represented by a naked body showing its pregnant form as a symbol of purity. This will be realized by Jago sculpting a block of Vermont Danby Marble approximately 16 feet tall and 7 feet wide. This will be the second piece the artist realizes in American marble as part of his partnership with ABC Stone and the North American Sculpture Center.
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Work of Jago

Learn more about Jago at

Memoria di sé (memory of self): “The face I was sculpting, which was mine, seemed incomplete. I opened the stone, releasing the image of my memory, an image of incorruptible purity…” (NOW ON VIEW AT ABC STONE)

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KPF’s Jeff T. Blau Hall at the University of Michigan for the Ross School of Business

Jeff T. Blau Hall at the University of Michigan was designed by our friends at Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), and is characterized by a contemporary linear aesthetic. The Hall houses UM’s Ross School of Business and contains classrooms, lecture halls, and public space. The ​​exterior of the hall ​​​​was created with a material​ palette of ​stone, terra-cotta, and glass​ arranged in geometric patterns.​ ​The glass volumes are LEED Gold certified, in keeping with the team’s and project’s focus on innovation and sustainability; the Hall has other energy-efficient features including expansive windows which minimize the need for artificial lighting, and a landscape design which reduces storm-water runoff.

Renderings released for Rafael Viñoly renovation of a historic building in Hell’s Kitchen

Our friends at Rafael Viñoly Architects have released new renderings for their renovation of a large historic Hell’s Kitchen industrial building in an Art Deco style at 787 Eleventh Avenue originally designed by Albert Kahn, 1927. This project entails the reconfiguration of the existing structure into a series of car showrooms and office spaces. Viñoly and company will add two floors to the 8-storey building, unique in that they will be slightly receded to create a private outdoor green terrace connecting the original structure to the addition. A double-height office will be created by removing the 7th floor slab. The project also includes a renovation of the facade, the ground-floor entrance and lobby, and the introduction of enormous floor to ceiling windows as large of which some will measure 10’x10′: the purpose of which is to activate the heretofore unrealized natural lighting afforded the building by its unobstructed nearness to the Hudson River.

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