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Found 18 results

  1. The office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been commissioned to design a large-scale residential complex in Singapore. The project will be located on an expansive 8 hectare site bounded by the Ayer Rajah Expressway and Alexandra Road, in a central position between the National University and downtown Singapore. With 170,000 m2 of built floor area, the development will provide over 1,000 apartment units of varying sizes with extensive outdoor spaces and landscaping. Instead of creating a cluster of isolated, vertical towers – the default typology of residential developments in Singapore – the design explores a dramatically different approach to the issues and challenges of living and social space. 32 apartment blocks, each six-stories tall, are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form six large-scale permeable courtyards. The interlocking volumes form the topography of a “vertical village” with cascading sky gardens and private roof terraces vertically extending the landscape of the courtyards. Extensive communal facilities which are embedded in the lush vegetation offer multiple opportunities for social interaction in a natural environment. While maintaining the privacy of the individual apartment units through unobstructed views and generous spacing of the building blocks, the horizontal and interconnected volumes create an explicitly social network of outdoor spaces within the green terrain. The site completes a green belt that stretches between Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah and Mount Faber Parks, while the stacked volumetric relationship of the apartment blocks extends the landscape and forms a mount/hill that relates to the surrounding topography. Beyond the extensive presence of nature and collective space, the project will be designed to respond carefully to the tropical climate and address issues of sustainability through incorporating multiple features of energy-saving technologies. The project is lead by Ole Scheeren, Director of OMA Beijing, together with Eric Chang, Associate. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=1943
  2. An Artist’s Guide to Relocating From Trump’s America | artnet News [h=5]Politics[/h][h=1]An Artist’s Guide to Relocating From Trump’s America[/h]A definitive guide to finding the next art world Shangri-La. Christian Viveros-Fauné, December 9, 2016 More than 2200 people pose nude for photographer Spencer Tunick, on the steps of the Montreal Museum of Fine Art in Montreal, Canada, May 26, 2001. Photo by Jean Therroux/Getty Images. 5. Montréal Where Toronto is the hub of all things corporate, Montreal is Canada’s cultural hub. The city has plenty of commercial galleries and a smattering of respectable museums, but its beating heart remains its artist-run-centers—many of them established in the ’70s and ’80s as a way to explore art for art’s sake. To these can be added kunsthalles of a more recent vintage, including the DHC Foundation and Darling Foundry. Rent (an incredible $519 for a studio apartment) is about half what it is in Toronto and Vancouver, and a fraction of what you would pay for in London and New York. For those who bragged they’d move to Canada if Trump won, the train is now leaving the station. (I’m talking to you, Lena Dunham.) [h=5]Recommended Reading[/h][h=2]Must-See Art Guide: Montréal[/h]By Audrey Fair, Aug 28, 2014
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4W_F1RKR0A I don't think anyone here would like this. It would beat living in apartment thats for sure. Plus if it cost like US$500,000 in Tokyo. It can't be that expensive here.
