02.23.11: This issue celebrates the opening of the “Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities” exhibition at the Center for Architecture. Be sure to read “Beyond the Barracks: Housing Tomorrow’s India,” by Lisa Delgado, and “Jugaad Urbanism Exhibits Energy of the Streets in India,” by Gregory Haley, in Reports from the Field; “FamilyDay@theCenter: Jugaad Urbanism — Designs for City Life,” in At the Center for Architecture Foundation; and photos from the exhibition opening in “Sighted.”

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Note: Be sure to follow Tweets from e-Oculus and the Center for Architecture.

And check out the latest Podcasts produced by AIANY. Just posted — Chris Parsons, from KA Connect, speaking with Marketing and PR Committee’s Tami Hausman.

Beyond the Barracks: Housing Tomorrow's India

Event: Design for a Change: Informal Settlements and Low Income Housing in India
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.12.11
Speakers: Sara Göransson – Co-founder, Urban Nouveau; Filipe Balestra — Cofounder, Urban Nouveau; Darshini Mahadevia — Faculty of Planning and Public Policy & Member-Secretary, Centre for Urban Equity, CEPT University; Brotin Banerjee — Managing Director and CEO, TATA Housing Development Company; Earl Jackson, AIA — Associate Director, Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Scott Duncan — Senior Designer, SOM; Neera Adarkar — Visiting Faculty Member, Academy of Architecture, Rachana Sansad & Chawls Expert; Vyjayanthi Rao — Assistant Professor of Anthropology, The New School for Social Research
Moderator: Reinhold Martin — Associate Professor of Architecture, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University
Introductions: Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP — 2011 President, AIANY; Yamina Djacta — Deputy Director, New York Office, United Nations Human Settlements Programme; Kanu Argawal — Curator, “Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities”
Organizers: AIA New York; Center for Architecture Foundation; India China Institute at The New School; Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC); Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA); Symposium organized with UN HABITAT
Sponsors: Grants: Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; Underwriter: Duggal Visual Solutions; Lead Sponsors: Hitachi; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Sponsors: Grapevine Merchants; Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects; Supporters: Bittersweet NYC; CetraRuddy; Kingfisher LGER; Friends: Arup; Benjamin Moore; IBEX Construction; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Perkins Eastman; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Incremental Housing Strategy in Pune, by Urban Nouveau.

Urban Nouveau

Rapid urbanization can be a good thing — sometimes. Cities can provide economic opportunities for their residents and act as incubators for innovation and creativity, remarked Yamina Djacta, deputy director of the New York Office of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. On the other hand, population growth overburdens cities’ resources when it isn’t planned for properly, leading to the growth of slums and environmental problems, she added. India provides a vivid example: around 93 million people (7.75% of the population) live in slums, and that number is only expected to increase in the coming years, said AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP.

Swedish architect Sara Göransson, co-founder of interdisciplinary platform Urban Nouveau, presented one housing strategy that could help allay the strain that population growth is putting on Indian cities. She helped develop an “incremental housing” strategy for Pune, a city where about 40% of the residents live in slums. While some of the existing housing in slum areas is well-constructed, others are dark, poorly ventilated, and made of makeshift materials, she said. Developed in collaboration with two Indian organizations — Mahila Milan and the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres — Urban Nouveau’s strategy involves improving the houses that are in the worst condition while maintaining the existing urban fabric. The designers came up with three 25-square-meter housing prototypes. Featuring a simple four-column structure, all three types are designed to be expandable and customizable, depending on the inhabitants’ needs.

Brotin Banerjee, managing director and CEO of TATA Housing Development Company, explained that there is a shortage of around 25 million housing units in India, and his company is working to help fill the gap by providing market-driven affordable and low-income housing. All of TATA’s housing is LEED Gold certified, he added.

Earl Jackson, AIA, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, discussed a couple of projects in Mumbai, including a master plan for “Santa City,” a slum-rehabilitation project. Like Urban Nouveau, SOM decided to avoid the boxy, barrack-like look sometimes associated with low-cost housing by creating a few different housing typologies with visual diversity. By incorporating pockets of open space family businesses and other activities would be able to thrive.

As land values rise near Mumbai’s international airport, new developments seem inevitable, and slum rehabilitation brings some clear benefits in improved hygiene and access to basic services. However, Jackson expressed concerns for displaced slum dwellers. “Very large areas of land are falling under greater and greater development pressure,” he noted. “The idea of displacing people like ourselves, who fight for every square inch we can get here in Manhattan and other cites around the world, is always a topic of conflict.”

