Officials Discuss Sustainable Urbanization at United Nations

Event: Conference on SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION IN THE INFORMATION AGE: Role of Infrastructure in Metropolitan Development
Location: United Nations Headquarters, 05.13.09
Speakers: For full list of speakers, click here
Organizers: The United Nations Human Settlements Programme; Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (GAID); AIA NY Chapter; Regional Plan Association
Sponsors: The Building and Social Housing Foundation; Forum for Urban Design; Novartis Corporation; The Levin Graduate Institute

The second edition of the Conference on Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age: The Role of Infrastructure in Metropolis Development, once again created a forum for a dialogue both among nations and between public and private spheres to achieve a more sustainable future.

Speakers from all corners of the world not only addressed the problems of rapid urbanization, but also attempted to vindicate the urban condition: “Urban centers are the ticking hearts of civilization” was the opening remark of Sarbuland Khan, executive coordinator of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division for Public Administration and Development Management Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (UN DESA DPADM GAID). This was later stressed by Alexandros Washburn, AIA, chief urban designer for the NYC Department of City Planning, in quoting Aristotle: “In a village you can live, but in a city you live well.” AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, added, “Living well is the only sustainability.”

Keynote speaker Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, UN Under-Secretary General and executive director of the UN Human Settlements Programme, noted that the common ground among those present is the way their cities are managed and infrastructure is built. In these times when infrastructure is supposed to save the world from the falling economy, she urged cities to consider this an opportunity to install sustainability principles in infrastructure development processes. “The challenge,” she said, “is to integrate economic, environmental, and social policies to make our cities economically more competitive, ecologically more sustainable, and socially more inclusive and gender responsive…. We need local action if we are going to achieve global goals.”

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Design Awards in Architecture Return to Early Modernism

Event: Design Awards Symposium — Architecture Winners
Location: Center for Architecture, 05.06.09
Moderator: Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen — Assistant Professor of Design, History, and Theory of Architecture, Yale School of Architecture
Speakers: Kevin Rice — Associate, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (Alice Tully Hall, Honor); Kyle Lommen — Principal, Allied Works Architecture (Dutchess County Residence — Guest House, Honor + The Museum of Arts and Design, Merit); Stephen Dayton — Partner, Thomas Phifer and Partners (Millbrook House, Honor) + Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University, Honor); David Mallott — Senior Designer, Kohn Pedersen Fox (Shanghai World Financial Center, Honor); Carlos Arnaiz — Associate Partner, Stan Allen Architect (Chosen Children Village Chapel, Merit); Joel Sanders, AIA — Principal, Joel Sanders Architect (House on Mount Merino, Merit); Marc Leff, AIA — Partner, Deborah Berke & Partners Architects (Irwin Union Bank, Creekview Branch, Merit); Nicholas Leahy, AIA — Principal, Perkins Eastman; William B. Fellows, AIA — Principal, PKSB Architects (TKTS Booth and Revitalization of Father Duffy Square, Merit)
Organizer: AIA New York Chapter
Sponsors: Benefactor: ABC Imaging; Patrons: Cosentino North America; The Rudin Family; Syska Hennessy Group; Lead Sponsors: Arup; Dagher Engineering; The Durst Organization; HOK; Mancini Duffy; Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Sponsors: AKF Group; Building Contractors Association; FXFOWLE Architects; Hopkins Foodservice Specialists; Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti; JFK&M Consulting Group; KI; Langan Engineering & Environmental Services; MechoShade Systems; New York University; Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; Rogers Marvel Architects; Steelcase; Studio Daniel Libeskind; Tishman Realty & Construction; VJ Associates; Weidlinger Associates; Zumtobel Lighting/International Lights

Honor Award-winning Design Awards in Architecture (clockwise): Alice Tully Hall by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects; Millbrook House by Thomas Phifer and Partners; Dutchess County Residence by Allied Works Architecture; Susan and Raymond Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University by Thomas Phifer and Partners; Shanghai World Financial Center by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

Courtesy AIANY

Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen was preaching to the choir when she said that, in this economic climate, getting anything built, let alone creating a building at the level of design excellence, is “a heroic act.” Acknowledging her bias towards prevailing European ideas of making architecture a part of the cultural and social agenda, as well as setting aesthetic and environmental standards, she lamented that buildings as good as the 10 Architecture Design Award-winning projects are accessible to few in this country — the roster of projects consist of three private houses, a bank, skyscraper, museum, university building, urban plaza, and performing arts center.