  4. Un article du New York Time sur un penthouse à Vendre à Montréal. à Source: New York Time Album Photo INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE For Sale in ... Montreal By CLAIRE McGUIRE WHAT A one-bedroom penthouse apartment with industrial details and panoramic views of Montreal HOW MUCH 1,995,000 Canadian dollars ($1,866,400) SETTING This 10-story former factory was built in 1912 in the Paper Mill District near the financial district and Old Montreal. It shares the top floor with two other apartments, and overlooks several museums, the old port and the Chinatown neighborhood. Montreal is situated on several islands at the point where the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa rivers merge. It is about 325 miles north of New York City. Montreal is known internationally for its architecture and design, its strong arts scene and its vibrant gay community. INSIDE The apartment has an open layout; only the bedroom, bathrooms and a sitting room are enclosed. It would be easy to create an additional bedroom. The bedroom has an en suite bathroom and a walk-in closet with one wall made of opaque glass. There is a double-sided fireplace between the living room and the kitchen. The floors are of blue-stained hardwood in some places and slate tile in others. The high ceilings, painted brick walls and textured concrete pillars recall the building’s industrial history. The apartment’s seven arched windows overlook the city, three at the front of the building and four along one side. OUTSIDE A skylight in the kitchen could be enlarged to provide roof access, and the apartment’s owners have the right to create a private rooftop garden. The ground floor of the building has a restaurant, and all building entrances have electronic security doors. The apartment comes with two indoor parking spaces. Next door, the grounds of St. Patrick Church offer the nearest green space. The area has many bicycle paths, and the building is within walking distance of the city’s financial district, as well as cafes, museums and art galleries. HOW TO GET THERE The apartment is 25 minutes by car from the airport, and two blocks from Montreal’s main train station. WHO BUYS IN MONTREAL Louise Latreille, a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec, said that she had seen an increase in buyers from Morocco, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, China and Japan — and that many foreigners were buying condos for their college-age children. Most of the city’s American buyers spend winters in Florida or California and summers in Montreal, she added. European buyers tend to look for homes in the mountains, not in Montreal itself. Meanwhile, many Canadian empty-nesters are moving back to the city, looking for “something chic and exclusive,” she said. MARKET OVERVIEW Sandra Girard, senior analyst of the Montreal market for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, says the market has been less active this year than it was in 2007. According to Ms. Girard, the number of transactions in the first half of 2008 was 3 percent lower than in the same period last year. However, 2007 broke records for the number of real estate transactions, making a slight slow-down inevitable, because “the activity registered in 2007 is difficult to sustain.” Meanwhile, sales prices continue to increase at a slower rate. Ms. Girard said overall prices for residential real estate increased 4 percent in the first half of 2008, compared to 8 percent in the same period last year. Ms. Latreille says condominiums continue to be popular among buyers in Montreal. A report by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board shows that prices for single-family detached homes increased less than 2 percent in the 12-month period to June 2008, while condo prices increased more than 7 percent over the same period. BUYING BASICS Stéphane Hardouin, a notary and partner in the law firm Sylvestre Lagasse in Sherbrooke, Quebec, says legal fees in Quebec are usually 1,200 to 1,800 Canadian dollars ($1,146 to $1,719). If the property is financed, he said, buyers usually pay an additional 750 Canadian dollars ($716) to the notary, and a mortgage registration fee of 137 Canadian dollars ($131). Buyers pay for an inspection, costing 600 to 1000 Canadian dollars ($573 to $955). Mr. Hardouin says the seller pays around 1,000 Canadian dollars ($955) for a surveyor’s certificate, and also the real estate agent’s commission of 5 to 7 percent. A goods and services tax, or sales tax, is assessed on new homes and on real estate agent commissions, he said. This tax is 12.875 percent. Land transfer taxes in Canada are different for each province. In Quebec, transfer taxes are paid directly to the municipality, Mr. Hardouin said. Montreal’s transfer tax, commonly called the “welcome tax,” has a graduated structure based on the purchase price. The first 50,000 Canadian dollars ($47,800) is taxed at 0.5 percent. The next 200,000 Canadian dollars ($191,100) is taxed at 1 percent, and amounts over 250,000 Canadian dollars ($238,900) are taxed at 1.5 percent, he said. USEFUL WEB SITES Official portal of Montreal: ville.montreal.qc.ca Official tourism website of Montreal: http://www.tourisme-montreal.org Divers/Cité, Montreal’s gay and lesbian arts festival: