Archive for February, 2011

Field Trip Friday: Infinity Chapel

Last Friday, when it was freakishly warm out, the OHNY staff took a trip to Infinity Chapel, designed by Hanrahan Meyers Architects in the West Village.


Renovation of the Tenth Church of Christ Scientist’s original space began several years ago and was completed and open to the general public on June 30, 2010. It now features a $2,600,000 new sanctuary that explores the properties of light in space.

reading room

Designed by Victoria Meyers and Thomas Hanrahan, the new sanctuary also includes a combined lobby and Christian Science Reading Room and below ground level Sunday school and boardroom.

new sanctuary

The new sanctuary’s design is based on a contemporary interpretation of a four-dimensional figure—a hypercube—and mathematical forms such as squares, golden section rectangles, and lines.

oak benches

The architects used a curvilinear interpretation of a cube to integrate the experience of light and space and create a unique spiritual environment within the chapel.

wood pulpit

Materials such as the old-growth Ash planks by Miya Shoji, used for the top of the pulpit and librarian’s desk in the front lobby, provide a wonderful contrast to the floating, white space.


The art work on the walls in the lobby and Reading Room will rotate and are currently exhibiting paintings by Gerard Lehner.

171 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10011


Field Trip Friday: Tara Donovan’s Drawings (Pins) at Pace Gallery

Last Friday, OHNY staffer Hae-In went to the opening reception of Tara Donovan‘s new show, Drawings (Pins), at the Pace Gallery’s West 25th Street location.

crowd at the opening for Drawings (Pins)

Donovan is known for her creation of magnificent large-scale sculptures out of everyday objects such as plastic cups, pencils, toothpicks and Band-Aids. Her latest series, Drawings (Pins), focused on her metallic “canvases” which are made up of tens of thousands of dress-maker nickel-headed steel pins. The show features over 12 works ranging from 36 to 96″ squared, and a diptych measuring 72 x 145″ overall installed.

Untitled work by Tara Donovan

Their appearance changes depending on the amount of light hitting each pin, as well as the angle of the viewer, creating shifting optical perceptions and moods.

Drawings (Pins) show

With these new drawings, Donovan took a different approach and “rather than using material as ‘the vehicle for making a drawing’ through creating an impression,” as she has with many of her site-conditional biomorphic works, she “employs the material as the mark itself.” The circular forms in the piece above call to mind the artist’s work with paper plates and more recently, with mylar.

view of pins

This time, Donovan determined a composition prior to the work’s creation and brought it into realization through mark-making.

close up of pins

Her concept for the pin drawings evolved from a pin matrix that the artist created for relief prints, produced by Pace Editions in Fall 2010, and the process is very different from many of her other works, such as those made with fractured glass.

Drawings (Pins) show

Donovan received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” in 2008, the first annual Calder prize in 2005 and has had numerous solo shows at major institutions.

The show, accompanied by a catalog with an essay by T. D. Neil, Executive Editor at The Drawing Center, will be up through March 19, 2011.

The Pace Gallery
534 West 25th Street, New York, NY

The Setai Fifth Avenue Hotel and Residences with Gwathmey Siegel

Image courtesy of Rubenstein Public Relations

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Designed by architects Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, the Setai Fifth Avenue is a Capella Managed Hotel and The Setai Fifth Avenue Residences is a project of Bizzi & Partners Development, who has created a luxurious addition to the historic Fifth Avenue commercial corridor.

The 570,000 square foot 60-story building has 214 hotel rooms, including 157 guestrooms and 57 hotel suites. The tour will include the light-filled lobby, restaurant as well as a bar and spa, and the uppermost floors of the tower, which houses 184 luxurious residential condominiums taking in sweeping vistas of the city and beyond.

The primary building envelope consists of a tower set back from the street atop a ten-story podium. The expression of the tower and base as distinct components affords the flexibility to respond to the context of multiple scales—that of the city, the street, and the pedestrian.

