FROM THE WORLD OF ABC STONE

Hill West’s 67-storey tower in Long Island City will be Queens’ tallest​​

A 67-storey condo tower designed by our friends at Hill West Architects to be built at Court Square in Long Island City was shrunk, again, this time from 984′ to 778′. Developer Chris Xu, who has secured a $502M loan for the project, proposed a 964′ tower at 23-13 44th Dr in 2016; the tower was then increased to 984′ (making it a small supertall), and now will move forward with its current height—but even at ~780′, it will, upon completion, be the tallest building in Queens, which is really less trivia than it is a sign of a serious effort on the part of developers to transform the neighborhood, a 15 minute train ride from Times Square, into an important urban hub in its own right. “Court Square City View Tower”, as it is currently called, will be characterized by an enormous glass curtain wall, and will comprise 802 condos; 15,K+ SqFt of commercial space, 760,K+ SqFt of residential space. Amenities will include a fitness center and multiple lounges.

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The Asbury Ocean Club by Anda Andrei | Handel Architects | Bonetti/Kozerski

The Asbury Ocean Club will consist of a combination of residences and a 54-room, 17-floor boutique hotel. The latest destination for the rapidly redeveloping Asbury Park, it is designed by Anda Andrei, and our friends at Handel Architects and Bonetti/Kozerski. Behind the historic seaside town’s recent large-scale revitalization is Jay Sugarman, CEO of iStar, whose other recent developments in the area include the Asbury Hotel, The Monroe, and the reinvention of Asbury Lanes, open as of last month. Asbury Ocean Club will feature a double-height lobby in polished custom concrete with walls of slatted oak; the influence of beach houses permeates the interiors, with simple material palettes and what Gary Handel describes as “open, light, and airy” spaces. Residences, running up to 3BM’s, offer panoramic views of the shore; amenities include walk-in rain showers.

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Apple Centre Cotai in Macau by Foster + Partners
The long awaited Apple Store outpost in Macau in South China—Apple Centre Cotai—by our friends at Foster + Partners has been completed, and its bold vision of an interior landscaped, transparent space with a meaningful connection to its surroundings has been brought to fruition. Notably, tall bamboo chutes tower in the structure’s central atrium; the store is situated in a plaza, surrounded by bamboo thickets, and a glowing cube within illuminates the structure, this being made possible by its uniquely structured and composed facade: five layers of of glass, overlaid with thin layers, suggesting a solid stone edifice, but one which through light can pass. The structural frame is supported by three corner columns wrapped in reflective stainless steel. Natural light enters the building through a grid of skylights in pyramidal and strip shapes.

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Historic Prison Compound in Hong Kong converted to Arts Center by Herzog & de Meuron

Our friends at Herzog & de Meuron have undertaken an enormous and complex project in Hong Kong which transforms a 19th-century police station, magistracy, and prison into a cultural center, connecting 16 restored heritage structures in the process. “Tai Kwun” (big station) is an eight-year, $485M project created as a non-profit collaboration between The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and the local government. H&dM were charged with a difficult task indeed: that was, to meaningfully integrate a number of protected structures from different eras in different architectural styles; working on a steep square hillside site, and around a high former prison wall. The latter was ultimately retained on three sides of the site; original gates were revamped and an elevated walkway was introduced to create five entrances to the site. Additionally, connections between the buildings were implemented, including sculptural stairs of concrete, improving circulation and a sense of aesthetic cohesion. Also, original building materials were salvaged and reused where possible.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jun 21, 2018 / Sculpture

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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Jun 21, 2018 / Sculpture

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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Jun 21, 2018 / Sculpture

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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