Jugaad Urbanism Exhibits Energy of the Streets in India

Exhibition: “Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities”
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.10-05.21.11
Exhibition Curator: Kanu Argawal
Exhibition Design & Graphics: Popular Architecture; Omnivore
Organizers: AIA New York Chapter; Center for Architecture Foundation; India China Institute at The New School; Indo-American Arts Council; Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects
Sponsors: Grants: Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; National Endowment for the Arts; Underwriter: Duggal Visual Solutions; Lead Sponsors: Hitachi; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Sponsors: Grapevine Merchants; Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects; Supporters: Bittersweet NYC; CetraRuddy; Kingfisher LGER; Friends: Arup; Benjamin Moore; IBEX Construction; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Perkins Eastman; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Jugaad Urbanism in the Center for Architecture’s Hines Gallery.

Courtesy Center for Architecture

“Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities,” the first U.S. exhibition of Indian urbanism, presents strategies for incremental improvement within an existing framework. Along the way, it tells a story about the dynamics of life in the India’s mega-cities. Perhaps it is a result of what curator Kanu Argawal calls the “sheer impossibility” of Indian urbanization, this strategy of insertion may be partly a matter of pragmatics, but it also presents an argument for the role of planning in a democracy.

Organized by resource categories (water, energy, land, and transportation), each project featured in the exhibition is a result of dialogue between the everyday efforts of urban residents to deal with resource scarcity and design interventions by architects, planners, artists, and activists. Going beyond the provision of service, each proposal demonstrates how resources are woven into the social and symbolic fabric of its community.

For example, the “Sustainable Community Toilets for Shahpur Jat Village” improves sanitation and environmental quality by both preventing ground water contamination and separating solid from liquid waste for reuse in irrigation and fertilization. Within the category of energy, a solar powered street lamp integrates LED lights in a traditional Kalasha form. Benches at the base of the lamp pole feature a knife-sharpening wheel that is used to further charge the lamp. The “e-Charka” project harvests energy from yarn spinning to power a lamp and a transistor radio, providing both a means of income and public information. Under the category of land, projects such as the “Incremental Housing” strategies conceived by the Swedish architects Urban Nouveau and the NGO SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resouce Centres) aim to “preserve and incrementally upgrade” informal settlements, rather than start from scratch.

The spirit of jugaad, defined by Argawal as a “resourceful and innovative bringing together of disparate parts,” is expressed throughout the exhibition. The projects on display clearly go beyond “making do” and improve and reveal new possibilities within the existing realities of urban life. Each project “thinks beyond the object,” stated Argawal. They engage with the surrounding “urban milieu” to harness the energy of the street, which is perhaps the most critical resource of all.

Whither Underground? Architects Bring the 7 Train to the Far West Side

Event: No. 7 Line Subway Extension — Planning, Passengers, Program and Form
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.11.11
Speakers: Judith Kunoff, AIA, LEED AP — Chief Architect, MTA New York City Transit; Beth Greenberg, AIA — Principal, Dattner Architects; Patricia Kettle — Associate, Dattner Architects; Mark Walker, AICP — Senior Supervising Planner, Parsons Brinckerhoff
Organizer: AIANY Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

Section of the #7 Line expansion.

Dattner Architects

If all goes according to schedule, subway riders will soon find it much easier to get to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the Far West Side. The $2.1 billion expansion of the #7 line from Times Square to a new station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue is expected to open in December 2013. Built to facilitate the commercial and residential redevelopment of the Hudson Yards area following its 2005 rezoning, the new terminus is designed to handle up to 27,500 commuters during the morning rush, making it the MTA’s largest single-line station.

The architectural form is primarily driven by passenger capacity and life-safety considerations, said Judith Kunoff, AIA, LEED AP, chief architect at MTA New York City Transit. Beth Greenberg, AIA, a principal at Dattner Architects, laid out the basic plan: a tunnel will head west under 41st Street and curve south at 11th Avenue. The main passenger entrance will be sited on Hudson Boulevard between 33rd and 34th Streets, and will incorporate ticketing on an upper mezzanine with two 85-foot shafts for escalators and inclined elevators (the city’s first) diving westward down to the lower mezzanine. Stairs will then descend to the subway platform 130 feet below grade. A second entrance will stand at Hudson Boulevard and 35th Street.

Mark Walker showed animations generated by Legion, a program the team used to model crowd behavior and look for likely congestion points. “We were literally sitting in a dark room looking at dots,” he said. “They behave like New Yorkers,” he added as brightly colored specks swarmed through a schematic station plan.

