Commemorative Bench Gets a Make-Over

The wonders of NYC nature never cease. Two new developments were announced in the last couple of weeks:

Prospect Park Commemorative Tree Program. Prospect Park’s website has added a new “tour” of the park’s notable trees. Fourteen of the rarest, oldest, and tallest specimens are displayed on a map with supplemental information and images.

Gowanus Canal Microbes. It was reported this week that New York City College of Technology professors are studying organisms living in the Gowanus Canal. If organisms can survive the intense pollution, they hope that extracts from the microbes will be potential sources of antibiotics or inhibitors. Read “Microbes in filthy Gowanus Canal may hold breakthrough vs. AIDS, heart woes,” by Edgar Sandoval and Rich Schapiro, Daily News, 07.31.08.

This year’s winners of the Public Design Commission (formerly the Art Commission) awards are: streetscape improvements, including an installation by Brian Tolle, on Flatbush Avenue from Tillary Street to Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn; construction of the 121st Police Precinct on Staten Island by Rafael Viñoly Architects; signage as part of the rehabilitation of Flatbush Caton Market by Alexandra Ching and David Akey, NYC Department of Design and Construction; “Wall Drawing #1252: Scribbles (Pier 88)” by Sol LeWitt; Children’s Library Center, Queens Central Library, by 1100: Architect; Bronx River House and adjacent site work, by Kiss + Cathcart; and a Special Recognition Award for Expansion of the Hospital for Special Surgery, by Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, Cannon Design, Ysrael A. Seinuk, and R.A. Heintges & Associates

The Illuminating Engineering Society of New York (IESNY) 2008 Lumen Award winners include, in the following categories: Citation for Exterior Lighting of Historic Façade — Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, RS Lighting Design; Citation for Integration of New Technology into a Historic Restoration — The Fragonard at the Frick Collection, Renfro Design Group; Citation for Increasing Public Awareness of LEDs — Times Square Ball, Focus Lighting… Awards of Merit — Art Cave, Renfro Design Group; Brooklyn Central Library, Arup Lighting; HBO Shop, HDLC Architectural Lighting Design; Nelsons-Atkins Museum of Art — Interior, Renfro Design Group; The New Museum for Contemporary Art, Tillotson Design Associates; Awards of Merit — Energy and Environmental Design — New York Times HQ, SBLDstudio; Miyake Madison, Lightfield; United States Air Force Memorial, Office for Visual Interaction… Awards of Excellence — Nelsons-Atkins Museum of Art — Outdoor, Renfro Design Group; School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, Tillotson Design Associates; The Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design

The New York Area Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS-NY) has announced a new vice-president elect, Patricia Neumann, CPSM; treasurer, Julie Pampuch; secretary, Susan Steinberg, and three directors, Maria Miranda, David Grant, and Stephanie Lin, to the board for the 2008-2009 term,…In addition, President-Elect Lauren Hlavenka, Assoc. AIA, will assume the presidency on 09.01.08, when the new term begins…

Juliet Kinchin has joined MoMA as Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design… Ray Gastil, the director of the New York City Department of City Planning’s Manhattan office, is leaving to become Seattle’s Planning Director…

Chris Reynolds, AIA, has been promoted to principal at Cooper Carry… The New York Office of M Moser Associates is moving to 490 Broadway in Soho… WSP Flack + Kurtz is the new name of the global mechanical and electrical engineering firm…

07.30.08: Designing the High Line: Gansevoort to 30th Street book launch party under the High Line.

AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, (left) with Robert Hammond, co-founder, Friends of the High Line, under the High Line.

Kristen Richards

07.24.08: Openhousenewyork hosted a summer soiree. Curators at Creative Time provided a tour of “Playing the Building” by David Byrne in the Battery Maritime Building.

Scott Lauer, openhousenewyork founder (left) and Mark Beasley, curator and producer at Creative Time, play the building.

