Amazon selects New York & Arlington, VA for HQ2 ・people, mass transit, sustainability

Amazon has selected New York City (the Long Island City neighborhood of the borough of Queens) and Arlington,Virginia (the Crystal City neighborhood, across the Potomac from Washington, DC) for its HQ2.

In agreements with the local and state governments, Amazon stipulates that the two locations will house at least 25,000 employees each. The new sites will require $5 billion in construction and other investments.

Direct access to rail, train, subway/metro, bus routes (mass transit) at site has been a core preference of Amazon, stipulated in the Amazon HQ2 RFP.

Significantly, Amazon’s HQ2 RFP stipulates that it will develop HQ2 with a dedication to sustainability:

Sustainability: Amazon is committed to sustainability efforts. Amazon’s buildings in its current Seattle campus are sustainable and energy efficient. The buildings’ interiors feature salvaged and locally sourced woods, energy efficient lighting, composting and recycling alternatives as well as public plazas and pockets of green space. Twenty of the buildings in our Seattle campus were built using LEED standards. Additionally, Amazon’s newest buildings use a ‘District Energy’ system that utilizes recycled heat from a nearby non-Amazon data center to heat millions of square feet of office space – a system that is about 4x more efficient than traditional heating. This system is designed to allow Amazon to warm just over 4 million square feet of office space on Amazon’s four-block campus, saving 80 million kilowatt hours over 20 years, or about 4 million kilowatt-hours a year. We also invest in large solar and wind operations and were the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2016.

Amazon will develop HQ2 with a dedication to sustainability.

Of the cities selected, Emily Badger of The New York Times observes:

Tech companies feed on highly educated and specialized workers, specifically dense clusters of them where workers and companies interacting with one another are more likely to produce new ideas. Washington and New York, as it turns out, are two of the most highly educated regions in the country, with already large pools of tech workers.

Drop a big Amazon headquarters into Washington or New York, and economists expect the 50,000 workers there to be more productive than if the same 50,000 jobs were dropped into Indianapolis. Simply putting them in New York, near so many other tech workers, increases the likelihood that Amazon invents more services, connects to more markets, makes more money.

Those added benefits are so strong, economists say, that it’s worth it to companies like Amazon to pay more — a lot more — for office space and employee salaries in New York City.

‘If you are in the business of making new things — whether it’s a new product, or a new way of delivering things, or a new service — and it’s something that is unique, and it keeps changing and it needs updating, the most important factor of all is human capital,” said Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “It’s not like making soap, or like making textiles.’”


Amazon HQ2 RFP

Amazon Announces New York and Virginia as HQ2 Picks,” Karen Weise, Technology | The New York Times, 13 November 2018

In Superstar Cities, the Rich Get Richer, and They Get Amazon,” Emily Badger, The New York Times, 7 November 2018

Gutai masterpiece ・ Sadamasa Motonaga’s “Work 145” of 1964

Art Basel opens in Switzerland next week.

London-based Alexandre Carel, former Christie’s Paris wunderkind, Stanford MBA, summer intern in real estate at New York-based, global investment firm KKR (Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts; KKR manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and, through its strategic partners, hedge funds),

and Paris-based gallery Natalie Seroussi are collaborating to curate a booth

exploring post-war Asian and European abstraction.

Carel and Seroussi’s catalogue “Lands of Abstraction,” prepared for their Art Basel joint exhibition, explores abstract movements that arose almost simultaneously in Asia, Europe, and the United States – all of which “matured in parallel to one another.”

Among the many masterpieces on view will be Sadamasa Motonaga’s almost nine-foot “Work 145” of 1964. Asking price: $5 million.

Sadamasa Motonaga (元永 定正, 1922-2011) was a founding member of Japan’s Gutai Art Association (1954-1972).

His “Work 145” of 1964, last shown in New York at the Guggenheim Museum during the 2013 exhibition “Gutai: Splendid Playground,” reflects Gutai’s deep connection to nature, the process of art making, and life-affirming rationale

Carel and Seroussi write:

“Literally translated as ‘concreteness,’ Gutai’s intention was to impart life to matter and reach pure creativity.

