Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Making: James Turrell’s Three Saros


Video by SITU Studio

SITU Fabrication was brought on as a specialty consultant and contractor to engineer and oversee the construction of an installation for artist James Turrell which serves as the centerpiece of a new, midtown corporate office designed by Shelton Mindel & Associates and Architecture+Information. Working closely with James Turrell’s design team and the project architects, a number of formal and material iterations were evaluated prior to arriving at a 24′ tall, 2-story volume with a seamless GFRG interior and a polished solid surface exterior.

Three Saros

Photograph: Michael Moran/OTTO

SITU assembled a team consisting of Laufs Engineering Design for structural design and Art in Construction for GFRG fabrication to develop the means and methods for the construction. SITU worked with a 3D model to coordinate the variety of trades that had to fit within the doubly curved 14″ wall construction, including structural steel, light gauge framing, lighting, electrical, mechanical, and sprinklers. In addition to serving as lead coordinator, SITU also fabricated the thermoformed solid surface exterior cladding, all the molds for GFRG production, and any templates and precision mounting brackets.

Three Saros

Photograph: Michael Moran/OTTO

From the earliest phases of the project, SITU saw an opportunity to document the design and fabrication process as its own act of making. As with many of the artist’s large room-size installations the completed Three Saros project envelops the viewer in an immersive environment – free of surfaces, edges, light sources and vanishing points – capable of evoking a ganzfeld experience where information is subtracted from the visual field. Therefore, in the completed project, much of the architectural environment is only legible from sculpture’s exterior – as an object within the lobby volume. Over the course of the project SITU captured time-lapse, still and video content to both document and preserve the work that is, in the end, veiled by the beauty of the art.

Three Saros

Photograph: Michael Moran/OTTO

To learn more about Three Saros please visit our project page here.

Design Leadership Summit 2014: Design Build in Brooklyn

 

SITU was invited to this year’s Design Leadership Summit to speak on a panel moderated by Anne Hellman-White, author of Design Brooklyn. The video of the “Design Build in Brooklyn” conversation with SITU partner Brad Samuels, Daniel Husserl (Uhuru), and Jeff Sherman (Delson/Sherman Architects) may be viewed here.

Held at Industry City in Sunset Park, the panel discussed working as designers and makers in Brooklyn. All three panelists spoke about the importance of establishing a practice in a creative community with the resources to collaborate with expert craftsmen, artisans, and designers who support local manufacturing. Industry City provides an excellent example of the ways in which businesses are growing in proximity to one another. In doing so, designers are finding ways to innovate by sourcing community talent, utilizing efficient technologies, and producing experimental design work.

The Design Leadership Network hosts a yearly summit to bring design principals and professionals together for purpose of building relationships, learning, sharing ideas, and growing together as a community.

Unven Growth: The Other New York

The Other New York, 2014. Design by SITU Studio, Video produced and directed by Brooklyn Digital Foundry.

 

SITU’s work for the Uneven Growth exhibition – which opens to the public this Saturday November 22nd at The Museum of Modern Art – focuses on the informal component of New York City’s housing market and seeks to place it squarely within conversations about affordability. The condition of unevenness in New York is distinct from some of the other cities featured in the show in that it is often concealed from view – at least with respect to housing.

Our contribution to Uneven Growth addresses the hidden density of New York’s informal housing not by trying to shift residents elsewhere, but rather, by proposing a way for communities to thrive within the neighborhoods they already inhabit. By focusing on tactical interventions, additions and renovations of existing housing stock, we envision a landscape of accretive architectural proliferation that populates rooftops, backyards, industrial buildings and other available spaces.

Taking this vision even further, we also propose a new mixed-use, mixed income infill building typology that provides a direct link from the public street up to the new roof-scape and behind to courtyard spaces. Facilitated through a novel financing model that aims to energize nearby urban hubs while also supporting local transportation and other infrastructural investments, a new form of incremental growth is catalyzed to produce a more equitable New York.

Uneven Growth: Community Growth Corporation (CGC)

The Community Growth Corporation, Jesse M. Keenan, MAS Summit 2014

As part of its research for the Uneven Growth project, SITU worked with Jesse Keenan of the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE.) to propose an ownership and development model focused on capturing the value of unused air rights in the service of funding affordable housing.  In addition to working closely with Jesse, the Furman Center’s guidance and work on Transferable Development Rights was an essential component of this research.  This post focuses on SITU’s strategy for unlocking development rights as one approach to addressing the affordability crisis in New York on a localized level.  The CGC proposes a scenario where underutilized urban spaces could be opened up to a new type of incremental growth facilitated through neighborhood based organizations called Community Growth Corporations. In the below video, Jesse Keenan explains the principles and mechanics of the CGC at this year’s annual Municipal Art Society Summit.