http://www.diverscite.org Old Montreal official site: http://www.vieux.montreal.qc.ca Greater Montreal Real Estate Board: http://www.cigm.qc.ca LANGUAGES AND CURRENCY French is the official language of Quebec, while English and French are the official languages of Canada; Canadian dollar (1 Canadian dollar=$0.93) TAXES AND FEES Maintenance fees are 907 Canadian dollars ($865) a month. Municipal property taxes for this apartment are estimated at 11,800 Canadian dollars ($11,255) a year. Ms. Latreille says this figure is 25 percent lower than the normal tax rate because the building is historical. Additionally, school tax is 2,535 Canadian dollars ($2,372) per year. CONTACT Louise Latreille, Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec (514) 287-7434; http://www.sothebysrealty.ca Mon bout préféré:
  5. Montreal does it. Why can’t we? TheChronicalHerald.ca SILVER DONALD CAMERON Sun. Feb 8 - 8:20 AM Pedestrians shelter from the weather in one of downtown Halifax’s pedways. (Staff) ‘THE GUY never went outside at all," said my friend. "Not for a month or maybe two months. The story was in one of the papers here. He went to the theatre, shopped for food and clothing, did his banking, ate out, all kinds of stuff. He even went to Toronto and New York — and he never went outdoors." "He went to New York without going outdoors?" "He went by train. The Gare Central is underground, right under your hotel. " We were in Montreal, strolling along the underground passageways which are said to constitute the second-largest underground city in the world, after Moscow. I had been working in Montreal for a week. I was staying at Le Reine Elizabeth, on the Boulevard Rene Levesque, and most of my meetings were on Sherbrooke Ouest, 20 minutes’ walk away. The streets were choked with snow and lethally slick with ice — but I wore just a sweater as I walked past coffee shops, jewellers and haberdashers in perfect comfort. It occurred to me that the underground network made Montreal a safer city than any other in Canada, particularly for senior citizens. Walking outdoors in the winter is a hazardous activity for seniors. Every year, hundreds fall and break their arms and legs and hips — a significant factor in the Orange Alert at the Halifax Infirmary ER last month. Old bones don’t knit quickly, and many never really recover. The danger was brought home to me a year ago, when I suddenly found myself lying on the ice beside my car. I had taken my key out, and I was about to unlock the door — and then I was on my patootie. I don’t remember slipping or falling. It was like a jump-cut in a film. One moment I was up, the next I was down. A few bruises aside, I was none the worse for the experience — but it got my attention. Young seniors — from 60 to 80, say — often sidestep this problem by going south. You find them all over the southern U.S., Mexico and the islands, robust and happy, sailing and golfing and swimming. But after 80, snowbirding loses its appeal. At 85 or 90, people don’t feel much like travelling, and don’t travel as comfortably. They’d rather stay home, close to friends and family and doctors. And that puts them most at risk from winter conditions at precisely the point when they’re least able to deal with such challenges. In Montreal, they’re fine. Their apartment buildings connect to the Métro, and the Métro takes them to the under-cover city downtown. They really don’t have to emerge until spring. So at 80, should I live in Montreal? Why not downtown Halifax? The city already has the beginnings of a covered downtown, with pedways and tunnels running from the Prince George Hotel to the waterfront casino, and branching into apartment buildings and office towers. We don’t have to burrow underground. We can just extend the pedway system to link the whole downtown, from Cogswell to the Via station. A large part of Calgary’s downtown is connected that way. In Montreal, I noticed, some of the covered space was captured simply by putting a roof over the space between existing buildings. What was once a back alley becomes a connecting courtyard with a Starbucks coffee shop. In other places, a short tunnel between buildings converts two musty basements into prime retail space. Halifax probably has a score of locations where connections like that would work. And, although a Métro doesn’t seem very practical in rock-ribbed Halifax, we could bring back the downtown streetcars, looping down Barrington and up Water Street, with stations right inside such major buildings as Scotia Square and the Westin. Alternatively, could we use a light elevated rail system like the one that connects the terminals at JFK Airport. I’m no planner, and these notions may be unworkable. Fine: let’s hear better ones. The point is that we’re about to have a tsunami of seniors, and it would be good for them — and for everyone else, too — if we made it possible to live a safe and active life in the middle of the city all year round. We know it can be done. Vive le Montreal! END --------------------------------------------- Funny how the article seems to imply all buildings are interlinked together in one giant underground maze, which is not the case at all. In fact we all know not too many apartment buildings are in fact linked to our underground city. Funny stuff from an outsider nonetheless.
