Gruzen Samton Architects won two awards for its design of Eleven80, a luxury housing project in downtown Newark — Urban Land Institute’s 2008 Award of Excellence: The Americas Competition, and a Smart Growth Award from New Jersey Future… Other ULI winners include the Overture Center for the Arts by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, and finalist Avalon Chrystie Place/Bowery Place by Arquitectonica and SLCE Architects

Hospitality Design magazine’s fourth annual Hospitality Design Awards include these NY-based firms: The Royalton, Luxury Hotel finalist by R Wade Johnson Design Architecture (architecture) with Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors (public spaces) and Charlotte Macaux Perelman of Studio CMP (guestrooms); Hyatt New Brunswick, Mid-range or Economy Hotel finalist by Stonehill & Taylor Architects and Planners; Jumeirah Essex House South Gate, Casual or Quick-service Restaurant finalist by tonychi and associates (interiors) and Stonehill & Taylor Architects and Planners (architecture); Townline BBQ, Casual or Quick-service Restaurant winner by CCS Architecture; FR.OG, Bathroom winner by Coffinier Ku Design; The Lucida Sales and Design Center, Green Design finalist by S. Russell Groves; and Fine Dining Restaurant finalists include Bourbon Steak by AvroKO, STK Los Angeles by iCRAVE, Belvedere Club and Matsuhisa by The Rockwell Group, which also won in the category for Nobu InterContinental Hong Kong…

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has awarded 136 Fellowships to 144
New York artists; in the category of Architecture/Environmental Structures:
Stella Betts and David Leven, AIA; Eric Bunge, AIA, and Mimi Hoang (Lily Auchincloss Fellow); Lishan Chang; Ian Gordon, and Eva Perez de Vega; Joanne Howard; Omar Khan; Michael Morris and Yoshiko Sato; Robert Pyzocha; Ann Reichlin; Jean Shin; and Brett Snyder…The ACE (architects, constructors, engineers) Mentor Program of Greater New York announced 58 four-year scholarship awards totaling $179,000 to graduates of the 2008 program; for a complete list of recipients please click here (excel file)…

The participating organizations for the U.S. Pavilion for the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale include NY-based groups: Center for Urban Pedagogy, Gans Studio, Jonathan Kirschenfeld Associates, and Spatial Information Design Lab

The Queens Botanical Garden Visitor & Administration Center, designed by BKSK Architects, has officially received LEED Platinum certification…

David Owen Tryba, FAIA, is the winner of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation’s Richard Blinder Award (underwritten by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, Mrs. Richard Blinder, and donations made to the Fitch Foundation in memory of Richard Blinder)… The book Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, 1954-1959, by Jane King Hession and Debra Pickrel received the 2008 Independent Publishers Book Awards’ Gold Medal in the Architecture category…

Vin Cipolla, the current President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Park Foundation, has been named President of the Municipal Art Society… The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has appointed Shohei Shigematsu, currently the director of OMA*AMO in NY, as partner of the OMA Holding company… Meredith Berman Lovejoy, Assoc. AIA, has joined Perkins Eastman as marketing manager…

Material ConneXion is opening its fifth international location, this one in Korea…

06.10.08: openhousenewyork (OHNY) hosted a walking tour of Governors Island guided by the Governors Island Preservation & Education Corporation (GIPEC) and Rogers Marvel Architects.

(L-R): Robert Rogers, FAIA, principal of Rogers Marvel Architects; Leslie Koch, president of GIPEC; Margaret Sullivan, acting executive director of OHNY; Guido Hartray, associate at Rogers Marvel Architects.

Courtesy openhousenewyork

Oculus 2008 Editorial Calendar
If you are an architect by training or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, note that OCULUS editors are looking for writers for the Winter issue. The theme:

Competing for Space. Explore the growing competition between expansionist institutions on limited sites and the interests of adjacent communities, many in residential areas with moderate-income families.

If you’re interested, please contact OCULUS editor-in-chief Kristen Richards. with a brief outline and full contact information.