“To artists such as Sadamasa Motonaga …, this goal could only be attained by way of a deep connection between the artist’s hand and his spirit.”


  1. Massive Motonaga Stars at Carel & Seroussi Booth at Art Basel,” Marion Maneker, Art Market Monitor, 5 June 2018;
  2. 2) “Lands of Abstraction,” Natalie Seroussi Galerie, Paris & Alexandre Carel, London, Art Basel Highlights, June 2018



#art #arthistory #artmarket #artbasel #gutai #guggenheim #guggenheimmuseum #postwarabstraction #abstraction #japan #natalieseroussi #alexandrecarel #stanford #stanforduniversity #mba #collection #portfolio #collectionsdevelopment #environmentalcollectionsmanagement #co2 #nature #basel #newyork #london #paris #zurich #milan #dubai #hongkong #tokyo #seoul #asia #europe #tech #luxury #design #realestatedevelopment #entrepreneur #investments #investor #privateequity #energy #infrastructure #realestate #credit #hedgefunds

Henri Matisse: “Flowers and Ceramic Plate” (oil on canvas, 1913)

Dear to the heart and collection of Frankfurt, Germany’s Städel Museum, Henri Matisse painted “Flowers and Ceramic Plate” (“Blumen und Keramik”) using oil on canvas in 1913.

While lovely to our eyes now, Matisse was then not only enjoying color but also experimenting with radically new, in the European aesthetic, perspectives, some well-practiced and well-received in other parts of the world, such as Africa and Japan, and making their way into Europe via trade.

Like Picasso and Braque and their contemporaneous alignment of reduced objects into a shallow space using multiple vantage points (“cubism”), Matisse renders objects placed in close proximity to each other from different vantage points and perspectives.

The flowers are painted as viewed from a side perspective. The ceramic plate is painted as viewed from above.

As the Städel Museum points out:

“This new form of beauty gives preference to the surface over spatial depth and was highly controversial at the time.

“That means the end of the spatial illusionism European painters had worked so hard to perfect over many centuries.”


See: “Henri Matisse: Flowers and Ceramic Plate,” 1913 (oil on canvas), Städel Museum



#matisse #henrimatisse #picasso #braque #cubism #städelmuseum #städel #collection #portfolio #perspective #art #artmarket #modernart #arthistory #ceramics #design #architecture #frankfurt #germany #paris #france #africa #japan #newyork #oslo #dubai #hongkong #shanghai #seoul #tokyo #tech #entrepreneur #energy #co2 #realestatedevelopment #urban #luxury #urbanluxury

Liu Wei: “Purple Air D1” (oil on canvas, 2008)

Liu Wei’s “Purple Air D1” (oil on canvas, 2008).

Liu Wei regenerates various segments of Beijing’s high-rise buildings into digitalized geometric structures of bright hues of pinks, yellows, blues, and greens.

The image was rendered digitally on a computer and then painted onto a larger canvas.

While modern and “digital,” Liu Wei connects with, while seeking to re-explore, more traditional landscape painting. Note the moon and the pine tree, traditional motifs.

Liu Wei, born in Beijing in 1972, is one of China’s leading contemporary artists. He lives and works in Beijing and is represented by Lehmann Maupin.

Rather than “subversively reference politics,” he often looks for inspiration in found objects and architectural constructions, expressing his views of a changing material landscape.

Liu Wei’s work is included in numerous collections such as the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong; the Rubell Family Collection, Miami; and White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney.

Lehmann Maupin


See: 1) Phillips “20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale,” Lot 36, Hong Kong, 27 May 2018 2) Lehmann Maupin

#liuwei #art #artmarket #contemporaryart #arthistory #digitalart #tech #entrepreneur #collection #portfolio #architecture #design #realestatedevelopment #luxury #urban #landscape #china #beijing #shanghai #hongkong #seoul #tokyo #newyork #losangeles #miami #london #paris #berlin #oslo #zurich #vienna #milan #dubai

A Tesla of Real Estate Development

Perch Harlem is a style-intensive newly-constructed market-rate rental building at 542 West 153rd Street in Manhattan that uses 90% less gas and energy than a traditional building.