  6. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/School+crashes+into+building+Penfield/3099570/story.html#ixzz0pfhIUE1k Just another reason why cyclists should be forced to abide by the exact same laws as drivers. What if someone had been killed?
  7. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Life/Girl+raised+dogs+Siberia/1636491/story.html Creepy....
  8. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) Got to love how dumb the law is in this country. You can't even defend your self from an intruder. I guess the politicians and police don't give a rats ass what happens to normal law abiding citizens I bet you break into a cops house or politicians house unknowingly and they stab you, the law will be on their side. I hate this hypocritical system As you can see I am biased. I am for the right the bare arms and self defence, but we just live in a to liberal society that lets people push people around and we have to be submissive / passive. OT: I think I should really go into politics and see how many votes I can get with my views and see if people would vote
  9. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/greathomesanddestinations/03gh-househunting-1.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1299593719-+xlaQH3kS13uLe9aveRW4A
  10. yep. 10 000 le pi2. Believe it. http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/11/15/another_15_central_park_west_apartment_reaches_for_10kfoot.php
  11. December 19th, 2011 Confessions of a Condo Architect By Alanah Heffez // 7 Comments http://spacingmontreal.ca/page/7/ Right after completing her Masters degree in Architecture, Alex got a job with a local firm that designs those condominiums you always see cropping up in the Plateau, Rosemont and Villeray. We have all seen these new constructions and shuddered, or perhaps just sighed it could be worse. The blocks are neither offensive nor inspiring: they're mediocre at best. “We’re creating a generation of condos that are really ugly," Alex says,"It’s as bad as the 'eighties. Frankly, I think it’s going to be worse.” She runs through a list of all-too-familiar features: cramped juliettes where balconies should be; basement apartments with dug-out cours anglaises surrounded with bars that end up looking like jail cells; the use of different tones of brick to break up the façade; the random insertion of incongruous colours to add a semblance of architectural variety... As Alex describes it, designing condos is a constant give and take between respecting the building code while maximizing the client's profits that leaves little space for creativity. Here's an example: the City of Montreal requires 80% of building fronts to be masonry and monotone bricks in taupe matt, grey anthracite and Champlain orange-red are inexpensive (how cheap it feels to reduce the urban landscape to colours in a catalogue). The most an architect can hope to do is to add a splash of coloured plexiglass, and only if the borough's CCU lets it through. Within the envelope, the constraints are event tighter: Alex describes her workdays as "trying to shove too much into a space that’s inherently too small.” She recalls debating with a colleague about the ethics of sketching a double-bed into the plans when a queen simply wouldn't fit in the room. "'If you can’t fit a Queen-sized bed in your apartment, then it’s not an acceptable apartment," Alex insists. But most people don't have much experience reading architectural plans so they don’t necessarily realize what they’re getting. The developer, on the other hand, knows exactly what they want: "they come to you and say: this is the lot, and we want 8 condos in it." That leaves room for only a couple two-bedroom apartments, and the rest bachelors, all within the footprint of what was once a duplex or triplex apartment block. "It’s more profitable to sell more condos than to sell more bedrooms,” Alex points out. There's another catch: buildings under three stories fall within part 9 of the building code, which is more lenient in terms of fire safety regulations. But by sinking in a couple basement suites and adding a mezzanine (which must not exceed a certain percentage of the floorspace), it's possible to squeeze five levels into a building that is officially only three stories high. At least there's a sliver of good news: just this year the city stopped allowing windowless rooms. And while we may be in favour of urban density, tightly-packed residential units are not synonymous with density of inhabitants. "All these properties with great potential are being turned into one single type of real estate that is not family friendly: it’s all geared to young professionals without children. They’re not big enough for a growing family and there’s no flexibility in the space," says Alex. Another thing that she laments is that, with the requirement to transform every square inch of the lot into square-footage of floorspace, there's a tendency to lose the individual entrances, balconies and outdoor staircases that are typical of Montreal's urban landscape, and that create a dialogue between public and private space. Of course, being an architect, she also dwells on the aesthetics: “It’s all going to look very 2010," she sighs, "....and not in a good way.”
