Tag Archives: New York

Minus 5 Bar gives New Yorkers a Break from the Heat

As the temperatures in New York rise, Minus 5 Ice Bar has arrived on the scene to offer an extreme version of relief. The chain’s first New York outpost provides a 23 degrees Fahrenheit (or minus 5 Celsius) atmosphere of sculpted ice chandeliers, walls, and even cups, on the ground floor of the Hilton Midtown hotel.


For the new outpost, ice sculptor Peter Slavin drew inspiration from New York landmarks such as Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. He plans on changing the design and adding new features every three months, saying, “New Yorkers are very finicky—you have to keep everything new and fresh.”

It took 180,000 pounds of ice and two weeks of carving to complete the structure. Now that it is complete, melting New Yorkers and tourists can cool off in the space with some cold vodka cocktails. Noel Bowman, director of operations for Minus 5, boasts, “It’s truly the coolest bar in New York.”

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Images: designwire

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What Comes Around…

Like countless young spirits before and after him, Daniel Shi landed in New York City one winter’s day in 1984 hungry to pursue his dreams. A graduate student in painting at the Pratt Institute, Shi, then 25, who is from Taiwan, couldn’t wait to begin exploring the world class museums and avant-garde art exhibitions that were drawing creatives from across the globe, despite the city’s then-urban decay.

But Shi soon decided he wanted to mix his love of art with something more practical, and he switched his focus to interior design. So, in addition to the gallery visits, he found himself wandering through midtown Manhattan on the hunt for fabric samples and other design materials that he needed for design class projects.

Much to his dismay, design showrooms had no interest in handing over their prized materials. “If you said you were a designer they would ask for a business card to prove you’re a professional,” Shi recalls. “But all we had were student ID’s.”

Shaw Contract Group New York Showroom, seen here featuring Natural Palette and Dye Lab (with On The Edge on the floor)

His luck changed upon entering Shaw Industries’ showroom, where the sales team was more than happy to furnish the young grad student with samples. Shi used the samples to compile material boards and other projects critical to learning how to craft design themes for clients. “Everyone else would say, sorry we only give to designers, but Shaw was really helpful,” he says.

Nearly three decades later, Shaw’s generosity shines brightly for Shi, who is now a successful interior designer in Chengdu, China. This vast metropolis in the country’s southwest also happens to be a prime focus for the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, which is building a carpet tile factory in Nantong, near Shanghai, to service to growing Asia-Pacific market. As Shaw works to understand what local companies are seeking, it needs input and cooperation from local designers. Now, Shi is in a position to support the newcomer in a foreign city. It is a twist of fate that brings a benefit no amount of marketing can buy: good karma.

Shaw’s investment in the next generation of designers continues to this day. Last year, the Shaw Contract Group design team collaborated with the Savannah College of Art and Design on a fiber art competition in which students submitted innovated designs for the company’s recent Natural Palette collection. The students experimented with herbs, metals and flowers, as well as indigenous weaving practices, to push the limits of color and texture. The winners’ designs were incorporated into the carpet tile line. The students behind them gained critical networking experience with industry leaders.

Entries from the SCAD student competition and inspiration for the Natural Palette collection

Half a world away, Shi has incorporated Shaw carpet into numerous projects across Asia and especially in China, where he has been based since 2000. China’s roaring economy has created tremendous opportunity for global companies and designers, most recently in the country’s interior boomtowns, like Chengdu. Since relocating from Beijing to Chengdu last year, Shi, the founder of the Formula Integration Design Center, has worked with both multinational and Chinese clients. But his design work is increasingly coming from domestic companies, including a 107,000-square-foot office space.

Shi’s connections to private companies and state-owned enterprises in Chengdu make him a valuable resource for Shaw. He sees the relationship as mutually beneficial in a country in which quality carpet is still largely a rare species. “I feel we’re helping each other,” he says. “In China there’s not so much good product for designers, so it’s great Shaw is opening for business here.”