Hae-In Kim

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

08.08.08 Call for Entries: Park(ing) Day
On Park(ing) Day — launching on 09.19.08 — people will reclaim parking spots for a single day, transforming them into vibrant, functional, public spaces. The NYC Streets Renaissance in partnership with the Trust for Public Land will reserve 50 spots this year, and they are seeking architects, landscape architects, designers, and artists to help bring inventive installations to the streets by building collaborative Park(ing) Spots. Projects will be a partnership between the designer/firm and an NYC community group; they should reflect the social, cultural, and aesthetic context of the community in which they are built.

09.05.08 Call for Entries: Social Habitat and Development Competition
The Colegio de Arquitectos of Ecuador invites architectural design professionals to participate in this international competition as part of the XVI Quito Pan-American Architecture Biennale to be held 11.17-21.08. All participating projects will be published in the Biennale catalogue. The BAQ/2008, in partnership with the Department of Housing Development and Management of the University of Lund, Sweden, and under the Program PROMESHA created the award to acknowledge efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable urban populations within a sustainable framework, and to provide better living standards and an improved quality of life.

09.15.08 Call for Nominations: Richard H. Driehaus Prize
The $200,000 prize, administered through the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, is awarded annually to an outstanding architect or firm whose work applies the principles of Classicism, with respect to sustainability, in the built and natural environment. Practicing architects, firms and their representatives, as well as industry leaders, architectural students, and classical enthusiasts are encouraged to submit nominations for consideration for the 2009 laureate.

09.15.08 Call for Entries: From the Ground Up: Innovative Green Homes
This competition seeks to provide a new model for formerly vital, urban residential neighborhoods through the creation of sustainable, affordable housing. Selected teams will work on infill sites, proposing designs for a 1,100- to 1,500-square-foot, single-family home to be built in the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse, NY. The goal of the competition is to create innovative designs for cost-efficient, green prototypes sensitive to the scale and composition of the existing conditions, while providing a new vision that is legible to a wide array of existing and potential residents.

09.19.08 Call for Submissions: P/A Awards
The P/A Awards recognize unbuilt projects demonstrating overall design excellence and innovation. Architects and other design professionals practicing in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico may enter one or more submissions. Proposals may be for any location, but work must have been directed and substantially executed in offices in any of the three countries. All entries must be commissioned by paying clients for execution. Winners will be honored at a celebration in NY in January 2009, and published in the January 2009 issue of ARCHITECT.

09.19.08 Call for Architects: Smithsonian Institution African American Museum Design
The Smithsonian Institution is calling for initial ideas to build the newest museum on the National Mall, which will be dedicated to black history. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is scheduled to open in 2015 and officials hope to name an architectural team by spring 2009. Submissions will be narrowed down to between three and seven firms for a design competition. Congress has pledged to provide half of the museum’s $500 million cost, with private fundraising to cover the balance. The Smithsonian is encouraging minority architects to participate, but teams submitting proposals are not required to include minorities.

10.01.08 Call for Entries: Make Some Green Competition
Keeseh Studio invites students and design enthusiasts to pursue ecodesign that utilizes waste material. The goal is to promote “upcycling,” or the use of waste material as raw material for other products or processes, by generating innovative designs and redefining the standards of environmental sustainability. Three entries will win media coverage of their product or process and one will win a cash prize of $1,000.

10.15.08 Call for Entries: 2008 Beyond Green High-Performance Building Awards
The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council SBIC will recognize initiatives that shape, inform, and catalyze the high-performance building market, as well as the real-world application of high-performance design and construction practices. Award winners will present their projects in January 2009 in Washington D.C., in conjunction with an awards reception. Winning projects will also receive a plaque, be published on the Whole Building Design Guide website, in SBIC’s newsletter, and included in SBIC technical guidelines and publications.

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.


July 17 — September 27, 2008

South Street Seaport – Re-envisioning the Urban Edge

The Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) presents the Third Biennial Ideas Competition, South Street Seaport | Re-envisioning the Urban Edge. This competition encouraged participants to envision new connections, both material and metaphoric, between this richly historic neighborhood and Manhattan’s contemporary urban fabric.