08.01.08 Winter 2008-09: Competing for Space

07.01.08 Call for Submissions: AIA COTE Whitepapers
The Committee on the Environment (COTE) seeks Whitepaper submissions from architectural educators, practitioners, and colleagues from allied professions. Authors are invited to submit 200-600-word abstracts and selected authors will receive $1,000. If commissioned, authors will have three months to produce papers that will be published on the COTE website and Soloso. They will also be featured as the lead story in an issue of COTEnotes, which goes out to 9,000 AIA COTE members. COTE will accept submissions year-round and will review the submissions on a quarterly basis.

07.15.08 Call for Entries: IDP Outstanding Firm Award
This program honors firms who make it a priority to nurture interns on the path to licensure. Expanded in January 2008, the award recognizes firms employing interns that meet 12 essential criteria with the “IDP Firm Award,” including mentoring, supervising, training opportunities, commitment to IDP, and ARE support.

07.23.08 Call for Entries: Skuuma Soft Surface Design Competition 2008
SKUUMA invites designers to create home or office products with foam (polyurethane) and special coating as a component. Five winners’ designs will be
added to the SKUUMA collection and the designers will receive royalties.

07.31.08 Call for Entries: Lifecycle Building Challenge 2
Organized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the AIA, and the Building Materials Reuse Association, this national competition is intended to spur innovations on front-end design for adaptability and disassembly, to conserve resources, and promote local building materials reuse. The competition categories are Building (Built and Unbuilt) and Innovations. This year, special recognition awards will also be given in the following categories: Best Greenhouse Gas Reducing Design, Best School Design (K-13), and Best Residential Design.

08.01.08 Call for Entries: Spark Awards
Designers from all levels and skill-sets are welcome to enter this two-phased competition. Graphics, product, transportation, and architecture are a few of the many design categories. Expert and independent judges from design and related fields evaluate submitted designs.

Center for Architecture 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.


June 23 — September 14, 2008

Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion Study Center

Galleries: Libary

The Dymaxion Study Center will display over four hundred volumes of books by and about visionary inventor and theorist, Buckminster Fuller, whose work has influenced generations of architects and environmentalists. These volumes will include the complete and extremely rare set of Buckminster Fuller’s Synergetics Dictionary edited by Ed Applewhite, as well as other well-known works by Fuller, such as Synergetics and Nine Chains to the Moon. The Study Center will include selections from Fuller’s “live book squad” of influential texts and a Dymaxion timeline, outlining the evolution of Fuller’s geodesic designs in the context of their co-evolution with the Dymaxion map, organized in collaboration with Bonnie DeVarco, former Fuller Archivist and Shoji Sadao, President of Fuller and Sadao PC.

On Monday, June 23rd, 2008, the Center for Architecture will also unveil the Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, courtesy of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and Max Protetch Gallery, New York, in conjunction with NYC Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program and Friends of LaGuardia Place. The dome will be temporarily displayed at LaGuardia Park between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets. Its presence will draw attention to the imminent re-design of the park by landscape architect, Adrian Smith, ASLA, working with students and Friends of LaGuardia Place.

“The Fly’s Eye domes are designed as components of a ’livingry’ service. The basic hardware components will produce a beautiful, fully equipped, air-deliverable house that weighs and costs about as much as a good automobile. Not only will it be highly efficient in its use of energy and materials, it also will be capable of harvesting incoming light and wind energies.” – Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path, 1983.

The Center for Architecture’s Dymaxion Study Center will offer audiences an in-depth view of Buckminster Fuller, his influences, his words, and works.

Organized by: AIA New York Chapter and the Center for
Architecture Foundation in association with the Buckminster Fuller Institute

Exhibition and Graphic Design: Project Projects

Underwriters: NYC Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art

Friends of LaGuardia Place, Center for Architecture
Lead Sponsors: Spring Scaffolding

Sponsor: Richter+Ratner

Supporters: New York University; Purchase College, State University of
New York
Media Sponsor: Metropolis Magazine

Related Events

Monday, June 23, 2008, 2:00 — 5:00pm

Buckminster Fuller Challenge Conferring Ceremony

Monday, June 23, 2008, 5:00 — 7:00pm

Reception and Opening of Dymaxion Study Center and Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome

Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 12:00 — 2:00pm

Dialogue: Fuller’s architectural partners

Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 2:00 — 4:00pm

Dialogue, Fuller’s associates

Thursday, June 26, 2008, 5:00 — 8:00pm

Dymaxion Study Center Roundtable

Friday, June 27, 2008, 6:00 — 8:00pm

Fuller Film Series & Discussion

Saturday, June 28, 2008, 11:00 — 1:00pm

Dymaxion Map Intergenerational Workshop: One Earth Island – One Earth Ocean (Session I)

Saturday, June 28, 2008, 2:00 — 4:00pm

Dymaxion Map Intergenerational Workshop: One Earth Island – One Earth Ocean (Session II)

Saturday, July 12, 2008, 10:00 — 12:00pm

FamilyDay@theCenter: Bucky’s Ge-Odyssey (Session I)

Saturday, July 12, 2008, 1:00 — 3:00pm

FamilyDay@theCenter: Bucky’s Ge-Odyssey (Session II)

May 22 — September 6, 2008

Ecotones: mitigating NYC’s contentious sites

Galleries: Margaret Helfand Gallery, Gerald D Hines Gallery, Public Resource Center

Given the global and local challenges of climate change, the Landscape Architecture profession is at the forefront of New York City’s sustainability efforts. Collaborating with governments, regulatory agencies, community groups, and design professionals, Landscape Architects are transforming ecological problems into opportunities for habitation and recreation. With Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s sustainability plan, plaNYC, in place, the challenge is to understand the interconnectedness of the City’s green spaces.

Ecotones are transition zones between adjacent ecosystems. In urban environments they emerge as contentious sites located between disparate or opposing forces: where industry meets the river; where community and industrial uses collide; where public and private interests merge. These areas are often the unconsidered result of infrastructure improvements and building developments yet have the potential to be cultural and ecological mitigators. The projects in this exhibition show us how sustainable practices, specifically, the collecting, cleansing, and reclaiming of water, can be used to mediate conflicting circumstances, integrating technical solutions with the social and cultural considerations that make for vibrant urban spaces.

Organized by the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation in collaboration with the American Society of Landscape Architects New York Chapter

Curator: Tricia Martin

Exhibition Design: Moorhead & Moorhead

Graphic Design: PS New York

Patron: Alcan Composites USA

H.I. Interior Corp

Duggal Visual Solutions

Supporters: Delta Fountains; H.M. White Site Architects; Landscape Forms; Langan Engineering and Environmental Services; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Landscape Architects

Friends: EDAW; Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture; Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; Sawyer/Berson, Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Related Events

Saturday, July 26, 2008, 11:00am — 5:00pm

organized by the ASLA New York Chapter

2008 Design Awards

May 1 — June 28, 2008

Design Awards & Building Type Awards 2008

Galleries: Kohn Pedersen Fox Gallery, HLW Gallery

The AIA New York Chapter 2008 Design Awards exhibition is a showcase of the 2008 award-winning projects in three categories — Interiors, Architecture, and Projects. Selected from international, national and local submissions, these projects spotlight the extraordinary achievements in architectural design excellence in New York City and around the world.

The AIA New York Chapter 2008 Biennial Building Type Awards program has been established to recognize excellence and innovation in specialized design fields and to honor the architects, clients, and consultants who work together to improve the built environment. The 2008 design categories are: Educational Facility Design, Sustainable Design, and Urban Design. The program is co-sponsored with the Boston Society of Architects.

Design Awards 2008 is organized by the AIA New York Chapter and the AIA New York Chapter Design Awards Committee.

Building Type Awards 2008 is co-sponsored by the AIA New York Chapter and the Boston Society of Architects. The 2008 program was organized in collaboration with the following AIA New York Chapter Committees: Architecture for Education, Committee on the Environment, and Planning & Urban Design.

Exhibition Design: Graham Hanson Design

The 2008 Design Awards Program was made possible with support from the following organizations:







Lead Sponsors


Consulting for Architects



Lutron Electronics

Mancini Duffy

RMJM Hillier

Robert A.M. Stern Architects

STUDIOS architecture

Turner Construction Corporation

Related Events

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 6:00 — 8:00pm

Design Awards Winners’ Symposium: Projects Winners

June 13 — August 23, 2008

Building Connections: 12th Annual Exhibition of K-12 Design Work

Join us in celebrating our young designers! This annual exhibition of K-12 explorations into the built environment showcases models and drawings from Learning By Design:NY, our school based residency program, as well as work from our youth programs at the Center for Architecture.