Shi’s early support from Shaw has inspired him to pay it forward. Today, half of his staff is comprised of recent college graduates just as eager for to launch their careers as he once was. “I want to train them because they’re the future,” he says.

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Thom Filicia Designs Open-Air Observation Decks for New Delta Terminals

Delta Air Lines is taking travelers outside. This May, the airline plans to bring back the open-air observation deck.

Sky Decks, a collaboration between the airline and Architectural Digest – one of America’s leading design magazines, will be part of the new Delta terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. At JFK, the 2,000-square-foot patio will offer shaded divans and workspaces, as well as views of the runway and Manhattan’s skyline.

The swanky terrace lounges were designed by Thom Filicia, who recently collaborated with Shaw Hospitality Group on a new collection, Central Square.

Delta Air Lines' Sky Deck, designed by Thom Filicia

When planning for the decks was still in early stages, someone showed Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president for marketing, photos of a poolside installation orchestrated by Architectural Digest at the Raleigh Hotel during Art Basel in Miami. “It was an event space—a great, high-style outdoor living area,” he said.

Delta engaged the publication to aid in the search for a designer who could create a similarly relaxing environment on the edge of the tarmac. Margaret Russell, Architectural Digest’s editor in chief, recommended Mr. Filicia.

“[He] always thinks both big picture and small picture, which is critical for a project of this scale,” Ms. Russell said. “But most important is that Thom can always conjure magic in even the most prosaic of spaces.”

The Sky Deck is an extension of the Delta Sky Club lounge. To visit, you’ll need to have club access or pony up the $50 day rate.

Image: jaunted.com

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The Edgeless School Showcases Design for Better Learning

What is your best memory from school? Do you think the design of the space affected the learning experience? AIA New York Chapter, in collaboration with the Committee on Architecture for Education and the Center for Architecture Foundation, present an exhibition called The Edgeless School: Design for Learning. Curated by Thomas Mellins, The Edgeless School: Design for Learning presents nineteen 21st century school buildings from across the U.S. that blur distinctions between learning needs, approaches, and environments. This exhibition will run at The Center for Architecture in New York City starting today through January 19.

Shaw Contract Group is a global design leader, manufacturing high performance cradle-to-cradle flooring products ideal for any learning environment. We believe design goes beyond aesthetics. Our education studio focuses on the needs of students, faculty and maintenance experts, designing flooring solutions for maximum comfort, ease of maintenance, durability and performance. Shaw Contract Group’s EcoWorx tiles are completely recyclable and PVC-free, making product reclamation and recycling easy and allowing customers to reduce their environmental impact. Shaw Contract Group’s Light Series collection was inspired by the role that color and light plays in student achievement. This collection, which is highlighted in The Edgeless School space, infuses pattern and light to influence attitudes, engage students, and stimulate minds.

Photo: AIA NY

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World Trade Center Once Again Dominates Skyline 11 Years after Attacks

Eleven years after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, the new multibillion-dollar World Trade Center once again dominates the lower Manhattan skyline. While most of the 8-acre memorial quadrangle at the World Trade Center opened last year on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Construction workers are at the 16-acre site every day working towards completion.

One World Trade Center, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, will open in 2014 on the northwest corner of the trade center site with 3 million square feet of office space. Tenants thus far include magazine publisher Conde Nast and the federal government’s General Services Administration. Including the spire atop the 104-story, the building will reach the symbolic height of 1,776 feet (1,368 feet without). It is expected to cost $3.9 billion by the time it is finished. Once complete, One World Trade Center will be the most environmentally sustainable building of its size in the world. Sustainable elements include no materials containing VOCs, recycled building materials and recycling rainwater. Once the building is fully operation, it’s expected to draw as much as 70 percent of its power from green energy. The building is expected to be LEED certified Gold.

Though today marked the original opening date for The National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, it is still being built in a cavern beneath the plaza. Work on the museum basically stopped last fall because of a funding dispute. Once construction resumes, it will take more than a year to finish the job – meaning the museum might not open until 2014.

Photos: AP

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