1,500 malfunctions: residents of a prestigious skyscraper in New York sue developers

If you live at 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan, you know you have extra-luxurious living space, and your neighbours are just as nice: Singer Jennifer Lopez, a member of the family that owns the tequila brand Jose Cuervo, Saudi tycoon Fawaz Al Khokair, and other millionaires.

At 426 metres, it is the third tallest building in New York City and the tallest residential building in the world. The views from the top floors, 85 in all, are breathtaking, as are the prices for apartments, 104 in total, which start at several million and end in tens of millions of dollars (the most expensive at $95 million is Fawaz al-Hokair’s penthouse with six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a library).

The skyscraper, designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly on the principle of “pure geometric shape” and built for $1.25 billion, has everything you could wish for, from its own restaurant and fitness centre with sauna and swimming pool to a golf course.

But who would have thought the owners of the apartments would sue the developers for defects in the skyscraper’s construction, and the defects are about a thousand and a half, from stuck lifts and leaking ceilings to monstrous, inexplicable noises.

And yet the skyscraper was only commissioned six years ago, and the flats in it were selling for tens of millions of dollars.

Complaints from tenants and accusations of incompetence by the builders and the company that manages the property were first reported by the New York Times back in February 2021.

The article reported how, in 2018, a leak on the technical floor put two lifts out of service for weeks. Several flats were also flooded, and at least one potential buyer turned down the deal after learning of it.

Among other things, residents of the prestigious properties complained of lifts getting stuck in high winds as a result of the shaft deflecting, creaking noises made by the entire structure, unpleasant vibrations, as well as explosions in the electrical plumbing and the rubbish chute, which, according to one flat owner, made a bomb-like sound, making them shudder every time.

A study commissioned by a group of tenants found that 73 per cent of the building’s electrical, plumbing and mechanical infrastructure did not comply with design plans.

Residents also complained about the exorbitant prices of restaurant services, which are included in the rent. They jumped from $1,200 in 2015 to $15,000 in 2020. The cost of insurance has risen by 300% in just two years.

As a result, residents of the troubled skyscraper have filed a $250 million class action lawsuit in New York Supreme Court against the developers and developers, CIM Group and Macklowe Properties, citing life-risk issues as the cause. However, the amount quoted does not include possible punitive damages, nor the size of individual claims that may subsequently be brought.

“The owners paid tens of millions of dollars for the flats, but instead of the super-luxury apartments they were promised, they were sold a mess of breakdowns and defects,” reads the letter accompanying the lawsuit.

For their part, the developers insist in their own statement that 432 Park Avenue is considered one of Manhattan’s finest residential properties and an invaluable addition to the New York skyline.

To make matters worse, they cite the fact that the management company’s access to some flats is restricted, preventing them from fixing problems, and point to “some particularly vociferous tenants”.

Meanwhile, since the beginning of 2021 and when the lawsuit was filed, only one flat sale has taken place in the skyscraper, although buyers were offered a choice of 11 apartments.

A new world capital of architecture has been named

The International Union of Architects (UIA) together with UNESCO has chosen the Danish Copenhagen as the capital of world architecture for 2023. For the city, the new status means recognition of outstanding construction solutions, taking into account modern requirements for environmental friendliness, reports ArchDaily.

The world capital of architecture is chosen every three years. According to the rules of the competition, in 2023, Copenhagen will host the 28th International Forum (28th World Congress) to discuss the organization of the urban environment. A series of events is planned, focusing on how architecture helps to achieve environmentally friendly and human-friendly development of large megacities.

“Our partnership with UNESCO reinforces the role of urban design to promote cultural values in society. Architects see the world for what it is,” said UIA President Thomas Vonie.

The International Union of Architects was founded in 1948 and is based in Paris. UIA members are engaged in promotion of new concepts and technologies in construction and render assistance to professional communities all over the world. The city of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) was designated as the previous capital of architecture. The forum was held in mid-July 2021 in an online format because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In mid-July the World Design Capital (WDC) competition short-listed Moscow with Mexico’s Tijuana and San Diego in California (USA) in the efficiency of street furniture for economic, cultural and ecological development of the community.

CNH Industrial awards for special equipment design

STEYR, New Holland Agriculture, CASE Construction Equipment and FPT Industrial have won prestigious Good Design Awards 2020

Agricultural machinery brands STEYR and New Holland Agriculture, CASE and FPT Industrial, members of CNH Industrial N.V. Group, have won prestigious Good Design Awards 2020. have won the prestigious Good Design Awards 2020, which recognize manufacturers whose products and concepts are recognized as outstanding in their respective fields. The awards are co-founded by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for the Study of Architecture, Design and Urban Studies.

