In this issue:
·Collaboration Success Story Hits East New York
·Three New Landmarks in Far West Village; Five to Go
·Compassion & Healing: 2007 VISTA Award
·Betting a Casino Heralds Catskills Comeback
·Community is Focus in Pike County, PA
·New Center Nods to Nobel Norwegian Novelist
·7 WTC’s New Tenant Floats on 42nd Floor
·Chinatown Loft Becomes Church (and a UWS Synagogue)
·Professionals Hang-Out at Houston Biomedical Research Facility

Collaboration Success Story Hits East New York

East New York Homes.

East New York Homes.

Della Valle Bernheimer

A ribbon cutting ceremony officiated by Mayor Bloomberg marked the opening of the 2,200-square-foot Glenmore Gardens, an affordable condominium housing project in East New York, Brooklyn, developed through the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) New Foundations program on land owned by HPD. New Foundations is a homeownership program established to develop sites in neighborhoods lacking ownership opportunities and to encourage small developers and contractors to create affordable housing.

Della Valle Bernheimer Architects coordinated the design, development, and construction of five similar semi-detached slab-on-grade condominiums in collaboration with Architecture Research Office (ARO), BriggsKnowles Architecture+Design, and Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis. The firms each selected a floor plan type and then designed a unique shell for it. Using the same materials — 90% recycled corrugated aluminum, fiber cement panels, and cedar siding for the façades — Della Valle Bernheimer designed two of the buildings while the other firms designed one each. The complete construction budget was $2.3 million.

Three New Landmarks in Far West Village; Five to Go

Keller Hotel

Keller Hotel at 150 Barrow Street.

Courtesy Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

In response to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s (GVSHP) “Campaign to Save the Far West Village,” the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted unanimously to designate three more sites: the 1898 Neo-Classical Keller Hotel on Barrow Street, one of three remaining intact former sailors’ hotels in the Village that is currently being renovated into apartments; the 1839 Henry Wykoff House on Charles Street; and the 1844 Greek Revival Edwin Brooks House on West 11th Street. In 2005, the City committed to designating five additional sites in the area, but has not yet acted upon them. The GVSHP is also spearheading the protest against the 45-story Trump SoHo Condo Hotel at Spring and Varick Streets.

In related news, the LPC also granted protection for the library administration building at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The concrete and brick Tuscan-Revival-style building, one of a few designed by McKim, Mead & White without landmark designation, was completed in 1917.

Compassion & Healing: 2007 VISTA Award

Maimonides Cancer Center

Maimonides Cancer Center.

Guenther 5 Architects

The American Society of Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) named Guenther 5 Architects recipient of a VISTA Team Award in the Renovation Category for the 60,000-square-foot Maimonides Cancer Center in Brooklyn. The design was cited for integrating best medicine practices with compassionate and healing design, as well as environmentally responsible architecture and interiors.

The architects transformed a former bank check-processing facility into an experience-focused sustainable center reconnecting the deep floor plate with natural light whenever possible. In consideration of environmental sensitivity and a strong connection between healing and nature, the Center’s program includes two linear accelerators, where patients receive radiation therapy — now a standard protocol; a spacious chemotherapy area; a pediatric oncology space featuring a play area and aquarium; family consult areas; several private meditation areas; physician’s offices; and a resource room on the ground floor open to the community.

Betting a Casino Heralds Catskills Comeback

St. Regis Mohawk Casino

St. Regis Mohawk Casino.

Brennan Beer Gorman Architects

The St. Regis Mohawk Casino, just 90 miles northwest of New York City, is about to become the first casino in the Catskills, and Brennan Beer Gorman Architects (BBG) is set to design the 600,000 square foot gaming destination. Inspired by Adirondack-style lodges, the building is designed to create a relationship to nature, incorporating elements such as stone and natural wood. Glassed-in pedestrian walkways will accentuate the building’s perimeter while a stone tower will become a visible icon, according to the press release. Gaming will be focused around a double-height central atrium, with balconies overlooking from the specialty restaurant areas above. Planned restaurants, a nightclub, and an event center are programmed to offer entertainment to both gaming and non-gaming clients. The casino has won approval from Governor Eliot Spitzer and awaits final approvals from the Department of the Interior.

Community is Focus in Pike County, PA

Pike County Central Library

Pike County Central Library.

