02.24.09

02.24.09

This Wednesday, 02.25.09, AIANY and the Center for Architecture Foundation are hosting an Opportunities Fair at the Center for Architecture as part of the Not Business as Usual forums. From 12:00-2:00pm representatives from Chapter committees, community organizations, non-profits, schools, and training programs will share information about volunteer opportunities, continuing education, and other opportunities. Be sure to stop by!

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP


CLICK ON BLOG CENTRAL: AIANY BLOG: The AIANY Chapter’s Blog Central features opinion pieces on architectural issues relevant to NY-based designers, firms, and projects, along with spotlights on debates and discussions at the Center for Architecture and AIANY. It is an informal discussion board. To become a regular contributor to Blog Central, please e-mail e-Oculus. Pen names are welcome.

BREAKING NEWS: 2009 AIANY DESIGN AWARDS ANNOUNCED

After combing through 404 entries — 160 in architecture, 118 in interiors, and 126 projects — the 2009 AIANY Design Awards have been announced. On 02.23.09, jury members in each category met to make the final decision.

Architecture — Honor
Jury: Brian Healy, AIA, Brian Healy Architects (Somerville, MA); David Miller, FAIA, The Miller | Hull Partnership (Seattle); Terence Riley, AIA, Miami Art Museum, K/R (Miami).

Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, NY, NY
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Allied Works Architecture
Dutchess County Residence — Guest House, Dutchess County NY

Thomas Phifer and Partners
Millbrook House, Millbrook, NY
Private Residence

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, PC
Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China
Mori Building Company

Thomas Phifer and Partners
Susan and Raymond Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University, Houston, TX
Rice University

Architecture — Merit

Stan Allen Architect
Chosen Children Village Chapel, Tagaytay, Philippines
Chosen Children Village Foundation

Joel Sanders Architect
House on Mount Merino, Hudson, NY
Jay Laudato and Tom Watson

Deborah Berke & Partners Architects LLP
Irwin Union Bank, Creekview Branch, Columbus, IN
Irwin Union Bank

Allied Works Architecture
The Museum of Arts and Design, NY, NY
The Museum of Arts and Design

Perkins Eastman and PKSB Architects
TKTS Booth and Revitalization of Father Duffy Square, NY, NY
Times Square Alliance, Theatre Development Fund, and the Coalition for Father Duffy

Interiors — Merit
Jury: Randy Brown, FAIA, LEED AP, Randy Brown Architects (Omaha); Ivonne Garcia, AIA, AECOM (Arlington, VA); Eva Jiricna, Hon. FAIA, Eva Jiricna Architects (London).

Stephen Yablon Architect PLLC
Betances Community Center and Boxing Gym, Bronx, NY
New York City Housing Authority

Polshek Partnership Architects
Brooklyn Museum, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn Museum

noroof architects
Finger Apartment, NY, NY

a+i architecture
(MALIN+GOETZ), NY, NY

Lynch/Eisinger/Design
Nike Genealogy Of Speed, NY, NY
Nike Inc.

1100 Architect
NYPL Francis Martin Library, Bronx, NY
The New York Public Library

Lyn Rice Architects
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design, NY, NY
The New School

Rogers Marvel Architects
W57th Street POP (Privately owned Public) Space
Metropolitan Tower Public Passage and Lobby, NY, NY

Projects — Honors
Jury: Peter Chermayeff, FAIA, Peter Chermayeff and Poole Inc. (Boston); Rahul Mehrotra, RMA Associates (Brookline, MA); Dominique Perrault, Hon. FAIA, Dominique Perrault Architecture (Paris).

H Associates, Joel Sanders Architect, with Haeahn Architecture, YC Cho and HS Ki
Gangbuk Grand Park, Seoul, Korea
Seoul City, Korea

Stageberg Architecture PLLC: Bade Stageberg Cox
MoMA/P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center: Summer Blow-Up, Long Island City, NY
MoMA/P.S. 1

Projects — Merit

Johannes M.P. Knoops
Marriage Bureau; The Office of the City Clerk, The City of New York
Municipal Building, NY, NY

FXFOWLE Architects, LLP
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Crossing, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Roads and Transport Authority

TEN Arquitectos
Xochimilco Master Plan and Aquarium, Mexico City, Mexico
Government of the Federal District

Weiss/Manfredi
Wandering Ecologies, Toronto, Canada

A Design Corps Could Convince Government That Design Deserves Funding

Event: Not Business as Usual: Advocacy Update
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.11.09
Organizer: AIANY
Sponsors: AMX; Chief Manufacturing; Lutron Electronics; Traxon/e:cue

Many AIANY members believe local chapters need to take a proactive role in government activities and architects should be more involved in their communities to help pull the nation through hard economic times. At the recent Not Business As Usual discussion, Chapter members, professionals in design and related fields, and many individuals seeking employment brainstormed about how to improve advocacy efforts in the city.

