Open House New York
Hop on an established or a brand-new tour of some of the city's most innovative spaces.
Tue Oct 11 2011
Photograph: Courtesy CFDA
CFDA Fashion Incubator
CFDA Fashion Incubator
Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Incubator (209 W 38th St at Seventh Ave; Sat 15 noon--4pm; tours every hour)
What you'll see: Scope out works of up-and-coming fashion designers in this temple of American style. The CFDA selects 12 promising trendsetters every two years for residencies. There they can find inspiration in this industrial setting, featuring raw concrete floors, 12 glass-fronted studios and terra-cotta columns.
Fun fact: Just because the ten designers are young doesn't mean they aren't established. Applicants must show they have professional staff, orders from top retailers, editorial coverage and a year and a half of business experience prior to applying. One member of the current group, Prabal Gurung, has already caught the eye of First Lady Michelle Obama, who has worn several of his creations to state dinners.
Grimshaw Architects Gallery Space (637 W 27th St at Eleventh Ave; Sat 15 noon--4pm; presentation of current projects 1pm)
What you'll see: Once a transportation hub, the 19th-century building still contains an arched tunnel in its center, which was the final stop for trains carrying goods that arrived in Manhattan by barge. Now it houses the New York City offices of the London architecture firm for which it is named. Guides will show off an exhibit of Grimshaw's current projects, including Via Verde affordable housing in the Bronx and renovations to the Queens Museum of Art. A second-floor model shop displays hand-constructed miniatures of the firm's designs, and a ninth-floor studio workspace offers panoramic views of the Hudson River and the Empire State Building.
Fun fact: Across the street from Grimshaw, you'll find floating bar and restaurant the Frying Pan, a 19th-century barge that once shipped goods ashore. As you cross the West Side Highway to its spot at Pier 66, you'll see remnants of tracks that brought freight trains from the Hudson's banks to the building.
Lincoln Center Public Spaces (David Rubinstein Atrium, 61 W 62nd St at Broadway; Sat 15 11am--5pm; tours every hour)
What you'll see: Members of five architecture firms that collaborated on the performing-arts complex's ongoing face-lift will lead visitors across the revamped 16.3-acre campus. Learn about new details, such as the LED-embedded staircase that now greets tourists with welcome lit up in dozens of languages, and the parabola-shaped Illumination Lawn that is draped over Lincoln restaurant and the Elinor Bunin-Monroe Film Center.
Fun fact: The design team, which includes Diller Scofidio + Renfro, FXFOWLE and green-roof company American Hydrotech, considered more than 350,000 species of grasses and other plants for the green space before selecting tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass for the species' verdant color and resilience.
Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave at Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Sat 15, Sun 16 10am--noon; tours every half hour)
What you'll see: The proprietors of this three-screen movie theater paid as close attention to the building's accents as they did to their buzzed-about cocktail and food menus. Architects from Caliper Studio and cinema owner Matthew Viragh will point out vintage details within the 23,000-square-foot building. For example, the liquor shelves behind the bar were made from barbershop cabinets salvaged by Clinton Hill vintage furniture store Repop.
Fun fact: Cinemagoers headed to a screening in the two largest theaters can recline in car bucket seats inspired by Ford Motor Company's 1950s design.
Old Favorites | New Classics