  12. A billionaire Russian tycoon has bought Manhattan's most expensive ever apartment for a cool $88million for his 22 years old daughter. Dmitry Rybolovlev, said to be worth around $9.5billion, can now enjoy a 6,744 sq ft 10-room apartment which overlooks Central Park in Manhattan. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2076017/Russian-billionaire-buys-New-York-Citys-expensive-apartment--88MILLION.html#ixzz1h5n9fLOf
  13. Roman Bezjak Roman Bezjak, who was born in Slovenia but was raised in West Germany, set out to document the everyday qualities of communist buildings. Once the Ministry of Road Construction, this building in Tbilisi, Georgia, consists of five intersecting horizontal bars and resembles a Jenga game. It was designed to has as small a footprint on the ground as possible and to allow natural life to flourish. Now it houses the Bank of Georgia. Roman Bezjak Pictured here is a Cold War-era commercial complex in Leipzig, eastern Germany. Bezjak wants viewers to approach his photos "with a gaze uncontaminated by ideology." Roman Bezjak Nemiga Street in the Belarusian capital Minsk, where an old church still stands in the old city core, between two monstrosities of postwar modernism. Bezjak made repeated trips to Eastern Europe over a period spanning five years. Roman Bezjak Prefabricated apartment blocks in St. Petersburg, Russia. Bezjak wanted to show the buildings from eye level, the way local citizens would have seen them every day. Roman Bezjak A patriotic mosaic on the National History Museum in Tirana, Albania, built in 1981. Roman Bezjak This massive 1970s government building in the eastern German city of Magdeburg become a department store after 1991. Roman Bezjak The "three widows" in Belgrade, Serbia -- three massive apartment blocks. Roman Bezjak Bezjak's book has collected photos of post-war architecture from countries including Poland, Lithuania, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Georgia. Roman Bezjak The 12-story building in the middle is a three-star hotel -- the "Hotel Cascade" -- in the Czech city of Most. Roman Bezjak This publishing house in Sarajevo, Bosnia, looks like a spaceship. It shows signs of damage from the war. "It was near Snipers' Alley," Bezjak recalls -- a street in the Serbian capital that received its nickname during the Balkan wars. Roman Bezjak An earthquake in 1963 gave city planners in the Macedonian capital of Skopje the chance to envision an "ideal city" in concrete. The city's main post office could be from a science fiction movie. Roman Bezjak A department store in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk. Roman Bezjak The center of Dresden, where a state department store built in the 1970s was meant to be the height of modernity. The building was torn down in 2007. Roman Bezjak A dinosaur of communism: The roof of the sports hall in Kosovo's capital Pristina looks like the back of a stegosaurus. Built in 1977, it's still in use for athletic events and concerts. Roman Bezjak The Polish port city of Gdansk has prefabricated apartment blocks from the 1960s and 1970s that are supposed to look like waves from the nearby Baltic Sea. Called "wave houses," they take up whole city blocks. The largest is 850 meters long and is said to be the third-longest apartment building in Europe. Roman Bezjak For Bezjak, these buildings are not just relics of a failed system, but also, simply, home. "That can't be measured according to aesthetic or social categories, but only in terms of memories," he says. This photo shows the city of Halle in eastern Germany. Bezjak's photographs repeatedly met with incomprehension from Eastern European colleagues. "They can't understand why anyone would focus on this phenomenon," Bezjak says. Roman Bezjak's book "Sozialistische Moderne - Archäologie einer Zeit" is published by Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2011, 160 pages. http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,777206,00.html
  14. Confessions of a Condo Architect Halanah Heffez Right after completing her Masters degree in Architecture, Alex got a job with a local firm that designs those condominiums you always see cropping up in the Plateau, Rosemont and Villeray. We have all seen these new constructions and shuddered, or perhaps just sighed it could be worse. The blocks are neither offensive nor inspiring: they're mediocre at best. “We’re creating a generation of condos that are really ugly," Alex says,"It’s as bad as the 'eighties. Frankly, I think it’s going to be worse.” She runs through a list of all-too-familiar features: cramped juliettes where balconies should be; basement apartments with dug-out cours anglaises surrounded with bars that end up looking like jail cells; the use of different tones of brick to break up the façade; the random insertion