One of the most heated discussions centered on the idea that there should be a “Design Corps,” modeled after AmeriCorps and other national design initiatives such as the Work Projects Administration and the Historic American Buildings Survey, which would dedicate government funds to improve city neighborhoods. This group could serve a dual purpose of beautifying communities while educating the general public about the value of architects and architecture. It could also help train emerging designers looking for work with hands-on experience.

There are several roles a Design Corps could play in the city. It could provide professional overview for design legislation and policies already on the table in the local and national government, supporting projects it deems important for successful urban growth. Or, it could disseminate information to the local and national design community from various governmental committees, including community boards, the Department of Buildings, and the Landmark Preservation Commission. A Design Corps could evaluate and report on projects and developments that qualify for density bonuses or other incentives. For public services, such as schools and hospitals, the group could act as a consultant advocating for design excellence. Finally, it could provide design services to communities and neighborhoods that cannot afford architects.

Participants at the table agreed that the Design Corps should be formed in collaboration with AIANY and other local professional organizations. Recruiting could happen at the Center for Architecture as well as throughout the city’s architecture schools. An office should be established where small neighborhood groups can come to request evaluations of new projects and conduct feasibility studies. The office would organize funding opportunities and sponsor grant proposals. To start, efforts should be concentrated on smaller projects that receive less attention from legislators and the general public.

The question of who should make up the Design Corps, and how much of the funding should go to the proposed projects and/or participants, drew the most debate. It was decided that licensed architects need to participate to maintain quality control. But if services are being offered, registered architects should be covered for liability. Since designers’ schedules fluctuate, depending largely on whether or not they are working, temporary, part-time, and full-time commitments should be made available. A living wage potentially could be provided for participants matched with funds from project budgets, and perhaps debt-relief, tuition, and pay for student loans could be provided for recent graduates.

Overall, the development of a Design Corps could help justify to the government how design is sustainable and can improve life for inhabitants; therefore, it is worthy of support and funding.

Sewers Reveal Deep Topography Below

Event: Building Over the Past: The Hidden Layers of the City
Location: Center for Architecture, 01.27.09
Speaker: Steve Duncan — Urban Historian and photographer
Organizer: AIANY International Committee

Steve Duncan inside the Old Croton Aqueduct, which supplied NYC’s drinking water from 1842 until the late 19th century.

Steve Duncan

When most of us think of spending a nice day at a museum, we might think of hitting MoMA or the Met. But guerrilla historian Steve Duncan is more inclined to don a headlamp and explore a local NYC sewer, instead. The old subterranean infrastructure of cities is “one of the best ‘museums’ of old America that I’ve found,” he explained in a recent talk and slideshow. After all, underground spots tend to be protected from the elements and well preserved, so they provide a glimpse of architectural and cultural layers of times past.

Duncan’s obsession began in 1996, when he began exploring Columbia University’s subterranean tunnels while he was an undergrad there. These days, he travels around the world to practice “urban archaeology.” His slideshow gave the audience a whirlwind tour of Paris, London, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and other locales where he has snapped photos in spots both high above and far below the streets, in his never-ending quest to discover new angles on built environments.

Some of the underground images he showed have a strange beauty, such as the sculpted forms of sandstone tunnels forming the sewers of Minneapolis-St. Paul. His photos of NYC sewers and underground streams often showed a mélange of brick and concrete construction, much like the buildings above, though with occasional stalagmites or stalactites, as one might find in natural caves.

NYC’s underground watercourses bear testament to the city’s past incarnations, Duncan observed. Of course, NYC’s many waterways were one of the original draws for settlers. As the city, the sewer system developed along with it (rather chaotically), in multiple phases and methods of construction. The distinction between sewers and underground streams has often become blurred, Duncan added, because many streams became sewers once they were built over.

