Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 23 Summer 2009 Contents INSITE SUMMER 47
The mission: make it lean, make it green, make it unmistakeable.
And so, in almost every aspect, it turned out, signalling the further
transformation of Brooklyn, once the low-rise, slightly down-at-heel relative of the
more glamorous Manhattan.
With its enveloping "curtain wall" of dense glass, the Toren (Dutch for "tower")
rises blade-like, almost a hologram from a mid-distance view.
The 38-storey building, a complex of 240 low, mid-range and super-exclusive
dwellings, was designed by the multi-national architecture firm Skidmore Owings
and Merrill, with a deep green emphasis from parking spaces (the choicest saved for
hybrid vehicles) to an emphasis on natural light access and energy conservation.
The project developer says a much sought-after "gold" LEED (Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design) rating is pending for the building.
Prices run from the mid-300s to $US1.5 million.
For that, residents have access to a split-level furnished roof garden with an
outdoor movie theatre, library, yoga room, fitness centre
and saltwater swimming pool.
Toren, 150 Myrtle Ave. Brooklyn, New York.
BOUND TO BE GOOD
Somewhere between the nine metres of nylon silk blend cord and the 18th Century British
teapot is a very modern subtext, which embodies the approach of Redstr Collective.
The collective, based in the new design hub of Brooklyn, are partners Alex Valich
and Christine Warren, "DJs of design", as they refer to themselves, finding and then
combining the common themes of random objects.
For "Slave Betty", this was the marriage of the traditional Brown Bet ty teapot, with the
equally ancient Shibari knots, used by Japanese samurai to bind their captives.
The result is a decorative treatment that is not only dishwasher resistant, but also a
political statement, Alex says, about American treatment of its political prisoners, tightly
bound, and unable to escape.
For their multi-media decoration, Alex and Christine sought out a cord that would be
similar in scale to that used by the Shibari masters, the better to illustrate how it worked.
"A lot of manufacturers would say 'just paint on the decal of rope'," Alex says, "but
that's not the point of it."
Redstr Collective, redstrcollective.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
TURN BACK THE DIAL
It's back. From the vacuum tubes to the mono speaker to those retro dials, your
parents' -- or maybe your grandparents' -- radio has returned.
New York designer Jonas Damon's 2B Tube Radio is a visual as well as sonic
throwback, the guts of the device on display through its exposed back, and the sound
warmer and distortion-free, by virtue of those three tubes. They stand glowing,
side-by-side in a mostly uncluttered space that is a wordless reproof to the digital age.
The body is aluminium and MDF, and starkly black. It is also a living, pulsing paradox:
a device that makes radio sounder older and better, even as fewer and fewer people
listen to it. In recognition of that, there is an MP3 plug, in case the choice of AM and
FM stations seems too limited. $US350 at New York retailer Areaware, and
$US550 elsewhere on line.
2B Radio, Jonas Damon
for Areaware, 95 Spring
St, 2nd floor New York.
0011 1 (212) 226 5155,
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