Though National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) safety requirements require that passengers be able to evacuate within six minutes of an emergency, the station’s great depth makes this difficult. To ensure people could survive a longer evacuation, Greenberg explained, “We needed a very strong mechanical system, which was a huge driver of the form and volume.” In fact, the volume of the smoke-ventilation system, concealed within the dropped-ceiling “cloud” running above the lower mezzanine and above the trains, nearly equals the volume of the platform itself.

Patricia Kettle, of Dattner Architects, discussed the station’s architectural finishes: the granite porcelain tile and stainless steel, chosen for their durability and longevity, should be familiar to any long-time straphanger. Provisions for advertising and public art are also included.

Some audience members inquired about the feasibility of extending the #7 line west to Secaucus, NJ, but Kunoff said that topic was beyond the scope of the presentation. As for the possibility of later adding a cut-and-cover station at 10th Avenue and 41st Street, she said it “is not precluded, but it’s not easy.”

Architects Face Challenges to Design Passive Houses

Event: PASSIVE HOUSE: TOWN & COUNTRY and Passive House 101
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.15.11
Speakers: Floris Keverling Buisman — Principal, Vital Sustainability; Dennis Wedlick, AIA — Principal, Dennis Wedlick Architects; Jeremy Shannon, AIA — Principal, Prospect Architecture
Organizer: New York Passive House

Passive House BKLYN Residence by Prospect Architecture (left), and the Hudson Passive Project by Dennis Wedlick Architects.

Photo by Adam B. Bell, courtesy prospectarchitecture.com (left); photo by Elliott Kaufman, courtesy hudsonpassiveproject.com

Although there are just five goals to achieve Passive House certification by the Passive House Institute US — health, comfort, energy reduction, affordability, and predictability — the certification process is rigorous, often involving a number of rounds of testing, field adjustments, and retesting to maximize efficiency. Whether designing for the city or the country, as described by Dennis Wedlick, AIA, and Jeremy Shannon, AIA, developing a Passive House is both challenging and extremely rewarding.

At the beginning of the discussion, Wedlick announced that, after two years, his firm’s Hudson Passive Project in Claverack, NY, has officially achieved Passive House certification, making it one of just 12 such buildings in the U.S. Shannon, on the other hand, is still developing his firm’s Passive House BKLYN Residence so it will achieve official certification. Although one is a spec house in Upstate NY and the other is a townhouse in Brooklyn, the architects talked about how their processes mirror each other. They are both compact in shape, incorporate air-tight construction, designed with fenestration on the two short façades only, and incorporate energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment.

One of Shannon’s biggest challenges was renovating a townhouse in a landmarked neighborhood. Typically, the Passive House Institute does not permit double-hung windows as air leakage is inevitable. To keep the double-hung profile, Shannon designed the windows to have a fixed upper pane, and a tilt-and-turn lower pane. Historic leaded glass windows were preserved and incorporated as one of the triple panes in the fenestration as well, thus preserving the historic character of the façade.

For Wedlick, integrating large south-facing windows is a priority in his designs. By limiting the fenestration on the thick side walls and constructing overhangs to provide sun shading in summer and infiltration in winter, as well as providing well-constructed, air-tight frames, he was able to achieve the strict energy standards outlined by the Institute.

For both designers, the process of building a Passive House has been invaluable to their education as architects. By having the construction team on board early and involving them in the process, both Shannon and Wedlick found a new admiration for building and construction techniques. Whether or not their next projects are Passive Houses, they both feel that the process was well worth the time and effort involved.

Triumvirate Tells Storied Tale of McKim, Mead & White

Event: Oculus Book Talk: Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class In America’s Gilded Age by Mosette Broderick
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.23.11
Speaker: Mosette Broderick — Director of Urban Design and Architecture Studies & MA program in Historical and Sustainable Architecture, Department of Art History, NYU
Organizer: AIANY Oculus Committee
Sponsors: Reception sponsored by Alfred A. Knopf

Courtesy AIANY

A labor of love, years in the making, Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class In America’s Gilded Age, by Mosette Broderick (Alfred A. Knopf, New York), is a lushly-layered scholarly work written with the ease and accessibility of a historical novel. In telling the story of Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White’s world and times, and the buildings they built, Broderick delves into the storied lives of these named architects, the opulence and wealth of the Gilded Age, their clients, and the shifting dynamics of the world around them. She also gives focus to the voice of some of the other men in the firm, most notably the talented Joseph Wells. While the name McKim, Mead & White would become synonymous with great American architecture, Wells, chief designer, is given a voice in Triumvirate that provides a greater understanding into the design philosophy and management practice of the firm. Wells, who took on the design of the Villard Houses, not only opened new doors for the firm after the commission’s completion, but “the office had come to depend on him to make their designs coherent,” Broderick states when describing the impact of his death on the firm.