Though most of the city’s waterways are now hidden belowground, their memory lives on. Near the Center for Architecture, Minetta Street and Minetta Lane were named for Minetta Brook. The area’s underground waterways also make their continued presence known when local buildings such as the New School on West 13th Street occasionally flood, according to Duncan.

People in New York and beyond are searching for better ways to make underground watercourses more-well known and accessible. “Here are all these underground streams, these ancient watercourses, aqueducts, and I think it’s up to architects and builders and urban planners to try to celebrate that or open them up and reveal them,” Duncan said. But in NYC, the fact that the original watercourses are so intertwined with a labyrinthine sewer system makes such a task difficult. Some people advocate daylighting certain streams (though Duncan is too much of a fan of tunnels for that). Other efforts involve creating parks to celebrate the urban waterways, he said. Bounded by Canal, Varick, and Laight Streets, one park that’s under construction will feature a canal-like fountain (complete with a system of locks) inspired by the canal that once ran nearby. However, the project will use some water pumped in from the city’s water supply, instead of the nearby groundwater, Duncan said, challenging the architects in the audience to come up with better ideas about how best to celebrate and integrate the city’s groundwater in future projects.

It’ll Take a Team to Design a Sustainable Future

Event: Multidisciplinary Innovation
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.04.09
Speakers: Phillip Anzalone — Assistant Director of Avery Fabrication and Material Conservation Laboratory, Columbia University; Craig Schwitter, PE — Principal, Buro Happold; Chuck Hoberman — Founder & President, Hoberman Associates; Tristan d’Estree Sterk — Founder, Office for Robotic Architectural Media & Bureau for Responsive Architecture (ORAMBRA)
Moderator: Nina Rappaport — Publications Director, Yale University School of Architecture
Organizer: Center for Architecture
Sponsors: Underwriter: The Center for Architecture Foundation; Patron: Con Edison; Lead American Council of Engineering Companies; Josef Gartner USA; Weidlinger Associates; Friend: Grimshaw

“Trusset Structural System” by Philip Anzalone, Cory Clarke, and aa64 (left); ORAMBRA’s “Actuated Tensegrity Structures” (right).

Courtesy AIANY

“I think that architecture students are hungry to learn more about sustainability,” stated Phillip Anzalone, assistant director of the Avery Fabrication and Material Conservation Laboratory at Columbia University. But, “today’s students don’t have a feeling for sustainability. They create sustainable projects; however, in reality, these projects don’t work,” added Craig Schwitter, PE, principal at Buro Happold. It is practicing designers and engineers who are collaborating to pave the way for a sustainable future with technological innovation.

Currently, Anzalone is researching how to incorporate greenhouse spaces into building systems in urban environments. He developed a “Trusset Structural System” at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation with Cory Clarke, director of electronic publishing at Columbia University, and aa64 in collaboration with the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This lightweight structure can span distances with a high degree of flexibility.

After much technical training, integrated research, and experimentation, Buro Happold’s master plan of the City of Justice at Valdebebas Park in Madrid, expected to be complete in 2011, takes advantage of the city’s abundant sunshine by incorporating photovoltaics to harness solar energy. A collaboration with Hoberman Associates, the responsive façade maximizes translucency and natural shading to minimize solar gain. “Portability, instantaneous openings, and intelligent responsiveness” are other functions of the system’s ability to fold, retract, and shape-shift, Hoberman said.

Similar to Hoberman, Tristan d’Estree Sterk, founder of the Office for Robotic Architectural Media & Bureau for Responsive Architecture (ORAMBRA), is “interested in challenging the notion of structure and skin by using unlikely materials.” With a focus on the connection between engineering and architectural media, his “Actuated Tensegrity Structures” explore the limit of rigid structures in relation to dead loads. He developed prototypes that change shape in response to the weather and building occupants to have a minimum impact on the natural environment.