Honor award-winning Alice Tully Hall, by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects, is the first realized piece of the master plan at Lincoln Center. The renovation has made the theater more open and accessible to urban life, said associate Kevin Rice. “Even If you don’t have money to buy a ticket, you can peek into the lobby and the concert-goers become actors… One does not need to be an architect to comprehend the building.”

The TKTS Booth and the Revitalization of Father Duffy Square by Choi Ropiha, Perkins Eastman, and PKSB Architects, and recipient of a Merit award, started when the Van Alen Institute held a design competition. “We knew Times Square could become a town square for New York,” said Nick Leahy, AIA, of Perkins Eastman, and that was the concept they pitched to a plethora of city agencies and clients. The result is an urban public space and outdoor theater — a place to watch and be watched, William Fellows, AIA, principal at PKSB Architects, observed. The glowing red steps that top the TKTS booth were based upon the idea of a flying carpet.

KPF Associates’ Shanghai World Financial Center, which won an Honor Award, was in the works for more than 15 years. At 101 stories, the building’s footprint is just under an acre and has a total of four million square feet. “We wanted to make it not just an icon,” said Senior Designer David Mallot, “but part of the city.” The design team also wondered how they could get the public to interact with the building and its components — retail, offices, conference spaces, a hotel, and several observation decks. During the planning stages, according to Mallot, the public had some input — the proposed circular shaped void at the top of the building reminded the Chinese too much of the Japanese flag, and to be “politically correct,” it was changed to the shape of an upside down trapezoid.

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Architects Get in the Green Game

Event: AIANY Joins AmeriCorps for Community Service Day: “Getting Green Done”
Location: Thomas Jefferson Park Recreation Center, 05.09.09
Organizers: AIANY Emerging NY Architects Committee; AIANY

Designers conducted a charrette about ideas to green NYC.

Jessica Sheridan

Can a group of architects and designers come together and make NYC buildings carbon neutral, and even bring them off the grid? This was the question posed at the launch of AmeriCorps Week on May 9. Throughout the day, community groups gathered to plant trees, clean up parks, and improve schools under the theme, “Getting Green Done.” AIANY with the AIANY Emerging NY Architects Committee (of which this author is the co-chair) hosted a design charrette at the Thomas Jefferson Park Recreation Center aiming to prove that architects are key to sustainability efforts in the city.

After a general tour of the Robert Moses-commissioned bath house-turned-recreation center, designers and one engineer from Arup (“to keep us honest,” quipped Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, AIANY Vice President of Public Outreach) broke out into three groups tackling themes of energy, envelope, and program. Ideas included: inserting skylights and operable windows for cross ventilation; adding a green roof with photovoltaics; installing thermal solar hot water heaters and low-flow showerheads; re-using gray water from rain and the pool; insulating the walls; installing vertical shades; and providing opportunities for users to learn about the systems implemented. The programming team focused on limiting circulation so the maximum amount of space can be used for various activities. There was a small proposal that adjusted the existing circulation, medium-sized proposal that made the center more accessible, and a large proposal that sunk additional program below grade under earth berms.

After an afternoon of brainstorming, the team proved that it would not take much more than creative thinking to achieve carbon neutrality at the recreation center. While there are many engineers currently conducting everything from energy audits to mechanical system overhauls, they demonstrated that architects should also be called upon to conduct sustainability surveys of existing buildings. Perhaps if this team continues to grow, the success of PlaNYC will be possible by 2030.

