Good afternoon and welcome back to another news roundup. Even as the Omicron variant continues to eat up headlines, there’s still more design news than you can shake a stick at.
Here’s what you need to know today:
Times Square’s historic Palace Theatre is being jacked 30 feet in the air
News that the 99-year-old Palace Theatre would be elevated 30 feet to make room for a $2.5 billion TSX Broadway tower project in Times Square isn’t exactly breaking—AN reported on the project way back in 2015. The theater finally began its ascension Friday, January 7.
It’s a win-win for developers and preservationists alike, as the entire 1,700-seat theater (currently inching its way skyward) will be preserved while opening up ground-level retail space for the new development.
Survey shows contractors are optimistic about 2022
A new survey from the Associated General Contractors of America found that members are optimistic for the year ahead, even as a majority of construction firms continue to have trouble filling open positions.
The member survey, available here, was also sanguine about multifamily housing starts picking up again (net 32 percent over 2021), although that was tempered by the stark acknowledgment that material costs remain higher than expected and will likely remain high. Furthermore, 90 percent of surveyed members reported experiencing significant supply chain problems, which likely won’t be alleviated barring intervention at the federal level.
H/t to Construction Dive
Designboom is acquired by the same company that owns Archdaily
The design media aggregation continues. In May of 2020, Archdaily was acquired by architecture products platform Architonic, which is owned by Swiss media conglomerate NZZ. Now, NZZ has added another design brand to its portfolio: Designboom. Today, the international design platform announced the acquisition, adding that Archdaily, Architonic, and Designboom would now constitute DAAily Platforms (a combination of all three names). Although now under one umbrella, all three companies will continue to operate independently.
H/t to Designboom
A survey of big tech firms show they aren’t living up to their housing promises
Are Google, Meta, Apple, Microsoft, and other Silicon Valley behemoths living up to their pledges to create more affordable housing nationwide? Not really, according to a new report by The Real Deal. Despite the companies’ roles in spurring the housing crisis currently gripping California, relief has been slow to materialize—this two years after the group vowed to commit $4.5 billion toward creating 40,000 new homes across the state. Only a sliver of that number has been built thus far.
H/t to The Real Deal
David Zwirner’s plans for an East Hampton artists’ retreat isn’t going over well with locals
Mega-gallerist David Zwirner and wife Monica are reportedly riling up East Hampton, New York, residents over plans to convert 17 lakeside cottages and a single-family home into a new artists’ retreat. According to the plan, all 18 buildings along Lake Montauk would need to be renovated. The Zwirners also intend to build a yoga pavilion as well, as well as subsidize the cost of each cabin, which would put the retreat within reach of the non-super wealthy. But locals are pushing back due to the state of a dilapidated waterfront bulkhead; while they’re worried it could collapse, the Zwirners have no plan to rebuilt it, as that would require a variance and the cleanup of the adjoining lake.
H/t to The East Hampton Star
A design team has been chosen for an Indigenous culture center in Ontario
Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Smoke Architecture have been selected to design the new Mukqua Waakaa’igan in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on the campus of Algoma University. According to Canadian Architect:
Mukqua Waakaa’igan will showcase the decades of ‘truth telling’ work led by the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre,” said Algoma University President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina. “As part of our commitments to the Calls to Action, Mukqua Waakaa’igan will provide a safe and culturally appropriate space to house and care for the archives from the residential schools history, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation Collection and other important historical documents.
H/t to Canadian Architect