One of the goals we had was to build this at market rate, so that we could prove it could be done,” says Justin Palmer, founder of Synapse Development Group. “We really look to a design company like Tesla for a lot of inspiration, because everyone was a naysayer. The traditional car manufacturers told them, nobody will ever buy it, you don’t have enough range, it can’t be done. Well, we heard it all, too.”

Developed by Synapse Development Group with Taurus Investment Holdings and designed by Brooklyn-based architect Chris Benedict who builds to passive standards at no extra cost, Perch features triple insulation, windows strategically placed and sized to maximize natural solar heat, and high-tech heat exchangers that recycle air to heat and cool its interior.

Using using innovative construction methodologies, like Passive House, that have direct, tangible benefits for our investors, tenants, and the environment, [the Synapse Development Group] approach is laser focused: reduce energy consumption in our buildings while still maintaining the amenities of 21st century living. Through relentless innovation, we bring the latest technology and design practices to what we build.”

Far from compromising the “direct bottom line,” placing environmental interests alongside the interests of investors and tenants makes sense observes Justin Palmer, founder of Synapse Development Group, and provides the development industry a better paradigm for evaluating and leveraging risk and profit.

Building passive is necessary for a changing climate, both figuratively and literally, he says, and the energy cost-savings are a win-win scenario for developers and tenants. “We’re trying to provide a solution to the high carbon footprint that most cities have from the built environment, as well as solve the ongoing affordability issue through intelligent design,” Palmer says, and through reliable energy-performance metrics, “provide better risk-adjusted returns to our investment partners.”


Meet the Developer Who Wants To Be the Tesla of Housing” | Aileen Kwun, FastCoDesign, 12 March 2018

Synapse Development Group

#realestate #realestatedevelopment  #luxuryrealestate #builtenvironment #Tesla #passivhaus #passivedesign #architecture #design #innovation #tech #energy #luxury #risk #return #CO2

global investment in renewable energy & energy-smart technologies

Annual figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) show that global investment in renewable energy and energy-smart technologies reached $333.5 billion last year, up 3% from a revised $324.6 billion in 2016, and only 7% short of the record figure of $360.3 billion, reached in 2015.

Chinese investment in all the clean energy technologies was $132.6 billion, up 24% setting a new record. The next biggest investing country was the U.S., at $56.9 billion, up 1% on 2016.

Solar led the way, as mentioned above, attracting $160.8 billion – equivalent to 48% of the global total for all of clean energy investment.

Wind was the second-biggest sector for investment in 2017, at $107.2 billion. Down 12% on 2016 levels.

The third-biggest sector was energy-smart technologies, where asset finance of smart meters and battery storage, and equity-raising by specialist companies in smart grid, efficiency, storage and electric vehicles, reached $48.8 billion in 2017, up 7% on the previous year and the highest ever.


Runaway 53GW Solar Boom in China Pushed Global Clean Energy Investment Ahead in 2017” | Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 16 January 2018

#cleanenergy #renewableenergy #energy #finance #solar #wind #energy-smarttech #tech #investments #luxury #smartluxury  #realestate #commercialrealestate #resilience #CO2




San Diego performs ・three San Diego scientists awarded the Breakthrough Prize for 2018

San Diego performs.

Three of the seven Breakthrough Prize awards (each of $3 million; founded in 2012 by tech entrepreneurs including Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder; Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder; and Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of personal genomics company 23 and Me) for 2018 went to San Diego scientists in recognition of their research and achievements in life science, bio-medicine, and math. The prize for achievement in math is shared equally between UCSD and the University of Utah collaborators.

It is a short distance from downtown San Diego walk-ability and luxury, such as the Kohn-Pedersen-Fox-designed Pacific Gate, with interior design by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), not only to the airport but also to the universities and research institutes.


Sweet recognition — and major cash — for three San Diego scientists with Breakthrough Prize” | Bradley J. Fikes, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 December 2017

Breakthrough Prize

#realestate #luxury #smartluxury #urbanluxury #BreakthroughPrize #UCSD #SalkInstitute #science #tech #engineering #commercialrealestate #walkability #downtown #downtownofcourse #education #PacificGate #international #global #globalluxury #KPF #KohnPedersenFox #HBA #HirschBednerAssociates #architecture #design #interiordesign



elegance in design & engineering meets recycling

Ten years in the making, a public-private partnership between the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Sims Municipal Recycling, a division of Sims Metal Management, designed and master-planned by Selldorf Architects, New York City’s 11-acre South Brooklyn Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility performs.

