Greetings and welcome back to the first Friday of autumn 2021. As the weather finally turns crisp, it looks like this upcoming winter likely won’t be as bad as last year’s; COVID infection rates are expected to sharply decline through this March.
Here’s what you need to know today:
Vishaan Chakrabarti steps down as UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design dean, returns to New York
This morning, Vishaan Chakrabarti announced that he was stepping down as dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design and permanently returning to New York. Chakrabarti and the university cited a family medical issue related to the pandemic as the reason for his departure. The school will hold his faculty position at the School of Architecture, though Chakrabarti won’t return to teaching until January 1, 2023.
Chakrabarti, founder of the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), was named to the position in June of 2019, using the opportunity to launch PAU’s California outpost in the process. He formally took up the role in 2020, working to navigate the college through nearly two years of a global pandemic and worldwide protests against infrastructural racial injustice. Most recently, the college launched full-tuition fellowships for students pursuing social justice-related work.
A new site-specific sculpture from Martin Puryear will debut at New York’s Storm King
Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York, long a respite for weary city dwellers to escape and enjoy large-scale outdoor art installations, has announced a major site-specific addition slated for 2023. Preeminent American sculptor Martin Puryear has been tapped to bring a permanent brick sculpture-slash-shelter to the edge of Storm King’s North Woods. The 20-foot-tall installation will take the form an extruded archway, bean-like in shape, that will be studded with openings to provide glimpses of the surrounding wilderness (and create a more porous figure when viewed from the outside). Construction is slated to begin in 2022.
“This work is especially significant for me because it will be a permanent artwork in Storm King’s extraordinary landscape,” said Puryear in a press release. “And I’m taking the idea of permanence seriously—the materials I’m proposing to work with, the methodology I’m trying to employ, and the history of the material speaks to something timeless.”
432 Park Avenue residents sue over myriad design and construction issues
Residents of the Billionaires’ Row supertall at 432 Park Avenue are reportedly suing developers CIM Group and Macklowe Properties for $125 million over construction, design, and quality of life issues they claim are plaguing the world’s third-tallest residential tower. A New York Times expose earlier this February laid bare just a few of the unsettling issues facing residents at the Rafael Viñoly Architects-designed megaproject: Flooding from improperly installed plumbing, getting stuck in elevators for “hours” due to the 1,396-foot-tall tower’s swaying (as well as associated noise and vibration issues), and extraordinarily loud trash disposal chutes were all cited. The condo board commissioned an independent engineering report which, they claim, turned up 1,500 issues which need to be addressed.
H/t to The Real Deal
New York bans the sale of fossil fuel cars after 2035
New York State is going the way of California; at the start of this month, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill outlawing the sale of fossil-fuel powered passenger cars and trucks sold by 2035. Sales of gas-powered medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as freight trucks, would be illegal as of 2045. The move, according to the Governor’s office, would slash carbon dioxide emissions by 35 percent statewide.
Meanwhile, in California (which has identical 2035/2045 targets), Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation yesterday requiring that all light autonomous vehicles be emission-free by 2030, putting pressure on tech companies looking to test their self-driving cars in the largest auto market in the United States.
H/t to Engadget
Construction material prices plummet while labor costs will remain high
Timber prices have sagged 30 percent from their all-time highs earlier this year, but contractors still have to contend with higher labor costs even as the demand to build returns. According to a new report from Construction Dive, delays in construction starts will reportedly decrease as material availability becomes more reliable, though the cost of construction will remain high through 2022 owing to labor costs and shortages.
H/t to Construction Dive
Sculptor Masatoshi Izumi passes away at 82
Japanese sculptor Masatoshi Izumi, president of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation of Japan and a key collaborator of Noguchi himself, has passed away at the age of 82. Born November 24, 1938, Izumi established the Stone Atelier in 1964 and would soon begin a fruitful collaboration with Noguchi for more than 20 years until his death in 1988. During their time working together (over which Izumi became a celebrated sculptor in his own right), they realized some of Noguchi’s most ambitious stone pieces. The atelier opened to the public as the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum Japan in 1999.