In this issue:
· NYC Turns Old Into Green
· Transportation Reform Rolls Into Washington
· Proposed Energy Code Sets New Standards for Clean Energy
· ARE Prices Increase
· Tribute: Bernard Rothzeid, FAIA, Architect, 83

NYC Turns Old Into Green

AIANY Committee on the Environment (COTE) co-chairs Patricia Sapinsley, AIA, and Charlie Griffith, AIA, with AIANY Policy Director Marian Imperatore, AIA, have been busy gathering support for four green building bills coming before the City Council Friday, June 26. The NYCC Buildings Energy Legislation (# 476A Benchmarking, #973 Lighting Upgrades, #564 NYC Energy Code, and #967 Audits and Retrofits) — prepared by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability — will extend the reach of the city’s energy rules. The bills will ensure that, for the first time, New York State’s Energy Code will apply energy standards to the city’s existing building stock. It requires, among other things, that building owners audit their energy use and upgrade their buildings’ energy profile when they renovate (previously, that energy upgrade had only applied to major renovations). The legislation will cut down on NYC’s carbon footprint and improve the city’s building stock. AIANY and the USGBC are supportive, but there will be significant opposition from some NYC property owners. To contact your councilmember, click here. More on the vote in the next edition of e-Oculus.

Transportation Reform Rolls Into Washington

Last week the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee released the summary of their Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009. Drafted by Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) and Ranking Republican John Mica (R-FL), the six-year, $450-billion bill brings 75 different programs under one, sustainability-minded umbrella. For the design community, the most important component of the act is the new Office of Livable Communities. The U.S. Department of Transportation-based office would bring transportation and community planning together as never before. However, the Senate still has to respond, and Congress members aren’t sure where the budget will come from. President Obama suggested the bill wait 18 months for more funds, as the current transportation financing, in The Highway Trust Fund, is running close to empty.

Proposed Energy Code Sets New Standards for Clean Energy

The New Buildings Institute and AIA announced their plan for a new International Energy Conservation Code. They are proposing that the International Code Council adopt the new standards — which would improve energy performance, reduce emissions, and improve efficiency in new commercial buildings by up to 30% — for their next update, which is due out in 2012. Read more about the proposal here.

ARE Prices Increase

You have until October 1 to schedule Architect Registration Exam (ARE) appointments at the $170-per-division price. On that day, prices for each division will increase by $40. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) explains that this security and development fee is due to recent content disclosure incidents. The upshot of a few candidates posting ARE questions on the Internet created new content development, administrative, and legal fees. The cost to NCARB: $1.1 million. Click here for the full story.

Tribute: Bernard Rothzeid, FAIA, Architect, 83

Bernard Rothzeid, FAIA, a leading New York architect and founder of RKT&B Architects, died of leukemia on May 25, 2009. He was 83 and lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Although Bernie Rothzeid was 10 years my senior, we had much in common (we both attended Stuyvesant High School and MIT, followed by a Fulbright Traveling Grant). It was natural for me to look to him as a leader in our profession, and a most serious and dedicated architect.

After his Fulbright to Italy and on his return to New York, Bernie became a project architect at I.M. Pei and Partners, supervising the design and construction of such large-scale projects as the Place Ville Marie in Montreal. Bernie became a pioneer in the adaptive re-use of existing structures. Turtle Bay Towers, a former commercial building, received a First Honor Award from the AIA and was, at the time, the largest residential conversion in the city. In 1963, he founded his own architectural firm and rapidly acquired major clients. By 1974, as Bernard Rothzeid & Partners, the firm continued to prosper, and in 1981 became Rothzeid Kaiserman Thomson & Bee, converting and renovating buildings of all types, many of which received city, state, and/or national awards for innovative design. Historic preservation became an RKT&B specialty.

Bernie was elected to the College of Fellows of the AIA in 1979, and in 1986 he received the Augustus Saint Gaudens Award from The Cooper Union from which he graduated before getting his Master’s at MIT. (Prior to Cooper Union, he served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines during World War II from 1944-1946.) He served on the boards of The Cooper Union, New York Methodist Hospital, and the Citizen’s Housing and Planning Council, and was active in numerous other organizations. He also taught at The Cooper Union and at the School of Architecture and Environmental Studies at City College in New York. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded him a grant in 1980 to study the chattel houses in Barbados.

