In this issue:
· Pool Proposal Filters Water through its Walls
· New Residential Building Implements Active Design Guidelines
· TEN Squared
· NYC Landscape Architects Design Secret Gardens in Québec
· Sustainability Governs New Municipal Complex

Pool Proposal Filters Water through its Walls


PlayLab and Family

The firms PlayLab and Family have been collaborating on the design for a floating pool, not just on, but in the East River. +Pool is comprised of four pools in one — a children’s pool, sports pool, lap pool, and lounging pool. Each can be used independently, combined to form two Olympic-length lap pools, or opened completely into a 9,000-square-foot, cross-shaped pool. The design filters river water through the pool’s walls using concentric layers of a geotextile designed to remove bacteria, contaminants, and odors, providing safe and swimmable water that meets city, state, and federal standards. Arup New York has released a preliminary report examining the water quality and filtration, structural, mechanical, and energy systems for the proposed design. +Pool needs $25,000 to begin the process by testing the primary filtration layer.

New Residential Building Implements Active Design Guidelines

The Melody.

Courtesy Blue Sea Development

The Melody, one of the first buildings to incorporate the NYC Active Design Guidelines, has been completed. Located in Longwood, South Bronx, the eight-story, 76,000-square-foot residential co-op, designed by Aufgang + Subotovsky Architecture and Planning (ASAP), contains 63 units ranging from one to three bedrooms for families with incomes of $90,000 or less. The building is named for the many jazz, doo-wop, and R&B musicians who lived in the neighborhood and the local clubs where they performed. Its musical heritage is commemorated in the lobby artwork and ornamental ironwork, designed by artist Béatrice Coron. The project features an outdoor exercise path with fitness stations and a children’s climbing and play area; a professionally equipped fitness room; indoor bicycle racks; and two flights of stairs with artwork and piped-in music to encourage residents to walk instead of taking the elevator. The project, which also features balconies, pergolas, roof terraces, and a landscaped backyard, was designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Blue Sea Development, the project’s developer/builder, has allocated 14 of the units to Habitat for Humanity, whose Habitat-NYC family partners and volunteers will work on the interiors of their residences.

TEN Squared

Square 37 (left), and Square 50.

TEN Arquitectos

TEN Arquitectos has two residential projects currently in design phases in the West End section of Washington, DC. Square 37 features 174 luxury units, a 20,000-square-foot library, a 1,600-square-foot sidewalk café, and 8,700 square feet of retail space. The building extends along a diagonal beyond the property line, cantilevering over the property enabling all units to have corner windows. Square 50 includes 52 affordable rental units, 20,200 square feet for a new fire station, and an 18,000-square-foot squash club. The squash club has a double-height curtain wall to maximize natural light and an exterior terrace for pre- and post-match socializing. Both projects are designed to achieve LEED Gold and are expected to break ground in 2012, with completion scheduled for 2015.

NYC Landscape Architects Design Secret Gardens in Québec

Diana Balmori’s Making Circles in the Water; Ken Smith’s A Ditch With a View; Michael van Valkenburgh’s This Rocks! Get Lost!.

©2011-Festival International de Jardins

The International Garden Festival in Grand-Métis, Québec, has invited NYC-based landscape architects Diana Balmori, Ken Smith, and Michael van Valkenburgh to create gardens for the 2011 festival themed “Secret Gardens.” Balmori has created “Making Circles in the Water” using a circular water tank to capture images of the changing sky. Smith’s “A Ditch With a View” explores the role of voyeurism by appropriating a typical engineered drainage ditch. Van Valkenburgh’s “This Rocks! Get Lost!” investigates the idea of the archetypal Canadian evergreen landscape combined with an assemblage of white Vermont marble designed to evoke, transport, and unlock our deepest thoughts. The festival features a total of 25 gardens designed by international landscape architects and will be on view 06.25-10.02.11.

Sustainability Governs New Municipal Complex

Wylie Municipal Complex.

