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Press CurbedNY : Contested Tribeca apartment building finally clears Landmarks by Paul Castrucci

The plan was sent back to the drawing board several times before it was finally approved on Tuesday

By Amy Plitt and Tanay Warerkar

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UPDATE 1/23/18: The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission resoundingly approved a proposal to replace a set of low-rise commercial buildings on Canal Street with a seven-story residential building, on Tuesday.

The Commission liked the revised approval presented by the architecture firm Paul Castrucci Architect, which reduced the height of the building from nine stories to seven stories, and reduced the facade material from red brick to terra cotta, to be more in line with the buildings in the neighborhood (more details on the latest iteration of this project below).

The Commission praised the firm for heeding all of its advise from a previous hearing in July last year, but still had a few pointers. The Commissioners agreed that the architect should either do away with the current glazing on the building’s facade or try to pick a more muted version of the color they’re presently going with. They also asked the architect to reduce the ceiling height on the building’s penthouse to make it less visible from street level.

The architect will now work with the Commission’s staff to rectify those concerns as this project moves forward.

Seven months after the Landmarks Preservation Commission decided to take no action on the proposed new buildings at 312-322 Canal Street, a revised proposal for the project is due to be presented before the LPC at tomorrow’s meeting. It’ll be the third time that plans for this parcel of land will appear before the LPC.

Let’s back it up a bit: Paul Castrucci Architect, the firm behind the (now stalled) revamp of ABC No Rio, has been trying to get plans for a new Canal Street building approved since 2011, when changes to the storefronts those addresses encompass were made without LPC approval. (The buildings are part of the Tribeca East Historic District.) The 2011 proposal was nixed, and it took the firm until last year to come back with revised plans—which were summarily rejected by the LPC for being “completely inappropriate.”

What did the commission have an issue with? Just about everything: “There is a real problem with the monolithic aspect of this application, and it takes away from the granular nature of Canal Street,” LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said during June’s meeting, where she noted that the site deserved a building that is “new and contemporary.”

It remains to be seen if the revised plans, which will be presented during tomorrow’s LPC meeting, will fit the bill. One of the biggest changes concerns the building’s height; the previous proposal put the roof height at 97 feet high, but the revised one takes it down to a bit over 86 feet (with the street-facing wall going to 76.6 feet). And rather than having a flat, brick facade, the revised plans now include a facade made from terra cotta, not so dissimilar to that of Annabelle Selldorf’s 10 Bond Street.

The building will still be home to more than a dozen apartments (most of them one-bedrooms, with one four-bedroom penthouse), with three ground floor retail spaces. Maybe, as the old adage goes, the third time’s the charm?

Take a look at the full revised plans here. We’ll update with more information on the LPC vote as it becomes available.

Press Tribeca Citizen : Red Terra Cotta Facade Proposed for Canal Street by Paul Castrucci

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In June, the Landmarks Preservation Commission sent developer Trans World Equities and architect Paul A. Castrucci back to the drawing board for another go at 312-322 Canal, where they’d like to replace the existing two-story commercial building with a nine-story residential one. YIMBY got its hands on the new renderings, below: “Castrucci has proposed a brick-red terra cotta facade which will frame inset floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor. The architecture firm describes the project as entering into ‘a critical dialogue with its surrounding context. The façade’s repetition recalls some of the underlying structural rhythms of the historical district’s notable palazzo-style, cast-iron facades, but avoids replicating or reproducing their forms, details or material choices.'”

If the terra cotta comes off anything like it does at 10 Bond by Selldorf Architects, I’m on board. The red does give one pause—although I suppose you could argue that it references Pearl Paint…. The LPC will discuss it tomorrow morning.

UPDATE 1/23: The new design for 312-322 Canal was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, says Curbed, but apparently it’s seven stories, not nine, as reported. And the LPC “still had a few pointers. The Commissioners agreed that the architect should either do away with the current glazing on the building’s facade or try to pick a more muted version of the color they’re presently going with [rendering below]. They also asked the architect to reduce the ceiling height on the building’s penthouse to make it less visible from street level. The architect will now work with the Commission’s staff to rectify those concerns as this project moves forward.”

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Press in YIMBY: Red Terra Cotta Exterior Revealed After 312-322 Canal Street’s Major Design Update, Tribeca by Paul Castrucci

BY: JORDAN BEECHE 8:00 AM ON JANUARY 22, 2018

BY: JORDAN BEECHE 8:00 AM ON JANUARY 22, 2018

An updated design has been submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for 312-322 Canal Street, in the West Tribeca Historic District. The site is currently occupied by a two-story retail space, owned by the developer, Trans World Equities. An initial design proposal was submitted in 2011 by Paul A. Castrucci Architect, but was denied by the LPC after being deemed too bland for the area.

Current status of 312-322 Canal Street.

Current status of 312-322 Canal Street.

The updated design submitted again by Castrucci on January 23rd, 2018 is still pending approval. If approved, the lot would give rise to a nine-story residential building, with retail space on the first floor. The structure would rise to 76 feet, 12 feet higher than the existing average for the block.

Construction would yield an estimated 54,250 square feet of space aboveground, plus an additional 7,750 square feet in the basement.

Retail spaces on the ground floor.

Retail spaces on the ground floor.

The ground floor would offer three retail opportunities, and floors two through six would each feature four one-bedroom apartments. The seventh floor is slated to be a four bedroom penthouse unit with private terrace access. Residents would also have access to bicycle storage in the basement and recreational space on the roof.

Close up of terra cotta facade.

Close up of terra cotta facade.