He was highly esteemed by students, clients, and associates alike as a devoted mentor, exemplary colleague, and loyal friend. I often sought him out for advice, especially in the area of preservation, mixing old and new. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Madge, his daughter Mitzie and his son Alexander. In addition to his lifelong commitment to his family and to architecture, he was an avid theatergoer, reader, gardener, and New York Giants fan. But among his preoccupations in recent years, none took hold with greater passion than his return to drawing and painting, which he had first learned as an art student at Cooper Union. “There’s something very beautiful about a well-crafted drawing,” he recently remarked. “You don’t get it with a machine drawing.”

Students Take on Manhattanville


Student proposals for Manhattanville.

Courtesy Center for Architecture Foundation

The evening of June 16 marked a commencement of sorts for sixth-grade students at P.S. 161 in Harlem. A presentation of models for a future Manhattanville was created by the students in response to Columbia University’s expansion in the Manhattanville/West Harlem neighborhood, a few blocks away from their school. Throughout the presentation, a wealth of knowledge was shared by the students who provided their own perspectives on how Manhattanville should be transformed. Ideas such as ferry terminals, hospitals accessible to everyone, recycling centers with green roofs, college dorms with practical amenities nearby, and open space were on the top of the list of programmatic elements.

The student investigation of Manhattanville was conducted by Jane Cowan, a design educator for the Center for Architecture Foundation. A partnership with the school first began when the students were in the fourth grade, and has continued as part of the Foundation’s Learning By Design:NY in-school residency program. The focus of the residency was to introduce the students to the history and architecture of Harlem with an emphasis on the inevitable notion of change in the city and in our lives. Students investigated the community’s history through its landmarks — constructing models of 25 significant sites, and writing and performing plays using those landmarks as the backdrop to historical and social events. Then they focused more specifically to the history of Manhattanville, where they researched buildings in the expansion area, photo-documented the streetscapes, and conducted interviews with people in the neighborhood.

A visit to Columbia provided students the opportunity to learn more about the university’s plans, as well, giving the students a perspective on the professional side of development and an opportunity to envision themselves on a path toward higher education. The resulting work was a synthesis of the many projects which took place during the residency. The students have been exposed to Manhattanville’s historic and architectural fabric and are informed of the changes to come. Their documentation of the area is an important record, and hopefully their memory of this neighborhood will remain with them and be passed on to the next generation of Harlem residents.

In addition to the participation and input of students and staff at P.S. 161, Leila Vujosevic of OMNI Architects and Hermes Mallea, AIA, from M(Group) offered their support, sponsorship, and time to the endeavor.

For more information about the programs offered by the Center for Architecture Foundation, visit

Free Bike Fridays on Governors Island

If it ever stops raining, take advantage of this recession-friendly program over the summer. More than 200 bikes are available to ride around five miles of car-free paths on Governors Island, for up to one hour. The entire 2.2-mile promenade that circles the island is open for the first time, including Picnic Point, a new eight-acre picnic area at the southwestern corner. On Fridays through 10.09.09, Governors Island is open from 10am-5pm. Bikes are available to rent on Saturdays and Sundays, and visitors are also permitted to bring their own bikes. For more information, visit the Governors Island website.

While you are on the Island, also check out the city’s first public art quadrennial, Plot 09: This World & Nearer Ones, to be produced by Creative Time. The exhibition, which opens 06.27.09, will feature 19 public art commissions by international artists from nine countries, including Patti Smith and Mark Wallinger.