Cactus-Inspired Stadium Does Not Raise Hairs with Locals

Event: Films and Conversations with the Architects: Peter Eisenman: University of Phoenix Stadium for the Arizona Cardinals. Producer: Edgar B. Howard Director: Tom Piper
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.12.09
Speakers: Peter Eisenman, FAIA — Founder and Principal, Eisenman Architects; Suzanne Stephens — Deputy Editor, Architectural Record
Organizers: Checkerboard Film Foundation; AIANY
Sponsors: Peter Jay Sharp Foundation

University of Phoenix Stadium, designed by Eisenman Architects with HOK Sport.

Photo: David Sundberg/ESTO. Copyright Arizona Cardinals

The University of Phoenix Stadium was not designed to create change; nor was it intended to leave an overwhelming impression, explained its architect Peter Eisenman, FAIA, at a recent discussion and film screening about the stadium at the Center for Architecture. Eisenman, in conjunction with HOK Sport, set out to develop a “powerful symbol of community for Glendale,” rather than a “canonical” or “great” structure. The short film, produced by Edgar B. Howard and directed by Tom Piper, highlighted how Glendale itself inspired the stadium’s design.

Glendale residents value agriculture and the outdoors, and Eisenman looked to the surrounding landscape — particularly the indigenous barrel cactus — to inform his design. With double curvature and a hovering skin, the building bends in on the east, stretches out on the west, and retracts to open to the sky above. The metal skin reflects the surrounding environment and the glass slots between the panels provide interior views of the horizon. With the first fully retractable natural grass playing field in North America, the stadium floor can also accommodate public conferences and trade shows — a need that Eisenman discovered while listening to local residents.

Although the University of Phoenix Stadium may appear to be a departure from his theoretical work, Eisenman believes every building is open to interpretation. During the discussion with Architectural Record Deputy Editor Suzanne Stephens after the screening, he used the City of Culture of Galicia, currently under construction in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, as an example. He explained that projects are made for interpretation. “I don’t know what makes great, or good, or canonical. It just happens.” For the people of Glendale, the stadium has been all of those things, along with being the strong community attraction it was intended to be, Eisenman concluded.

Wallance Builds ‘Things’ His Way

Event: New Practices New York 2008, David Wallance Architect: ‘Thingness’
Location: Hafele New York Showroom, 02.12.09
Speakers: David Wallance, AIA — Principal, David Wallance | Architect
Organizer: AIANY New Practices Committee

Proposed residence using the shipping container as a module.

David Wallance | Architect

Elements of architecture are not typically referred to as “things,” but David Wallance, AIA, one of the 2008 New Practices New York winners, titled his recent presentation “Thingness.” A phrase coined by philosopher Martin Heidegger in his essay, “The Question Concerning Technology,” “thingness” refers to the essence or fundamental nature of a thing, rather than the perception of it as simply an object. Similarly, Wallance considers buildings not as physical objects, but things that occupy their own rightful place. “Ideas are inseparable from things,” he said.

After attending Cooper Union, Wallance spent a number of years as a “journeyman,” learning how to design and develop drawings. He worked for a series of large firms; however, he was uncomfortable with thinking “outside of time” and decided to learn how to build. Wallance spent his free time designing and building a spec house in Upstate New York. The simple box features a unifying central fireplace and bookcase that spans two vertical floors. He and his family lived there for several years before selling the home. Wallance then designed and built a home specifically for his family — a one-story structure integrated with the landscape at grade. Organized by a series of modules, the house provides privacy for his teenage daughter who has her space at one end, while the master bedroom is situated at the opposite end. Glass walls maintain a connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, and the landscape becomes “living wallpaper.”

After growing increasingly frustrated with large drawing sets and the disconnect between designer and those actually building the projects (“craft is a mentality, not a tradition,” he stated), Wallance left his day job to pursue his private practice. Two entrepreneurs had approached him to design residences in downtown Manhattan using the dimensions of shipping containers as a module. The project, which is currently on hold due to the current real estate market, features an exposed structural frame enclosing the ground floor that supports the containers above. The containers themselves can be quickly installed by crane. Wallance designed four prototypical apartments with limitless combinations for the building.

Shipping containers — useless things that have seemingly served their purpose — find a new life through Wallance’s practical adaptation. He likes to quote Frank Sinatra when talking of his work: “being modern’s not about the future; it’s about the present.”

Writing the New AIA Guide

Leadon and White on Bleecker Street, January 30, 2000 (left); 40 Gansevoort Street (right).

