In this issue:
· New York’s Bravest Receive Design Excellence
· Museum of Jewish Heritage Expands View
· LEED Platinum Building Serves as Test Lab to Improve Respiratory Health
· Sponge Park & Eco Dock Are in Brooklyn’s Future
· Museum Hotel Fosters Arts, Urban Revival
· Crocker Art Museum Triples for 125th Anniversary

New York’s Bravest Receive Design Excellence


Engine Company 201.

© Albert Vecerka / Esto, courtesy FDNY

Engine Company 201 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, designed by RKT&B Architecture and Urban Design, is the first completed firehouse as part of the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s Design Excellence Program. It is also the city’s first firehouse to be built with glass doors at ground level, expressing the importance the firehouse plays in the community by visually connecting firefighters with the neighborhood they serve. The design gives top priority to apparatus floor functions, response time, and operational efficiency of the shared spaces. The second floor contains offices, bunkrooms, bathrooms, lockers, and storage facilities, with horizontal and vertical circulation allowing fast access to the trucks on the ground floor. The third floor contains private spaces and includes a dormitory bunkroom, study facilities, and locker rooms. Design elements include a Maltese Cross, which is embossed on the street-level glass doors and expressed as an illuminated light box on the third floor façade. Brightly glazed red brick is used throughout, and a pre-existing ground floor memorial dedicated to fallen heroes has been preserved.

Museum of Jewish Heritage Expands View


Keeping History Center.

Melanie Einzig

The recently opened 2,200-square-foot Keeping History Center is the first permanent addition to the Museum of Jewish Heritage since the Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates-designed Robert M. Morgenthau Wing opened in 2003. Designed by the interdisciplinary design firm C&G Partners, and Potion, a design and technology firm, the center is located at the end of a special exhibition hall that contains the Garden of Stones Timekeeper, a time-lapse showcase of Andy Goldsworthy’s sculptural installation. With panoramic views of New York Harbor, modular Plyboo chevron-shaped benches echo the room’s position in relation to the Statue of Liberty. They are located in circular listening stations that play “Voices of Liberty,” a soundscape of immigrant voices describing arriving in America for the first time accessed via an iPod Touch. One of the voices is Daniel Libeskind, AIA, who arrived in New York in 1959.

LEED Platinum Building Serves as Test Lab to Improve Respiratory Health


The Eltona.

Danois Architects

The Eltona, a five-story residential building in Melrose Commons in the South Bronx, is a standout with the 10 wind turbines mounted on its parapet to generate electricity for the building. The 70,566-square-foot, LEED Platinum project, designed by Danois Architects, contains 63 residential rental units ranging from one to three bedrooms, with a ground-floor community room, 6,800 square feet of landscaped recreation space, and an adjacent community garden. Located in an area known as the “Harlem-South Bronx Asthma Corridor,” residents will serve as subjects for the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which will investigate and quantify what effects living in a green building may have on respiratory health of asthma sufferers. Not only is the building 100% smoke-free, each apartment will have a separate air ventilation system, and all public areas will be served by high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter systems. Blue Sea Development, the building management company, constructed the $16.5 million Eltona in partnership with agencies including the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation, and the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

Sponge Park & Eco Dock Are in Brooklyn’s Future


Eco Dock Prototype.

Guardia Architects

The development of the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, designed by dlandstudio, recently took a step forward when the fiscal year Interior and Environment Appropriations conference report was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill includes $300,000 for the project, which will incorporate greenery along the banks of the canal to manage excess runoff and help improve water quality. Still awaiting decision is whether the polluted canal will be declared a U.S. Superfund site.

With funding in place, the first of several planned Eco Docks will be constructed by next summer. Designed by Guardia Architects and located at the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the dock will be a flexible, lightweight, 20-by-40-foot barge. Cost-effective to build and easy to maintain, the project will become a prototype to extend up the Hudson River to Albany, with numerous Eco Docks ready for visitor drop-off and pick-up, community programs, and possibly, ferry service. The docks are a legacy project of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission, spearheaded by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.

Museum Hotel Fosters Arts, Urban Revival


21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati.