Castrucci has proposed a brick-red terra cotta facade which will frame inset floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor. The architecture firm describes the project as entering into “a critical dialogue with its surrounding context. The façade’s repetition recalls some of the underlying structural rhythms of the historical district’s notable palazzo-style, cast-iron facades, but avoids replicating or reproducing their forms, details or material choices.”

The building is also slated to be passive house certified; it will use high efficiency heat pumps to condition individual interior units in addition to energy recovery ventilators which provide units with cooled, filtered fresh air.

Plans will go before the LPC on Tuesday for approval.

Clifton Residence - BLOWER DOOR TEST “PASSED!” by Paul Castrucci

Posted onNovember 4th, 2017 by ALAN SOLOMON Link to original post

Sawkill Passive House passed the critical passive house blower door test on Friday, conducted by David White of Right Environments, working with Castrucci Architect and Blueline Construction. The house passed within just 1 CFM (Cubic Foot per Minute) of the test standards cut-off – a cliffhanger by building energy standards. Two days earlier, the reading hovered three points higher and out of reach. At that time, all the scouring for micro-leaks in the envelope of the house seemed exhausted; window gaskets were tightened, ventilation hoods tuned, electrical penetrations plugged; each step circling closer, but still short. It was unclear what to do.

But Mother Nature stepped in. Readings can vary slightly from successive tests at the same site. Within that natural range, it is also possible that varied weather conditions account for the difference. As they say, “You can’t step in the same river twice”. On Friday, with lower winds and higher temperatures, the indoor and outdoor environments were unseasonably equal, and that raised a prospect for a new and passing measure. David thought it was worth a try.

David White lives down the block from Prospect Park, and about a fifteen minute bike ride to 158 Clifton. His retro-fitted eight foot bicycle could haul the morning produce of a restaurant, but it’s more regularly strapped down with equipment from “Minneapolis Air Blower”. The bike and its cargo are easily managed by the 6’2” cyclist.

The air blower apparatus is a simple device – supported by a mountain of research. It pressurizes the entire house, but outside of a fan humming, you’d never know the blower door test was even happening. Within minutes, a computer registers dots along an axis; and then it stops for a moment, and the fan is flipped around, with air removed; and de-pressurizing, resulting in an average reading from multiple points of the  building envelope. If there are ghosts in the Victorian era row house, as an older resident on the block claimed early on, they would have certainly caught wind of the air blower test.

The computer graphic – a grid with round and square dots – often tells the story. But it was too close to call on Friday. David clicked through to the precise numerical data and paused, searching the numbers and then said “we passed.” It was just one-quarter-of-one-percent within range, and that was enough.

If it wasn’t. the alternative – which could have produced a passing number for the house months ago – was to “pressurise the neighbours”. This involved setting up similar systems that would flank the row house with pressurised volumes, and act like a headwind against microscopic air loss. Pressurizing just one adjacent house would blow the door off the standards firm threshold, lopping off 100 cfm’s, and it would be completely within the bounds of test procedure. But it was a last resort, and the neighbours of course were already a help, simply living with a party wall in a row house.

The Passive House Certification process prompted a systematic check for air and energy leakage, and a fine tuning process of actions, and it added up to real performance gains. But it was the attention to detail in the construction phase that made the difference. Going back to the bones of the 1880’s building, the old growth softwood joists; each was retained and sistered, and then subject to a thoughtful sealing sequence, with ‘no turning back’. Any energy leakage would be locked in, maybe for generations. All along the way, similar issues were encountered in a structure that was “….in as bad shape as any that I’ve encountered.” said Jim Hartin of Blueline.

Castrucci, Right Environments and Blueline have transformed an old building into one that is, 130 years later, in as good shape as any they’ve encountered. The PHI energy numbers alone may back that up.158 Clifton may also be a first wooden row house to reach certification in New York, and is part of the growing movement to retro-fit across the city.

As David was breaking down the blower door, he noticed one small part of the unit unclamped. “Hmm, that could have been another cfm or two.”

International presentation for Net Zero architecture and ABC No Rio at Paul Castrucci Architect by Paul Castrucci

Wendy Brawer is one of this year's TED fellows and co-developer for award winning R951 Residence. She invited an international group to tour top GreenMap sites.  Wendy Brawer is the creator of the Green Map, a tool that uses distinctive iconography to denote green-living, natural, social, and cultural resources. Locally led in 65 countries, GreenMap.org will soon relaunch with a new, open approach to inspire greater action on climate health and environmental justice among residents and travelers alike.

The presentation focused on basic passive house principles, net zero projects and ABC No Rio as one of the first Passive House art spaces.

6sqft Press: ABC No Rio’s Graffiti-Covered Tenement Will Be Replaced with an Ultra-Modern “Passive House” by Paul Castrucci

POSTED ON MON, DECEMBER 1, 2014BY DIANE PHAM

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When ABC No Rio announced more than five years ago that they would be demolishing their building in favor of an updated facility, artists immediately began grieving over the impending loss of the cooperative’s hardcore punk roots. Not much movement was made after that—only word that the artists would be going green with their renovation—but lo and behold, a new rendering revealed by Bowery Boogie shows us what will soon replace the artists’ collective: a 9,000 square-foot, LEED-certified Passive House complete with exhibition and performance spaces, a green roof and a second floor terrace.

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Though a design by architect Paul Castrucci has been secured, Bowery Boogie reports that the project has been locked in the construction bid phase for the last few years. Costs apparently came in much higher than anticipated, and though they received a discount on the purchase of the building–and $1.5 million in city funding in October–the collective is still short on the funds needed to make the project happen. As a result, the project will be put out for bids again in spring 2015, and if all goes as planned, work will begin shortly after.

ABC No Rio purchased the building from the city for $1 back in June of 2006 under the provision that it be renovated.

What do you think of the new design?

[Via Bowery Boogie]