Courtesy Fran Leadon (left); Fran Leadon (right)

The first edition of the AIA Guide to New York City was published on the occasion of the AIA’s annual convention, held in New York in 1967. That original version of the Guide, a slim 464 pages, was “feverishly prepared” by Norval White, FAIA, and Elliot Willensky, FAIA, and a team of contributors, including John Morris Dixon, FAIA, Ann Douglas, Mina Hamilton, Roger Feinstein, Henry Hope Reed, Jr., Sophia Duckworth, and Richard Dattner, FAIA. The Guide was all original field work: the team divided up the neighborhoods, hiked the streets, did the research, snapped the photos (thousands of them), and wrote the descriptions (“smart, vivid, funny, and opinionated,” according to the New York Times). It was true research and eyewitness reporting, covering all five boroughs, one church, school, row house, park, restaurant, and statue at a time.

For the second (1978) and third (1988) editions the collaboration continued between White and Willensky. White might write about Greenwich Village while Willensky wrote about Sheepshead Bay, and then they would swap for the following edition, revisiting each other’s territory and rewriting each other’s text. Willensky passed away in 1990, and the fourth edition (2000) was completed solo by White. My involvement in the Guide‘s upcoming fifth edition (Oxford University Press, 2010) offered a chance for White to re-establish a true collaborative writing process, but a new mechanism for that collaboration had to be discovered, since White now lives in France and I live in Brooklyn. Sending a 1,200 page Word document back and forth was out of the question. Then, last summer, we discovered Google Docs.

The beauty of Google Docs is that our text resides on the Internet, where both of us can access it simultaneously. If one of us finds an interesting building we hadn’t noticed before, we post an initial description and then wait for the other to rewrite it. Many of the descriptions in the new Guide have been written equally by both of us, and rewritten so many times I can no longer tell which parts I wrote. Here are some examples from the new Guide in progress:

40 Gansevoort Street, SE corner of Greenwich Street. 2006. Morris Adjmi.
Gansevoort Market boasts unique vernacular architecture: block buildings with loading docks, canopies pendant over the sidewalk: their steel joists and translucent vinyl panels cabled to the facade. Here Adjmi, a disciple of the late, great Italian architect Aldo Rossi, attempts new canopies, using the same vocabulary.

Bar 89 (restaurant), 89 Mercer Street, between Spring and Broome Sts. 1995. Ogawa/Depardon.
89’s two stories of crisp steel and glass reveal a double height dining space (a mezzanine in the far corner). The skylight overhead, a parabola, washes the space with natural light, the curve of the bar repeating the trigonometry above.

A Call for Environmental Justice on a National Scale

The South Bronx holds 40% of NYC’s waste, 100% of the Bronx’s waste, four electrical power plants, a sewage treatment plant, a sewage pelletizing plant, and sees more than 60,000 trucks pass through daily. These statistics, presented by Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) Founder and Majora Carter Group President Majora Carter at a recent talk at the Museum of the City of New York, brought to light for me the importance of thinking holistically when it comes to sustainable design.

“No community should harbor the burden of environmental waste while not getting any benefit from sustainability,” Carter argued, adding that if dumping grounds were placed in wealthy neighborhoods there would be no need to go green. Those communities would have found a way to keep their districts clean long ago.

By spreading both the wealth and the burden, the whole nation could potentially lower its emissions and perhaps improve the overall state of the environment. Currently, Carter is proposing to use the national grid to harvest sun and wind (“it is always sunny and windy somewhere in the nation”), and deliver green energy throughout the country, preferably via highways to avoid disrupting existing communities. I can see how remote towns would be directly connected with major cities; the coasts would be able to use inland resources usually unavailable to them, and vice versa. Instead of politics, nature could unify the U.S.

Whether it is with PlaNYC or the stimulus package, we need to start thinking beyond specific proposals and individual communities. Sustainable planning in a larger, global sense would create environmental justice — by improving the environment, creating jobs, and educating the nation — unparalleled to what we have seen before. Carter praised President Obama’s ideals, but claimed it is the responsibility of the nation to get involved with changing the world. She ended her talk with an Obama acronym that speaks beyond the man and to our future actions: “Officially Behaving as Magnificent Americans.”