Exhibition Design: Arquitectonica
Exhibition Graphics: Casey Maher

Exhibition organized by the Center for Architecture Foundation and the AIA New York.

Building Connections was made possible with generous support from the following organizations:

Sponsor: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel; Robert A. M. Stern Architects

Supporters: Ingram, Yuzek, Gainen, Carroll & Bertolotti; Robert Silman Associates

Friends: Archetype Associates; Baldinger; Bentley Prince Street; Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design; Fisher Marantz Stone; InterfaceFLOR; Langan Engineering and Environmental Services; Murray Engineering; Petty Burton Associates; Pustorino, Puglisi & Co.; RMJM Hillier; Tamarkin Architecture; Weidlinger Associates; Linda Yowell, FAIA

Related Events

Friday, June 13, 2008, 5:30 — 8:30pm

Exhibition Opening

Special Live Performance at 8pm: Care Bears on Fire

Spend the Summer@theCenter!
For more information go to, or contact 212.358.6133 or

Green Roof for a Green Planet, Saturday, June 7, 10:00 – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00
Bucky’s Maps, Saturday, July 12, 10:00 – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00

Explore Governor’s Island, Saturday, August 9, Meet at 9:45am at the Ferry Building

Exhibition Announcements

Solar Pavilion 3.

Situ Studio

06.26.08 through 06.29.08
Situ Studio: Solar Pavilion 3

Situ Studio has been commissioned to design Solar Pavilion 3, the third in a series of eco-friendly pavilions for Solar One’s annual CitySol Festival. Over the past three years Stuyvesant Cove Park has been the site of a series of experiments in sustainable design.

CitySol, Stuyvesant Cove Park
23rd Street at the East River

“What My Dad Gave Me.”

Courtesy Tishman Speyer Properties

Through 07.10.08
Chris Burden: What My Dad Gave Me

On view is a 65-foot, 16,000-pound skyscraper made entirely of replica toy construction parts. By artist Chris Burden, the sculpture rises more than six stories at Rockefeller Center, and pays homage to the historic skyscrapers.

Rockefeller Center, Channel Gardens
5th Avenue between 49 and 50th Streets

The Futuro Lounge.

Matthew Septimus, courtesy P.S.1

Through 09.15.08
Arctic Hysteria: New Art from Finland

This intergenerational and interdisciplinary exhibition features 16 Finnish artists. It includes drawings, films, architecture, sculpture, and photography. The show’s pivotal installation is a room-size homage to the1968 Futuro house by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen that serves as a screening room for several video pieces and documentaries.

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City

P.F.1 at P.S. 1.

Courtesy WORKac

Through 10.20.08
Public Farm One (P.F.1): WORKac
Public Farm One (PF1) is an architectural installation bringing an interactive, working farm to the P.S.1 courtyard. Conceived by WORK Architecture Company (WORKac), P.F.1 was selected as the competition winning entry of the 2008 MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program. Leslie E. Robertson Associates collaborated as the structural engineer. Constructed from recyclable materials, it is the first project at P.S. 1 to engage issues of sustainability. Comprised of large cardboard tubes, the design extends vertically beyond the courtyard walls. Planters housed within the tubes contain a variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers visible from above and below the installation.

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City

Columbia University Expansion… from a Cooper Union Point of View (Continued)

e-O: Tell me about how you researched and developed the site model.

Christopher Pounds: The first thing that leapt out at us was the large dip in the site’s typography. We then took note of Riverside Drive, the MTA bridge, and the subway that comes out of the ground, and from there we looked at what programs on the site are useful to the community. We kept those programs and cleared others out to create an open space. Because two bridges are already lifted off the ground, we proposed a scheme that was also lifted off the ground, providing open access to those programs from all sides.

Anna Kostreva: We decided to create trajectories from the street and another building that has elevated functions. Around nine stories up, we developed a circular ring creating cohesiveness for the university.

CP: In some ways it’s a critique of the Columbia campus, because the campus is gated off and we’re introducing direct access from all sides. We tried to provide many points of access on the campus. Those points are where we located vertical towers that contain libraries.