Castro’s Cultural Legacy Under Construction…Again

Event: Unfinished Spaces: Cuba’s Architecture of Revolution, trailer screening and panel discussion
Location: Center for Architecture, 05.08.09
Speakers: Alysa Nahmias, Assoc. AIA — Co-Director/Producer, “Unfinished Spaces”; Ben Murray — Co-Director, “Unfinished Spaces”; John Stubbs — Vice President for Field Projects, World Monuments Fund; Luly Duke — President, Fundacion Amistad; Belmont Freeman, FAIA — Former President, Storefront for Art & Architecture & Principal, Belmont Freeman Architects
Moderator: Noushin Ehsan, AIA — Chair, AIANY Global Dialogues Committee
Organizers: AIANY Global Dialogues Committee
Sponsors: Brooklyn Brewery; Zafra Cuban Kitchens

“Unfinished Spaces,” 2010, film still. Location: School of Modern Dance by architect Ricardo Porro. Havana, Cuba.

Alysa Nahmias and Ben Murray

“Unfinished Spaces: Cuba’s Architecture of Revolution” (Anja Film. 2010), a film directed by Arnold W. Brunner Grant recipient Alysa Nahmias, Assoc. AIA, and Ben Murray, documents the story of Cuba’s National Art Schools, commissioned by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in 1961. The design of the five-discipline institute was deemed counter-revolutionary and halted in mid-construction. However, the schools’ program progressed as planned and classes have been held for the last 40 years amidst the rapidly decaying structures. Looted for material in the 1990s, the schools embody Cuba’s cultural heritage, radical architecture, regional building technologies, and restored hope for Cuba’s future. In 1999, they were placed on the World Monuments Fund Watch List, which calls attention to endangered cultural heritage sites.

In 1999, Castro invited the schools’ three original architects to complete construction on the complex and restore the Modern campus for its original use. In 2008, Cuban funding totaling USD$20 million accomplished restoration on two of the five schools that comprise the institute, and the project continues to progress. “Unfinished Spaces” explores the history of the project through interviews with the aging architects — Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti, and Roberto Gottardi — who must now acknowledge the change within the architectural world in which their cultural experiment was begun. Those who have played integral roles in what can be termed the “soft” revolution of the National Art Schools narrate the historical legacy of this project, its controversy during Castro’s regime, and its potential impact for the future of Cuba.

The film, intended to be a catalyst for public awareness, is currently in post-production and scheduled for release in 2010. Tax-deductible contributions to the production can be made through the Women Make Movies Fiscal Sponsorship website or by contacting info@ajnafilm.com.

A Picture Tells a Thousand Stories

Event: Objects, Environments, People, Stories: Building the blurring line between the physical and the virtual.
Location: Center for Architecture, 05.11.09
Speakers: James Tichenor & Joshua Walton — New Media Leads, Interaction Lab at Rockwell Group
Organizers: AIANY Technology Committee
Sponsors: ABC Imaging

Hall of Fragments.

Courtesy of the Rockwell Group

“Our physical spaces do not reflect our virtual selves anymore,” explained James Tichenor and Joshua Walton, new media leads of the Interaction Lab at Rockwell Group. Instead, they believe the physical and the virtual blend through interactive experiences augmented with digital technology, and it is important for the designers to remove people from the electronic world of handheld devices and place them into the space around them.

Tichenor and Walton see each project as a “storytelling” opportunity. At the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto, for example, friezes hang above the heads of the guests, reacting to the movement of those who pass below with digital renderings of natural forms like leaves, butterflies, flowers, waves, and snow. Similarly, the “Hall of Fragments,” designed in collaboration with jones | kroloff for the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, was an interactive entrance installation that distorted movie clips into prisms, which are then projected onto screens.

Each project is “like a landscape,” Tichenor and Walton explained. They need to be maintained after they are created. And just as in any landscape, there are aspects that cannot be controlled. While creating the pieces, the designers ask themselves questions such as, “How will people relate to objects? What stories will people tell? How will people relate to each other?” The answers come only when the project is built and people start using it. In a way, all of the projects are “props” that contribute to stories that have yet to be conceived.

