81 Hanson Place (thumbs up)
Hanson Place was mentioned a while back in this short post, while the story behind 80 Hanson Place is morbid, the subject of this post is the opposite. As an extension of my daily stroll through the neighborhood (at a faster clip on certain days), I pass by an eye catching building situated at the corner of Hanson Place and South Oxford. Night or day it's always good eye candy.

I'm not the only one enamored with the building, about a third of the pedestrians walking by always have their head turned towards the building. Whether they hold the same affinity for the building as I or consider it a blight on the otherwise staid neighborhood is unknown. Maybe I should go out there and take a survey. The metal extrusion on the side and roof makes it unique while at the same time it doesn't scream for attention like some of Gehry's work (I'm going to take my shots at him whenever I can). And all my studio mates know that I'm a sucker for massive forms and at this neighborhood scale, you can't get any more massive than that one metal outcropping. I can identify with the house number too, 81, though that's trivial.

The client / resident with the deep pockets is David Salle, an artist who relocated from TriBeCa (he was also one of the first artists to be based out of TriBeCa). The designer was Christian Hubert and the architect was David Fratianne, not sure who the statement below should be credited to.

Design Intent: To utilize the two existing buildings for the distinct studio and residence functions, while creating a seamless interior flow between work and living spaces. An existing 19th century schoolhouse and adjoining town-house were combined to create an artist residence and studio. The 2-1/2 story red brick and terra-cotta schoolhouse façade was restored and houses the artist studio and support spaces. The 4-story town-house was rebuilt as the residence, with a new stucco façade and zinc standing seam 'object' added to enlarge the interior spaces on the second, third, and fourth floors. Exterior spaces were added in the form of a roof terrace inset into the third floor between the two exist-ing structures. Additional balconies were added to the fourth floor writer's loft space.

The architect's site has the floor plans and sections posted providing a better understanding of the use of space. I didn't even realize the two buildings were connected until I read the statement, then again I hardly ever walk down the side street so I would have never seen the fire escape connecting the two buildings to each other. I could do without the yellow blocks on the lower half of the building but it's still the only other building in the neighborhood I wish I lived in. The only thing missing? A fire pole connecting the various floors, really.

Elsewhere in Fort Greene, a cop shoots and kills a teenager in the middle of shooting someone else execution style. Fortunately this happened on the otherside of Fort Greene (a good mile away) in the projects. 11 rounds though? Don't these cops practice at the range? I guess if you were shot twice you wouldn't be thinking clearly and shooting anything you perceived as a threat until your clip was done.

Closer to us (about six blocks away), a South Portland Avenue block was named the #1 block in NYC by Timeout NY. No one ever knows of Fort Greene, maybe this will put us on the map?

A while back the NY Times covered a house designed / retrofitted around a tree. The owners / designers were architects and professors at UVA. I still have the paper copy if anyone wants to read it and is too cheap to pay up.

Promised this post over a month ago, glad to get it out the door.