Frederic Schwartz Architects

Frederic Schwartz Architects has won the design competition for the Pike County Central Library in Milford, PA. The building is sited to take advantage of the view and adjacency to wooded parkland. The focal point of the two-story, 18,000-square-foot building is a high, open, sky-lit “hub” around which all interior circulation is organized. The library will contain a community meeting room, small conference and tutoring rooms, café, and roof terrace. Green building components include high-performance, low-E double-glazing, and energy efficient mechanical systems such as radiant floor heating, operable windows for cross ventilation, and a planted roof. Joining the design team is Henry Myerberg, AIA, an award-winning library design architect (and a principal at Rockwell Group) with five projects currently in the works for the Robin Hood Foundation’s L!BRARY initiative.

New Center Nods to Nobel Norwegian Novelist

Knut Hamsun Center

The Knut Hamsun Center.

Steven Holl Architects

In 1994, Steven Holl Architects was commissioned to design a center for the Nobel Prize-winning turn-of-the-century Norwegian novelist Knut Hamsun. The project is back on track thanks to the support of the Norwegian Council, and will be open in time for Hamsun’s 150th birthday in August 2009. The Center, located above the Arctic Circle near Hamsun’s childhood home, will include exhibition areas, a library and reading room, and an auditorium. The concept for the project, “Building as a Body: Battleground of Invisible Forces,” is an architectural interpretation of the author’s work and controversial Nazi-sympathizing character. In the interim, the Museum of Modern Art purchased a model of the building.

7 WTC’s New Tenant Floats on 42nd Floor

Darby & Darby Office

Darby & Darby Offices at 7WTC.

Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects

Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects (GKV) has been selected to design the law offices of Darby & Darby on the 42nd floor of 7 WTC. The 80,000-square-foot office will feature a glass staircase suspended by stainless steel tension rods joining a two-story conference center housing a boardroom and a multi-purpose room. Placed at opposite ends of the main reception area, they are designed to be individual glowing glass and sycamore “boxes.” The use of sheer stretch fabric ceilings in all conference rooms will allow for acoustical separation and privacy while maintaining a light and airy atmosphere. To take advantage of the natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, an open office plan was created along with private offices on the perimeter. Full-height glass sidelights connect to figured sycamore wooden doors at the perimeter offices and pull natural light into corridors and other interior spaces.

Chinatown Loft Becomes Church (and a UWS Synagogue)


The new world headquarters and church for the Oversea Chinese Mission.


Chinatown’s Oversea Chinese Mission has commissioned Cetra/Ruddy to design its new world headquarters and church. The firm was selected as architect and interior designer to provide a creative re-adaptation of an existing 12-story commercial loft building. The reconfigured HQ will contain classrooms, community and pastoral office spaces, and a new 750-seat, two-story sanctuary. State-of-the-art acoustics and audio-visual capabilities for multi-media religious worship in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English languages will be installed. Construction is scheduled to begin this coming summer with an estimated completion date during summer 2008. Simultaneously, the firm is designing a new “ground-up” synagogue uptown.

Professionals Hang-Out at Houston Biomedical Research Facility

Methodist Hospital Houston Expansion

Methodist Hospital Houston Expansion.

Kohn Pederson Fox Architects

The Methodist Hospital in Houston has selected Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects to design a new 11-story biomedical research institute. The 300,000-square-foot facility is divided into two distinct volumes, one for labs and the other for offices. They are joined by an atrium that, along with its connecting bridges, provide break rooms and other informal gathering spaces on each floor. The program also includes conference facilities with a 250-seat auditorium, a vivarium, imaging suite, and current good manufacturing practice facilities. Bridge connections to the existing hospital are proposed at several floors to facilitate translational research and a sense of professional community.

In this issue:
·SAVE THE DATES: 2007 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards Celebrations
·New AIA Website Launches
·Shadows Play at the Center

SAVE THE DATES: 2007 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards Celebrations

2007 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards Celebrations

04.11.07 Design Awards Luncheon for Award Recipients and their clients
04.12.07 Design Awards Exhibition Opening at the Center for Architecture

New AIA Website Launches
To help consumers understand the architectural design process, and issues involved in selecting and working with an architect, the AIA has launched a new online resource, How Design Works for You. The site incorporates streaming videos that depict the full design process, both institutional and residential, with tips about the most important questions to ask when starting a project. To ensure that homeowners’ best interests are protected, the site also includes information about selecting the AIA Contract Documents best suited for residential projects. How Design Works for You also addresses sustainable building practices.