Innovative and cutting-edge solutions in industrial and graphic design from around the world are selected for the highest aesthetic in terms of design, new technologies, forms, materials, construction, concept, functionality, practicality, energy efficiency, and sustainability. A record number of candidates from 48 countries participated in the competition. A jury of design professionals, leading industry experts, trade journalists and critics chose the following four products: the STEYR Konzept concept tractor, the New Holland BigBaler 1290 High Density baler, the CASE Project Zeus all-electric backhoe loader concept and the Cursor X engine concept from FPT Industrial.

STEYR Konzept concept tractor

The STEYR brand is awarded the Good Design Award for its creative and practical concept – a vivid representation of the future development of tractors. Expressive design offers real advantages in a variety of areas, from performance and visibility to environmental friendliness. For example, the minimalist interior of the cab displays information on transparent screens for maximum visibility and increased operator comfort and productivity.

STEYR Konzept concept tractor

This award also celebrates Konzept’s forward-looking technical solutions: including an innovative hybrid power system that combines a conventional engine, generator and electric drives. The concept tractor was developed in collaboration with powertrain brand FPT Industrial. The modular hybrid drive system perfectly combines compactness, efficiency and clever engineering. It allows the use of different energy sources depending on the application. This enables the tractor to operate quietly without producing emissions.

New Holland BigBaler 1290 High Density Bale Baler

The New Holland BigBaler 1290 High Density baler has won an award for its forward-looking design and high operating efficiency. The designers drew inspiration from nature itself – the image of field-grown ears swaying in the wind – when creating the machine’s sleek lines that reflect its functionality.

New Holland BigBaler 1290 High Density Bale Baler

The BigBaler 1290 High Density significantly increases the quality of the bale chambering process. The patented Loop Master knotter with its proprietary double tying technology, distinguished by a second loop-shaped knot, keeps trimmings out of the bale and in the field and saves up to 6 km or 46 kg of twine per season.

CASE Project Zeus all-electric backhoe-loader concept

The industry’s first all-electric backhoe-loader CASE Project Zeus is a unique prototype with a clean and ascetic design that balances CASE’s engineering tradition with the construction industry’s commitment to sustainability. It produces no emissions, offers the same power and performance as standard diesel-powered machines, and features significantly lower operating costs. The CASE 580 EV electric backhoe loader is scheduled to go into series production in early 2021.

CASE Project Zeus all-electric backhoe-loader concept

Members of the jury were impressed by how the concept inherits a design tradition going back to 1957 with its “clean” workmanship and appearance. The machine won the award for its innovative lighting design elements, sharp yet neat lines and contours, and modern interface and intuitive operation.

FPT Industrial Cursor X engine concept

The FPT Industrial Cursor X engine concept, symbolizing the brand’s vision of innovation, is designed to preserve our planet. The Cursor X is based on the philosophy of the four “M’s”: Multi-power, the ability to run on the greenest fuel – electricity generated by hydrogen fuel cells from natural gas or stored in batteries; Modular, ease of assembly and integration into the vehicle; Multi-application, suitable for driving different machines – from agricultural and construction machinery to commercial vehicles and power plants; and Mindful, the self-learning function and extensive.

FPT Industrial Cursor X engine concept

The Cursor X concept won an award for taking the “engines out from under the hood” and turning them into a work of design art.

WHAT IS THE SECOND LIGHT IN A RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PROJECT?

Anyone who dreams of their own home, first of all, wants to see the project of an aesthetically attractive home. The easiest way to make your home spacious and sophisticated at the same time is to create a house project with a second light. What is a second light in a home project? Should I provide for it?

The absence of overlapping between floors does not always mean that the project includes a staircase. If in the project the interfloor overlap covers about half of the area of ​​the first floor, this means that the house has a room with a second light.

In all house projects, a room with a second light is illuminated through windows located on the first and second floor levels. The concept of “second light” means the presence of windows of an additional upper tier in the same room. Double-height spaces are distinguished not only by high ceilings. They have much more natural light and air.

Variants of using a double-height room in projects are limited by the function of a common room. Any ceremonial hall plays such a role, for example, a living room, a dining room, a library.

History of second light technology

A double-height space is a long-familiar architectural and planning technique in residential building projects. Its prototype is considered to be an atrium in an antique residential building, and the time of its appearance can be traced back to the period when, during the era of the Roman Empire, they learned to make glazed windows. They were used for glazing the ceiling (and not the walls of the second tier, as in our time) to illuminate the front room from above.

In the Middle Ages (VI-XII centuries), with the appearance of colored stained-glass windows, not only the second light, but also the third one appeared in the dwellings. The premises became so high that they had a platform at the top for holding knightly tournaments during unfavorable weather conditions. But halls with a lot of natural light were only in the palaces of nobles and aristocrats.

In the era of Gothic architecture (XII-XIV century), the technology of the second light reached its climax. Building technologies now made it possible to erect high floors through the use of columns with buttresses – additional supports. The space between the windows was filled with colored stained-glass windows on religious themes. The architects made natural light colored, and the space became extremely bright and delicate. Only the wealthiest people in the city could afford such housing.