Marketing, PR Committee Helps Jump Start Business

Event: Jump-Start Your Marketing Effort
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.28.09
Speakers: Marketing Communications: Richard Staub, FSMPS — President, Richard Staub Marketing Services; Sally Handley, FSMPS — President, Sally Handley Inc.; Business Development: Nancy Kleppel — Co-chair, AIANY Marketing & Public Relations Committee, Principal, Nancy Kleppel Consulting; Maxine Rhea Leighton, Assoc. AIA — Principal, Business Development/Director of Marketing, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects; Public Relations: David Grant — President, LVM Group; Joann Gonchar, AIA, LEED AP — Senior Editor, Architectural Record & GreenSource; Interviews/Presentations: Chris Strom, AIA — Director of Project Development, Mission Critical, Skanska USA Building, Inc.; Kathy Kleiver — Director of Business Development, H3Hardy Collaborative Architecture; At Large: Kirsten Sibilia, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP — Chief Marketing Officer, JCJ Architecture; Gretchen Bank, Assoc. AIA — Co-chair, AIANY Marketing & Public Relations Committee, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Selldorf Architects
Organizers: AIANY Marketing & Public Relations Committee
Sponsors: Skanska USA Building, Inc.; Stuart-Lynn Company

The take-away: “Advertising is what you pay for and PR is something you pray for.” David Grant, president of LVM Group, didn’t invent that line, but he imparted those words of wisdom at the first program of the AIANY’s reconstituted Marketing and PR Committee. Inspired by the work of the Not Business as Usual initiative and recognizing the issues of marketing and public relations were not being adequately addressed by other committees, the committee presented a workshop geared to provide firms of all sizes a comprehensive introduction to going about their marketing and PR efforts.

The opening session focused on marketing communications, business development, public relations, presentations, and the interview process. After a brief overview, the entire group was divided into four smaller sections, grouped by common experience or firm size. Each team of two speakers delivered their presentations separately to each group.

A post-program survey showed that attendees found the business development session most valuable, with a number of action items suggested. Active listening: put down all devices; don’t try to answer before you hear; be prepared to paraphrase what you have heard. Enhancing your relationships: pick one client or prospect to get to know better; do something social. Networking: go to an event; go out with a colleague or peer. Gathering information: add a new publication or media outlet to your regular list; read a broad-based selection of information for at least one hour per week. “Go/no go”: review or create your own questionnaire.

“Our objective,” said committee co-chair Nancy Kleppel, “was to present useful information to firm principals and technical and professional staff, and to enable them to take on some of their own marketing efforts. While we are welcoming to marketing professionals, we hope to have an ongoing dialogue with architects, offering them the tools and information they need to succeed. Going forward, we hope the professional community, the membership, will see the revived marketing committee as a resource.”

Comments by a cross-section of attendees were:

Debra Pickrel, Principal, Pickrel Communications: “I believe that there is strength in numbers — by sharing our insights with others, we develop both individual and collective vision, which benefits our profession at large.”

Ariel Wilchek, Focus Lighting: “I was able to share and absorb trade secrets to focus my efforts on getting published, gaining new clients, and making effective presentations.”

Peter C. Budeiri, AIA, Peter Budeiri + Associates: “The seminar made the point that my firm’s marketing and communications efforts should be focused on the client’s needs and interests, and that they should send a consistent message based on an accurate understanding of our strengths.”

Altering Landmarks: History Informs Design Decisions

Event: Landmarks Preservation Commission Process: Designation and Regulation
Location: Center for Architecture, 05.20.09
Speakers: Sarah Carroll — Director of Preservation, Landmarks Preservation Commission; Elise Quasebarth — Principal, Higgins Quasebarth & Partners
Organizer: AIANY Historic Buildings Committee

Architects often view the process of filing with the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) as an arduous one. Sarah Carroll, director of preservation for the LPC and Elise Quasebarth, principal of preservation consultant Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, presented what every architect working on a landmarked project should know, offering examples of successful renovations and additions.