“Hiring an architect shouldn’t be an overwhelming process, but there are a number of important issues for clients to consider,” said Christine McEntee, AIA, Executive Vice-President and CEO of the AIA. “Whether someone is renovating their home and incorporating design elements that save electricity, or building a first home, our goal is to clearly outline how working with an architect from the first stages of a project is essential.”

Shadows Play at the Center

Maggie Jacobstein

One participant displays her Palladio-inspired shadowbox theater.

Maggie Jacobstein

With shoeboxes in hand, families arrived at the Center for Architecture to build shadowbox theaters. Inspired by images of Andrea Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico and New York’s own Broadway theaters, families developed stories to be staged in their model-sized buildings. A proscenium was cut into each box and a piece of vellum was then affixed to the inside so participants could test lighting effects with flashlights. Some left the vellum plain, allowing it to become a scrim upon which shadows were cast; others created drawings on the vellum that came to life when illuminated. Families found ways to cast colors onto the vellum and make objects move inside the “theaters” as well. The finale took place in the Center’s darkened workshop, where the theaters came to life highlighting the nature of theatrical lighting. With shifting scales and exaggerated movements, the result was a dynamic play of shadows.

Thank you to Randy Sabedra, Section President of the Illuminating Engineering Society New York (IESNY), who assisted the families as they constructed their theaters, and the IESNY for supporting this FamilyDay@theCenter program.

2010 Imperative

During the Global Emergency Teach-in, Architecture2030 issued the 2030 Challenge and the 2010 Imperative — strategies to transform the built environment, stabilize emissions, and ultimately achieve acceptable levels over the next 10 years. The event was broadcast on the Internet on February 20, and is available on the website.

Since buildings are responsible for almost half (48%) of all annual energy consumption, immediate action within the building industry as well as a concentrated global effort are essential to avoid hazardous climate change.

The 2010 Imperative includes the following objectives:
  ·Beginning in 2007 all design studios should “engage the environment in a way that dramatically reduces or eliminates the need for fossil fuel.”
  ·By 2010 achieve complete ecological literacy in design education, including: design/studio; history/theory; materials/technology; structures/construction; professional practice/ethics.
  ·By 2010 achieve a carbon-neutral design school campus by: implementing sustainable design strategies; generating on-site renewable power; purchasing green renewable energy and/or certified renewable energy credits.

Sponsors of the event included:
Platinum: American Institute of Architects; The Home Depot Foundation; U.S. Green Building Council; New York Academy of Sciences. Gold: Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Silver: AIA Large Firm Roundtable; Supporters: AIA New York; AIA Committee on the Environment; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Metropolis; AIA Students; Society of Building Science Educators; Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture; Union Internationale des Architectes; Royal Architecture Institute of Canada; American Solar Energy Society; Jonathan Rose Companies; Turner Construction; National Wildlife Federation; BuildingGreen, Inc.; D+Arquitectos.

The American Institute of Architects College of Fellows has awarded its 2007 Latrobe Prize of $100,000 for the proposal, “On the Water, A Model for the Future: A Study of New York and New Jersey Upper Bay,” which was presented to principal investigator Guy Nordenson, professor, structural engineering, Princeton University School of Architecture and founder of Guy Nordenson and Associates, NY… Other recipients of the Latrobe Prize, and participants in the project, include Stan Allen, AIA, Catherine Seavitt, AIA, and James Smith, Princeton University; Michael Tantala, Tantala Associates; and Adam Yarinsky, FAIA, and Stephen Cassell, AIA, Architecture Research Office…

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America announced the winners of the 2007 Arthur Ross Awards for Excellence in the Classical Tradition. NYC-area winners are: The Rambusch Company (Artisanship); Acanthus Press LLC (Publishing); and World Monuments Fund (Stewardship). In addition, Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, was given special recognition by the Board of Directors, prompted by the recent publication of New York 2000: Architecture and Urbanism Between the Bicentennial and the Millennium as the final volume in his five-part series…

James R. Martin, AIA, has joined the firm of daSILVA Architects, as a principal… Julia Nelson, AIA, and Todd Poisson, AIA, have been promoted to Associate Partners at BKSK Architects… Spacesmith named John Coburn, AIA, Director of Operations… Thomas J. Scialo has joined SBLM Architects as Director of Construction Administration… Stephen E. Gottlieb, AIA, has joined SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects as Senior Preservation Architect…

Kristen Richards

Crowds gathered at the AIA NY Chapter’s New Members Reception at the Center for Architecture 03.15.07.

