The redevelopment of Manhattan’s West Side is continuing apace, and its newest component will give the neighborhood a glittering lighthouse over the rail tracks leading into Penn Station. The building at 450 West 33rd St. was constructed as a distribution center in the late 1960s and has long been a problematic presence in the area.
REX will oversee the renovation of the distribution center into an office building. During the Feb. 10 press conference, principal Joshua Prince-Ramus noted that the structure’s raked Brutalist envelope earned it the nickname the “Tyrell Building” after the monstrous edifice in the 1982 film Blade Runner. Re-clad in tilted glass with ground-level landscaping by James Corner Field Operations, the building will have a more inviting façade and integrate with its glassy new neighbors when its $200 million update is complete in 2016.
Ian Volner dodged water buffalo, climbed through a city carved into a cliff, and bathed in freezing-cold and sulphur-stinking waterfalls to bring Architect readers this month’s cover story on the work of Jürgen Mayer H. in the country of Georgia. The adventure, propelled by instant coffee and Georgia’s famed chacha brandy, lasted seven days and took the Manhattan-based writer to nearly every part of the mountain realm. A contributor to Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic, among other publications, Volner was last seen abroad in the sunny south of France, writing about the Festival des Architectures Vives design exhibition for Architect online. He’s currently working on his first book project, and looks forward to spending a little time with his cat Lulu and a series of hot showers.