AK: The idea is that whoever is coming in from the university would access the university through a library relating to neighboring academic programs. Individuals come into the university structure either in a virtual or physical way. The endeavor for knowledge is what’s holding the university up.

So people come up through the library, access the university, and then the framework of the circle level acts both as interior and exterior where people move from one locus to the next.

CP: Our matrix also suggests how the campus can expand for the next few hundred years. There’s a finite quality to the circle, but portions extend out, suggesting trajectories for future generations.

AK: The towers can also expand upward, and the framework toward the interior.

e-O: Once the matrix was established, how did the rest of the students in the studio integrate their projects?

CP: Some chose to completely reject the structure, some chose to directly integrate. There are some projects that worked with the ground, even though the matrix is elevated, and these projects challenged the matrix. There is also a wide variety of scales among the projects. Dennis and Raye’s project integrates with the structure. Tom placed his tower completely out of the matrix, but it works with the ground in a specific way.

Dennis Murphy: We saw the matrix as the generator for our project. We incorporated a pier near the river’s edge between Riverside Drive and the Hudson River, and we oriented a vertical tower in the center.

Raye Levine: We started with a program of a marketplace. We wanted to create a center where everyone in the university can gather. Plazas provide exhibition space for artwork. We developed a center displaced from the center [of the matrix] where the city ends and water begins.

DM: The program is for an exchange of knowledge, not necessarily just art.

RL: And also the university and city can branch out into the water.

DM: One other thing is that we never saw our project as being just for students. Students and the public can use the space. That’s really important to us.

Tom Brooksbank: I imagine that my tower is an alter ego on the site, because during the day it’s dark, and at night it lights up. It would be an “other,” a presence on the site. I was also trying to find a way to make an ambiguous space, where you can’t really tell which elevation you are looking at or how deep it is.

The program is for photosensitivity research. There isn’t really a cure or a known reason for this sun allergy. So the ground level is in essential darkness that would be for research, healing, and living for those extreme cases. Then the building would get lighter as you go up. Within the building are these curvilinear spaces that wrap around the human body as you move through it. I tried to find a completely new type of space.

e-O: Did you find that the studio agreed on any ideas about what a “campus of the future” could be?

LW: They thought not so much about permanent monuments, but about temporary structures that can come and go rather than be fixed. There was a lightness and transience to design. It gives way to a transparency rather than opacity of morals.

AK: The idea of movement among disciplines was taken on by a lot of students, which was promoted by our matrix by having circulation at different levels and direct connections between structures themselves.

e-O: How did working on this project change your idea of what urban planning/architecture is?

TB: It’s a laboratory to try and find things that could reappear and develop later in our work. It’s 32 different ideas of what architecture can become. Also, there isn’t any right or wrong. It’s about choices and taking them as far as you can.

AK: For us [as master planners], it was a struggle to articulate something at an urban scale and a unified whole, while still allowing the individual projects to have an identity.

CP: One great achievement of the project is that it’s not just a campus of the future, it’s talking about the future of education. It’s a moment that people can begin to see new ways of linking disciplines. Because the structure is so readable, people will be able to accept those changes, and new connections — or disconnections — may develop over time.



Now that summer has arrived, the weather is perfect for wandering around the city looking for new undiscovered buildings and neighborhoods. With this issue, the Downtown Alliance of New York launched a Doors of Downtown photo essay. If you can identify all of the doors in the photo essay, you may win a prize. For more information, go to the New Deadlines section.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

THE CENTER: AIANY BLOG: The AIANY Chapter has launched a new blog. The Center features opinion pieces on architectural issues relevant to NY-based designers, firms, and projects, along with spotlight debates and discussions at the Center for Architecture and AIANY, and is an informal discussion board. Be sure to check it out regularly and contribute to the dialogue.

If you would like to become a regular contributor to The Center, please e-mail e-Oculus.

NOTE: In the last issue, the report “AIA Convention Advocates Civic Activism” featured a panel discussion at the AIA Convention, Civic Architecture: Design and Identity in a Changing Society. AIANY member Barbara Nadel, FAIA, moderated the discussion. We regret the omission.