of incongruous colours to add a semblance of architectural variety... As Alex describes it, designing condos is a constant give and take between respecting the building code while maximizing the client's profits that leaves little space for creativity. Here's an example: the City of Montreal requires 80% of building fronts to be masonry and monotone bricks in taupe matt, grey anthracite and Champlain orange-red are inexpensive (how cheap it feels to reduce the urban landscape to colours in a catalogue). The most an architect can hope to do is to add a splash of coloured plexiglass, and only if the borough's CCU lets it through. Within the envelope, the constraints are event tighter: Alex describes her workdays as "trying to shove too much into a space that’s inherently too small.” She recalls debating with a colleague about the ethics of sketching a double-bed into the plans when a queen simply wouldn't fit in the room. "'If you can’t fit a Queen-sized bed in your apartment, then it’s not an acceptable apartment," Alex insists. But most people don't have much experience reading architectural plans so they don’t necessarily realize what they’re getting. The developer, on the other hand, knows exactly what they want: "they come to you and say: this is the lot, and we want 8 condos in it." That leaves room for only a couple two-bedroom apartments, and the rest bachelors, all within the footprint of what was once a duplex or triplex apartment block. "It’s more profitable to sell more condos than to sell more bedrooms,” Alex points out. There's another catch: buildings under three stories fall within part 9 of the building code, which is more lenient in terms of fire safety regulations. But by sinking in a couple basement suites and adding a mezzanine (which must not exceed a certain percentage of the floorspace), it's possible to squeeze five levels into a building that is officially only three stories high. At least there's a sliver of good news: just this year the city stopped allowing windowless rooms. And while we may be in favour of urban density, tightly-packed residential units are not synonymous with density of inhabitants. "All these properties with great potential are being turned into one single type of real estate that is not family friendly: it’s all geared to young professionals without children. They’re not big enough for a growing family and there’s no flexibility in the space," says Alex. Another thing that she laments is that, with the requirement to transform every square inch of the lot into square-footage of floorspace, there's a tendency to lose the individual entrances, balconies and outdoor staircases that are typical of Montreal's urban landscape, and that create a dialogue between public and private space. Of course, being an architect, she also dwells on the aesthetics: “It’s all going to look very 2010," she sighs, "....and not in a good way.” http://spacingmontreal.ca/2011/12/19/the-architecture-of-mediocrity/
  15. March 15, 2009 ON THE HOMEFRONT By JONATHAN MAHLER A few years ago, while working on a profile of Mayor Bloomberg for this magazine, I had dinner with his deputy mayor for economic development, Dan Doctoroff, at an Italian restaurant in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. At the time, the city was flush with cash — weeks earlier, it reported a budget surplus of $3.4 billion — the Dow was above 12,000 and still climbing and Doctoroff was presiding over a long list of extensive public-private projects across the five boroughs, bold strokes of urban re-engineering reminiscent of the days of Robert Moses. As a violent summer storm raged outside, Doctoroff sketched out for me Bloomberg’s ambitious plans for New York. The rail yards and warehouses of the far West Side would be replaced by condos, hotels and retail stores. Thousands of apartment units and a new arena for the Nets would rise on the site of the Atlantic Yards in downtown Brooklyn. Penn Station would undergo a gut renovation (and be renamed after Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan). Lower Manhattan would be transformed into a recreational playground, with cafes, performing-arts pavilions, ball fields, an outdoor ice rink, even a floating garden on the East River. I’ve been thinking a lot about that dinner over the past several months, while watching the Dow plummet and the city’s unemployment rate soar. All of Bloomberg’s mega-projects are now indefinitely delayed, victims, in part, of the credit crunch and the mounting municipal deficit. Even if he’s elected to a third term, the mayor probably won’t ever realize his grand vision for New York. And yet his legacy is already visible on the city’s landscape. It is less sweeping, perhaps, but no less significant: he empowered the private sector to remake the city bit by bit. This was