Deborah Berke & Partners Architects

Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, who served as design architect for the original 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, KY, will repeat the role at the new 21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati. The renovation will restore the 97-year-old former Metropole Hotel, recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Building on 21c Museum Hotel’s mission of engaging the public with contemporary art, the hotel will feature a contemporary art museum with more than 8,000 square feet of exhibition space. In addition, the facility will contain 160 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, and meeting spaces. Located adjacent to the Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati (by Zaha Hadid Architects) and across the street from the Aronoff Center for the Arts (by César Pelli, FAIA), the new museum/hotel is expected to help foster the ongoing revival of the city and strengthen its role as a cultural destination. The firm will collaborate with Pittsburgh-based Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel as executive architect, noted for its experience in historic preservation projects.

Crocker Art Museum Triples for 125th Anniversary


Crocker Art Museum.

Courtesy Crocker Art Museum

Next October, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA, will open a new 125,000-square-foot expansion/addition, designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, which will more than triple the museum’s current size. The new building will complement the historic museum and expand its capacity for its growing collection, traveling exhibitions, and educational programs. Upon arriving at the new museum, visitors will enter a two-story, glass-walled court from a new 7,000-square-foot open-air courtyard. The indoor and outdoor spaces of the first floor will provide a community gathering place. The building will also include: expanded educational and art studio space; a teacher resource center; a space for participatory arts programming; an expanded library; student exhibition galleries; a 260-seat auditorium and meeting center; a café with indoor and outdoor seating; a redesigned store; space for onsite collections care and storage; and a new conservation lab. A Works on Paper Study Center will improve access for visiting scholars studying the Crocker’s master drawings collection.

In this issue:
· Get involved in New York City!
· Women’s Senate Network Welcomes AIA
· Save the Dates for AIA New York State
· AIA Releases More Online Contract Documents
· Diagrams Look at Licensure
· NCARB Releases Stats on the States

Get involved in New York City!
AIANY is encouraging members to join their local community boards, and it’s offering resources to help. The deadline for applications for the 2010 Community Boards is fast approaching — 01.15 in Manhattan — and applicants are required to attend a community board meeting before applying. Click here to see when and where the last meetings of 2009 will be held in Manhattan, or find community boards in the other boroughs here . Stay tuned to the AIANY Advocacy Page to learn details of a December info session with Shaan Khan, Director of Community Affairs from Borough President Scott Stringer’s Office. To read more about how to join a community board in Manhattan, click here.

Women’s Senate Network Welcomes AIA
Female politicians of the U.S. Senate met on 10.18.09 in NYC for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s (DSCC) Women’s Senate Network policy forum. Leaders from the business and nonprofit sectors met with senators, including Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). AIA brought a delegation to the forum, led by AIA EVP/CEO Christine McEntee. Along with AIA Vice President Pam Loeffelman, FAIA; Beverly Willis, FAIA; Marnique Heath, AIA; Frances Halsband, FAIA; and Shirine Boulos, AIA, the group spoke about energy and design issues. Read more about the conference here.

Save the Dates for AIA New York State
AIA New York State (AIANYS) has announced that the 2010 Lobby Day will be 04.20.10, and the annual AIANYS convention will be 10.14-16.10. AIA Buffalo/Western New York will host. Read more at

AIA Releases More Online Contract Documents
In the last issue of Around the AIA, we announced Contract Documents on Demand, digital versions of 16 of the most popular AIA contract documents. On 11.03.09, AIA released three new software documents:

· C191-2009 Standard Form Multi-Party Agreement for Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
· B108™-2009, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect for a Federally Funded or Federally Insured Project
· Standard Form of Architect’s Services: Programming

Read more about the important releases here.

Diagrams Look at Licensure
Stairway to Architecture is a new website graphically representing the architectural profession in diagrams by Matthew Arnold, AIA. A profile of the country’s architecture schools — with number of applicants, class size, and accreditation rate — is based on National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) statistics. Data from AIA New York State’s 15,000+ active, licensed architects shows the rate of licensure and trends in accreditation. For example, statistics show that in 2009, the average amount of time between graduation and licensure was over 11 years — quite a jump from 1983, when the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) was introduced and the “average” test-taker had been out school for less than five years.

