In this issue:
·Library Dusts the Old and Shines the New
·SVA to offer a Master of Fine Arts in Design Criticism
·The Scent of Performance
·Be@Williams — a New Kind of Downtown Address
·A More Inviting Entrance for a Hospital

Library Dusts the Old and Shines the New

NYPL’s new SoHo branch.

NYPL’s new SoHo branch.

Rogers Marvel, courtesy NYPL

The New York Public Library opened its first SoHo branch in an 1886 building (originally a chocolate factory). The $6.1 million renovation, designed by Rogers Marvel Architects, made use of the building’s existing cast iron columns, underground vaults, and brick archways, and added new elements of wood and metal to create a dynamic contrast of old and new. The 12,000-square-foot, three-level library accommodates a wide range of library resources, including extensive collections and an advanced infrastructure for library technology. Design features include a dramatic stair that connects the spaces and brings natural light downstairs. The vaulted area outside the lower level windows is also lit, providing a subterranean view.

SVA to offer a Master of Fine Arts in Design Criticism
Beginning in the fall of 2008, the School of Visual Arts (SVA), will offer the country’s first graduate-level degree program dedicated to critical writing about design. The two-year, 64-credit curriculum will provide tools for researching, analyzing, evaluating, and chronicling all aspects of design. The program is for students who wish to write about design on a full-time, professional basis, or pursue alternative critical practices, such as curating, publishing, or teaching. Writer, critic, and educator Alice Twemlow, will chair the new department, and faculty will include writers and designers including Kurt Andersen, Paola Antonelli, Michael Bierut, Ralph Caplan, Peter Hall, Jessica Helfand, Karrie Jacobs, Julie Lasky, Cathy Leff, Phil Patton, and Steven Heller. For more information, see the SVA website.

The Scent of Performance

Fully Manicured Raw Spots

Fully Manicured Raw Spots, set design by Illya Azaroff, Assoc. AIA, Design Collective Studio.

Maribel/Liquid Video Artistry, Dixon Place 2007

The Design Collective Studio has designed the set for Fully Manicured Raw Spots, a performance choreographed by Wendy Blum of blum dance theatre, composed by Justin Mullens. Evolved from an investigation of the architecture of interruptions, according to Director of Design at the Design Collective Studio Illya Azaroff, Assoc. AIA, an interplay of crassness, vulnerability, and begrudging interdependence plays out in a quartet and two back-to-back duets. “Individual idiosyncrasies transform into aggressive buffoonery. The sounds and scents of popcorn, garlic, and onions being cooked onstage infuse the living room theater to rouse the link between smell and memory in this evening-length event. Among other things, the powerful aromas address one way of recalling dance by olfactory association.” Performances at Danspace will occur in March 2008.

Be@Williams — a New Kind of Downtown Address



Perkins Eastman

The latest addition to SDS Procida’s line of residential properties branded as “be@,” and geared for young, social, urban professionals has been completed at 90 Williams in the Financial District. The circa 1960s, 16-story office building was transformed by Perkins Eastman into a 113-unit boutique condominium residence. Throughout the 112,000-square-foot building, interior partitions were cleared for new apartment layouts, maximizing the building’s deep volume to create generous new spaces for loft-style studios, one-, and two-bedroom units. A new steel and glass penthouse rooftop addition houses a gym, recreation lounge, outdoor terrace, and outdoor bar. In addition to designing the interiors of the public amenity spaces and ground floor entrance lobby, the firm created the interiors of the model apartments.

A More Inviting Entrance for a Hospital

Columbia Memorial Hospital

Columbia Memorial Hospital entrance.

Donald Blair & Partners Architects

As part of their investment in new facilities and equipment, Columbia Memorial has completed its new front entrance addition, lobby, and central sterile/supply expansion, designed by Donald Blair & Partners Architects. The hospital, located in Hudson, NY, serves more than 100,000 residents in Columbia, Greene, and Dutchess counties. The previous hospital entry afforded visitors no protection from inclement weather, nor was it handicap-accessible. The new light-filled double-height entry space and lobby designed with aluminum, glass, and wood complements the hospital’s 1998 Emergency Department wing. Below the covered canopy area, the basement level was expanded providing space required for the central sterile/supply. The project was timed in conjunction with the construction of a new Medical Office Building, which is connected to the existing hospital and new entry way by a two level pedestrian link. The firm has been working with the hospital since 1999 and is responsible for the design of a patient wing, radiology renovation, and hospice renovation.