The LPC includes 11 commissioners, who are appointed by the mayor. By law, at least three of these must be architects in addition to a historian, a city planner or landscape architect, a realtor, and a resident of each of the five boroughs. Landmarks in the city fall under four categories, and they include: 1,230 individual landmarks; 110 interior landmarks, which must be publicly accessible spaces; 95 historic districts plus 13 extensions; and 10 scenic city-owned landmarks. To make modifications to a landmark, architects must apply for the appropriate permit, filing with the LPC first before filing with the NYC Department of Building (DoB). The more complete the application, Carroll explained, the smoother the filing process becomes.

What architects don’t often realize is that scheduling a public hearing is typically a four- to six-week process, Carroll explained. Before a hearing can be scheduled, the architect must present the project to the local community board. Carroll offered some reassurance: projects aren’t usually denied outright at LPC public hearings; designers usually can revise the design to comply.

Quasebarth offered suggestions for architects who are building a case for an LPC application. While a tax photo — a historical photo of a building or space — is a good start, other sources of information include old maps, which can convey traffic patterns and previous block configurations, as well as old DoB filings. She suggested simply walking around the neighborhood to better understand the context. “It is important to understand the story and the specifics of the place you are working in,” she stated.

One example of this was when a client wanted to convert the Met Life Building to residences and change the double-hung windows to single-pane windows. Research revealed that a “modernization” project in the 1960s fitted the building with single-pane windows, so the LPC approved the return to this aesthetic.

The crystalline addition to the roof of the new Diane von Furstenberg Headquarters in the Meatpacking District, designed by WORKac, was deemed appropriate for its context given the pattern of quirky roof additions in the neighborhood. Likewise, the controversial design for Hearst Magazine Tower, by Foster + Partners, relied on precedents such as the Merchant Exchange Building and the firm’s expansion of the Reichstag in Berlin. The design was ultimately approved since the original Hearst building was constructed as a base, but never expanded due to the financial crisis in the 1930s.

While navigating the LPC filing process can be tricky, architects should focus on preparing a solid argument for the proposed changes that is based on historical precedents and a lot of research. When in doubt, ask questions: “Communication is key,” Carroll explained; she encourages architects to maintain an open dialogue with LPC staff. “They are there to help you through the process.”

Lighthearted Counterpoint in the Gehry Variations

Event: NYPL Live: Frank Gehry and Esa-Pekka Salonen in conversation with Barbara Isenberg and Alex Ross
Location: New York Public Library, 05.11.09
Speakers: Frank O. Gehry, FAIA — Principal, Gehry Partners; Barbara Isenberg — Associate Director, Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, & Author, Conversations with Frank Gehry (Random House, 2009); Alex Ross — Music Critic, The New Yorker; Paul Holdengräber — Director of Public Programs, Research Libraries of the New York Public Library (substituting for Salonen, composer and former conductor, Los Angeles Philharmonic)
Organizers: New York Public Library

Gehry Partners’ Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Photo by Mathew Imaging, courtesy LA Philharmonic

Listeners anticipated a breathtaking game of brain tennis between Frank Gehry, FAIA, designer of LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Esa-Pekka Salonen, the innovative conductor who has made it the home base for his orchestra’s experiments. Due to a back injury forcing a last-minute cancellation by Salonen, the speakers, instead, improvised on a range of topics — the importance of play in composition, the emigrant community in Los Angeles, the phenomenal tone achieved in Disney Hall by acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, the limits of “faceless” museum design despite many artists’ preference for it, and the oddity of the inquiries Gehry has received from neuroscientists about the nature of inspiration, including whether it’s more likely to occur in round or square rooms.

Music has long commanded and focused Gehry’s attention, and his remarks took on particular animation during interchanges with music writer Alex Ross about Salonen’s mission to strengthen audiences’ understanding of 20th-century modernist music, particularly its continuities with earlier tonal forms. (The precision and logic of Bach’s Goldberg Variations appeals strongly to Gehry.) Paul Holdengräber, director of public programs at the NY Public Library’s research libraries, elicited several remarks on process: though his firm’s use of digital design technology has revolutionized the field, Gehry favors hand sketching and fears that computers are eroding that skill among younger architects. He explained his tendency to revise sketches extensively, or nearly indefinitely, to incorporate evolving program, site, and budget information into an initial idea (“It’s like a crystal; I keep it liquid as long as I can”). He also addressed the local-interest question raised by several audience members, the status of his contribution to the stalled Atlantic Yards complex in Brooklyn — he maintains a glass-half-full position.

