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Cantina Antinori: Archea Architects

Tuscany, Italy

From the underground parking garage to the helical grand staircase, Antinori’s  winery emerges from the surrounding landscape as an understated gem to reveal hidden Corten and concrete. A lightweight steel frame supports terra cotta panels both to contain the vast wine cellar as well as to clad a brave cantilevered canopy. Once inside, lattices of clay provide ventilation and visual screening to the wine producing  zone. Adjacent are wine tasting rooms hung above to provide visitors a view of the aging barrels of wine.

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New York Times: Printing Plant

College Point, Queens, NY

I had the opportunity to see the crazy operation that is putting out The New York Times every day while touring the company’s printing facility, designed by Ennead in the late ‘90s, in Queens. The building is filled with autonomous fork lifts, spinning presses and ever-moving, labyrinthine conveyers that move paper from being printed to being packaged for shipment. There is not one dull corner in the whole place.

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all images © alan tansey, captions by julia simon

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Walking by Venice

There seem to be two types of spaces in Venice. Winding through the maze of narrow vertical corridors, there’s a surprise around every corner — there are the sleeping gondoliers, quiet accordion players and pickup soccer games, as well as elevated walkways and intricate arches and columns. These pinched paths open up onto vast piazzas offering views of the grand canals, or marketplaces bustling with both buyers and birds in search of fresh fish and fruit.

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all images © alan tansey, captions by julia simon

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Venice by Elevation

Our journey from New York City to Italy began with two days in Venice, where winding canals and labyrinthine streets made for lots of opportunities to get lost. It was in those moments of wandering that we were impressed by a side of Venice we didn’t expect to see.

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While Piazzo San Marco was mostly full of tourists, my favorite memory of the giant, regal square was seeing a puppy try to pounce on all of the pigeons.

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Every day on this quiet piazza, a group of children played futbol. They seemed unaware of tourists and any dog that tried to chase their ball.

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Aboard the water taxi, we drifted past some of Venice’s best architecture, especially when we took the long way around the city.

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At Punta della Dogana (right), a modern art museum, the exhibits ranged wildly. But the space is elaborately designed — through arched windows, it offers a great glimpse of the main part of Venice from across the canal.

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The aforementioned arched windows at Punta della Dogana.

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Gondola parking always seemed plentiful.

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all images © alan tansey, captions by julia simon

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Manhattan

We recently embarked on a helicopter ride above the southern tip and western side of Manhattan.

All three bridges over the East River came into view. A half bucolic Central Park, half bustling midtown, with chopper’s-eye-view of downtown and a departing ferry.

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The World Trade Center, the WTC memorial and Brooklyn separated by Canal Street and the view from the west side.

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Looking uptown. Between 33rd and 34th Streets, a detail view of midtown.

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All images © alan tansey

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US Air Force Academy: Cadet Chapel

Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Cadet Chapel – a modern relic designed as part of the USAFA’s master plan by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in the late 1950s – is comprised of 17 aluminum clad spires exhaustively spaced by slivers of colored glass.

The aluminum and stained glass shell contrast sharply in material with the sparse, arid Colorado climate – yet retain the warmth and heat of the desert like atmosphere.

Offering a break from the repetitive exterior, alternating glass slivers diffuse multi-colored light onto the interior worship space. The light that is not filtered by columns of stained glass is warmly transmitted inward by slightly tinted glazed acute triangles.

The open end spills onto a public plinth surrounded by the rest of SOM’s masterplan.

All images © alan tansey

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Storm King Art Center

Dave Kim had a birthday this year, just like last year, but this time he invited a few friends to make a visit to Storm King Art Center a few miles up the Hudson River. Though the season was extended to unseasonably warm weather, the leaves had dropped, revealing all the beautiful sculptures ready for some Fuji Superia 400.

 Alexander Calder, “The Arch”

George Cutts, “Sea Change”

Stephen Talasnik, “Stream: A Folded Drawing”

Richard Serra, “Schunnemunk Fork”

Maya Lin, “Storm King Wavefield”

Tal Streeter, “Endless Column”

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Menashe Kadishman, “Suspended

Kenneth Snelson, “Free Ride Home”

On the way home we crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge, which will soon be demolished. Thanks to a mix of politics and greed, New York State built the bridge north of the NY/NJ Port Authority’s jurisdiction to keep the tolls and revenue to itself. This means the bridge crosses the Hudson at it’s second widest point — at nearly 3 miles in length, it’s fallen into disrepair and has become too costly to maintain.

Storm King is closed for the seasons, see you next year!

All images © alan tansey