U.S. at Housing Policy Crossroads

Event: Designs for Living: Panel Discussion on Housing Policy
Location: Center for Architecture, 06.02.08
Speakers: Victor Bach — Senior Housing Policy Analyst, Community Service Society of New York; Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA — Senior Research Fellow, Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, Project Director, Remodeling Futures Program, & Chief Economist, AIA National; Christopher Jones — Vice President for Research, Regional Plan Association & Former Special Assistant to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development in NYC; Ronald Shiffman, FAICP, Hon. AIA — Professor of Urban Planning, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, Pratt Institute & Former Director, Pratt Center for Community Development
Moderator: Wids DeLaCour, AIA — Co-Chair, AIANY Housing Committee
Organizer: AIANY Housing Committee
Sponsors:Champion: Studio Daniel Libeskind; Supporters: Gensler; HumanScale; James McCullar & Associates; Friends: Benjamin Moore & Co.; Costas Kondylis & Partners; Forest City Ratner Companies; Frank Williams & Associates; Hugo S. Subotovsky Architects; Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti; Mancini Duffy; Magnusson Architecture and Planning; Rawlings Architects; Ricci Greene Associates; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Syska & Hennessy; Trespa North America; Universal Contracting Group

For the last 60 years housing patterns have been driven by post-war development. Now, with upcoming local and national elections, the state of the economy, and poor living conditions for low-income households, it is time to re-examine policies, infrastructure, and land-use. So argued Christopher Jones, vice president for research at the Regional Plan Association (RPA) at a recent discussion about housing trends.

The way people live has changed drastically since 1940, said Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA, senior research fellow at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, and AIA’s chief economist, using data collected for the 1940 and 2005 Census surveys. Pre-WWII, homes cost an average of $41,000, and half of housing units had either no indoor plumbing or shared facilities. In 2005, homes cost an average of $159,000 — a fourfold increase — with one bathroom per bedroom. In 1940, less than 40% of the population owned homes compared with more than 68% in 2005, thanks in large part to an increase in sub-prime mortgages (“and now we are paying the price,” stated Baker). Today, fewer than one-third of Caucasians live in inner cities, yet 60% of minority renters live in city centers that lack access to good schools, common amenities, and better paying jobs. No place in the U.S. does the minimum wage equal the housing wage, the hourly wages needed to afford a “decent” home. In some cities such as NYC, LA, and San Francisco, the housing wage is equal to five times the minimum wage.

NYC is a case study to speculate about the affordability crisis and examine solutions, argued Victor Bach, senior housing policy analyst for the Community Service Society of New York. Only 20% of those who fit the federal definition of poverty live in subsidized housing, and figures are worsening. Rapid population growth will put a high demand on the housing market and low-income residents will have more difficulty competing for housing. The National Housing Trust Fund, National Housing Law Project for housing preservation, and Mayor Bloomberg’s affordable housing plans are steps in the right direction, Bach believes. But outside of the housing sector, the city can develop policies that will provide cash transfers and relief to those who need to pay for residual costs besides rent.

In NYC, Jones sees opportunity at federal, state, and local levels to improve the housing situation. Nationally, a new transportation plan must be developed to aid congestion and reduce carbon emissions, and the government should encourage and preserve rental housing. Locally, transit-oriented development (TOD) needs to be improved alongside “inclusionary zoning” so infrastructure and housing can develop symbiotically. Also, state housing trust funds should be dedicated to improve affordable housing. Baker is convinced that cleaning up current mortgage lending markets, promoting increased sustainability, and preserving and upgrading existing housing (rather than constructing new buildings) will abate the crisis.

The U.S. is one of few countries that have not ratified a human rights agreement calling for a right to housing, pointed out Ronald Shiffman, FAICP, Hon. AIA, professor of urban planning at the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, Pratt Institute. With current elections at hand, architects and planners have the opportunity to influence future policies and make a difference. The AIA can push Congress to act to make housing a priority. As architects and planners, we should also be taking our personal standards beyond the government’s. We should adopt smart housing location criteria, set up guidelines for all new houses to be carbon neutral by 2010, encourage high densities (but not so high that they overwhelm infrastructure), and make sure we do not contribute to the discrimination of people’s right to housing.