Kristen Richards

Kristen Richards

(l-r): Abby Suckle, FAIA, LEED AP, Secretary of the AIANY Chapter Board of Directors; 2007 AIANY President Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP; and AIANY First Vice President/President Elect James McCullar, FAIA.

Kristen Richards

Craig Morton

Winners of the 2007 Illuminating Engineering Society of NY (IESNY) Student Design Competition were announced at the opening of the Immersive Lightscapes exhibtion at Lotus Space. The winning entry was submitted by Chung-Jung Liao, MFA Lighting, Parsons The New School for Design.

Craig Morton

Craig Morton

Another submission to the IESNY competition was this ball of light designed by Vincent Milner, AAS Interior Design, Parsons The New School for Design.

Craig Morton

Oculus 2007 Editorial Calendar
If you have ideas, projects, opinions — or perhaps a burning desire to write about a topic below — we’d like to hear from you! Deadlines for submitting suggestions are indicated; projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Send suggestions to Kristen Richards.
06.01.07 Fall 2007: Collaboration
09.07.07 Winter 2007-08: Power & Patronage

Submission: Open Architecture Prize
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and Cameron Sinclair, winner of last year’s TED Prize and founder of Architecture for Humanity, announced the first ever Open Architecture Prize at the annual TED Conference. The $250,000 Open Architecture Prize is the largest prize in the field of architecture and is designed to be an international multi-year program. Each year, a winning design will be chosen from a field of low-cost, sustainable design projects to be built in a selected community. The first project for the Open Architecture Prize will be an “e-community center,” a centralized building equipped to enable an entire community to access the Internet. The winning designs will be built as part of the prize and in alignment with the 50×15 Initiative, a program founded by AMD to connect 50 percent of the world’s population to the Internet by 2015.

03.30.07 Submission: 2007 AIA NYS Convention: Call for Presentation Proposals
Inspired by the 150th Anniversary of the AIA, the theme of the 2007 AIA New York State Convention (10.04.07-10.06.07) will be “The Past as Prologue.” Proposals will be accepted for seminar topics that address this theme — or better yet, take it to the next level — to educate design professionals.

04.06.07 Call for Papers: Sixth International Conference on Courthouse Design
The AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice seeks contributions to a discussion among world leaders in the justice field regarding innovation in planning, design, technology, and research for courthouses. This year’s theme is Sustainable Excellence, and the conference, which will take place at the Marriot Brooklyn Bridge 09.26-09.28.07, will explore ideas surrounding sustainable communities, design excellence, green design, among others. For more information click the link; for inquiries, address all questions to Katherine Gupman, AIA project manager via e-mail or call 202-626-8051.

04.10.07 Request for Proposals: Futbol Club Barcelona Stadium Remodeling
FC Barcelona is calling for architects from around the world to remodel Camp Nou (FC Barcelona stadium) into a modern stadium. The stadium will celebrate its 50th anniversary on 09.24.07. The selection process is through an international tender that is supported by the Association of Architects of Catalunya, which will contribute the necessary expertise for selecting the architect, or team of architects, who will be commissioned for the project.

04.13.07 Call for Papers: Worship Facilities Conference
The Worship Facilities Conference & Expo (WFX) is seeking qualified presenters for the educational sessions to be offered at WFX 2007, October 24-26 in Atlanta, GA. This event, now in its third year, is designed to help decision makers in houses of worship pull together their strategies for facilities design, financing, building management, and audio-visual and IT technologies.

05.09.07 Submission: Van Alen Institute New York Prize Fellowship
The annual New York Prize Fellowship brings emerging practitioners and scholars to the Van Alen Institute headquarters in NYC and supports early- to mid-career architects, designers, planners, and individuals from other disciplines across the arts, humanities, and sciences. Fellows pursue advanced independent study to generate projects — such as exhibitions, installations, and symposia — on the most significant issues shaping the design and use of public space. The Institute seeks projects that approach architecture as a cultural practice with public consequence and that engage public audiences. The Council will select up to five Fellows for periods of three months each in 2007- 2008. Fellowships include a stipend, project support, individual office/studio space at the Institute with publishing opportunities.

