Daily digest: Daniel Libeskind’s first NYC building will break ground this month, open offices are worse than we thought, and more

Breaking Ground

Daily digest: Daniel Libeskind’s first NYC building will break ground this month, open offices are worse than we thought, and more

The latest version of the Atrium at Sumner in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. (Courtesy Studio Libeskind/New York City Housing Authority)

Welcome back to another midweek news roundup, though for many readers, it’s likely a truncated one. Below a handful of architecture, art, and design stories worth staying on top of.

Here’s what you need to know today:

Open offices might be worse for our health than previously thought

More and more employees are heading back to the office as vaccination rates rise, but despite the prevalence of open floor plan offices, are employees actually happy working in them? Complaints about the noise and lack of privacy in offices without dividers are nothing new, but a new study conducted by Fast Company indicates that working in an open office may physiologically stress you out more (and lead to a major increase in sweat). As more and more employees report that they’d rather change jobs than return to working in-person in offices they can’t tolerate, could we soon see a return to barriers and individually segmented desks in the workplace?

H/t to Fast Company

Studio Libeskind will soon break ground on its senior housing project in Brooklyn

Three years after AN revealed a first look at Studio Libeskind’s affordable housing complex for seniors in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, the project is finally scheduled to break ground. On July 2, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced that funding had finally been secured and construction is expected to begin later this month. Now called the Atrium at Sumner (formerly the Sumner Houses Senior Building), the project will rise on the NYCHA-owned Sumner Houses superblock and hold 190 units across 11 stories. Fifty-seven units will be set aside for homeless seniors. That’s a slight tweak from what was originally reported in 2018, as the building was originally set to hold 197 units and rise ten stories.

The $130-million public housing development is Daniel Libeskind’s first ground-up building in New York City.

H/t to 6sft

Tibet completes its first high-speed bullet train

A 250-mile-long, mostly elevated high-speed rail path through Tibet is finally complete after six years (that’s four years fewer than it took to build New York’s latest Second Avenue subway extension). The rail line officially opened on June 25 and now connects Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, with the city of Nyingchi on a nine-stop, 2.5-hour-long route. Because of the country’s elevated and hilly terrain, the train is equipped with built-in oxygen supplies and UV-resistant windows for high-altitude travel.

H/t to CNN

The entrance to Caesars Palace will get a multimillion-dollar makeover

The original entrance to Caesar’s Palace resort-casino in Las Vegas is getting a major overhaul. The 55-year old gaming property will be renovating its entrance, porte-cochère, and main casino. The front entrance will be completely rebuilt with a dome and barrel-vaulted ceiling over a 15-foot-tall statue of Caesar. Work on most of the renovations is expected to be completed by New Years.

H/t to Las Vegas Review-Journal

Elon Musk’s Boring Company wins deal to dig tunnels under Fort Lauderdale

Yesterday, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Mayor Dean J. Trantalis revealed that the city had accepted an agreement with Elon Musk’s Boring Company to ferry passengers from the city’s downtown to the beach. According to Mayor Trantalis, the Boring Company beat out 45 other proposals for the project.

However, as commentators were quick to point out, if the Boring Company breaks ground on this tunnel project, they’ll find vastly different soil conditions than it did when building the recently completed Las Vegas Loop. The state, much of which is below sea level and vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding, rests on saltwater intrusion-prone foundations more akin to swiss cheese than bedrock; Fort Lauderdale’s sewage system, for example, is being destroyed by saltwater rising up from the ground.

H/t to Gizmodo

After the Surfside condo collapse, other Miami buildings are shuttered

Speaking of, after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida, (the death toll now at 46) Miami-Dade County has been ramping up its building inspections. So far, at least one similar condo tower has been evacuated: the ten-story Crestview Towers Condominium in North Miami Beach, after an engineering report found it unsafe for occupancy. Now, a cloud of uncertainty has reportedly sent the Miami real estate market into a panic.

H/t to the Miami Herald