There are many other tangents of interest and the book does delve into the scandals. But the author makes clear from the beginning that she is in service of telling the story of their work, which is beautifully illustrated with some remarkable photographs throughout. I suggest that you consider reading this book with a bifocal lens — one focused on history and the other on the practice of architecture in 2011. The firm of McKim, Mead & White designed and built when the nation was going through a radical industrial and ideological transformation. There is much to be learned.

In this issue:
· BIG Introduces New Residential Typology to Manhattan’s Skyline
· Interboro Partners to Create Holding Pattern at MoMA P.S.1
· Mayor Unveils Plans for Hunters Point South
· Bamboo Tower Rises in Eco-City
· Foundation Finishes in Wood
· Rye Country Day School Renovates and Expands

BIG Introduces New Residential Typology to Manhattan’s Skyline

New residence at W.57th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues.

BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Durst Fetner Residential (DFR) has selected Copenhagen-based BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group to design an 870,000-square-foot residential building on West 57th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues. A hybrid between a European perimeter block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise, the building’s form shifts depending on the viewer’s vantage point — while appearing like a warped pyramid from the West Side Highway, it turns into a slender spire on West 58th Street. A courtyard opens views towards the Hudson River, bringing low western sun deep into the block, created by lifting up the northeast corner toward a 467-foot peak. The building’s slope allows for a transition in scale between the existing low-rise structures to the south and the high-rise towers to the north and west. The roof consists of a ruled surface perforated by unique south-facing terraces. More than 600 residential units of different scales will contain either a bay window or a balcony. Other design team members include SLCE Architects (architect-of-record), Starr Whitehouse (landscape architects), Thornton Tomasetti (structural engineering). This is BIG’s first project in North America and the firm recently opened a New York office.

Interboro Partners to Create Holding Pattern at MoMA P.S.1

Rendering of Holding Pattern.

Courtesy Interboro Partners

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA P.S.1, selected Brooklyn-based Interboro Partners as the winner of the 12th annual Young Artists Program (YAP) from a group of five finalists. The project, called Holding Pattern, brings an eclectic collection of objects, including benches, mirrors, ping-pong tables, and floodlights, under a taut canopy of rope strung from the museum’s wall to the parapet across its courtyard. The unobstructed space under a single structure creates an environment focusing on both the visitors and the Warm Up concert series. Objects in the space will be donated to local community groups at the summer’s end.

In addition, MoMA P.S.1 partnered with the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome to establish an annual international edition of YAP. Out of five European finalists, Rome-based stARTT was selected for its project, WHATAMI. Both installations will open in June and an exhibition of all the finalists from both competitions will be on view at MoMA over the summer. Interboro Partners was an AIANY Chapter 2006 New Practices award winner.

Mayor Unveils Plans for Hunters Point South

Hunters Point South.

SHoP Architects

Mayor Bloomberg recently unveiled plans for Hunters Point South in Long Island City. It will be the city’s largest new affordable housing complex since the 1970s when Co-op City and Starrett City were completed. A development team, consisting of Phipps Houses, Related Companies, and Monadnock Construction, was selected through a competitive process to build the residential portion of the first phase of the complex. Two mixed-use buildings will contain more than 900 housing units and roughly 20,000 square feet of new retail space. At least 75% of the housing will be permanently targeted to low-, moderate-, and middle-income families. Designed by SHoP Architects with Ismael Leyva Architects, the team’s design for the two initial buildings features a tripartite building composition. Retail corridors will ultimately serve as a spine that connects all of the buildings in the complex. Phase 1, to be completed in 2014, also includes five acres of new waterfront parkland, a new intermediate and high school, new retail space, and parking. ARUP, Thomas Balsley Associates, and Weiss/Manfredi, completed the design plans for the project’s infrastructure, streetscapes, and waterfront park.

Bamboo Tower Rises in Eco-City

Tian Fang Tower.

Kevin Kennon Architect

Kevin Kennon Architect has recently unveiled the design for a 45-floor, mixed-use commercial tower in Eco-City, a joint project between China and Singapore that will showcase sustainable development in Tianjin, China. The 120,000-square-meter Tian Fang Tower incorporates sustainable and biophilic design strategies that include natural convection to heat and cool the building with filtered fresh air, an idea inspired by the form and growth of bamboo forests. The design is based on a 14-by-14 meter square module. Whereas a typical office building has four corners, Tian Fang has 18, providing an abundance of corner offices. The layout of the luxury retail space also follows this module and is composed of seventeen 14-by-14-meter volumes that rise into series of angled roofs shaped at various orientations to the sun. The project will generate 20% of its clean energy on site via a combination of hydrogen fuel cells, solar panels, and wind turbines while simultaneously conserving 20% of the energy used by a similar, fully occupied, mixed-use tower.