As GSAA founding principal Robert Siegel stated: “The main challenge in designing this building was to relate it to the surrounding landmark structures in terms of scale, rhythm, and materiality. The arcade-like lower floors, clad in Indiana limestone, and the set-back at the tenth floor that gives way to the tower, all keep the base of the building in scale with the character of the block at street level.”

Principal, Robert Siegel and Senior Associate Greg Karn of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects with Giuseppe Rossi, executive vice president of Bizzi & Partners, will lead the tour. The tour will begin at 6:30pm with a talk in the hotel’s Conference Room, followed by drinks in the Residents’ Lounge.

Purchase tickets here!

Field Trip Friday: 1280 Fifth Avenue

This week, Renee and Hae-In took a tour of 1280 Fifth Avenue, the site of our upcoming year-round program with architect Andre Kikoski. Meredith O’Connor from developer Brickman and Patrick Smith from Brown Harris Stevens led the tour.

Andre Kikoski Architect designed the interiors of the residential tower over the Museum for African Art designed by Robert A.M. Stern. A Manhattan-based architecture and design firm, Andre Kikoski Architect was recently recognized for the acclaimed restaurant The Wright at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The lobby

The twenty one-story 165,000 square-foot building has four model units, designed in collaboration with the French firm Ligne Roset, and reflects the four seasons in Central Park, the building’s neighbor. The unified palette of natural, renewable materials for the interiors includes teak wood, limestone, abalone shell tile, American black walnut and cypress wood, with sculptural elements inspired by natural geometries and organic textures.

model apartment

The building is also anticipating LEED certification; over 20% of the building’s construction and design materials are made from recycled items, and its landscaped rooftop area uses an irrigation system to conserve water.

local hand blown glass lamps

They also used local materials and designers — for example, the hand blown glass light fixtures are from JGoodDesign in Brooklyn.

view of the Park

Located on the north east corner of Central Park, between 109th and 110th streets, it is also home to the Museum for African Art, part of Museum Mile, and that will be opening in a year. The interior design integrates the African art theme via artwork and books in the model apartments.

museum under construction

OHNY staff were able to see a range of model apartments, from 3 bedrooms to studios with an office space.  The apartments shared a modern sensibility, but there was still a warmth to the design and each shared wonderful views of the park.

wallpaper detail in conference room

Patrick and Meredith led the staff through the model apartments as well as the amentities, including a Residents’ Lounge with fireplace, Media Lounge & Card Room, Teen Game Room, Children’s Playroom, gym and Conference/Dining room. OHNY is now offering a a tour with Andre Kikoski, followed by drinks, on Wednesday February 23. The tour will include the model apartments, amenities, and drinks with the architect.

1280 Fifth Avenue with Andre Kikoski

Image courtesy of Andre Kikoski Architect

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Andre Kikoski Architect, an award-winning Manhattan architecture firm, designed the interiors and four model homes of 1280 Fifth Avenue, the residential tower over the Museum for African Art authored by Robert A.M. Stern. Andre Kikoski Architect is recognized for the internationally acclaimed The Wright at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The interiors and model homes reflect the four seasons in Central Park, the building’s neighbor, and feature a unified palette of natural, renewable materials including teak wood, limestone, abalone shell tile, American black walnut and cypress wood. Sculptural elements within are inspired by natural geometries and organic textures. The model homes feature furniture from the extensive collections of the venerated French manufacturer Ligne Roset, who provided assistance on the model home furniture.

The twenty one-story 165,000 square-foot building is developed by Brickman.

Andre Kikoski will lead the tour of the building’s interior, beginning at 6:30pm, followed by drinks.

Purchase tickets here!

Field Trip Friday: Edward Hopper at the Whitney Museum

Last Saturday, OHNY staffer Hae-In went to the Whitney Museum of American Art to see the Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time exhibit. Her interest in Hopper’s work began in high school, when she used to go to figure drawing classes at the Hopper House Art Center in nearby Nyack, New York, where he grew up.

Whitney Museum lobby

Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time highlights the work of Edward Hopper but also traces the development of realism in American art between 1900 and 1940, showing the  diverse ways that artists depicted the changes in urban and rural life that occurred during this time.