Gehry differs from several of his Pritzker-laureate peers in being reluctant to offer general theories. His public statements reveal a lively intellect, and he is relaxed enough to play along with self-effacing anecdotes such as his cartoon-mediated appearance on The Simpsons, turning a discarded sheet of crumpled paper into a concert-hall design for Springfield and pronouncing himself a genius. Ross played an excerpt from Salonen’s Wing on Wing, a site-specific composition that references the sail and fish shapes that inspired Disney Hall and includes samples of Gehry’s voice (including the phrase “Why the fish?” — to which orchestra members invariably reply in rehearsal, “Because there’s no beef”). About Gehry’s imagination, there’s nothing fishy at all, and there’s plenty of beef.

Wright Spaces Still Relevant 50 Years Later

Event: Now What Architecture?
Location: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 05.14-15.09
Speakers: Urban Spaces: Anthony Vidler — Dean, School of Architecture, Cooper Union School of Architecture (Moderator), Amale Andraos — Principal, WORKac, Adriaan Geuze — Principal, West 8; Thomas Krens — Senior Advisor for International Affairs, Guggenheim Foundation; Personal Spaces: David van der Leer — Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, Guggenheim Museum (Moderator); Phil Allsopp — President & CEO, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation; David Adjaye, Hon. FAIA — Principal, Adjaye Associates; Toshiko Mori, FAIA — Principal, Toshiko Mori Architect; Shared Spaces: Julie Iovine — Executive Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper (Moderator); Beatriz Colomina — Director of Graduate Studies, Ph.D. Program & Director, Program in Media and Modernity, Princeton University; Stan Allen, AIA — Principal, Stan Allen Architect; Reinhold Martin — Associate Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Organizers: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in collaboration with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation on the occasion of “Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward”

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY. 1943-59.

2009 The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona.

In conjunction with the Guggenheim’s 50th anniversary and exhibition, “Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward,” this symposium sought to answer Wright’s seminal question, “Now what architecture?” Depending where emphasis is placed, this statement can take on several meanings. Likewise, the panelists expressed diverse perspectives while examining Wright’s influence in defining urban, personal, and shared spaces.

Wright’s approach to urban space is often contrasted with Le Corbusier’s, but Amale Andraos, principal of WORKac, finds several similarities. The designs for Wright’s Broadacre City and Le Corbusier’s Radiant City both combine infrastructure with public space, a similar concept applied in recent projects such as the High Line. Additionally, Wright and Le Corbusier each provided shared farm space for inhabitants — a solution that is practical today in urban environments. Andraos cited the Red Hook Farm and WORKac’s design for Public Farm for P.S.1 as examples.

Most evident in his residential designs, Wright sought to “create architecture that resonates with the human spirit,” said Phil Allsopp, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Like Wright, David Adjaye, Hon. FAIA, principal of Adjaye Associates, proposes that home designs should be “bespoke” rather than industrialized. He advocates re-using the existing fabric and invites the challenge of transforming an imperfect lot into a luxurious repose for his client.

Before Toshiko Mori, FAIA, became familiar with Wright’s work, she was surprised to find that her residential plans were similar to his designs. Since Wright designed for modern life, his layouts are still relevant, she believes. Mori recently designed a visitor’s center for Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo. Rather than emulate the house, she sought to contrast it by creating a simple glass pavilion that provides uninterrupted views.

Stan Allen, AIA, explained that Wright found freedom in horizontality: he even considered the Guggenheim to be a one-story building. However, contemporary trends for defining shared space, Allen believes, have shifted to the reconsideration of the vertical surface. “There is an emerging trend towards ‘landscape buildings,'” Allen noted, referring to recent projects including MVRDV’s Hannover Pavilion Expo and SANAA’s EPFL Learning Center.

Wright designed spaces to accommodate and enhance the lives of inhabitants — from small-scale residences to vast urban planning. Now, what architecture!