2009 Lumen Awards Winners include, in the following categories: Lumen Citation for Art Installation in a Public Space, “This Way” — Under the Brooklyn Bridge by Tillett Lighting Design, Inc. and KT3D; Lumen Citation for Featured Visual Element, GSC Group by Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Lumen Citation for Integration of Light, Architecture and Signage, TKTS Ticket Booth by Fisher Marantz Stone, Inc., Perkins Eastman, and Choi Ropiha Architects (Competition Architect); Lumen Citation for Merchandise Lighting, Elizabeth Arden, Fifth Avenue by RS Lighting Design and Highland Associates, NYC; Lumen Citation for Technical Lighting Achievement, NYC Waterfalls by Jaros, Baum & Bolles; Lumen Award of Merit, Bar Boulud by Tirschwell & Co., Inc., Design Bureaux (Design Architect) and Michael Zenreich Architects (Arch. of Record); Lumen Award of Merit, Royalton Hotel by Focus Lighting Team; Lumen Feltman Award of Excellence, Vera Wang New York Flagship Store by Tillotson Design Associates and Gabellini Sheppard Associates; and Lumen Award of Excellence, Museum of Islamic Arts — Interior by Fisher Marantz Stone, Inc. and I.M. Pei Architect

The AIA New Jersey Chapter, Preservation New Jersey, and the DOCOMOMO-US New York/ Tri-State Chapter were recognized with a Historic Preservation Award for Bell Labs Charrette…

Parsons The New School for Design has appointed William Morrish as dean of the School of Constructed Environments, which houses Parsons’ programs in Architecture, Interior Design, Lighting Design, and Product Design… The Executive Committee of the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) elected Victor F. Ganzi as Chairman, succeeding John Chalsty who resigned in March after 15 years of service…

Ted Moudis Associates announced an alliance with London-based MCM Architecture Ltd… Alfred Moreno has joined Stantec as a Principal and Airport Terminal Leader for the U.S…

06.16-17.09: AIANY manned a table at Green BuildingsNY at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

Suzanne Mecs, AIANY Director of Membership (left), with Judith Chavez-Webster, International Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, a member of the AIA Long Island Chapter.

Courtesy AIANY

05.20.09: A ceremony took place at BellTel Lofts, 365 Bridge Street, Downtown Brooklyn, to mark its designation as a City Landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission.

05.28.09: Award-winning kites from FlyNY were auctioned off during a cocktail party and exhibition at the Knoll showroom in Chelsea. Proceeds will be donated Architecture for Humanity New York.

First Prize-Winning Kite on Display: Heinrich Hohmann’s “City of Glass” (German version of Japanese edo kite).

Courtesy Aurelie Paradiso, Creative Director and Co-Founder, FlyNY

05.28.09: openhousenewyork (OHNY) held the first of a series of benefits, called private spaces/private access parties, at the Flag Art Foundation.

Pictured: Scott Lauer, founder of OHNY, and Richard Gluckman, FAIA, partner, Gluckman Mayner.

Odette Veneziano

06.11.09: The second private spaces/private access party to benefit OHNY at an 1830s Federal-style townhouse restored and renovated by AND Architects and developed by Blesso Properties.

Pictured (l-r): Andrea Steele, AIA, of AND Architects; Scott Lauer, founder of OHNY; Matthew Blesso, Blesso Properties; and Renee Schacht, OHNY executive director.

Ari Burling Photography

2009 Oculus 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 want to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. The themes:

Winter Issue: Health & Architecture. Architecture designed to promote fitness, health, and wellness will be profiled. Projects selected from within this growing field will demonstrate sensitivity to generational and demographic issues, sustainability, and technology.
08.01.09: Suggestion Deadline

If you have suggestions, please contact OCULUS editor-in-chief Kristen Richards.

06.29.09 Call for Entries: Arquitectum Architecture Competition: Paris 2009

07.15.09 Call for Entries: Idea for Action Kaohsiung International Competition

07.27.09 Call for Entries: Green Garage Inventors Competition

08.23.09 Call for Submissions: Design it: Shelter Competition

10.14.09 Call for Entries: AIAS/Kawneer 2009 Student Design Competition

11.17.09 Call for Entries: 2010 Skyscraper Competition

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.


A Space Within: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum

June 25 – September 14, 2009

On September 11th, 2001, what had been one of the world’s most densely developed business districts became, for many, hallowed ground. Soon after, questions emerged. What comes next? How could one site serve the needs of victims’ families, survivors of the attacks, members of the surrounding communities, business interests, and visitors?