South Street Seaport | Re-envisioning the Urban Edge provided an opportunity, uncommon for students and young professionals in the field of design and architecture, to engage the ongoing evolution of the South Street Seaport. More than 200 participants entered the competition, representing a broad spectrum of domestic and international architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and graphic artists. From over 100 entries, a jury selected four top prizes, five honorable mentions, and additional Jury Selections, all of which are presented in this exhibition.

ENYA partnered with the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI), whose headquarters have been in the neighborhood since 1832. The principal element of the program is a community center for local residents and gallery space to house the SCI’s collection of maritime art and artifacts. In addition, competitors were encouraged to make community-building interventions in open spaces throughout the site in order to preserve the neighborhood’s intriguing history, while re-imagining its future edge condition on the downtown New York waterfront.

Exhibition organized by the AIA New York Chapter and Center for Architecture Foundation in collaboration with the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA)

Exhibition organized by the AIA New York Chapter and Center for Architecture Foundation in collaboration with the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA)

ENYA Co-Chairs:
Megan Chusid, Assoc. AIA

Harry Gaveras, AIA

Exhibition and Competition Developers:

Anne Leonhardt, Assoc. AIA

Heather Mangrum

Joel Melton, Assoc. AIA

Sean Rasmussen, Assoc. AIA

Exhibition Design:

Steven Mosier

South Street Seaport: Re-Envisioning the Urban Edge

Emerging New York Architects (ENYA)

Underwriter: F.J. Sciame Construction

Sponsor: Gensler; Propylaea Architecture; Richter+Ratner



Service Point USA and A. Estéban & Company

Food Sponsor:
Acqua Restaurant
Beverage Sponsor: Barefoot Wine and Brooklyn Brewery

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

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

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

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

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

Exhibition Announcements

“The Adventures of La Coronita,” 2008, video still, Mike Estabrook (left); “Pimp My Piragua,” 2008, pushcart prototype (Puerto Rico Schwinn Club at left), installation with color video with sound (right).

Queens Museum of Art

Through 10.16.08
Corona Plaza: Center of Everywhere v.2

The Queens Museum of Art has commissioned four temporary, site-specific artworks in Corona Plaza (103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue). These artworks are part of a larger Heart of Corona initiative in which the museum and community partners work together to improve the health of residents, beautify the neighborhood, and activate public spaces. The artists — Mike Estabrook, Lin + Lam, Miguel Luciano, and vydavy sindikat — developed projects specific to the plaza’s conditions and engage the public to highlight urban mythologies, visual perception, and everyday artistry.

Queens Museum of Art
New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Practice of Encroachment.


Through 10.25.08
Practice of Encroachment: From the Global Border to the Border Neighborhood

The PARC Foundation presents an exhibition of projects by Estudio Teddy Cruz. His research-based architectural studio, located at the San Diego-Tijuana border, uses neighborhoods as sites of experimentation to research new forms of affordable housing and social density. The projects on view include conceptual works presented through videos, photographs, drawings, models, and cartographies.

The PARC Foundation
29 Bleecker Street, NYC

“Palmtree Island” (Oasis), project, NY, NY 1971, by Haus-Rucker-Co (Laurids Ortner, Manfred Ortner, Günther Zamp Kelp, and Klaus Pinter). Cut-and-pasted printed paper with gouache and graphite and cut-and-pasted painted paper on silver gelatin photograph on board.

Wendy Evans Joseph Purchase Fund, courtesy MoMA

Through 10.27.08
Dreamland: Architectural Experiments since the 1970s

Works drawn from MoMA’s architecture and design collection explore ways that NY’s landscape has inspired architects with visions of utopia since the 1970s. Rem Koolhaas’s book Delirious New York (1978) and several drawings made for the book, including the recently acquired watercolor “Plan of Dreamland” (1977), are the exhibition’s departure point. Other recent acquisitions include works by Diller + Scofidio and Simon Ungers. The centerpiece of the gallery is a display of architectural models organized as a kind of fantasy city juxtaposing unbuilt visionary projects and realized buildings; architectural drawings complement and supplement the dreamscape of models.

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street, NYC