partly a function of the way Bloomberg ran New York, a natural byproduct of his ability to govern the ungovernable city. “The perception under Bloomberg has been that New York is a good place to do business, and that’s very important for developers,” says Jonathan Miller, one of the city’s best-known real estate appraisers. But it was also deliberate. Bloomberg is a businessman. He believes in growth and has faith in the private sector. His administration expedited permits and signed off on building designs with minimal interference. It also freed up underutilized land — old piers, elevated freight lines, warehousing districts, rail yards — either by rezoning or by threatening to employ its powers of eminent domain. In many cases it offered attractive incentives, most notably tax breaks, to encourage companies to build. The administration did its share of construction too, adding parks across the boroughs and along the city’s long-neglected waterfront and, in partnership with private developers, initiating New York’s largest affordable-housing project in decades. You don’t have to be an architect or an urban planner to recognize how much the city was transformed along the way. Walk around most neighborhoods in Manhattan and many neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, and you will be confronted with new construction, whether the steel-and-glass condominium complexes that tower above the old factories and warehouses on the rezoned waterfront of Greenpoint and Williamsburg; the 43-story headquarters for Goldman Sachs that recently sprouted in Lower Manhattan (thanks, in part, to a generous financial incentive from the city); or the two virgin ballparks where the Yankees and Mets will soon open their 2009 seasons (with the help of big municipal tax breaks and an enormous infrastructure investment in the stadium’s respective neighborhoods). All of these structures represent the newest layer in a cityscape that bears witness to the cyclical nature of New York’s economy. The post-Civil War bonanza, when New York cemented its status as the nation’s commercial and financial capital, produced the iconic cast-iron structures of today’s SoHo; the city’s ur-luxury apartment building, the Dakota; and such Beaux-Arts masterpieces as the American Museum of Natural History. (Not to mention a park, Central Park, laid out on an undesirable strip of land that had housed pigsties, slaughterhouses and shantytowns.) It was during the Roaring Twenties that many of the city’s most recognizable steel skyscrapers — the Chanin and Chrysler buildings, among them — sprang to life. Post-World War II peace and prosperity ushered in a wave of Modernist structures like the Seagram Building and Lever House. The “greed is good,” precrash 1980s brought another real estate boom to New York, though one with a limited impact on the physical appearance of the city. Much of the development community’s energy was focused on converting rental units into co-ops. The new construction was largely confined to the island of Manhattan and, with the notable exception of the handiwork of a young real estate mogul named Donald Trump, was generally unremarkable. During the most recent binge, with property values soaring and capital readily available to both builders and buyers, developers didn’t bother with generic, low-slung apartment buildings and conversions. Soaring glass condo towers sprang up everywhere. New York, long criticized for its lack of cutting-edge architecture, became a destination for celebrity architects like Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Charles Gwathmey and Renzo Piano. That era is over. Since November, some $5 billion worth of development has been delayed or canceled. New York is again a city of abandoned lots, half-finished buildings and free-floating anxiety. “At this particular moment, I think that everyone who is honest with themselves can’t but help think about 1929, which came at the end of an extraordinarily fertile period for architecture,” says Robert A. M. Stern, dean of the Yale School of Architecture and designer of the apartment building 15 Central Park West, which in 2007 earned the distinction of being the highest-priced new apartment building in the history of New York. Even for the rare developers who still have credit lines, there’s the separate question of whether they want to bring a new building to a market with vacancy rates climbing all over the city. The city has been here before. Work on the Empire State Building was completed in 1931, when the Great Depression was already under way. Renters were scarce — so scarce, in fact, that the city’s tallest skyscraper became known as “the Empty State Building.” Not until 1950 did it become profitable. During the 1970s, those infamous years of white flight and urban blight, the city was