NCARB Releases Stats on the States
Another set of numbers was recently released from NCARB. Its 2009 survey of state architectural registration boards counted 101,673 architects in the U.S (not including the close to 118,000 reciprocal architects, or architects with licenses in more than one state). California leads the pack with more than 20,000 registered architects (15,816 residents); New York follows at a distant second with 15,023 — 8,780 are New Yorkers. Read more about the NCARB survey here.

Teachers Learn How to Teach Architecture & Design


Teachers learning about architecture and design.

Glenda Reed

Some 30 classroom teachers came to the Center for Architecture on 11.03.09 for “Learning from the Built Environment,” a professional development workshop put on by the Center for Architecture Foundation. During the four-and-a-half hour workshop, design educators Catherine Teegarden and Tim Hayduk modeled ways that teachers can incorporate architecture and design into classroom activities.

One of the more challenging exercises asked teachers to build a scale model of the Center’s library, where the workshop was held. Working in groups, they measured the room’s dimensions and drew scaled plans and elevations. Using the drawings as templates, each group transformed their two-dimensional drawings into a three-dimensional scale model of the library space. Walking through the process demystified a project for the teachers that could be daunting to a class of fourth graders. The event culminated in a guided tour of student projects in the Foundation’s annual exhibition on view in the lower level of the Center. One educator claimed the show “helped me to visualize what children are capable of constructing, and that these design projects can be expanded into whole units of study.” Teachers left the workshop equipped with new ideas and a classroom-ready activity packet.

This professional development workshop was part of the Foundation’s larger mission to promote public awareness and a broader appreciation of the impact of architecture, design, and planning in the built environment. The Foundation’s professional development initiative most often occurs in conjunction with Learning By Design:NY (LBD:NY), an in-school residency program that pairs design educators with classroom teachers. By educating teachers, the Foundation can reach many more young people than would otherwise be possible. For more information about LBD:NY and future professional development opportunities please visit

Social Networking for Architects

With Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, there are a plethora of options for architects to reach out to peers and clients online. The recently launched website Architizer was created by architects, for architects. This free tool allows architects to post personal, firm, and project profiles, which all link to each other. Since projects often have dozens of contributors, Architizer links them all, from interns to construction managers.

Architects and firms can upload information and tag photos of their most recent projects. Curators can announce new exhibitions and events. Developers can hire architects based on their work. Clients can show off a new building, and fans can share photos of projects they have visited. Every profile is featured on a global map, and advanced search tools let users locate and discover projects. Architizer will also feature an interactive job board, a competition page, design school profiles, and guest contributors to comment on the latest profiles.

The 2009 Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Global Awards for Excellence winners included: the new campus for the American University in Cairo, for which Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer & Associates designed the library; and the West Chelsea/High Line Rezoning Plan, including the High Line Park, designed by James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro… The Urban Land Institute’s 2009 Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models Of Excellence Award winners include the Kalahari Condominium Project, by Fred Schwartz Architects with GF55 as executive architect and Jack Travis, FAIA, as cultural design consultant…

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) named Steven Holl Architects’ recently completed Linked Hybrid complex in Beijing the “CTBUH 2009 Best Tall Building Overall”… Winners of the BusinessWeek/ Architectural Record Awards 2009 include the Barbie Shangai Store by Slade Architecture, and a Citation for East Harlem School by Peter L. Gluck and Partners

The Waterfront Center’s 23rd annual Excellence on the Waterfront Awards include, in the category of Mixed Use/Commercial, Project Honor Award Honor Award for The Port Authority Ferry Terminal at the World Financial Center by PANYNJ Engineering Department/Donald Fram, AIA, and Robert Davidson, FAIA; in the category of Park/Walkway/Recreational Project Honor Award for West Harlem Piers Park, W Architecture & Landscape Architecture; and Honor Awards for Comprehensive Waterfront Plans include the Waterfront Zoning Text Amendment, NYC Department of City Planning, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park 2005 Master Plan: A Framework for Design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

