2010 AIANY Design Awards Defies the Odds

Event: 2010 Design Awards Luncheon; 2010 Design Awards Exhibition Opening
Location: Cipriani Wall Street, 04.14.10; Center for Architecture, 04.15.10
Speakers: Mark Robbins — Dean of the School of Architecture, Syracuse University; Sherida Paulsen, FAIA — Immediate Past President, AIA New York Chapter (Luncheon Chair); Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA — President, AIA New York Chapter
Organizer: AIANY
Sponsors: Chair’s Circle: Foster + Partners New York; Benefactor: STUDIOS architecture; Patrons: Mancini Duffy; Peter Marino Architect; Studio Daniel Libeskind; Trespa; Lead Sponsors: A.E. Greyson+Company; Arup; Building Contractors Association; Dagher Engineering; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; FXFOWLE Architects; Gensler; Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; MechoShade Systems, Inc.; New York University; PERMASTEELISA NORTH AMERICA; Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; Rudin Management Company, Inc.; Structure Tone, Inc.; Syska Hennesy Group; Toshiko Mori Architect; VJ Associates; WSP Cantor Seinuk; WSP Flack + Kurtz, Inc.


Courtesy AIANY

“Economic downturns provide opportunities for new creativity,” stated Mark Robbins, dean of the school of architecture at Syracuse University at this year’s Design Awards Luncheon. While he referenced work generated during previous downturns — such as the projective ideas of Archigram and Superstudio in the 1960s and the “paper architecture” of the 1980s — Robbins sees this particular time as a time for younger practitioners, people he calls “stealth architects,” to uncover new, innovative ways to make their work visible to broader audiences. Perhaps this is the reason that many of the 2010 AIANY Design Awards recipients are lesser known, younger firms.

“This year’s awards prove that good design does not have to be expensive design,” according to AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA. And as one peruses the exhibition, on view at the Center for Architecture through 07.03.10, work completed in NYC and by NYC-based firms is truly diverse, even if much of it was completed on a tight budget. Award winners include established firms such as Steven Holl Architects (winning Architecture Honors for both the Knut Hamsun Center and the Vanke Center/Horizontal Skyscraper) and Kohn Pedersen Fox (winning an Unbuilt Work Merit Award for the Tianjin Hang Lung Plaza), as well as emerging firms like OBRA Architects (winning two Unbuilt Work Merit Awards for the Korean Cultural Center New York and The Great Hall at Grace Farms), and Ginseng Chicken Architecture (winning an Unbuilt Work Merit Award for Open Paradox).

Some of the award-winning projects were to be expected — James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s High Line won the only Honor Award for Urban Design, which was a new category for the annual design awards program; and Morphosis Architects and Gruzen Samton won Architecture Honors for 41 Cooper Square. However, other projects that garnered awards were just as ambitious, if not as well-known, such as dlandstudio’s Urban Design Merit Award for the BQE Trench: Reconnection Strategies in Brooklyn that proposes turning the Brooklyn Queens Expressway into a lush, green landscape.

A few of the awards were given to bold designs, such as Peter Gluck and Partners’ Architecture Honor Award-winning East Harlem School that features a graphic façade of offset rectangles. While other awards were presented to subtle, quiet designs, like Butler Rogers Baskett’s Interiors Honor Award for the Trinity School’s Johnson Chapel.

When visiting the Design Awards exhibition, the large-scale photographs and images showcase the variety of projects that have been recently built or proposed. Robbins, in his keynote, urged audience members to “be creative against all odds.” And all of the award winners have done just that.

The full list of award winners can be found on the 2010 AIANY Design Awards website, and the Winners’ Symposia will take place at the Center for Architecture on 05.08.10 (Architecture and Interiors), 05.10.10 (Unbuilt) and 06.17.10 (Urban Design). Click the links to RSVP.