 

CGC1. Redistribution of FAR in the outer boroughs.

The Community Growth Corporation (CGC) is a hypothetical development model meant to align social and financial capital in a way that allows for the preservation of affordable housing and the creation of community-driven neighborhood projects. The mechanism for capitalization is a public auction of excess floor area ratio (FAR) within a community that would otherwise go unused, or where the cost to build to the FAR outweighs the benefit of added interior space. Excess FAR is then exchanged for a share of the CGC. Altering the existing regulations so that FAR is no longer restricted to contiguous properties, but instead can be aggregated – forming new kinds of development– both low-rise affordable housing or higher rise mixed-income developments in adjacent neighborhoods that are suited for denser development (Image 2).

 

20141114_CGC44. Intra-borough Receiving and Donating Zones.

“Receiving Zones” are identified as areas that are capable of accepting increased density due to the availability of space as well as existing access to transportation infrastructure. “Donating Zones” are identified as areas that are currently over-populated and are severely rent-burdened, meaning that on average households spend more than 50% of their income on housing. The transfer of FAR between the two zones can only occur if they are adjacent.

 

20141114_CGC33. FAR Bank and redistribution of FAR

By exchanging excess FAR for shares in the CGC, landowners of properties with affordable housing receive modest investments returns that must be used to renovate or further develop the property. These returns are attached to the property itself rather than its owner in order to ensure that investment in affordable housing is continual, especially in neighborhoods that are already over populated and rent-burdened. All residents are able to gain shares in the CGC, regardless of whether or not they are landowners, through “sweat equity” – participating in street and public space improvements, engaging in senior care activities, coordinating transit pools, etc. Returns for these CGC shareholders come in the form of unit renovations or as rent credits, ensuring the advancement and quality of affordable housing.

 

20141114_CGC64. Participation in the CGC.

A CGC web interface would allow shareholders and community members to manage how their returns are both distributed, personally and within the larger community. A portion of yearly returns would be allocated to community developments ranging from schools to bike lanes and the interface would allow community members to participate in the decision-making process.

The CGC is predicated upon the commodification and a redistribution of the public asset of the right to build to ensure another right – a right to housing.

Surveying the Great Hall

Directly above our Design Lab project at the New York Hall of Science, one of the most unique spaces in New York City is currently undergoing major restoration work. The Great Hall, also known as the Cathedral of Science, is a 7,000 square foot exhibition space enclosed by a 100 foot tall scalloped dalle de verre façade, where 5400 inch-thick panels of cobalt blue glass are cast into concrete tiles and then set into cast-in-place concrete cells. Restoration work entails tediously waterproofing each of the cells and cleaning the tiles with a latex application. In order to access each of the tiles, an elaborate scaffold has been constructed in the Great Hall, echoing the undulation of the concrete walls with a matrix of metal pipes and wooden planks.

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Photo by Patrick Mandeville.

To us, the scaffolding construction is just as impressive as the original building. Standard, off-the-shelf units, typically used for rectilinear construction, gradually curve into and around each turn of the façade. Straight wooden planks overlap and spread as the pathways transition from concave to convex. The construction is an architecture within another architecture, built to allow for inhabitation of the space not intended by the original architect. The construction is built with an economy of materials and time; built for a specific purpose, without aesthetic consideration. The combination of the architectures, the original Great Hall, and the scaffold recalls the work of our enormously inspirational former professor and friend, Lebbeus Woods.

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Photo by Patrick Mandeville.

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Photo by Patrick Mandeville.

To document the moment in the history of the building and to inhabit this extraordinary space, we’re attempting to fly a time-lapse camera through the middle of the space. The project entails building a camera rig where we will be able to slowly lift a time-lapse camera 70 feet from floor to ceiling. As the camera rises and falls over 3 hours the camera will be slowly rotating and tilting to survey the space with a corkscrew motion. To see the design and construction of the rig and some of the footage, have a look at the little ‘making of video’ we’ve put together here:

Beaux Arts Ball Roundup

This year the 69th Regiment Armory housed more than a thousand guests and a handful of large puppets for a night of festivities and performance at The Architectural League’s annual Beaux Arts Ball.

We spent 48 hours transforming the Armory’s Drill Hall into a landscape of ethereal floating lightweight structures hovering above the floor, spent a night of dancing underneath underneath a live feed projection mapping, sound installations and lighting design, and finally spent a Sunday uninstalling.

We just finished a video that documents the process from rigging to final party. Watch below

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Photo Keith Sirchio
Entrance to the cavernous Drill Hall at the 69th Regiment Armory.