Urban A&O and Thinc Design have received the 2009 China’s Most Successful Design Award for the Johnson & Johnson Olympic Pavilion at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing… Greensburg, KS, Chain of Eco-Homes Competition winner is Meadowlark House by Steven Learner Studio… The Australian Institute of Architects’ Jorn Utzon Award for International Architecture was presented to the TKTS Booth and Environs in Times Square by Sydney-based Choi Ropiha with Perkins Eastman and PKSB Architects

The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Design Trust for Public Space named Dongsei Kim and Jamieson Fajardo, students at Columbia University, winners of Intersections: The Grand Concourse Beyond 100, an international ideas competition for the future of the Grand Concourse…

Starting in January, Peter Eisenman, FAIA, will be the first Charles Gwathmey Professor of Architecture at Yale University; Ralph Lauren endowed a permanent professorship in honor of the late architect… The National Trust for Historic Preservation has presented the Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award, its highest accolade, to Yale professor Vincent J. Scully

Richard Moe, Hon. AIA, announced that he will retire next year as president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation… The Municipal Art Society is moving to the Steinway Hall Building…

In the Spring 2010 semester, the City College of New York (CCNY) will offer a new, interdisciplinary graduate program, Sustainability in the Urban Environment, which will incorporate architecture, engineering and science, awarding graduates a Master of Science degree in Sustainability

Westlake Reed Leskosky is opening a NYC studio and appointing Thomas Gallagher, AIA, as principal and director… Granary Associates, a Philadelphia- and NY-based firm specializing in project management, planning, architecture, and interior design for healthcare facilities, is expected to join with Stantec

The USS New York (LPD-21) arrived in New York Harbor 11.02.09. At a commissioning ceremony on 11.07, it officially became part of the U.S. Navy. Go to the website for more information about the ship.


The ship will be berthed at Pier 88, at 12th Avenue at 48th Street, until 11.11, and it is open to the general public.



The bow stem includes 7.5 tons of steel recovered from the World Trade Center.



The ship’s motto is “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”



The ship’s crest includes: seven rays of sunlight signifying the Statue of Liberty’s crown and the seven seas; the Twin Towers are in the center; a phoenix bears a breastplate with the colors of first responders from the NY Police Department, NY Fire Department, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; blood drops represent those who perished; and three stars represent those earned by the previous battleship USS New York (BB34) in World War II at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and North Africa.


10.27.09 Actor and lifelong conservationist Edward Norton, who led a team of 30 runners, including his celebrity friends, business leaders, and Maasai tribe members, in the NY Marathon, stopped by the NY offices of RMJM to review plans for a sustainable healthcare facility it is designing for the Maasai people in Kenya.

MWCT Health Center Design Team low-res

Top row from left: Luca Belpietro, founder of Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust; Samson Parashina, President of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust; Edward Norton; Roger Goodhill; and Effie Yang of RMJM. Bottom row from left: John Plappert, AIA; Amy Mays; and Winston Yee, all of RMJM.


2010 Oculus Editorial Calendar
Coming soon!

11.15.09 Early Registration Deadline: HB:BX Building Cultural Infrastructure International Ideas Competition

11.17.09 Call for Entries: Mark of Dreams: UNESCO’s DREAM Center Logo Competition

12.15.09 Call for Entries: ASCE Charles Pankow Foundation Annual Architectural Engineering Student Competition

01.29.10 Call for Entries: The James Beard Foundation 2010 Restaurant Design Awards

Center for Architecture Gallery Hours and Location
Monday-Friday: 9:00am-8:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am-5:00pm, Sunday: CLOSED
536 LaGuardia Place, Between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets in Greenwich Village, NYC, 212-683-0023


ContextContrast: New Architecture in Historic Districts, 1967-2009


On view October 6, 2009 — January 23, 2010.

New York Now


On view October 1– November 30, 2009.
Extended one month!

Building Connections 2009


On view September 17, 2009 — January 9, 2010.

Arch Schools: Visions of the Future


On view September 17 — December 12, 2009.

Through 11.20.09
Les Lalanne on Park Avenue


Claude Lalanne, Pomme de New York, 2007 (bronze)

Courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery

More than eight monumental works and a single work comprised of 12 sculptures will span multiple sites on Park Avenue between 52nd and 57th Streets. Featured works include “Pomme de New York,” by Claude Lalanne (b.1924), a large-scale bronze sculpture of an apple, epitomizing the monumentality of the city’s iconic image, and François-Xavier Lalanne’s (1927–2008) last sculpture, “Singe Avisé (Très Grand),” a cross-legged monkey with a pensive expression.