In this issue:
·Passings: Denis Glen Kuhn, FAIA, & Giorgio Cavaglieri, FAIA

Passings: Denis Glen Kuhn, FAIA, & Giorgio Cavaglieri, FAIA

Fuori di te nessuno lo ricordava
Non ho fatto ricerche: ora è inutile.
Dopo di te sono rimasto il solo
per cui egli è esistito. Ma è possibile,
lo sai, amare un-ombra, ombre noi stessi.

And no one remembered him except you.
I asked no questions; and now it’s useless.
I’m the only one after you
for whom he ever existed.
But it’s possible, you know, to love a shadow,
we ourselves being shadows.

From Tuo fratello morì giovane:
Eugenio Montale (1975 Nobel Laureate)

The obituaries for Giorgio Cavaglieri, FAIA, and Denis Kuhn, FAIA, were side-by-side in the New York Times Friday, May 18. Written by different writers, the intersecting lines of their lives were not noted in the parallel newsprint columns. Both were presidents of the AIA New York Chapter (Giorgio in 1970, Denis in 1989). Both cared passionately about the adaptive re-use of the architectural legacies found throughout our City, our cities. Both labored together and separately over projects in New York City and elsewhere, including the historic Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

Not mentioned in either obituary were their mutual respect and affection, and the fact that for over 15 years, Denis worked with Giorgio. Many called Denis “Giorgio’s right arm” at the time. Noted in Giorgio’s Times obituary was his fall, the tumble at age 93 “when he badly injured his right arm” and “then learned to paint watercolors with his left hand, fulfilling his first ambition to be a painter.” Giorgio painted his friends and colleagues, as did Denis in a different way, using words calmly and adroitly to diffuse tension and foster common purpose.

Outside Our Saviour Church in Manhasset where Denis was eulogized by friends and family on May 18, Stanton Eckstut, FAIA, his partner at Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, said that Denis resisted entreaties to slow down or take it easy, to not travel so much or not be so fully engaged in the life of the firm. Denis reportedly shrugged and asked what else would he do, what else was more important to do? Giorgio, too, kept his practice active until he was 93 years old. Two exemplary architects and leaders of the architectural profession, lost, sadly, at the same time.

In conversation, by note and by e-mail, their colleagues have sent remembrances. e-Oculus can be the vehicle for sharing these memories with others, starting with the following thoughts by Carl Galioto, FAIA, Nathan Jerry Maltz, AIA, LeAnn Shelton, Esq., AIA, Linda Yowell, FAIA, and Sarelle Weisberg, FAIA. Other remembrances are welcome and can be sent to e-Oculus.

Giorgio & Denis (Carl Galioto, FAIA, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)
Giorgio brought creativity, passion, intensity and professionalism into every effort within each project. He carried himself into client meetings with a sense of dignify and greater purpose that helped me to realize that the ideals that I developed in school were not sophomoric dreams that needed to be discarded once in the real world, but could be the fundamental principles of practice. I don’t believe that Giorgio believed that he had a small practice — just a compact one that projected large and important ideas about the rethinking and rebirth of significant historical buildings, and the importance of the relationship between people and their multi-generational, pan-historical urban fabric. It was a very rich and lively vision.

Denis brought humor, stability, pragmatism, and a sense of craft to the work. We needed the humor as there was Giorgio, Denis, five staff, and a receptionist working in a carefully designed space of under 1,000 square feet. At that early stage in my career, Denis was a model of competence and confidence and I admired his ability to seemingly always know the right answer. Even then, Denis was devoted to the AIA as he labored on editions of Oculus. Typical of Giorgio, he sincerely wished the people who worked for him great professional success as they moved and only saw the larger picture of our profession and his adopted city that he loved.

Giorgio (Nathan Jerry Maltz, AIA)
Giorgio Cavaglieri’s spirit was indomitable. At the age of 90 he was still operating his architectural office, and expressed disappointment that some potential clients were concerned about his being able to perform the work. He remained active in the New York region, sketching, painting, designing, and attending many events sponsored by the professional organizations of which he was a member.