Foundation Finishes in Wood

Teagle Foundation.

Photos by Elliot Kaufman

Sydness Architects has designed the new offices for the Teagle Foundation, an organization devoted to promoting excellence in higher education, located on the 38th floor of the former General Electric building. The design takes advantage of citywide views and provides the staff optimum internal visibility and working adjacencies, as well as a place for the foundation’s extensive art collection. The reception area sets the tone for the space with Barcelona chairs, an oriental rug, and a wall paneled in Sapele wood. In the work area, glass-walled, open offices on the perimeter open onto a common area with a round conference table in the center for informal meetings. The president’s private office is paneled in natural figured Anigre with matching millwork, and the accountant’s office is paneled in deep mahogany and blond sycamore.

Rye Country Day School Renovates and Expands

Rye Country Day School.

Peter Gisolfi Associates

The renovation and expansion of the Rye Country Day School’s Pinkham Building, designed by Peter Gisolfi Associates, has been completed. Located on a 26-acre campus in Rye, NY, approximately half the 1963 building’s existing 35,000 square feet of space was renovated and a new student lounge overlooking the courtyard was added. New exterior stairs and terraces create a gradual transition from an existing athletic field, which is level with the top floor of the addition and descends down to the student lounge. The new three-story, 15,000-square-foot addition houses classrooms, science labs, informal student gathering spaces, a new college counseling center, and a 143-seat auditorium.

In this issue:
· Convention Update: Registration, National Elections & Proposed By-laws Amendments
· eCalendar

Convention Update: Registration, National Elections & Proposed By-laws Amendments
Registration is now open for the AIA 2011 Convention in New Orleans, 05.12-14.11. Early bird registration rates available through 03.21.11. Click here to find out more.

At the convention, the AIA will conduct elections for next year’s AIA National leadership. Nominations are now open. Click here for nomination procedures and to see who has already announced their candidacy. The deadline for declaring candidacy is 5:00 p.m. EST, Friday, 03.11.11.

During AIA National Convention, the AIA will also vote on by-Law amendments, which include proxy voting procedures and modification of the term of public directors. Read about the amendments here.

eCalendar includes an interactive listing of architectural events around NYC. Click the link to go to to eCalendar on the Web.

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


Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities

On view February 10 – May 21, 2011

Building Connections 2010


On view November 4, 2010 – March 12, 2011

High Bridge: Bronx, Building Cultural Infrastructure (HB:BX)


On View November 11, 2010 – March 26, 2011

FamilyDay@theCenter: Jugaad Urbanism — Designs for City Life

Event: Family Day: Jugaad Urbanism: Designs for City Life
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.19.11

Families visited the “Jugaad Urbanism” exhibition and then developed their own resourceful solutions to urban growth.

Deborah Ni

I particularly liked the solar-powered lamppost idea. I could see it being incorporated into public parks and playgrounds. What a fun activity for kids, to pedal for electricity. I thought… we should try some of these methods in America.
— Jonathan Neroulias, student visitor

Families gathered at the Center for Architecture to explore the new exhibition “Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities.” Using the exhibition’s printed Family Guide, they learned about the struggles facing the population in a place lacking resources, including not having access to clean water, habitable housing, privacy, and sanitation. They also explored the wide range of designs produced by Indian citizens, architects, urban planners, and governmental and nongovernmental organizations that address India’s current urban crisis. Families compared these solutions with NYC’s approach to similar issues.

The workshop following an exhibition tour provided an opportunity for visitors to develop their own solutions to urban problems. Families collaborated on resourceful, multi-purpose designs that could enhance the quality of life for any community. Projects included solar-powered homes that collect rainwater; a mechanical recycling robot; covered bridges that give access to people with disabilities; and eco-friendly vehicles.

The Center for Architecture Foundation offers Family Days once a month on Saturday at the Center for Architecture. The Foundation also hosts Studio@theCenter, three-day design programs for students in grades 3-12 during school vacations and Summer@theCenter, weeklong design programs over the summer holiday. For more information about the Foundation’s Programs@theCenter or ways to get involved, visit http://www.cfafoundation.org, or contact Catherine Teegarden at cteegarden@cfafoundation.org.