My recent posts at World-Architects


Saturday, August 21, 2010

31 in 31: #21

This is a series for August 2010 which documents my on-the-ground -- and on-the-webs -- research for my guidebook to contemporary NYC architecture (to be released next year by W. W. Norton). Archives can be found at the bottom of the post and via the 31 in 31 label.

MTA Flood Mitigation

When I took the above photo, these pieces of street furniture by Rogers Marvel Architects were only installed on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. Since then I've also seen them on Steinway Street in my 'hood, Astoria. Given that the Rogers Marvel web page indicates 800 locations for the pieces, many more are sure to follow. These stainless steel undulating blocks sit atop the ventilation grates for subways running below the street. They are designed to deter the below from happening during rainstorms; their height is based on a 100-year storm event. The undulations refer to their purpose without explaining what they do. I'm sure many people will look at them and wonder what purpose they serve. I've seen a lot of people sit on them, but some are actually designed with integral benches projecting above the top grate. They're a welcome addition to my neighborhood, serving their purpose but beautifying the streetscape at the same time.

[Flooding on subway platform | image source]

#1 - Phyto Universe
#2 - One Bryant Park
#3 - Pier 62 Carousel
#4 - Bronx River Art Center
#5 - The Pencil Factory
#6 - Westbeth Artists' Housing
#7 - 23 Beekman Place
#8 - Metal Shutter Houses
#9 - Bronx Box
#10 - American Academy of Arts and Letters
#11 - FDR Four Freedoms Park
#12 - One Madison Park
#13 - Pio Pio Restaurant
#14 - Queens West (Stage II)
#15 - 785 Eighth Avenue
#16 - Big BambĂș
#17 - Event Horizon
#18 - Murano
#19 - William Lescaze House
#20 - Morgan Library and Museum


  1. If the date attached to your photo in Flickr is correct, the Steinway furniture was in place by then. They're all over now, at least in Queens between Astoria and Jackson Heights/Elmhurst.

  2. Flooding? I thought it was simply street decoration. Hmm, and I live on Hillside. Can't believe I missed this detail.


Comments are moderated for spam.