Opened in December of 2013, the 140,000-square-foot facility is the principal processing facility for all of New York City’s residential metal, glass, and plastic recyclables. The facility has the capacity to process 1,000 tons of recyclable material every day.

Selldorf Architects (architect to museums and galleries worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego) organized the buildings to create the site’s own urban context and designed the facility to optimize environmental performance.

The buildings are made from 99% recycled American-made steel. The buildings, wharf, recycling equipment, and electrical substations are elevated four feet – using a blend of recycled glass and crushed stone from Second Avenue subway tunneling operations – to prevent damage from sea level rise and storm surges. New York City’s first commercial-scale (100 kW) wind turbine and the City’s largest solar installation (600 kW) generate energy on site. On-site storm water management is included as are two acres of native plantings.

Access by barge will help eliminate 150,000 annual truck trips (240,000 truck miles). Newly-renovated freight rail will be used for the export of processed recyclables.


Sustainability and Design Tour of Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility” | AtlasObsura, May 2017

Selldorf Architects’ Sunset Park recycling facility in Brooklyn sets a new standard in sustainable design” | Pei-Ruh Keh, Wallpaper, 13 December 2013

Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Holloway and Sanitation Commissioner Doherty Announce Opening of New State-of-the-Art Recycling Facility – Able to Process Metal, Glass and All Plastics in One Location” | Office of the Mayor, City of New York, 12 December 2013

Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility” | Selldorf Architects

Sims Municipal Recycling

Sims Recyling Solutions

Sims Metal Management

#sunsetparkmaterialrecoveryfacility #Brooklyn #NewYork #NewYorkCity #SimsMetalManagement #SimsMunicipalRecycling #SelldorfArchitects #NYCEconomicDevelopmentCorporstion #recycling #architecture #design #art #museums #galleries #luxury #smartluxury #urbanluxury #resilience #energy #solar #solarenergy #windenergy #engineering #construction #buildingtech #tech #sealevelrise #stormsurge #CO2 #H2O #realestate #commercialrealestate #CRE #finance #ROI

SFMOMA・optimizing for sustainability was the fun part

After three years of construction under the direction of architectural firm Snøhetta and environmental design firm Atelier Ten, the expanded and high-performing San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) opened to the public in May of 2016.

Doubling the size of the museum and tripling gallery space, the museum achieved and surpassed LEED gold, working towards maximum sustainability. Optimizing for maximum sustainability was the fun part.

Building on the the science of conservation, born out of the World-War-II-era movement of London artworks to slate caves in Wales, and on the San Francisco mandate that all new construction meet USGBC LEED gold criteria, the SFMOMA initiated a Sustainability Roundtable to research solutions that would work for the museum. Participants in the Sustainability Roundtable included museum staff and representatives from Atelier Ten, Snøhetta, Taylor Engineering, The Getty, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Indianapolis Museum of ARt, and Stanford University’s Anderson Collection.

Testing approaches and combinations of approaches iteratively, the group determined to optimize “seasonal set points” and customized every aspect of the structure’s design and systems including mechanical, lighting, water, and HVAC.


Optimize, Optimize, Optimize: Museum Conservation in the LEED Era” | Lindsey Westbrook, freelance editor and writer specializing in art, architecture, and design; clients include SFMOMA, SFMOMA

SFMOMA reopens with Snøhetta extension that triples its gallery space” | Dan Howarth, Dezeen, 28 April 2016

#art #museums #artmarket #SFMOMA #SanFrancisco #architecture #design #resilience #builtenvironment #buildingtech #construction #tech #energy #conservation #luxury #smartluxury #urbanluxury #realestate #LEED #Snøhetta #AtelierTen #TaylorEngineering #Getty #MFABoston #IndianapolisMuseumofArt #AndersonCollection #CO2 #H2O #collectionsmanagement #contemporaryart #engineering