©Craig D. Blackmon

The new Wylie Municipal Complex, designed by Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture (HMBA), with Dallas-based Architexas, recently opened. Located in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area, the complex is composed of three buildings — a three-story, 45,000-square-foot City Hall, a two-story, 48,500-square-foot recreation center, and a single-story 43,500-square-foot public library. Two outdoor entry courtyards provide direct pedestrian access, and each building component is accented with geometric volumes clad in iridescent metal tiles. Capped with saw-tooth roofs, the City Council’s 100-seat chamber and the library reading room’s circular-shaped, light-filled, multi-use spaces are designed to foster community engagement. The project was designed for LEED Silver certification; energy-saving measures include an east-west building orientation, a continuous north-facing clerestory for diffused natural light, and a southern roof overhang extending as much as 40 feet along a 610-foot-long porch to reduce heating and cooling loads. Reclaimed building materials range from floor surfaces covered in rubber made of recycled car tires to carpet tile of 100% post-production yarn.

In this issue:
· AIANY Helps Change Permit Approval Process
· New Practices Will Bring Brazil to the Center this Summer
· DOT Releases New Commercial District Sidewalk Pigmentation Regulations
· e-Calendar

AIANY Helps Change Permit Approval Process
On 06.15.11, AIANY Policy Director Jay Bond sent a letter to Chapter members announcing a series of changes to the permit approval process, for which the Chapter was actively advocating. The letter read, in part, “Through the ‘Get It Done Together’ pilot program, the Department of Buildings was able to expedite the approval of 385 construction projects in May, generating an estimated $262 million worth of economic activity. The launch follows a series of outreach efforts by AIANY, which, through our Policy Board, identified this issue as the greatest concern for our members back in 2009… We are delighted that this advocacy effort produced some reform, and we are now emboldened by the response and success the Department of Buildings is having with this pilot program.” Bond is encouraging Chapter members to contact him with further input on the issue. Contact him at

New Practices Will Bring Brazil to the Center this Summer
On 07.14.11, the AIANY New Practices Committee and the Center for Architecture will welcome an exhibition of new works by emerging Brazilian architecture and design firms, entitled, “New Practices São Paulo.” On view will be the winning entries of a competition administered by the São Paulo Department of the Instituto de Arquitetos do Brasil (with the help of AIANY’s New Practices committee). Featured will be work by seven recently established firms: Metro Arquitetos Associatdos; Vazio S/A Arquitetura e Urbanismo; Triptyque Arquitetura; 23 Sul; Yuri Vital Architect; PAX.ARQ; and Arkiz. This is the committee’s third biennial event at the Center for Architecture. The winner of the New Practices New York 2010 competition will also travel to São Paulo for an exhibition which will open at São Paulo’s International Architecture Biennial in Oscar Niemeyer-designed OCA Pavilion on 11.01.11.

DOT Releases New Commercial District Sidewalk Pigmentation Regulations
In response to requests for widely-varying distinctive sidewalk paving on commercial streets, and concerns raised about a mismatched patchwork appearance of sidewalks in NYC, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) promulgated a new rule (Title 34, Chapter 2, Section 2-09(f)(4) of the Rules of the City of New York), which created a new sidewalk specification standard with specific pigmenting and scoring requirements. As of 2010, sidewalks in certain commercial districts must be constructed of tinted concrete. This rule covers commercial districts zoned C4-4 through C4-7, C5 and C6 (see map on page 105 of the Street Design Manual). Any time a new sidewalk installation or at least half of the sidewalk abutting a property is replaced, tinted concrete must be used.

The standard, set forth in section 4.13 C of the DOT Standard Highway Specifications, consists of dark gray pigmented concrete with saw-cut joints and a broom finish. The color of the pigmenting is described in section 4.13.4(H) and the method for saw-cutting and broom finishing is described in section 4.13.4(F)2. Property owners have the option of adding silicon carbide to the surface of the concrete, as well.

eCalendar includes an interactive listing of architectural events around NYC. Click the link to go 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, open 05.08.11 and 05.15.11, 11:00am-5:00pm
536 LaGuardia Place, Between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets in Greenwich Village, NYC, 212-683-0023


Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040

On view June 8 – September 10, 2011

AIANY Design Awards 2011

On view April 14 – June 25, 2011

From Mannahatta to Present Day

LBD:NY design educator Jenny Lee with Hunter College Elementary students (left); Second Graders present their models of New Amsterdam (right); a panorama of the models (bottom). /p>

Tim Hayduk and Rebecca Parelman

Last week, Sonya Glasser and Ellen Donegan’s second-grade class from Hunter College Elementary School visited the Center for Architecture to present their final Learning By Design:NY (LBD:NY) presentation to parents and Center for Architecture Foundation staff. For the past 10 weeks each class has worked with LBD:NY Design Educator Jenny Lee, studying the development of Manhattan from the period of the Lenape people, who called the island Mannahatta, or “land of many hills,” to the present day.