Paul Kasmin Gallery
293 10th Avenue, NYC

Through 11.29.09
The Edge of New York: Waterfront Photographs

Edge of NY_16

Pepsi Cola Sign, Queens West Development, Long Island City, Queens

© 2005 Len Jenshel

42 photographs spotlight the transformation of the NYC waterfront throughout the 20th century, from an industrial and commercial hub to a vestigial space reclaimed for recreation and public use.

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue, NYC

Through 12.08.09
Carole Eisner on Broadway


76th: Torque

Carole Eisner

Nine sculptures by Carole Eisner span Broadway. Starting with “Walter” at Dante Park, located within the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, the exhibition continues north to “Swizzle” at 166th Street.

Susan Eley Fine Art
46 West 90th Street, Floor 2, NYC

Energy Code Mandates Response to Climate Change (continued)

Lighting Design and the Energy Code
Lighting is one of the ways architects will be most affected by the latest energy codes. However, rather than be limited by the code, architects can use it to design better lighting, claimed Hayden McKay, AIA, FIALD, FIESNA, LEED AP, principal at Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design. Quality, not quantity, makes a well-lit space, she said. Daylighting, room finishes, natural colors, control of glare and contrast, and light fixtures all help maintain comfortable levels of illumination. Because people spend 85-90% of their lives indoors, McKay also believes a variety of light sources and incorporating daylight can help aid health and preserve circadian rhythms that humans need to stay productive at work. Each space is different and should be lit accordingly, and commissioning controls is key to saving energy.

Mechanical Systems and the Energy Code
While architects may depend on mechanical engineers, it is important they understand mechanical systems, since the majority of the developments in the energy code relate to them, according to John Rundell, LEED AP, of Buro Happold. By understanding how mechanical systems work, architects can develop a dialogue with the engineers from the start of a project. By incorporating more efficiency into their designs, mechanical systems will not have to work overtime to compensate for unnecessary heat exchange.

Building Enclosures and the Energy Code

One way to limit unnecessary heat exchange is with a well-designed envelope. The code relies on thermal resistance of materials (R-value), thermal transmittance of assemblies (U-factor), and solar heat gain (dependent on the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC). Creating air barriers, reducing thermal bridging, using daylighting and natural ventilation, and integrating with the mechanical systems are all strategies for energy-efficient envelope design.

Michael Waite, PE, LEED AP, of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, suggested using the code as a guideline and reference as early as possible in design. He predicts that in the future the code will require: increased R-values; decreased U-factors and SHGC’s; more air barrier requirements; more restrictions on glazing area; provisions directly related to daylighting; and fleshed-out regulations for variable property materials such as dynamic glazing systems.

Energy Modeling and the Energy Code
While energy modeling may be the most complicated path to take when calculating a building’s performance, it is arguably the most precise way to measure if a building is code compliant, stated Adrian Tuluca, RA, LEED AP, principal at Viridian Energy and Environment. It is also required for buildings with fenestration covering more than 50% of the envelope, or any building that is having difficulty complying with COMcheck or REScheck. If an architect wants to use tradeoffs — a strategy used to offset non-compliant systems with the excess created by high performance systems — then modeling is the best method to use.

Ultimately, energy codes are changing to reflect global climate change and the need to reduce energy consumption. Complying with the latest energy codes will require major adjustments to the way architects currently put together drawings. The energy analysis is just one piece of the puzzle. Support documentation and more elaborate construction documents will become increasingly important as auditing is inevitable. Sustainability is not just important it is becoming a mandate, and the code is just one aspect guiding the way.

Give us feedback on the Energy Code Trainings
AIANY, Urban Green Council, and ASHRAE are gearing up for the second iteration of “Energy Code Changes: What the Design Team Needs to Know.” As the 12.02.09 workshop date approaches (register here), we’d like to hear from attendees to the October/November sessions so we can make the next session even better. Please post your comments to our blog.