Whitney lobby

Most of the works featured are drawn from the Whitney Museum’s collection and includes 80 works in a range of media by Hopper as well as artists John Sloan, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Charles Demuth, Guy Pène du Bois and Charles Sheeler.

Edward Hopper 1882-1967, Seven A. M., 1948. Oil on canvas, 30 3/16 × 40 1/8 in. (76.68 x 101.92 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase and exchange 50.8. © Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Steven Sloman

Modern Life places Hopper’s work in the context of his contemporaries, as well as the time period. When he first arrived in New York at the turn of the 20th century, Hopper studied with Robert Henri and the Ashcan School painters, a realist artistic movement best known for works portraying scenes of daily urban life in New York’s poorer neighborhoods. In the 1920’s he became more interested in the industrial environment, like Precisionists such as Charles Demuth and Charles Sheeler, who focused on abstracting architectural geometries.

Charles Demuth 1883-1935, My Egypt, 1927. Oil and graphite pencil on fiberboard, 35 3/4 × 30 in. (90.81 x 76.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney 31.172.

However, unlike many of his contemporaries who experimented with abstract cubism, Hopper was attracted to realist art and wanted to focus on “the inner life of a human being” versus “stimulating arrangements of color, form and design.” Many of Hopper’s works incorporate isolation, disconnect and melancholy and this element clearly distinguished his work among the others throughout the show.

Edward Hopper 1882-1967, New York Interior, ca. 1921. Oil on canvas, Overall: 24 1/4 × 29 1/4in. (61.6 × 74.3cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Josephine N. Hopper Bequest 70.1200. ©Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Robert E. Mates

The show is accompanied by a 250-page illustrated catalogue with essays by American and German scholars, produced in conjunction with an exhibition of the same title which appeared at the Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, and the Kunsthal Rotterdam in 2009-10. The Whitney’s website features an image gallery. The exhibition will close on April 10, 2011.

Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue, New York, NY

Images courtesy of The Whitney

Hell’s Kitchen: A Political History of the New York Irish

Saturday March 12, 2011 

Get your tickets! ($11.50)

Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Meet At: St. Patrick’s Cathedral – 5th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets.

Tour Leader: James Kaplan, walking tour guide, official historian of the McManus Democratic Association, former member of the West Side Kids

This working class Irish neighborhood of old and new law tenements immediately west of the theater district was once one of the toughest areas in the City where the Irish street gangs.bootleggers, gamblers and mobsters held sway. However, it is today home to major law, accounting and advertising firms, off broadway theaters and trendy bars and restaurants as well as upscale apartment buildings in which actors and young professionals reside.

Nevertheless, many do not realize that the political leadership of the area has remained the same for the last 100 years. For the past 48 years, the Democratic party district leader of the area has been the legendary Jimmy McManus, fourth generation of the McMani of Tammany Hall, whose McManus Midtown Democratic Club is the oldest continuously functioning Democratic Club in New York City, and has controlled the area politically since 1892 when Jim’s great grand uncle defeated Tammany leader George Washington Plunkitt .

This unique tour will discuss the political history of the area, including its evolution from the days when the gentleman mobster Owney Madden (believed to be the inspiration for Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby) ran the liquor distribution in New York City during Prohibition (as well as the Cotton Club in Harlem and leading prize fighters) to the days in the 1950’s turf wars between Irish and Puerto Rican gangs (the inspiration for West Side Story), to the ultimately successful struggle in the 1970’s by the community in alliance with the Catholic Church to save the area and the adjacent theater district from the proliferation of pimps, prostitutes and pornographic purveyors.

The tour will also discuss the close and symbiotic realtionship of the Hell’s Kitchen community with the theater district, and how Off Broadway theater companies and playwrights such as Wendy Wasserstein helped revitalize the Broadway theater. It will also discuss the influence of such groups as the “West Side Kids” whose alumni include the area’s representatives in both Congress and the New York State assembly, as well as political consultants who managed the successful reelection campaigns of President Bill Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin.

Leader: James S. Kaplan, lawyer, veteran walking tour guide, official historian of the McManus Democratic Association, former member of the West Side Kids