The classical period (XII-XIV century) proved to be the most suitable for the use of the second light. At this time, thanks to the variety of design possibilities, various options for its use began to appear – in a suite, in a space with the use of stairs and mezzanines of the upper tiers, for improved illumination of round halls and rooms. From that moment on, the architecture of the double-height rooms was constantly supplemented and complicated.

Pros and cons of second light

Dignity

  • High ceilings that everyone who lives in standard apartments wants to have.
  • The lighting system incorporated in the project, which will allow large quantities of sunlight to enter the room. This will be especially appreciated by those who are used to living in an apartment with windows on one side.
  • An opportunity to create a project with interesting architectural forms, original design, attractive artificial lighting.
  • Possibility to complete a project with an unusual facade architecture.

Disadvantages

  • Loss of usable area. But if the issue of a deficit of usable area is not worth it, then this drawback in the project can be disregarded.
  • The need to develop a special heating system in the project – floor heating, thermal insulation of the ceiling and walls, non-standard placement of radiators.
  • Household difficulties associated with the maintenance of a high room (the need to wash high windows and lighting fixtures, difficulties in placing textile decor on the windows).
  • Large expenses for arrangement and maintenance.

Output

The second light is a way available to many to make their home not only large and spacious, but also luxurious, similar to a palace from the past. This is a sign of the material well-being of the owners. It doesn’t matter which design you choose – aristocratic medieval or chic classic, ultra-modern high-tech or cozy chalet – this architectural technique will help to create an atmosphere of grandeur.

Loft style living room arrangement

Are you dreaming of an austere, light-filled interior with lots of metal, wood and glass?

Therefore, you will definitely like the original and modern loft-style living room. What are the features of this style? Which industrial furniture and accessories to choose?

How was the loft style created?

A similar style originated in the United States as early as the 1940s. When abandoned and closed workshops and factories after the Great Depression, they began to be sold and offered as premises for home improvement.

Such tall and long workshops usually had brick walls, concrete floors, and floor-to-floor muntines. Open electrical wiring, various ventilation pipes, and elements of former units. They let in a lot of daylight (there was often no electricity in these buildings at the time).

Furniture

What kind of furniture should be put in such a living room? The loft is characterized by spaciousness. Often in such apartments the living room is organically combined with the kitchen. For this reason, furniture should correctly separate the recreation area from the “working” one.

A bet on a small amount of furniture. Instead of a small sofa and a few armchairs, opt for a long sofa. You should not put benches and coffee tables in such a living room. Match the loft-style furniture to your space. The smaller they are, the better, and the space will appear optically larger.

Choose simplicity, no decorative elements, bright colors, calm lines and solid wood, which will acquire even more character with age. It is good if your industrial furniture has a clear texture (visible rings, knot marks, sticky boards) and metal legs, handles or other elements. Wood products with the addition of metal will add lightness to such interiors. It can be any metal painted black, as well as copper, nickel and brass. Storing books, newspapers, and other small items requires sturdy solid wood shelves and wire baskets.

Living room

If you like these styles, then know that in such a living room there should not be too many decorations – after all, they were not in the old workshops and factories. In principle, these should have been typically functional rooms. Therefore, the design of an industrial showroom should be very thoughtful and not random.

Here you will be inspired by the steampunk style, which, like the lofts, has its roots in the 19th century – the era of steam engines. Steampunk relies on technological developments of those years, and its aesthetics refers to heavy machines and mechanisms. Modern writers, sculptors and inventors loved progress, machines and predicted the future of technology.

t is best if they are made of glass, metal, aluminum or plastic. You can find figurines of prototypes of cars, parts with gears. The wall can be decorated with vintage, abstract and fantastic graphics.

An expressive decoration will be a clock in the style of the 19th century or a round one, similar to a classic train station. Remember to be moderate in design. Up to five decorative accessories are enough.

If you are planning an industrial living room in an apartment building, make sure there is enough light. Mirrors hung on the wall perpendicular to or in front of a window will reflect it. This will make the room brighter and optically larger. Two mirrors are enough in the living room. More can overload the interior.

Lighting

During the day, light in the loft living room will be provided by large, necessarily protruding windows without curtains and mirrors on the walls. If you want more privacy, install wooden blinds.

It is not difficult to choose lamps for the living room. In the former workshops and factories, lighting was made from materials that were durable and resistant to mechanical damage. The shades were quite large, so that the light from one lamp illuminated a large area. In addition to pendant lights, there were also spot patterns that provided intense lighting. Tripod floor lamps were also popular. You can use all of these shapes in your living room. Their combination will give an interesting effect, especially when combined with brick walls.

As you can see, an industrial living room doesn’t have to be inaccessible or repulsive. Combined with the right accessories and wood furnishings for a cozy feel, it will contribute to a quality relaxation.