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Photo Fran Parente

KSpuppet

Photo Keith Sirchio
Processional Arts Workshop designed 14 ft tall mylar puppets who along with performers roamed throughout the dance floor.

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Photo Design Wire
The theme for this year’s Ball was -ism, and Situ colleague James welded his as cubism-inspired costume

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Photo Keith Sirchio

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Photo Keith Sirchio

PMdance

Photo Patrick Mandeville

See more photos from this year’s Beaux Arts Ball and learn more about our environment design here

Environment Design: The Architectural League of New York’s Beaux Arts Ball

On September 28th, The Architectural League will hosts its annual Beaux Arts Ball in the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue and 25th Street. The Beaux Arts Ball takes inspiration from and responds to the building where it is held, and the remarkable interior and enduring legacy of the 1913 art exhibition the Armory once housed is no exception.

blog1Armory space

69th Regiment Armory space as it appears today

We are designing and building an environment that will transform the space for a single evening alongside a responsive lighting design by Renfro Design Group, a performance installation of large-scale puppets by Processional Arts Workshop, a music and sound installation by Nathan Halpern (with Mary Lattimore and Chris Ruggiero) and a DJ set by Detroit-native Jon Santos.

To occupy this immense 28,0000 square foot space we have designed an array of tensegrity structures that will rise above and dip below and existing cable grid datum 20 feet overhead.

blog2Model Close up

Photo by Patrick Mandeville.

Study-model made out of string and paper. Notice how the toy soldiers are the perfect scale ratio.

This faceted, diaphanous landscape will become transformed to a dynamic site where a horde of colossal puppets (designed, build and activated by Processional Arts Workshop) will roam throughout the night. To see a video of the puppets swaying through the streets of SoHo click here

The massive, yet – lightweight, structures that frame various programs of the Ball are designed with structural efficiency and made of simple modular components typically used in the construction industry: the fire-retardant polyethylene sheets made from recycled resins typically used as a vapor barrier in concrete curing, while the compression members are comprised of off-the-shelf, unaltered, aluminum electrical conduit.

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Full-scale mock up of structural design about Situ Fabrication in the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Given the temporary nature of the environment, Situ is mindful of the source and life of the material it is employing; after the event, polyethylene fabric and nylon rope will be re-purposed for theater productions while the aluminum conduit will be returned to its supplier.

Beaux Arts Ball 2013 – Design Preview from Situ Studio on Vimeo.

The project will be immersive, combining spatial interventions, live video feed, projections and performance into a single ephemeral environment that will disappear almost as soon as it materializes.

Heartwalk Moves to DUMBO

Heartwalk  has moved to DUMBO and is installed in the Pearl Street Triangle, just next to the Manhattan Bridge Archway, through April 30th.  Big thanks to the Design Trust for Public Space for helping to find new home for Heartwalk and for connecting us to the DUMBO Improvement District and the New York City Department of Transportation, who facilitated the move in early March.  After Heartwalk leaves DUMBO, we have plans to move it to another venue for the summer.  We hope to announce the next location shortly.

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As documented in the above time-lapse, the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge creates a spectacular light show on sunny days.

Also, the Heartwalk Instagram aggregator site is still up and running.  Click here to check out the latest pictures (www.heartwalkdumbo.com), and be sure to visit and tag your own photos #Heartwalk.

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We were honored to have a visit from Architects Wang Shu and wife/partner Lu Wenyu recently.

Situ on Designer Pages Media by Otto

Recently, we were interviewed to be part of the Studio Space portion of Designer Pages Media by Otto. Otto aims to facilitate a connection between architects and manufacturers through their search platform. Check out their video of our conversation below…

“Spaces of Utopia/Dystopia” Seminar

 

Last weekend Situ presented some recent work on the Forensic Architecture project as part of the exhibition Troubling Spaces at the Zabludowicz Collection in London. The exhibition was curated by Helga Just Chistoffersen and Natasha Marie Llorens.

Photo: Tim Bowditch

Our talk focused on the ever increasing use of “Non-Lethal” weapons for operations in urban environments and situations of civil unrest. Two case studies were presented in which we explored the use of civilian video and photography in relation to the evolving and often murky legal contexts this type of warfare engenders. One of the case studies (above) is part of a report we are working on with Francesco Sebregondi of the Center for Research Architecture on the use of Air Burst White Phosphorus munitions in highly populated environments.

Photo: Tim Bowditch

On Friday, artist Avi Mugrabi screened his film Z32 and on Saturday he presented some of the work he is doing with the organization Breaking the Silence.

Photo: Tim Bowditch

Tom Keenan, Director of the Human Rights Project at Bard College, led a discussion on Sunday on the subject of battle and media-spaces of the Internet during the conflicts in Kosovo and Iraq.

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