05.29.07 Submission: Columbus Re-wired: Visions for Intersections
AIA Columbus, in partnership with AIA National, is sponsoring three community charrettes which will culminate in an international competition focusing on the current and future state of public transportation in Columbus, OH. Generating dialogue about public transportation, special emphasis is on illustrating how multiple transportation modes can work together to provide a complete network connecting citizens with their community and sparking economic development.

06.01.07 Submission: World Habitat Awards 2007
The Building and Social Housing Foundation seeks entries for the World Habitat Awards 2007 competition, initiated in 1985 to identify practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions to current housing issues capable of being transferred or adapted for use elsewhere. The competition is open to all individuals and organizations, including central and local governments, NGOs, community-based groups, research organizations, and the private sector. Two winners will receive £10,000, presented at the annual United Nations global celebration of World Habitat Day.

At the Center for Architecture

Current Exhibitions
Upcoming Exhibitions
Past Exhibitions

Join an Architalker for a Hosted Tour of Center for Architecture

Join us for free Architalker-hosted tours of the Center for Architecture exhibitions Fridays at 4:00pm. To join one of these tours, meet in the Public Resource Area on the ground floor of the Center for Architecture.

Gallery Hours
Monday–Friday: 9:00am–8:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am–5:00pm, Sunday: CLOSED


January 15 - March 24, 2007

School Buildings – The State of Affairs

Gallery: Kohn Pederson Fox Gallery, HLW Gallery, South Gallery

Falletsche School, Zurich-Leimbach, Switzerland

Related Events

Thursday, February 1, 2007, 6:00 — 8:00pm

Saturday, February 3, 2007, 1:00pm — 5:00pm
A new architecture for a new education

CES credits available

Wednesday, February 7, 2007, 4:30 — 6:30pm
Educator’s Open House

Saturday, February 10, 2007, 1:00 — 4:00pm
FamilyDay@theCenter: Schools of the Future

Today’s educators require flexible spaces that can satisfy multiple functions and future demands and they are in need of spaces that enhance modern teaching as well as a student’s personal development. Communities request to share facilities and services, and changing social patterns require new services at schools. In response, architects design schools that feel, look and function differently, having become learning and community centers. It’s a new architecture for a new education. This exhibition illustrates this process and the schools that have been built in the course of it. It contains 31 examples of recently built or designed schools from Zurich Switzerland along with examples from Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Austria. It facilitates a dialog among educators, architects, and the community, strikingly similar to the efforts than have been made in New York over the past few years. It will make for an interesting and fruitful dialog. Click here to see a complete list of all schools showcased in the exhibition.

The current exhibition is organized by:

AIA New York Chapter Committee on Architecture for Education, Umberto Dindo, AIA, Chairman ETH Zurich / Center
for Cultural Studies in Architecture (CCSA), Martin Schneider, scientific associate, dipl. arch. ETH Zurich

The exhibition is a site-specific presentation of a traveling exhibition originally organized by: ETH Zurich / Center for Cultural Studies in Architecture (CCSA), City of Zurich Building Authority, School and Sport Authority, and the Zurich University of Teacher Education.

Exhibition Underwriters:
Credit Suisse, City of Zurich, ETH Zurich, Department of Architecture

Credit Suisse

City of Zurich

ETH Zurich

March 22 to June 16, 2007

New Housing New York

Galleries: Street Gallery, Public Resource Center, Judith and Walter Hunt Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery

Winning proposal
Phipps Rose Dattner Grimshaw

Related Events

Thursday, March 22, 2007, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Monday, April 9, 2007, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Panel Discussion with Winning and Runner-up Teams

Monday, April 16, 2007, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Panel Discussion with Three Finalists

Green Design

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 6:00 – 8:00pm
NHNY: Best Practices for Affordable Sustainable Housing – What worked, what didn’t?

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 1:00 – 4:00pm
FamilyDay@theCenter: House + Home

Family Day in the Bronx

Power House illuminates the people, projects, and public policies that fuel the affordable housing landscape in New York City.

As New York City’s first juried design competition for affordable, sustainable housing, the New Housing New York Legacy Project (NHNY) is generating creative, replicable approaches to urban development. The exhibition focuses on the NHNY competition and sets it within the context of the city’s efforts to preserve and development sustainable, financially viable residences for low- and middle-income New Yorkers. The show’s emphasis is on the future of housing in the city, as represented by the competition winner, Phipps Rose Dattner Grimshaw (Phipps Houses / Jonathan Rose Companies / Dattner Architects / Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners), the four finalists, and the development mechanisms put in place by Mayor Bloomberg’s 10-year New Housing Marketplace initiative and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Building on the 2004 New Housing New York Ideas Competition, the 2006 two-stage contest will result in construction of the winning design on a 40,000 square-foot Bronx site, which is valued at $4.3 million and was donated by The City of New York.

