The Omnibus Roundup – Plug-in Cruise Ships, Air Quality, Spring Blooms, Dreamhouse, Burble Bup and Happenings

Queen Mary 2 | photo by Flickr user Joe HolmesQueen Mary 2 | photo by Flickr user Joe Holmes

The New York Times City Room reports that the Queen Mary 2 and other large ships will be required to plug in to giant electrical sockets in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal starting in 2012. This marks a major win for the residents of Red Hook, who have been fighting to stop air and water pollution caused by standing vessels. The power used for the ships will be provided by the City and the New York Power Authority in what Mayor Bloomberg calls “Shore Power,” a product of negotiations spanning more than two years. Seth W. Pinksy, President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, one of the agencies involved, said that the environmental benefits of the new program “will be the equivalent of removing 5,000 cars per year from the road annually.”

Before and After look at Times Square Pedestrian Plaza | Image

A new Health Department report was released this week documenting information from the New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS), a comprehensive survey of street-level air quality in the five boroughs created as part of PlaNYC. The report shows that since the installation of the pedestrian friendly areas in Times Square air quality has skyrocketed and “concentrations of traffic-related pollutants were substantially lower than measurements from the year before and were less than in other midtown locations.”

In the spirit of spring, check out New Yorkers for Parks’ 2011 Blooming Map, a charming resource to find where daffodils are blooming in over 55 parks across the New York. On a not-so-cheery note, plant diversity is down this year, with only 778 of the once 1,357 native plant species in New York City still in existence. See some of the most beautiful specimens we’ve lost here.

La Monte Young’s Dreamhouse | Photo: Marian Zazeela, © 1993, Mela Foundation

We’ve recently been introduced to the work of artist/composer La Monte Young, considered by many to be the first minimalist composer of all time, and Dreamhouse, his curious spatial installation in Tribeca. Presented in conjunction with the Mela Foundation, Dreamhouse is open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 2pm to midnight. Once arriving at a quiet residential entrance, the installation space on the second floor reveals a fully-carpeted, neon-lit environment guaranteed to leave an impression. The experience is magical and mysterious — an encompassing light and sound environment, womb-like and filled with surprisingly soothing white noise and light. Its a spatial and sensory experience to discover — check it out for yourself at 275 Church Street between Franklin St & White St.

Burple Bup rendering by Bittertang

2010 Architectural League Prize winners Bittertang have been selected to build the 2011 City of Dreams Pavilion. Their winning design will be constructed and on exhibition on Governors Island this June. The contest asked designers to “imagine a socially and ecologically-sustainable public meeting space” to which Bittertang responded with Burble Bup. Their playful and sustainable pavilion combines materials like soil and grass with a colorful inflatable roof, anticipating that the inflatables will be recycled as pool toys around NYC following their use on the Island this summer.

For Talking Books: Aerotropolis, Greg Lindsay will sit down for a conversation with Andrew Blum to discuss his new book Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. The book explores how air travel and transportation have affected the shape and scope of globalization (the good and the ugly). This installment of the League’s Talking Books series promises to be of particular interest to Omnibus readers. Wednesday, April 20, 7:00pm at the McNally Jackson Bookstore, 52 Prince St. For more info, see here.

AIANY is presenting Architecture on the Brink at Cooper Union’s Great Hall. Ed Mazria, architect, energy expert and CEO of Architecture 2030, will talk about climate change, regional adaptation strategies and the role of the building sector in both creating and alleviating many of the crises plaguing us today. Wednesday, April 20, 6:30-8pm at the Great Hall of Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St.

SUPERFRONT and 3rd Ward are lauching their Archi-Film Mashup with a kick-off event on Saturday. This will be the first of a three-part series of screenings, lectures and workshops investigating the cross-breeding of architecture and mass media. Mashup 1 presenters include John Szot of Brooklyn Digital Foundry, Evan Tribus of p*g5ive, and Richard Joon Yoo of Saturday, April 16, 4:30pm screening & presentations, 5:30pm workshop. 3rd Ward, 195 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn.

The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.