Several years ago he suffered an embolism that partially paralyzed his right hand — he was right-handed. Somewhat chagrined, but undaunted, he embarked upon a new “career” of painting watercolors left-handed! He completed numerous lively portraits in his Central Park West apartment, many of his professional colleagues and friends.

His memory will live with us for a long time to come.

A few thoughts on Denis (LeAnn Shelton, Esq., AIA, Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn)
Punta Patilla is the northernmost point of the Dominican Republic. They say it is the first place that Christopher Columbus landed when he came to the New World. The site is almost indescribable — an expanse of ocean running into beaches framed by morning glory-covered dunes, mangrove trees, rolling hills and lush ravines. The program for the site, an eco-resort, was incidental. It was the perfect place for an architect, steeped in historic preservation, to spend his last moments, completing his life and career, imagining a place that would preserve paradise.

Giorgio’s Relevance Today (Linda Yowell, FAIA, Linda Yowell Architects)
“Architects, as professionals responsible for shaping the environment must utilize their skills to reduce pollution through conservation of energy and through design planning” (“Architects Urge Pollution Fight,” New York Times, April 25, 1971). A widely-held belief in 2007 — but daring in 1971, when Giorgio Cavaglieri, then AIANY President, made this statement at a press conference to promote energy conservation goals. The 1971 list of recommendations is remarkably similar to those included in Mayor Bloomberg’s 2030 sustainability plan, including calling for “the massive reduction of private cars from selected areas of the city.”

Giorgio led the way in adaptive reuse of buildings, perhaps the ultimate act of conservation. He respected the work of earlier generations but was not a historicist. By simply believing that good design, elegance, quality and respect for others were timeless, Giorgio Cavaglieri was always ahead of his time.

About Giorgio (Sarelle Weisberg, FAIA)
1. At one of the first AIA National Conventions I attended — it was in Kansas City — Giorgio invited me to go “on his arm” to the big party and I had such a fantastic evening! He knew everyone and they greeted him with great warmth. At that time he was an honored guest speaker at many conventions, discussing with and educating architects on adaptive reuse. He had submitted a proposal for the abandoned train station in Kansas City, which he showed me, but they didn’t move ahead with it, with him. I was in Kansas City last summer and that building now has a museum and a “destination” restaurant. (yes, adaptively reused — but not by Giorgio)

2. He did a wonderful restoration of the New York Public Library Fifth Avenue Periodical Room as the first major rehab/upgrade of that building’s major spaces. He told me at the time, when I complimented him in the space: “Every architect should have one client like that;” the Readers’ Digest people paid for the project and there was no budget limitation for Giorgio!

3. Just a year ago he painted my portrait — a watercolor — done with his good, left hand, in about an hour, in front of his glorious view-window. I regret I didn’t stop in more often, as I so often passed his building. His spirit was extraordinary, in light of the late tragedy of his fall.

4. Did you know, Giorgio did many Modern small projects? I know about several libraries in New York City neighborhoods. Also, by some odd serendipity, Denis Kuhn worked for a number of years for Giorgio before moving on to Cooper Eckstut. I doubt you want to mention that weird coincidence: that their obits were side-by-side in the Times — a generation apart.

It’s Open Season at Governors Island

Governors Island has published its Summer 2007 schedule. Opening June 2, visitors will be able to visit both Saturdays and Sundays through September 2. The Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC), along with the National Park Service (NPS), will provide a variety of public activities that will showcase the Island’s historic past and future. Summer programming will kick-off with a Family Festival on June 2, and includes a Saturday concert series in July and August, a cultural festival, musical and theatrical performances, among other activities. For the first time, the entire 92-acre National Historic District will be open for visitors with tours provided by NPS. For more information, click the link.

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum announced the winners and finalists of the 2007 National Design Awards. NY-based firms and designers: in Interior Design, the winner was Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, with finalists David Rockwell, AIA, and Tsao & McKown Architects. Enrique Norten, Hon. FAIA, was a finalist in Architecture Design. In Communications Design, finalists were C&G Partners and Paula Scher. In Landscape Design, finalists were Field Operations and Ken Smith, ASLA. And the Design Patron winner was Maharam

The NYC Department of Buildings received the 2007 Sheldon Oliensis Ethics in City Government Award, an annual award given by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB) to a New York City agency that demonstrates a commitment to the promotion of ethics and integrity…

NYU has selected a team to partner with in its strategic planning initiative, NYU 200, including SMWM, Grimshaw Architects, Toshiko Mori Architect, and The Olin Partnership.