For the full list of finalists click here

Curator: Abby Bussel
Exhibition and Graphic Design: Casey Maher

Organized by: AIA New York Chapter,
New Housing New York Steering Committee and the
City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development with the additional support of the Center for Architecture Foundation and the AIA New York Chapter Housing Committee

Exhibition Underwriters:

Exhibition Patron:

For more information on the New Housing New York Legacy Project click here

NHNY is a partnership between the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, the City of New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Additional support is provided by the Center for Architecture Foundation, and City University of New York.

The NHNY Legacy Project is sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the National Endowment for the Arts, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., an AIA National Blueprint Grant, JP Morgan Chase, and Citibank.

March 22 — June 2, 2007

Making Housing Home

Photographs with residents of New York City housing developments

Galleries: Library

Norma’s House
Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani

Related Events

Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 6:00 pm

Wednesday, May 30, 2007, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Panel Discussion: Social Housing and the Social Contract

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 1:00 – 4:00pm
FamilyDay@theCenter: House + Home

This photographic exhibition explores how people inhabit housing to create homes in two of New York City’s affordable housing developments, each of which were developed to provide good homes for all. Because units of housing are in essence homes for families, this project takes an interior look at what architecture can allow and support, to afford the crucial process of making space for oneself within designed spaces and housing markets. If social housing reflects the social covenant of our society, what is it to which every citizen is entitled? What does it take for a life to flourish and can a building help or hinder this process? What becomes of designed spaces once they are inhabited?

An Installation by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani

Exhibition underwriters: Related Apartment Preservation, 42nd Street Development Corporation, Barbara Stanton

Organized with: Center for Human Environments, Housing Environments Research Group, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Exhibition Announcements

Mercedes Benz Museum

Courtesy Yale University

Through 05.04.07
UN Studio: Evolution of Space

This exhibition showcases the revolutionary approach to construction and design developed by the Amsterdam-based firm UNStudio. Originating in the Deutsches Architektur Museum (German Architecture Museum), the show focuses on five projects that exemplify the firm’s prototype “design models,” or planning strategies, derived from digital technology. Included is a redevelopment project on Manhattan’s West Side representing their holistic “Deep Planning” approach; and the double-helix shape of the new Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart typifying a “Mathematical Model.” Ben van Berkel, director and co-founder with Caroline Bos of UNStudio, will deliver a public lecture at the School of Architecture on April 12.

Yale School of Architecture, Art & Architecture building, 180 York Street, New Haven, CT

Barcelona and Modernity: Gaudi to Dali

Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art

Through 06.03.07
Barcelona and Modernity: Gaudí to Dalí

The first comprehensive survey of its type ever mounted in America, this exhibition explores the diverse and innovative work of Barcelona’s artists, architects, and designers in the years between the Barcelona Universal Exposition of 1888 and the imposition of the Fascist regime of Francisco Franco in 1939. The exhibition, featuring some 300 works including decorative objects, furniture, architectural models, and designs, offers new insights into the art movements that advanced the city’s quest for modernity and confirmed it as the primary center of radical intellectual, political, and cultural activities in Spain.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Special Exhibition Galleries, The Tisch Galleries, 2nd floor, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street

Color Shift: Terraswarm

Courtesy GSAPP, Columbia University

03.19.07 through 04.30.07
Color Shift: Terraswarm

The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University has been working with Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch of Terraswarm to produce Color Shift. With the collaboration of Fresh Direct, owners of the largest video billboard in the U.S., Terraswarm has written an algorithm to generate a color field sequence replacing the billboard’s regular advertising feed. On a series of evenings in February and March 2007, the billboard was illuminated, transforming the urban area around it and the Queen’s grocery facility. The exhibition includes a set of videos and photography of the project.

Columbia University GSAPP, Avery Hall lower level, 2960 Broadway at 116th Street

Julia Mennone, The Sweet Spot – A Music Factory (atrium).

Julia Mennone, The Sweet Spot – A Music Factory (atrium).