The answer required a clear separation of the sacred and the secular; a defined, eight-acre space, serving as a tribute, would be created within the larger development. A Space Within is a public showcase of the memorial and museum that are now taking shape at the heart of the World Trade Center site.

Memorial design by Michael Arad and Peter Walker
Museum design by Davis Brody Bond Aedas
Museum pavilion design by Snøhetta

Exhibition curator:
Thomas Mellins
Exhibition design: Incorporated Architecture & Design

Exhibition and related programs are organized by the AIA New York Chapter in partnership with the Center for Architecture Foundation and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors:

National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Leading Sponsor: Digital Plus
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Associated Fabrication
Supporter: Adamson Associates
Fisher Marantz Stone
Guy Nordenson and Associates Structural Engineers
Horizon Engineering Associates
Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
WSP Cantor Seinuk


New Practices San Francisco

June 04 – September 19, 2009

New Practices San Francisco is the 2009, West Coast premiere of AIA New York’s annual portfolio competition and exhibition. New Practices San Francisco is a platform for recognizing and promoting new and emerging architecture firms within San Francisco that have undertaken innovative strategies — both in projects and practice. The New Practices program was launched in 2005 by AIA New York to showcase promising new architectural firms.

New Practices San Francisco will be on view at the Center for Architecture from June 4, 2009 through September 19, 2009. It will then be on view at the Center for Architecture & Design, San Francisco, from November 12, 2009 through January 29, 2010. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of programs organized by the AIA New York Chapter in collaboration with the New Practices Committee and AIA San Francisco.

Congratulations to our 2009 New Practices San Francisco Winners:

* CMG Landscape Architecture
* Edmonds + Lee Architects
* Faulders Studio
* Kennerly Architecture & Planning
* Min|Day
* Public Architecture

Exhibition Design:

Matter Practice, 2008 New Practices New York winning firm.

Graphic Design:
Anyspace Studio

Organized By:
AIA New York/ Center for Architecture, AIA San Francisco/ Center for Architecture + Design, and the New Practices Committee

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors:

Lead Sponsor:

Presenting Sponsor: Hafele
Sponsor: MG & Company
Supporter: Hawa
Friends: diamondLife, Specialty Finishes, Trespa and Yarde Metals – Hauppauge, NY, and Hotel Carlton San Francisco
Media Partner: The Architect’s Newspaper

The Global Polis: Interactive Infrastructures

May 15 – August 29, 2009

What is infrastructure? For much of the twentieth century, the answer to this question was guided by the ideology of functionalist urbanism, a school of thought that said that all healthy cities served four major needs – work, housing, recreation, and transportation. Today, we no longer take this view for granted, for it is a perspective that makes no provisions for community, identity, or history. At the same time, we still lack an alternative model for visualizing the city that can deal adequately with the public health and quality-of-life issues that the early functionalists sought to address. Our capacity to balance urban development with the demands of ecological imperatives and social needs has only worsened in recent decades, and this exhibition asks whether the trend can be reversed.

Global Polis: Interactive Infrastructures documents a series of contemporary experiments in planning, architecture, and design that treat cities and their environments in holistic terms, as a complex social, political, and ecological matrix – not just as an assembly of buildings, roadways, bridges, pipes, and tunnels (although each of these is important). Infrastructure cannot be divorced from the structure of democracy, from the environment at large, and the contributions to this exhibition highlight the important role that community, communication, participation, and the sharing of knowledge can play in informing understanding of the urban fabric.

This spring and summer, a series of workshops and public programs will be held to generate discussion and debate about civic participation, urbanism, and design. Drawings and diagrams produced in the workshops will be incorporated into the exhibition as an evolving presentation of ideas.

Exhibition and related programs organized by AIA New York in partnership with Architecture for Humanity New York (AFHny) , The Austrian Cultural Forum, and the American Institute for Graphic Arts New York (AIGA NY).