The Cincinnati Art Museum announced the short list for its campus enhancement
and expansion project including NY firms Diller Scofidio + Renfro and
Smith-Miller & Hawkinson

NELSON, an international architecture, interior design, strategies, workplace services, engineering and information services firm, has reached an agreement in principle to merge with two NY-based firms, A/R Environetics Group and Furnstahl & Simon Architects… Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (SHCA) has named John Jappen a Principal of the firm…

James Estrin/The New York Times/Redux

Mayor Bloomberg shakes hands with Chris Garvin, AIA, COTE co-chair at his Earth Day presentation of plaNYC 2030.

James Estrin/The New York Times/Redux


This year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair included a bar and lounge, ICFFscape, designed by Parsons the New School for Design students.

Courtesy Parsons the New School for Design


On the 70th birthday of Bruce Fowle, FAIA, FXFowle held a party. In his honor, a poem was presented. Here is a snippet: We owe Bruce Fowle much thanks tonight. / Bringing us together seems so Wright. / Let’s raise our glass with a cheering howl. / And acknowledge the “Fellowship of Fowle.”

Courtesy FXFowle Architects

Bruce Fowle, FAIA

Bruce Fowle, FAIA, blows out the candles on his birthday.

Courtesy FXFowle Architects

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.
09.07.07 Winter 2007-08: Power & Patronage

08.17.07 Registration Extension: 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.

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

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.


May 31-August 25, 2007

The Park at the Center of the World: Five Visions for Governors Island

Galleries: Edgar A. Tafel Hall

Five Visions for Governors Island

The exhibition features five landscape architecture and architecture teams selected to present their design visions for the future open spaces on Governors Island, the 172 acre Island off the tip of Manhattan. Governors Island’s open space will include the two mile Great Promenade that provides outstanding views of Lower Manhattan and New York Harbor, a new park, and restoration of the landscape in the Island’s National Historic District. Showcasing conceptual and illustrative designs by the five teams for the open space of Governors Island, the exhibition provides a platform for public feedback before the jury will take place in late June 2007. A design team will be selected by mid summer.

Exhibition related programming organized by American Institute of Architects Planning & Urban Design Committee , American Society of Landscape Architects New York Chapter, Center for Architecture Foundation and Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC)

Exhibition Designer: Freecell
Exhibition Graphics: WSDIA | WeShouldDoItAll

For a list of the teams click here.

June 2nd – September 2nd on Governors Island
Governors Island is open for visitors every Saturday and Sunday. (For ferry schedule and other information log onto

Sponsored by: Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC)

Related Events

Opening Thursday, May 31, 2007, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Panel Discussion Monday, June 11, 2007, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Public Forum
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Fashion Institute of Technology
Reeves Great Hall
27 th Street at 7 th Avenue

Thursday, June 21, 2007 and
Wednesday June 27, 2007, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Park Design Tours organized by the Governors Island Alliance
For more information click here

Panel discussion with winning team date tba

Saturday, August 11, 2007, 9:45 – 11:30 AM
Governors Island Walking Tour & Scavenger Hunt
To Register: 212.358.6133

April 9-July 7, 2007

2007 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards

Galleries: Kohn Pedersen Fox Gallery, HLW Gallery, South Gallery, Edgar A. Tafel Hall

A showcase of the 2007 award-winning projects in three categories-Architecture, Interiors, and Projects. Selected from hundreds of international, national and local submissions, these projects spotlight the extraordinary achievements in architectural design excellence happening in New York City and around the world.

