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Paul Simon, Guests Too Tired to Party at BAM

Last night at BAM's spring gala, Fabiola Beracasa and our video crew joined Parker Posey, Philip Glass, and Mario Batali at a party that proved even too much for performer Paul Simon. Will spring social obligations never cease?

Markus Dochantschi to Blend Luxury With Affordable Beside BAM

Back in April, we told you how a city competition had produced attractive, ecohealthy, and affordable housing in the South Bronx. When architect Markus Dochantschi, Zaha Hadid's onetime U.S. point man, finished second in that competition, he vowed to find another spot for his utopian plans. His sights were set on the ritzy city-owned site next to BAM, where another similar competition was running. This time, he won. Dochantschi, working with German architect Stefan Behnisch, will design 187 units, including 30 for-sale apartments and an unspecified number of affordable ones, above a retail and performance space where Fulton Street meets Ashland (near Frank Gehry's modern explosion over the Atlantic Yards). He says the scheme scatters for-sale and low-income units throughout the tower to ensure that no one section becomes less desirable than others. Instead, as the above rendering shows (and another more clearly after the jump), he "twisted the orientation" to make sure the north-south exposure was no less enticing than the east-west. As a result, he says, "hotspots" throughout the building will ensure plenty of nice light and air. He hopes the building opens by 2010. —Alec Appelbaum
Local Planner Gets the Big Job [Brooklyn Papers] Related: Mr. Ratner's Neighborhood [NYM]

Pretty, Affordable Housing for Brooklyn?

Maybe visionary architects can do more than concoct condos and museums in this town. A competition to design affordable housing in the South Bronx, which ended with the January selection of U.K. architecture firm Grimshaw and local good-guy architect Richard Dattner, went so well that the city's Department of Housing, with other agencies, is planning another, similar competition for later this year. The city will collect proposals for a 150-unit complex, dance theater, and retail space in Brooklyn, near BAM, by May 4, Housing commissioner Shaun Donovan said at the Center for Architecture last night, when he also announced another, unspecified competition for later this year. Architect Markus Dochantschi of StudioMDA, part of the runner-up team for the Bronx project, told us that he and his group will submit to the Brooklyn competition, and last night, for the first time, he showed off their Bronx proposal — a scheme of colorful mid-rise buildings that absorb sunlight and eschew dark hallways. The Brooklyn winner would face Frank Gehry’s Miss Brooklyn and her gargantuan friends — unless, of course, it's built while lawsuits keep all those titanium panels waiting on the loading docks. —Alec Appelbaum