Focusing on one particular section in the Financial District, between Pearl and Broad Streets, and Stone and Bridge Streets, Lee demonstrated how Manhattan has changed dramatically over the years. From wigwams to modern-day skyscrapers, each class created models representing Mannahatta, New Amsterdam, shipping in the mid-1750s, immigration in the mid-1850s, the first skyscrapers of the early 20th century, and the current landscape of the Financial District. Students learned that prior to Henry Hudson’s arrival, Manhattan was a lush island of many hills, which has since expanded to accommodate the city’s increasing population and growing economy. The LBD:NY class concluded with a scavenger hunt through the Financial District, focused on important architectural details from the past.

Thank you to Lee and Hunter Elementary students for putting together a wonderful presentation.

Learning By Design:NY provides school-based K-12 residency programs and professional development workshops to students and teachers. For more information and to learn about ways to get involved, visit or contact Tim Hayduk.

High Line Outdoes Itself with Section 2

Having not visited the High Line since last June, I had preconceived notions about the experience of walking Section 2. I expected it to be more of the same as Section 1 with some variations, but ultimately just an extension of the first nine blocks. However, after traversing the path several times at different times of day, Section 2 proved to be a new and different experience.

As I began my journey at the southern end of the High Line, Section 1 now has a dramatically different feel from last year. Whereas last year the young growth revealed the gravel below, now the maturing plants have filled in creating a field of tall grasses and vibrantly colored flowers. The lush and floral garden is a welcome contrast to the construction sites on the ground.

As I moved past the familiar path into Section 2, I came across a narrow lawn (unfortunately is not open to the public yet) at the base of Neil M. Denari Architects’ HL23. The building’s warped metal panels complement the plan of the High Line and mimic the plantings in a harmonizing way. Then, I entered a couple of blocks of a restricting, narrow corridor. Strolling at a snail’s pace through tall grasses, trees, and buildings, stuck behind gossiping teenagers was extremely irritating, to say the least. But it all paid off when the view opened up to reveal a panorama toward the Jacob Javits Center. Emerging at a slightly elevated level amplified the effect, especially at sunset when orange light raked across the plants. For me, this moment was the highlight of the experience.

Although there are a couple of less successful moments throughout the 18-block journey (the framed views of the street do not have the same impact as viewing the water through the curtain wall at Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s ICA in Boston), the experience of walking the full length from Gansevoort Street to 29th Street is not to be missed.

The 2011 Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) New York Council 2011 Design Award winners include One Madison Park by Cetra Ruddy Architects, Project of the Year Award; Dream Downtown Hotel by Handel Architects, Architectural Transformation Award; and 200 11th Avenue by Selldorf Architects with Steven Kratchman Architect (Architect-of-Record), Architectural Innovation Award…

SARA/NY 2011 Awards of Excellence: The Schermerhorn, Commmon Ground Community and NYC Fire Department, Rescue Company 3 by Ennead Architects; Lakeside Retreat by Peter Gluck & Partners; Kean University, New Jersey Center for Science, Technology & Mathematics Education (CSTME) by Cannon Design; Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University Academic Building #2 by Perkins + Will; Main House by Cooper Joseph Studio; Berlin Cold War Media & Information Center by Minsu Kim from Cornell University; and Anthropologie Huntsville by EOA/Elmslie Osler Architect