Interiors Awards Win Unanimously

Event: Design Awards Winners’ Symposium
Location: Center for Architecture, 05.19.08
Speakers: Farnaz Manusuri, Assoc. AIA — Lead Designer, De-Spec; Stephen Cassell, AIA — Principal, Architecture Research Office; Joel Sanders, AIA — Principal, Joel Sanders Architect; Sam Dufaux — Worker, Work architecture company; Peter Bentel, AIA — Partner, Bentel & Bentel Architects and Planners AIA; Stephan Jaklitsch, AIA — Principal, Stephan Jaklitsch Architects; John Lee, AIA — Principal, Workshop for Architecture; Taryn Christoff — Principal, Christoff:Finio Architecture; Lee Mindel, FAIA — Principal, Shelton, Mindel & Associates
Moderator: Paul Zajfen, FAIA, RIBA — Juror, Design Principal, CO Architects
Organizer: AIANY Design Awards Committee
Sponsors: Benefactors: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Syska Hennessy Group; Patrons: F.J. Sciame Construction Co.; HDR; HOK; Langan Engineering & Environmental Services; O’Connor Capital Partners; Richter + Ratner; Thornton Tomasetti; Lead Sponsors: Arup; Consulting for Architects; Gensler; KI; Lutron Electronics; Mancini Duffy; RMJM Hillier; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; STUDIOS architecture; Turner Construction Company; Sponsors: Armstrong World Industries; Atkinson Koven Feinberg; Building Contractors Association; Cosentini Associates; Costas Kondylis and Partners; Flack+Kurtz; Forest City Ratner Companies; FXFOWLE Architects; Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti; James G. Kennedy & Co.; Jaros, Baum & Bolles; JCJ Architecture; John Gallin & Son; MechoShade Systems; Microsol Resources; New York University; Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; Perkins+Will; Peter Marino Architect; Polshek Partnership Architects; Ricci Greene Associates; Rogers Marvel Architects; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; Toshiko Mori Architect; Weidlinger Associates

2008 AIANY Design Honor Awards in Interiors (l-r): Yale University Art Gallery Media Lounge by Joel Sanders Architect; Banchet Flower Bar by De-Spec; Friedman Study Center at Brown University by Architecture Research Office.

Courtesy AIANY

There were over 140 entries in the AIANY Design Awards Interiors category this year. “It was a daunting thing looking for a reason to get rid of a project,” said jury member Paul Zajfen, FAIA, RIBA, design principal at LA-based CO Architects. “Projects were submitted that were really good, and with another set of jurors someone else might have won.” Proving this point, John Lee, AIA, principal at Workshop for Architecture, admitted his 2008 merit award-winning project, the Maritime Intelligence Group Offices, was twice previously submitted. The difference between an honor and a merit, according to Zajfen, was unanimity and, to that end, the jury selected four honors and seven merit awards.

Honor Award Winners
The Banchet Flower Bar is a shop in the meat packing district designed by De-Spec. The two-phased project transformed a warehouse space into a flower design studio at a time when the district was still a mix of meat-packing and trendy stores and restaurants. The design team spread out flowers along the shop turning it into a performance space for passers-by, according to lead designer Farnaz Mansuri, Assoc. AIA. Once open, Mansuri was pleased to hear photographers wanted to use the space for shoots and people wanted to rent it for weddings.

Brown University’s mission of interdisciplinary education was integral to the programming, and thus the architecture, of the Friedman Study Center, stated Architecture Research Office (ARO) principal Stephen Cassell, AIA. With a large floor plate, they could design several micro-environments, each furnished differently. The interiors accommodate quiet, individual study zones, interactive areas, as well as collaborative activities.

Yale University Art Gallery Media Lounge, designed by Joel Sanders Architect, was an exercise in working with many different parties — the director and curators of the museum, bookstore employees, and students. The space serves reading, film screenings, and even banquets. Custom-designed, flexible furniture is demountable quickly and easily. Since it is located in the first floor of the Louis Kahn-designed gallery, the firm incorporated four-foot floating modular display panels to divide and create.