Curator: Nader Vossoughian
Exhibition Design: Project Projects



Center for Architecture Foundation

Lead Sponsor:


Consulate General of The Netherlands


Times Square Alliance

Through 06.27.09
The Cooper Union End of the Year Show

Digital drawing made by thesis student Lythia Xynogala, “Title: Heat and Desertification in the Mediterranean: Cooling down through Architecture.”

Courtesy Cooper Union

Students at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art formally exhibit their works. The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture presents work ranging from architectural drawings and detailed scale models to computer-aided renderings of famous sites and emerging developments.

The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue

Through 07.17.09 2009
Young Architects Forum: Foresight

Courtesy The Architectural League of New York

This year’s Architectural League Young Architects Forum focused on the theme “Foresight.” Entrants considered how architectural ideas might resonate beyond professional boundaries and address how to align the ambitions and capacities of architecture with the needs and desires of a diverse and changing world.

Urban Center
457 Madison Avenue

Through 09.27.09
Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson

Frederik de Wit, Map of Amsterdam, 1698.

Courtesy National Maritime Museum Amsterdam/Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum Amsterdam

Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of New York Harbor, this exhibition investigates the connections between Amsterdam and New Amsterdam to reveal their shared history of entrepreneurship and economic innovation, republican political protest, and diverse religious views. The exhibition is the first of three exhibitions in conjunction with the Quadricentennial.

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue

Architecture Takes the Stairs (continued)

At the scale of the individual structure, panelists agreed that designers can effectively promote activity through stair design. Victoria Milne, director of creative services for the Department of Design and Construction, believes that stairs should be “prominent, primary, pleasant, and preferred.” A successful exterior stair, according to Charles McKinney, ASLA, chief of design of capital projects for the Department of Parks & Recreation, is the entry to the newly opened High Line, designed by Field Operations with Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. Pedestrians climb an elongated staircase, gaining a new perspective while transitioning from city to park.

Designers can make stairs more accessible and appealing by adhering to optimal dimensions and using interesting, innovative materials. Andrew Dent, vice president of materials research for Material ConneXion, suggested products including fire-resistant glass with embedded LEDs for wayfinding as an option for stair enclosure, and durable, photo-luminescent signage for paving stones to indicate stair location.

An even more straightforward approach to encouraging stair use is the installation of “point of decision prompts,” such as the green signs that suggests taking the stairs to burn calories. According to Nancy Biberman, president of Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, these prompts have been very successful, increasing stair use as much as 67% in one 10-story affordable housing development.

Skip-stop elevators are also a good strategy to encourage stair use in tall buildings; for example, workers in Los Angeles’s Caltrans building by Morphosis are two times more likely to take the stairs, stated Jean Oei, architectural designer at the firm. Also by Morphosis, the new Cooper Union Academic Building in NYC aims for similar success by encouraging interaction between students and faculty in the corridors and stairs that wind through its 11-story atrium.

Active design does have its perceived roadblocks, including ADA Guidelines and clients themselves. While one might expect Matthew Sapolin, commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities, to be an opponent of active design, he believes that people with disabilities are open to walking or traveling farther if the appropriate programming is in place, such as rest stops or informative signs along a long, low-sloped ramp — an alternative to the traditional ADA ramp with guardrails. Kirsten Sibilia, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, chief marketing officer for JCJ Architecture, suggested ways that architects can market active design to their clients. They should engage the clients in a dialogue, she recommends; identifying established concepts clients will understand such as Energy Star ratings and LEED certifications, metrics that effectively illustrate the benefits of active design.

While codes in the 19th century focused on fighting infectious disease, posited Karen Lee, MD, MPH, deputy director of the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control at the DOHMH, the codes for the 21st century should counteract obesity-related chronic diseases. The panelists concurred that designers must take responsibility for public health by programming activity in and out of buildings. While many people prefer to take the path of least resistance — in this case, the car or the elevator — we must design provocative alternatives.

Thomas Farley, MD, MPH, the new Commissioner of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, was joined by four other NYC Commissioners in kicking off the Fit city conference on June 8th at the Center for Architecture. Look for more information and blog link in the next e-Oculus.

Courtesy AIANY