Courtesy SVA Interior Design

03.27.07 through 04.04.07
Thesis 2007: SVA Interior Design

This group exhibition at The National Arts Club features functional designs for residential, corporate, and commercial spaces by 15 students graduating from the BFA Interior Design Department at the School of Visual Arts. Among the thesis projects on display: a sugar factory building transformed into a recording studio; a summer camp for kids that makes spending time indoors appealing any time of year; the re-design of a luxury cruise ship, and a hotel spa off Staten Island. Neville Lewis, National Arts Club Gold Medalist and Interior Design Hall of Fame member, and Anthony Lee, Design Director of Gary Lee Partners, curated the exhibition.

The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South



Thank you for all of the positive feedback about the new eOCULUS design. I received many comments, coming from as far as Scotland! I am continuing to make adjustments as each issue is published (notice the larger font size!), so please send me an e-mail with any comments/ suggestions and I will do my best to address them.
– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Earthly Reasons to Build Skyward

Event: The Sustainable Works of Foster + Partners: A Mixed Greens Lecture
Location: New York Academy of Sciences, 7 WTC, 02.22.07
Speaker: Brandon Haw – senior partner, Foster + Partners; Carol Willis – director, Skyscraper Museum (introduction)
Organizers: Skyscraper Museum; New York Academy of Sciences

Courtesy Foster + Partners

Will 200 Greenwich Street bring America to the forefront of green design?

Courtesy Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners’ designs emphasize a dialectic between the environment and technology, emphasized the firm’s senior partner, Brandon Haw. Recalling his own 1960s upbringing in an “art family” that treasured the off-the-grid principles of Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, Haw was naturally drawn to the early work of Sir Norman Foster, Hon. FAIA, and Buckminster Fuller. “Bucky’s dome could have been used for the Willis Faber building,” he commented. Some features of that forward-looking Foster-designed 1975 building have become staples of sustainable design and corporate communitarianism: a green roof, open-plan workspaces, escalator-based vertical transportation, and raised floors. Then-and-now photos show how little modification this building needed as its occupants adapted to computerization and other changes over three decades.

As widely as Foster’s designs have varied, they have implemented recurrent principles: functional cladding, external positioning of cores, and attention to the details of airflow, heat exchange, and light. A point-by-point system of ecological analysis from site to materials guides all Foster projects, skyscraper-scale and otherwise. It’s become common to preface discussions of green design strategies with Al Gore-style data graphics on global temperature, carbon dioxide, demographics, and resource use. Haw’s presentation of this material was bracing without being alarmist; he recognizes the urgency of curbing greenhouse emissions has reached cultural and economic realms, and he applauds businesses that recognize common interests linking carbon footprints, quality-of-life improvements for workers, and financial performance. Foster + Partners is dedicated to building tall as much for the anti-sprawl effects of high urban density as for the customary financial motives.

The triangular Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt (1997), arguably the first green skyscraper, treats German unions’ requirement that all workers be within 7.5 meters of a window as a productive constraint. Considering its central atrium space, “gardens in the sky,” and ample natural ventilation (used 85% of the year, improving on the original target of 65%), its internal offices are in higher demand than those facing outward. A mixed-use “vertical city” currently on the boards, the Moscow City Towers, will resemble “Commerzbank blown apart, turned inside out,” incorporating negative-pressure ventilation and energy systems that employ river water. For Aldar Central Market, a tower/souk complex in Abu Dhabi, the firm studied indigenous architecture to combine traditional heat-management strategies (sloping roofs, wind-catching chimneys) with modern photovoltaics and thermal tubes.

Similar structural and solar-energy-capturing strategies in the ill-fated 980 Madison tower ran into local opposition, but Haw promises the firm will return to the Upper East Side with a new design. Europeans have outpaced their U.S. counterparts in building green; Germany’s tight regulatory environment, in particular, makes eco-technology a priority in projects like the Reichstag, New German Parliament restoration, and the Free University in Berlin (the biomorphic “Berlin Brain”). The American architectural community’s focus on stylistic debates strikes Haw as frivolous, but he notes and hails rapid change on this side of the pond. Some years ago he remarked to colleagues, “We can’t tell the Americans what to do, but when they get it, they’ll get it big-time.” The Hearst Headquarters and similar buildings have proven Haw prophetic in that regard. Since Fuller and other Americans established green-design in the first place, it’s refreshing that we’re beginning to catch up.