In this issue:
· The Bronx is Up With a New Mixed-Use Development
· Jewish Braille Institute Reveals NY Headquarters
· Three Becomes One for New Housing in Brooklyn Historic District
· Green Design to Revitalize New Brunswick
· The Beacon Shines Once Again


The Bronx is Up With a New Mixed-Use Development

Fordham Place.

GreenbergFarrow

The recently opened Fordham Place, designed by GreenbergFarrow, is the first new mixed-use development in the Bronx in more than 15 years and the first Class A office building to be built in the borough in over 20 years. The 276,475-square-foot retail and office complex, developed by Acadia Realty Trust and its partner PA Associates, is located opposite Fordham University. Maintaining and reusing as much of the existing structure as possible, the design adds a total of approximately 90,000 square feet to the property’s first six floors. Other upgrades include an expanded cellar, and the relocation of the loading dock, which was replaced by a two- to five-story glass structure serving as an entrance to the upper-level retailers.


Jewish Braille Institute Reveals NY Headquarters

JBI International.

Fink & Platt Architects

JBI International, established in 1931 as the non-profit Jewish Braille Institute that provides blind and visually impaired readers with literature in audio, large print, and Braille, has recently opened a 20,000-square-foot facility in midtown Manhattan. Designed by Fink & Platt Architects, the new JBI Library includes a complete renovation of the organization’s existing 17,500-square-foot, seven-story building, a two-story, 2,500-square-foot addition, and a new curtain wall and storefront to replace the failing masonry façade. The library includes a digital recording studio, post-production and circulation departments, high-efficiency archival media storage, executive offices, meeting rooms, staff lounge, roof garden, and tenant rental space. Fink & Platt established a strong visual identity for the space through color, materials, and graphics. Graphic design firm Whitehouse & Company created a Braille map for the lobby and custom wallpaper that communicate the mission of the organization. The project was partially funded by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).


Three Becomes One for New Housing in Brooklyn Historic District

Old Fulton Street Apartments.

Fifield Piaker Elman Architects

Three adjoining Greek Revival commercial structures built from 1836-1839 in Brooklyn’s Fulton Ferry Historic District in Dumbo will be transformed into a 15-unit apartment building with retail on the ground floor. Designed by Fifield Piaker Elman Architects for Northside Development, the buildings’ façades will be restored. Internally, the units will be united by replacing the original structural columns and floor joists with a new steel frame allowing for clear spans between bearing walls. The new brick rear façade will feature punched window openings with double-hung windows compatible with the historic front façade. The penthouse addition, which will be set back, has a sloped upper façade so that it will be barely visible from the street, and won’t detract from the building’s architectural character. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved the plans for the buildings, and the project is scheduled to be completed in early 2010.


Green Design to Revitalize New Brunswick

Hiram Square Condominium.

Tarantino Architect

Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino, of NJ-based Tarantino Architect, have teamed with the owners of the Frog and The Peach Restaurant at Hiram Square in downtown New Brunswick to design and develop a multi-unit, sustainable residential condominium adjoining the restaurant. The restaurateurs, Jim Black and Betsy Alger, have a background in environmental design and horticulture, which may account for the fact that the project contains a green roof for growing herbs for the restaurant and beehives for honey production. Other green features include renewable solar energy collection, geothermal heat systems, recycled building materials, on-site wind power and a solar veil. The one- and two-bedroom units will contain private green spaces with outdoor accessibility, radiant heating, sustainable interior finishes, and renewable materials. Green amenities include Smart Car Zip Car service, and culinary amenities include a “Take Home Chef.” The project is part of the vision for revitalizing New Brunswick and the riverfront, and aspires to be the first residential project in the city to receive a LEED-Platinum certification.


The Beacon Shines Once Again
Following a seven-month, $16 million restoration, the 2,800-seat landmark Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side reopened this month. The 1927 theater was designed by architect Walter Ahlschlager in a mix of styles including Greek, Roman, Renaissance, and Rococo. Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners headed-up the comprehensive restoration project that focused on all historic interior public spaces, backstage, and back-of-house areas, and was based on extensive research and on-site examination of original, decorative painting techniques. Restoration elements range from historic finishes in the lobbies, to custom patterned carpet based on the original designs, and the original 30-foot-high Venetian-inspired chandelier. Over the course of the restoration process, more than 1,000 artisans, craftsmen, and tradesmen worked on the project.