so broke and certain neighborhoods so desperate and depleted that one former city-housing commissioner, Roger Starr, suggested that New York simply cut off services to them and let them die — “planned shrinkage,” he called it. The current downturn, like the previous downturns, is not something to celebrate; the city and its residents will suffer. But the building boom, while breathing new life into a number of long-struggling neighborhoods, was problematic in its own right. New York got some first-class architecture, but it also got more than its share of eyesores, and the proliferation of luxury-condo towers accelerated the regrettable transformation of Manhattan into an island of the wealthy. Too much of the new construction did nothing to enrich the fabric of the city. “Here we practice the art of the deal, not the art of the city,” as the architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable has put it. The downturn will give New York a chance to pause and reflect on this period of hyperactive development, and to think about what sort of buildings it needs in the future. Better still, the absence of private capital may spur federal investment that could enable the city to not simply patch up its deteriorating infrastructure but to reinvent it for a new, greener era. “Even though we’ve come through a period of real economic development, we have an infrastructure that badly needs investment and imagination,” says Vin Cipolla, president of New York’s Municipal Arts Society. For its part, the Bloomberg administration has no intention of scaling back its Moses-like ambitions. When I spoke recently with Doctoroff, who is now president of Bloomberg L.P., he told me that he and his colleagues had always envisioned their grand scheme as part of a long-term plan for New York. They never assumed they could outrun the next bust. “We are now in the middle of the 12th serious downturn since New York became a major financial center in the early 19th century,” Doctoroff said. “The lesson of every single one of these previous 11 busts is that the city always comes back stronger than ever. History is perfect on that one.” Jonathan Mahler is a contributing writer. His most recent book is “The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight Over Presidential Power.” Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company Privacy Policy Search Corrections RSS First Look Help Contact Us Work for Us Site Map http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/realestate/keymagazine/15Key-lede-t.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=future%20of%20skyscrapers&st=cse
  16. http://blog.buzzbuzzhome.com/2013/02/montreal-condo-market-optimism.html While the age-old rivalry between Toronto and Montreal has pitted the cities’ hockey teams and arts scenes against each other, there’s another set of bragging rights up for grabs. Which metropolis has the better condo market? Toronto may have mind-boggling number of new units coming on the market, but Montreal is no slouch when it comes to construction crane sightings. We previously reported on the flurry on new builds in Quebec’s largest city and now there are new numbers to make the case for the Montreal boom. Despite concerns about the market overheating, Property Biz Canada pinpointed some optimistic stats coming out of the Quebec Apartment Investment Conference: About 7,726 condo units will be delivered by 2016 in the downtown area, which includes Old Montreal, Griffintown and the Lachine Canal. Of those units, 64 per cent (or 4,658 suites) have already been sold or reserved, leaving 2,568 units left to be sold in the next four years (or 642 a year). According to Debbie Lafave, senior vice president of Baker Real Estate, investors make up 50 per cent of buyers of downtown Montreal condos, compared to the higher percentages suggested for Toronto. Some developers suggested that rental apartment buildings likely aren’t being built since rents in Montreal are too low and construction and land costs are too high to justify their construction. And condos are the most affordable means of entry-point into the Montreal market for first-time buyers. With a condo boom in Canada’s two largest cities, we can’t help but wonder: which city will see the steadiest gains and sales in the future?
  17. Barcelona, from the beach to my apartment, what I see when I go to the beach. Olympic beach / port: [/img] The Olympic port from another perspective (the big fish is from Ghery) [/img] More beach moments and twin toers on the background: [/img] Mapfre Tower: [/img] Art Noveau buildings at the most luxurious street in Barcelona, Passeig de Gracia: [/img] The same building from another point of view: [/img] Burrberrys Building: [/img] The hall of my home : Well my first Photo Thread, I hope you like it. Soon more !