Exhibition and Graphic Design: Graham Hanson Design

Organized by: AIA New York Chapter and the AIA New York Chapter Design Awards Committee

Benefactor: DIRTT,
Oldcastle Glass




Microsol Resources,
F.J. Sciame Construction,
Laticrete International,



Microsol Resources


Laticrete International


Lead Sponsor: Certified of New York, Inc., Columbia, KI, Langan, Mancini Duffy, Richter + Ratner, Syska & Hennessy

Cert Columbia KI Langan
Mancini Duffy Richter + Ratner Syska & Hennessy  

Atkinson Koven Feinberg; Bauerschmidt & Sons, Inc.; Bentley Prince Street; Beyer Blinder Belle: Architects and Planners; Cosentini Associates; Costas Kondylis & Partners; Forest City Ratner Companies; FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS; Gensler; Gilsanz Murray Steficek; Haworth; Hopkins Foodservice Specialists, Inc.; The I. Grace Company, Inc.; Ingram, Yuzek, Gainen, Caroll & Bertolotti; Lutron; Mechoshade Systems; New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies: The Real Estate Institute; Perkins + Will; Peter Marino Architect; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Steelcase, Inc.; Studio Daniel Libeskind; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; Thornton-Tomasetti Group; Turner Construction

April 12–June 23, 2007

NY 150+: A Timeline
Ideas, Civic Institutions, and Futures

Galleries: Gerald D. Hines Gallery

AIA 150 Logo

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the American Institute of Architects in New York City, the AIA New York Chapter will feature an exhibition charting the transformation of the city and the profession from 1857 through the present and into the future. Genetic lines tracing the founding of the institute will intersect with various democratic and social movements and the architecture of New York’s civic structures.

Curator: Diane Lewis

Organized by: Organized by the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation

Exhibition Underwriters:

*opening presented by Ibex

The exhibition is supported in part by an Arnold W. Brunner grant from the AIA New York Chapter

Additional support is provided by: Peter Schubert, AIA; FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 6:00 – 8:00pm, CES 1.5, HSW
NHNY: Best Practices for Affordable Sustainable Housing –
What worked, what didn’t?

Making Green Design More Accessible

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

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

Maison Tropicale

Jean Prouvé’s Maison Tropicale in front of the Queensboro Bridge.

Stas’ Kmiec’

05.17.07 through 06.04.07
Jean Prouvé’s Maison Tropicale

This public exhibition of French designer Jean Prouvé’s 1951 prototype Maison Tropicale is set at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge on the banks of the East River in Long Island City. One of the designer’s visionary pre-fabricated constructions, the Maison Tropicale will be auctioned at Christie’s New York on June 5 and is estimated to realize between $4 to $6 million. For directions or more information please contact Christie’s press office at 212.636.2680 or Stas’ Kmiec’ by e-mail or at 212.889.0808.

41-98 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, 11101

Agora Gallery

“Like Ulysses, we have always to look for new adventures.”

Agora Gallery

06.01.07 through 06.21.07
Javier Irturbe: Architect and Painter

Javier Iturbe is a self-taught artist whose work expresses his personal philosophy. Buildings, figures, violins, butterflies, and other elements interlock and overlap to create a metaphorical pastiche. Born in Bilboa, Spain, in 1945, Iturbe’s paintings are bold in color and form and resemble a sprawling jigsaw puzzle. While the characters and forms are easy to discern, interpreting the relationship between them is usually left up to the viewer.

Agora Gallery

530 West 25th Street, Chelsea

Families on the Move

Families on the Move. Thesis Spring 2007. Graduating student Rebecca Casbon, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union.

Steven Hillyer

Through 06.28.07
The Cooper Union’s End of Year Show

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture presents a five-week exhibition of student works ranging from architectural drawings and detailed scale models to computer aided renderings of famous sites and emerging developments.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
7 East 7th Street, NYC

Isaiah Patrick

Isaiah Patrick’s fabrication.

Ben Pell

Through 07.18.07
Fabrication, On Display

This exhibition explores the roles of material, form, and decoration in defining the relationships between the viewer and the viewed, display and displayed, in the conventional gallery environment. It features full-scale, digitally fabricated prototypes produced by graduate students at the Yale School of Architecture in an elective seminar taught by Ben Pell.

Municipal Art Society
7 Madison Avenue at East 51st Street

New Yorkers Set Example at AIA Convention

Event: AIA 2007 National Convention and Design Expo
Location: San Antonio, TX, 05.02-05.07

AIA 2007 National Convention

Architects convene in San Antonio for the AIA 2007 National Convention.

