In this issue:
·Timeline Preserves American Women of Architecture
·Foundation Teaches Teachers How to Look at Architecture
·Passing: David Mandl, AIA
·NYC Housing Authority Lights Way in Brooklyn
·DOB Recruits Team to Monitor Construction
·OHNY Weekend 2007 Needs You
·Book Draws Line Between Computers and Pencils
·DVDs Highlight Trends in Senior Housing
Timeline Preserves American Women of Architecture
The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation has launched the American Women of Architecture — Timeline and interactive archive. The foundation’s mission is to expand knowledge and recognition of women’s contributions to architecture broadly defined to include landscape design, interior design, and urban design. The timeline is the first stage of an overall attempt to celebrate the names, biographies, and work of women who have contributed to the development of American architecture in the 20th century.
This is an open, collaborative effort. Once users register, they are able to add or edit data about a particular individual, or submit entries to a general bibliography on women in architecture. To participate click the link.
Foundation Teaches Teachers How to Look at Architecture
The Center for Architecture Foundation was host to Lincoln Center Institute’s (LCI) Summer Session workshop, Architecture: Faces of Urban Change. On July 19, 10 teachers gathered at the Center for Architecture to learn about using architecture as a way of exploring Aesthetic Education methodology.
Maggie Reilly, the LCI Education Partner helped develop a workshop using University Village (Silver Towers), designed by I.M. Pei, FAIA (1996), as the focus of the day-long study. Through the introduction to the concept of figure/ground, participants were asked to sculpt building massings out of modeling clay. From this, they were able to explore how the nearly identical towers were grouped to maximize views, and how they relate to Bleecker Street and La Guardia Place while intentionally turning their back to West Houston Street. With the close inspection of Pei’s refined use of concrete and attention to detail, participants also discovered the careful site planning that maintains the street grid through pedestrian rights of way, a complex procession from the public realm to private space. Many had walked by the buildings “thousands of times” without realizing the merits of the complex’s design.
The investigation led to inquiries about why the buildings of University Village were built at their particular location. Participants researched the historical context of the site by analyzing maps, photographs, and books. A walking tour of the South Village helped answer many questions relating to the growth and decline of the neighborhood, the impact of urban renewal, and the role Robert Moses had in shaping this diverse urban landscape.
Passing: David Mandl, AIA
It is with deep sorrow that Meltzer/Mandl Architects shares the loss of David Mandl, AIA. After a near two-year fight with pancreatic cancer, Mandl passed away on August 4. As a skilled negotiator, he challenged colleagues to dig deeper and to fortify the substance of their designs, arguments, and reasoning. Those who knew him observed that Mandl had a unique sense of humor, razor-sharp intellect, close attention to detail, and the ability to command a room with his knowledge. Above all, Mandl had the special ability to encourage and inspire as a mentor.
Mandl was a pioneer in the field of adaptive re-use. Through his hard work, historic and other types of buildings that had been neglected or misused received new life and were given a new role in the fabric of the city. Mandl was versed in the complex matrix of NYC Department of Buildings’ (DOB) regulatory processes. At 45 Wall Street, Mandl and partner Marvin Meltzer, AIA, were the first architects to convert a downtown office building to a residence employing “Professional Certification,” a flagship DOB design review process. As a member of the NYC Model Building Code Program, Mandl’s knowledge was used to assess the impact of integrating higher standards of safety for residential buildings throughout the city.
A memorial service will be held in early October. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his honor to: The Pratt Institute — School of Architecture (210 Willoughby St., Suite 219, Brooklyn, NY 11205) where a future scholarship will be established in his name.
NYC Housing Authority Lights Way in Brooklyn
Saving money and electricity while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air is as easy as substituting one light bulb for another. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is doing just that with a new pilot program recently launched at Boulevard and Linden Houses in the New Lots section of Brooklyn. As part of the Con Edison Electricity Demand Reduction Program, 12,000 standard light bulbs in the developments’ apartments, stairwells, and stairways are being replaced with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). The new bulbs will cost NYCHA almost nothing — Con Ed is subsidizing the program. More to the point, they will reduce the demand for electricity during the hottest summer months, when the need for electricity is greatest.
Eventually, the program will expand to cover 75 developments in the borough. When that happens, NYCHA will be responsible for reducing the amount of electricity used by an estimated 15,700,000 kilowatt-hours per year, according to Public Energy Solutions Vice-President Jay Roemer. The Linden/Boulevard project alone will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 366,000 pounds a year.
Note: The program may seem progressive, but read or re-read Linda G. Miller’s article, “How Many Scientists Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? Read On” in this issue.
DOB Recruits Team to Monitor Construction
NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster, FAIA, plans to recruit 67 new employees to serve on special operations teams and supplement existing units charged with raising the bar for construction safety standards citywide. Using multi-disciplinary enforcement tactics to stop repeat offenders and abuses of construction site regulations, the new special operations teams and staff expand the DOB’s enforcement presence in the field, enhance the quality of its services, and crack down on builders who flout the law. The DOB is now accepting applications from those interested in joining the agency as an architect, engineer, inspector, lawyer, analyst, or investigator, and working to carry out the DOB’s Special Enforcement Plan. To learn more about the positions, log onto the DOB website and follow the link to “Career Opportunities.”
OHNY Weekend 2007 Needs You
This year marks the fifth annual openhousenewyork (OHNY) weekend, presented by Target, an event that opens doors city-wide to buildings, memorials, and landmarks. Volunteers are needed to assist site and program coordinators and help facilitate the weekend. They must be at least 18-years-old and attend one two-hour training session. For more information about OHNY, visit the website. Contact Audrey to volunteer. If you are interested in opening a site to the public for the weekend, which will take place October 6 and 7, contact Jessica to be included in the online program guide.
Book Draws Line Between Computers and Pencils
Cinemetrics: Architecture Drawing Today, by Brian McGrath, associate professor, and Jean Gardner, senior faculty, Parsons The New School for Design, is the first guidebook for computer-generated architectural drawing based on understanding how digital drawing fundamentally differs from mechanical drawing.
Cinemetrics assumes digital imaging technologies are the everyday experience of today’s media-saturated public. Architectural drawing is reconceived as a multi-dimensional informational system. The book is a basic text for multiple disciplines, including digital drawing courses at all levels; architectural, interior, landscape and urban design studios; architectural history and theory classes; foundation courses in art, design, and architecture; and film and media studies. For more information on Cinemetrics click the link.
DVDs Highlight Trends in Senior Housing
A series of educational DVDs on new trends in nursing homes/retirement villages aimed at architects, designers, investors, industry executives, town planers, and government officials is now available. The series highlights the best designs and buildings from more than 20 countries in the following categories: Nursing Homes; Design for Assisted Living, World’s Best Practice; Dementia/Memory Support; Continuous Care Retirement Communities; Retirement Villages; Active Adult Communities; and Rental/Serviced Apartments for Seniors. For more information or to order, please click here.