SARA/NY 2011 Awards of Honor: Spring Street Loft by EOA/Elmslie Osler Architect; Rouge Tomate and Craft Atlanta by Bentel & Bentel Architects; Barysnikov Arts Center by WASA/Studio A; 101 Ludlow by Rawlings Architects; Leicester House by SPG Architects; 406 Lorimer Street by Scarano Architects; 31 Chambers Street by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; Outdoor Classroom by Cooper Joseph Studio; 230 Park Avenue by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners; The Cottekill Dwelling by Miles Paloympis from Pratt Institute; Highline Crystal House by Viktoria Yarats from NYC College of Technology; Interactive Living by Wajeha Qureshi from Cornell University; Gravity Table by Richard Jolta from Cornell University; SeaSky by Ramon Bido from NYC College of Technology; What If the Kitchen was Alive? by Fabian Fan-Ting Zhang from The National University of Singapore; and Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport Addition by Carlos Honorio Jr. from New York City College of Technology…

Four skyscrapers were named as regional “Best Tall Buildings” for 2011 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, including Gehry Partners’ Eight Spruce Street/ New York by Gehry… Steven Holl Architects has been awarded the 2011 Byggeskikkprisen for the Knut Hamsun Center in Hamarøy, Norway… Winners of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s (GVSHP) 2011 Village Awards include the Restoration of the Nave of the Church of the Ascension by Leo J. Blackman Architects, receiving the Regina Kellerman Award…

At the 43rd Annual Lumen Awards, the Illuminating Engineering Society New York Section (IESNYC) presented Awards of Excellence to Focus Lighting, Lumen Architecture, and Renfro Design Group; Awards of Merit went to Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design, One Luxe Studio, and Tillotson Design Associates; Lumen Citations were awarded to Cooley Monato Studio, Fisher Marantz Stone, Lighting Workshop, Renfro Design Group, and RS Lighting Design

The winning design for this year’s SUPERFRONT PUBLIC SUMMER is “Weightless Pull,” by Architecture CO…

Davis Brody Bond Aedas has been re-branded as Aedas…

2011 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. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards:

2011 Themes:
Spring (President’s Theme): Design for a Change: Buildings, People, Energy

Summer: AIANY Design Awards 2011

Fall: Interior Activity

Winter: Up, Down, and Sideways: Density and Transportation
Density enabled by transportation: mass transit, cycling; Moynihan Station; Regional connections; Housing Authority: former purposeful disconnect, now reintegrating back into neighborhoods; How a century of New York skyscrapers has/is/will affect the architecture, planning, and culture of the city and the world.
Submit story ideas by 08.19.11

For further information, contact OCULUS Editor Kristen Richards:

07.08.11 Registration Deadline: New St. Petersburg Pier

09.30.11 Call for Projects: Luminale 2012

10.01.11 Call for Entries: International Making Cities Livable Special Exhibition: Successful Designs for Healthy Inclusive Communities

06.08.11: The “Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040” exhibition opened at the Center for Architecture. Associated programming throughout the week included panel discussions about the long-term futures of both Amsterdam and New York.

Ferdinand Dorsman, Director of Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Samuel Lahoz

(L-R): AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, with Luc Vrolijks of Urban Progress, Marlies Buurman of ARCAM, and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

Samuel Lahoz

Dutch and New York Glimpses participants gathered at the Center for a press preview, 06.08.11.

Courtesy of the Center for Architecture

Glimpses panelists with AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP (far left).

Samuel Lahoz

06.21.11: Chapter membership and honorees gathered for the 144th Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter.

Past Chapter Presidents receiving their medals.

Sam Lahoz

Oculus committee Chair Kirsten Sibilia, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award Honoree John Morris Dixon, FAIA, and AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP.

Sam Lahoz

AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, Medal of Honor Recipient Daniel Libeskind, AIA, and AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP.

Sam Lahoz

05.11.11: Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark announced the winner of the Danish Arts Foundation’s design competition for new furniture for the Trusteeship Council Chamber in the UN headquarters. The event took place at the Museum of Modern Art.

Mary Burke, AIA, IIDA, AIANY Vice President of Design Excellence (right), meets the Queen.

Rick Bell, FAIA

06.10-12.11: FIGMENT NYC 2011, a free, annual celebration of participatory art and culture, took place on Governors Island. Performances and art events took place throughout the weekend at various sites, including at the Burble Bup pavilion, the winning entry to the FIGMENT/ENYA/SEAoNY City of Dreams Pavilion competition designed by Bittertang.

