31 in 31: #18

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.


One consequence of the building boom that transpired in New York City in the last decade is a wave of unbuilt residential developments. Many projects tried to one-up their competitors with flashy designs and the accompanying renderings, like the sampling above, all produced by one architecture office, Gilman Architects. Yet one of those buildings is being realized: The Prism (now known as Murano), located on Borden Avenue in Long Island City. The top is kinked and cantilevered, a band of light amplifying the design gesture. Nearing completion, the design might look better than it actually is thanks to its neighbor, a less flashy appearance that is basically the norm in mid-rise residential. Murano's location is odd, overlooking the LIRR tracks and Newtown Creek, but as Hunters Point South slowly unfolds in the coming decade (coinciding with the next boom?) this building will be in a prime spot, nestled into yet another gentrified area close to Manhattan.


#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


  1. Just a hunch, but I believe the building's "location is odd, overlooking the LIRR tracks and Newtown Creek” will prove closer to the truth than "the building will be in a prime spot." Current residents of the area whine all the time about the noisy transportation infrastructure, which isn't going to go away.

  2. OK, prime is an overstatement (Hunters Point South itself would be the prime spot, with the views and water frontage), but the rest of the area will catch up with Murano and provide all those middle-upper class goodies the residents will need. I can just feel the trickle of Queens West and soon Hunters Point South throughout the neighborhood, bulldozing buildings like the little guy in the foreground. Assuming Murano has air rights, perhaps they can build a cute pocket park or even convert it into Eatery LIC. (Pardon the slight sarcasm, but the (shared, to a degree) sentiments expressed in this Icon article are fresh in my noggin.)

  3. Reference lost on me, but that's fine.
    There's definitely a trickle to be felt, but I'm more concerned with the wake: pressures on unaugmented infrastructure, mainly sewerage and fitting all those new residents on an already packed 7 train.

  4. Regarding sewerage, Hunters Point South is the city's pilot project for porous streets, since most of the streets in that area will be new. If that's any consolation. Though I hear ya on the #7. That's a hell of a train to ride at rush hour.

    Regarding lost reference, I just learned about Eatery, a six-restaurant, high-end, mega-grocery store across from Madison Square Park. Mario Batalli is the co-creator of the undertaking. Seems slightly absurd to me, like the foodie fad has exploded. Can't get any bigger than that, right?


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