Merit Award Winners
Anthropologie, a retailer that sells items ranging from door knobs to clothing, called upon Work architecture company to design a new store in southern California. This involved revamping the brand and creating a template for future stores. Workshop For Architecture’s design for the Maritime Intelligence Group Offices is stylistically estranged from its neighbors despite its site in a typical 1980s brick office building. The suspended ceilings are painted black and are backlit, window walls are screened with parachute fabric, and floors are concrete.

Bentel & Bentel Architects and Planners AIA’s design for Craftsteak in an old building near Chelsea Market echoed the chef/owner’s idea that cooking is a craft, not an art. Thus, the restaurant has a refined, simple palette, to echo the process of simple food preparation. The Marc Jacobs Collection in the Palais Royal in Paris occupies seven bays in the 1739 arcade, rather than one. Stephan Jaklitsch Architects gutted the space and worked with the Ministry of Culture to develop a model for future stores in the Palais.

STUDIOS Architecture mimicked Gehry Partners’ undulating exterior skin within the IAC Headquarters to create distinct areas for the company’s Internet properties. Christoff:Finio Architecture’s “untech” scheme won the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s competition for its interiors. Ten small tables rearrange into one large one, and six mesh curtains are on ceiling tracks for maximum flexibility in the space. Shelton, Mindel & Associates’ pool house on Long Island is a simple cube with a wall opened up to the outdoors. Furniture acts as indoor “pool toys” to neighborhood children’s delight.

New Firms Win New Practices Awards Amidst Criticism

Event: New Practices Jury Symposium
Location: Center for Architecture, 06.04.08
Speakers: Jury Members: Amale Andraos — Work AC; Jennifer Carpenter — TRUCK; Peter Eisenman, FAIA — Eisenman Architects; William Menking — Editor-in-Chief, The Architect’s Newspaper; Mark Strauss, FAIA, AICP — Principal, FXFOWLE Architects; Charles Renfro, AIA — Principal, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (not present)
Moderator: Illya Azaroff, AIA — Design Collective Studio
Organizer: AIANY New Practices Committee
Sponsors: Underwriter: Häfele; Lead Sponsors: MG & Company, Poliform USA, Thornton Tomasetti; Supporters: Fountainhead Construction, FXFOWLE Architects; Beverage Sponsor: Saaga Vodka; Media Sponsor: The Architect’s Newspaper

Courtesy AIANY

Jurors claimed there were many good firms that entered this year’s New Practices New York (NPNY) competition, but the tone of the symposium was predominantly critical. Six winning firms were announced: Urban A&O won the honor award, and five finalists include Baumann Architecture, Common Room, David Wallance Architect, Matter Architecture Practice, and Openshop | Studio. Jurors agreed that 12 out of 52 portfolio entries were “interesting,” but only one “had what we were looking for,” explained Amale Andraos. Urban A&O unanimously won top billing for graphic representation, project focus, and design abilities.

NPNY, the second juried portfolio competition and exhibition in a new biennial tradition, serves as a platform to recognize and promote innovative and emerging architecture firms in NYC. The competition emphasizes both a firm’s projects and practices. Participating firms were asked to submit a “Mini Portfolio” along with a “Practice Narrative” explaining their methods of collaboration and integrated practice, influences on critical thinking about design, and the variety of their project experience, as well as the location and nature of their practices.

Jurors reported that Charles Renfro, AIA, who was not in attendance, was frustrated that the portfolios contained “nothing you had never seen before,” noting a trend towards anti-specialization among the applicants. “I didn’t see any star tendencies — and that is a very positive thing,” said Peter Eisenman, FAIA, with a touch of irony. However, he was disappointed that there was “no real stance on green architecture,” or any other over-arching concepts. Jennifer Carpenter said she was “surprised by the range of built work,” as she had expected to see more technology-based explorations.

While jurors agreed it was exciting that new practices are able get large-scale projects (many portfolios included international built work as well as developer-led projects), they debated whether this is positive or negative in terms of critical thinking about design. Eisenman, quoting Aldo Rossi, Hon. FAIA, was looking for “theory that can lead to practice” among the portfolios, but found more work or practice without the theory behind it.

The six winners will present their work in a lecture series and showcase at Häfele’s New York showroom, and work will be on view at the Center for Architecture this fall, opening September 5.