One impromptu performance included a small chamber music group of local elementary school children.

Jessica Sheridan

Clarence performed several times throughout the weekend.

Jessica Sheridan

05.25.11: Bloomberg News held a launch party for The Agile City: Building Well-being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change, by James S. Russell, FAIA, Bloomberg architecture critic and Oculus editorial advisor.

(L-R): Oculus Committee Chair Kirsten Sibilia, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; James S. Russell, FAIA; and New Yorker Critic Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA, on the 28th floor of Bloomberg News HQ.

Kristen Richards

Belmont Freeman, FAIA, with Architectural Record’s only two female editors-in-chief, newly-appointed Cathleen McGuigan (left), and Mildred Schmertz, who served as editor from 1985 to 1990.

Kristen Richards

06.09.11: The second annual Iron Designer Challenge took place at The Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction to raise funds for a state-of-the-art media/technology lab. Teams from Cerami & Associates; Gensler; Northern Bay Contractors; OMNI Architects; Parsons Brinckerhoff; Robert Silman Associates; Thornton Tomasetti; and Turner Construction competed for the 2011 Iron Designer title. Each team worked with three students from the school to develop a “Portal” design that incorporated the secret ingredient: LED light strips.

The event was hosted by Emmy award-winning journalist Lauren Glassberg with musical guests The Roof Walkers. Design education partners for the program included ACE Mentoring; the Center for Architecture Foundation; and the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA).

Teams constructed their Portals in the school’s gymnasium.

Jessica Sheridan

Gensler won the title of Iron Designer for the second year in a row.

Jessica Sheridan

06.06.11: Architecture Research Office celebrated two big wins this month: the firm was named the winner of the 2011 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture, and Kim Yao, AIA (left), joined ARO founders Stephen Cassell, AIA, LEED AP (center), and Adam Yarinsky, FAIA, LEED AP, as a principal in the firm.

Kristen Richards

144th Annual Meeting: Excerpted Remarks by AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP (continued)

We are also committed to advocating for the future of the built environment and enabling the unique vision of the architect to shape the city at all levels of the process. Locally, we have advocated for increased representation of architects on community boards across the city. Today, we count 28 members city-wide. We continue to work diligently on reform of the buildings approval process, and have representatives on Deputy Mayor Goldsmith’s Buildings and Construction Industry Working Group, Green Buildings Task Force, Vision 2020 Waterfront Advisory Group, New York City Age-Friendly Commission, and the Department of Building’s Technical Code Committees, which will make recommendations on improving the NYC Construction Code.

We traveled to Washington, DC, and upstate to Albany with colleagues from across the state and nation to meet with members of the legislature on important issues, including the adoption of a federal transportation bill; the repeal of Form 1099 filing requirement (which Congress has passed); the opening of credit markets; and an increase on incentives for efficient building designs. In Albany we advocated for Non-Design Professional Ownership, adoption of a 10-year statute of repose, Qualifications-Based Selection for Professional Design Services, and the Good Samaritan Act. I am pleased to report that because of the efforts of AIA New York State and our work locally, the Non-Design Professional Ownership legislation has passed the New York State Senate and Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. We worked with components from across the nation to restore the 2011 Solar Decathlon to the National Mall after it was denied a place there by the Departments of the Interior and Energy.

We were selected by NYSERDA to organize a two-year program of energy code trainings around New York State. We are working with Urban Green to identify trainers this month, and the courses will soon be underway.

If you’re interested in participating in any of the Chapter’s advocacy initiatives, please be in touch with our Policy Director, Jay Bond.

Meanwhile, we are organizing numerous programs with a focus on policy outreach. We hosted David Bragdon, head of the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, and Chris Ward, the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Our sixth annual Fit City conference was just a few weeks ago. Promoting health through design has been a real focus for us, and this year our cooperative effort with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has expanded to a national scale. We hosted two Fit Nation conferences — one in DC, and one in New Orleans, and we’ll hold a national training session when the Big Sibs conference meets here in October. Also. this fall we will organize programs as part of the national Sustainability 2030 by Design initiative.