Carolyn Sponza; Jeremy Edmunds

“Our theme of ‘Growing Beyond Green’ was chosen before the general public came to its new understanding of the threat climate change poses to our future,” AIA President RK Stewart, FAIA, said at this year’s AIA National Convention. Attracting 21,640 registrants, and 844 exhibitors, architects gathered in San Antonio for four days of panels, exhibitions, programs, and parties. With such a broad line-up (see the last issue’s list of events of interest to New Yorkers “Big Apple Tour of San Antonio“), here are just some of the highlights from the weekend.

Many AIANY Chapter members conducted or orchestrated seminars and symposia. One of the best attended was, “New York New Visions: Success or Failure?” led by Mark Strauss, FAIA, AICP, and Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, on Lower Manhattan and New York New Visions. The panel also included Alexander Garvin, Hon. AIA, APA, and Rosalie Genevro of The Architectural League of New York.

“Advocacy Tactics for a Sustainable Endgame: The Politics of Sustainability” was a seminar which stressed that many sustainability problems can only be solved with significant help from the political arena. Progress demands political savvy. Understanding and respect for the roles of federal, state, and local governments in regulating land use and other uses such as energy and transportation systems is vital. So said the speakers, who should know. John Norquist, Hon. AIA, was the mayor of Milwaukee from 1988 to 2004 before becoming president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism. The Hon. Richard Swett, FAIA, is a former Congressman and former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark. Moderating was New York’s Jeremy Edmunds, Associate AIA, PE, LEED-AP, a sustainability advisor to brownfields redeveloper Cherokee Northeast.

AIANY members were also recipients of major awards at the Convention. One high point was the room filled with thousands of well-wishers applauding Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, who received the Topaz Medallion. Mary Barnes and John Barnes were also present to accept the Gold Medal award posthumously for Edward Larrabee Barnes, FAIA.

New Fellows were elevated at a most memorable location — the plaza in front of the Alamo. This year nine AIANY members received Fellowship: Mustafa Kemal Abadan, FAIA; Roger Duffy, FAIA; Frank J. Greene, FAIA; Paul Katz, FAIA; Blake Middleton, FAIA; Margaret Rietveld, FAIA; Henry Stolzman, FAIA; Calvin Tsao, FAIA; and Adam Yarinsky, FAIA. Nationwide, 76 new Fellows were individually recognized, along with honorary international Fellows.

The proposal entitled “On the Water, a Model for the Future: a Study of New York and New Jersey Upper Bay” was presented with the $100,000 Latrobe Prize. Awarded every other year by the AIA’s College of Fellows, the focus this year is on NYC’s harbor, but the findings can serve as a model for any waterfront area. The objective of On the Water is to rethink the relationship between ecology and infrastructure. Heading the team is Guy Nordenson, structural engineering professor at Princeton University School of Architecture, founder of NY-based Guy Nordenson and Associates, and former partner at ARUP. Team members are Princeton University’s Stan Allen, AIA, Catherine Seavitt, AIA, and James Smith; Michael Tantala of Tantala Associates; and Adam Yarinsky, FAIA, and Stephen Cassell, AIA, of the Architecture Research Office.

Speaking of politics, for most convention-goers the high point was the plenary session at which Al Gore spoke of environmental possibilities and the role of architects and buildings in preventing further environmental degradation. The line was long, as was the speech — accomplished with only the most minimal notes and prompts.

Off-site from the Convention Center, the “New Practices New York” showcase exhibition opened at the Blue Star Contemporary Arts gallery in the trendy King William district. With a re-installation (thanks to Häfele hardware) of last July’s exhibition at NYC’s Center for Architecture, many architectural personages, including Gaéton Siew, President of the International Union of Architects, attended the exhibition’s opening. Students and gallery-hoppers alike voiced enthusiasm for the program.

At a national level, delegates elected Marvin J. Malecha, FAIA, as the Institute’s 2009 president. Peter J. Arsenault, AIA, and Clark Manus, FAIA will each serve a two-year term as vice president, and Hal P. Munger, FAIA, will act as treasurer beginning this year.

The AIA 2008 National Convention and Design Expo themed “We the People” will be held May 15-17, 2008, in Boston. For more information about next year’s exhibition contact AIA Infocentral at 1-800-242-3837. To see photographs from the weekend, check out Sighted.