09.28.11

09.28.11: Are you ready for Archtober? In just a couple of days the city will be aflutter with architecture events, building tours, and general celebrations for the profession. Be sure to check out www.archtober.org for more information, and save Saturday for the Center. On 10.01.11, three exhibitions will be opening: “Building Connections 2011,” “Smarter Living — The 2,000-Watt Society Exhibition,” and “Buildings=Energy,” the President’s Theme exhibition exploring how the design and related professions can positively impact energy changes in our cities.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Note: The digital edition of the summer issue of OCULUS magazine, “2011 AIANY Design Awards,” is online now! Click here to read.

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

And check out the latest Podcasts produced by AIANY.

15 Strategies for Sustainable Affordable Housing

Event: 2011 AIA Tri-State Design Conference
Location: Atlantic City, NJ, 09.21-23.11
Organizers: AIA New Jersey; AIA New York State; AIA Pennsylvania

(L-R): The Eltona, Melrose section of the Bronx, by Danois Architects; Hopewell Manor, Elverson, PA, by Barton Partners Architects & Planners; Grand Central, Orange, NJ, by Inglese Architecture & Engineering.

(L-R): Equus Design Group; Don Pearse Photographers, Inc.; Andy Foster

Funding constraints and the fiscal atmosphere in Congress threaten current affordable housing programs. Various initial low-cost measures can help achieve and maintain sustainability. Terrence E. O’Neal, AIA, LEED AP, principal of NY-based TONA (Terrence O’Neal Architect, LLC), moderated and spoke at the “Sustainable Affordable Housing” seminar at the recent AIA Tri-state Convention (NY State, NJ, and PA) in Atlantic City.

O’Neal encouraged architects to strive to minimize the first cost outlay and maximize the return in energy savings. He noted that since LEED certification is often not a feasible goal as many funding sources fail to support its high consulting fees, projects can enlist alternative rating systems, such as Enterprise Green Communities. O’Neal suggested that architects refer to online resources including the Affordable Housing Design Advisor, the Affordable Green Academy, and the NAHB National Green Building Program. The International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which is scheduled to be adopted in 2012, may eventually eliminate the need for rating systems altogether.

Panelists Thomas Barton (Barton Partners, Norristown, PA); Erick Ascencio (Danois Architects, NY); and Edward Martoglio (RPM Development, Montclair, NJ) discussed, respectively, three case studies of sustainable affordable developments: Hopewell Manor, a senior development in Elverson, PA; the Eltona in the Melrose redevelopment area of the Bronx, the first LEED Platinum, mixed-use, multifamily affordable project in the state; and Grand Central in Orange, NJ, the first multi-family building in NJ under the Climate Choice Program.

O’Neal identified 15 budget-minded sustainable items from the case study projects:

  1. Light-colored roof — White roofs reflect heat and reduce the heat island effect, a critical feature in dense urban areas.
  2. Low-flow toilets — Extra low-flow and dual flush toilets conserve water and should be considered despite the greater first cost.
  3. Flow restrictors on all fittings — The cost differential between good flow restrictors and great ones is negligible: Specify a great one.
  4. 90% efficient hot water heaters, condensing boilers — Potential energy savings makes up for the slightly more expensive first cost.
  5. Enhanced ventilation — Trickle vents and continuous direct venting are recommended.
  6. A well insulated envelope — This includes walls and roof. R values of the case study projects exceeded code requirements.
  7. Energy Star appliances — More appliances meet this standard each year.
  8. Fly ash — Important to use in concrete, for increased recycled content.
  9. FSC-certified wood floors and cabinets.
  10. Recycled wood kitchen cabinets.
  11. Urea formaldehyde-free adhesives in all laminate and veneers.
  12. Low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints — available from every manufacturer.
  13. Vinyl tile with recycled content.
  14. Recycled steel studs.
  15. Resident Orientation — Providing orientation for residents and maintenance personnel on sustainable features ensures proper maintenance and increases efficiency.

One-Stop SHoP, for Architecture & Construction

Event: Building Wisely: Leveraging Digital Technology to Maintain Design Intent
Location: Center for Architecture, 09.13.11
Speaker: Jonathan L. Mallie, AIA — Principal & Managing Director, SHoP Construction Services and Associate Principal — SHoP Architects
Introduction: Paul Seletsky, AIA — Co-Chair, AIANY Technology Committee
Organizer: AIANY Technology Committee
Sponsor: ABC Imaging

Created in CATIA, this design model by SHoP Architects shows Barclays Center’s complex latticework of weathering steel.

SHoP Architects

It can be supremely frustrating for architects to lose control of what happens to a design after a project enters the construction phase. “We all, as architects, have… run up against that wall in the past, realized that those barriers are in place,” said Jonathan L. Mallie, AIA, an associate principal of SHoP Architects and principal of SHoP Construction Services. “So we’re trying to break that down.”

He and others from SHoP Architects founded SHoP Construction in 2007 as a way of trying to bring the worlds of architecture and construction closer together. SHoP Construction is a company that specializes in virtual design and construction services. Through the new company, “We can push design further, because we have the ability to carry it through in another way,” Mallie remarked.

Though the two companies are separate legally and financially, they share office space and sometimes work together on the same projects, such as Barclays Center in Brooklyn, he explained. (See “New Barclays Center Design Eyes Atlantic Yards,” by Lisa Delgado, e-Oculus, 09.29.09.) Hunt Construction is the general contractor for the sports arena; SHoP Construction’s more specialized role includes providing the façade contractor, ASILIMITED, with engineering assistance in developing the building’s façade, which features an exterior latticework of weathering steel.

After SHoP Architects used CATIA to create a design model of the latticework, SHoP Construction created a fabrication model and continued to hone the latticework’s form to make it optimally cost efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and practical to transport. The design-build team used Revit as the BIM platform. One technical innovation was SHoP Construction’s development of a custom iPhone app that scans barcodes on the steel panels in order to track each one as it moves through the fabrication, pre-weathering, and installation process.

The latticework design consists of 12,000 steel panels that are each slightly different in form. But ASI didn’t balk at that, because the project was highly efficient in other ways, according to Mallie. “The sequencing was so thought through,” he said. “We were able to sequence the work in such a way that there was less focus on optimization in terms of number of standard panel types.”

All in all, through the collaboration between SHoP Architects and SHoP Construction on the project, “We really have been able to achieve a different design,” he remarked. “There’s no way that this building would have looked like this if we weren’t working on both sides of the fence.”

Bouriette & Vaconsin — Using Landscape to Shape Architecture

Event: Landscape in the City, part of Urban Design Week 2011
Location: Center for Architecture, 09.19.11
Speakers: Marion Vaconsin & Christophe Bouriette — French Landscape Designers, Atelier Bouriette & Vaconsin
Organizers: Center for Architecture; Cultural Services of the French Embassy; NYASLA

The approach of French landscape designer Marion Vaconsin and associate architect Christophe Bouriette — founders of Atelier Bouriette & Vaconsin — acknowledges the fragility of the natural landscape. Though their interventions are often subtle, they prove transformative in rural and urban settings alike.

The duo designed an extension to the Biganos Cemetery, a traditional French graveyard in the countryside, which reflects the shifting cultural preferences towards cremation. Bouriette and Vaconsin created a linear procession, defined by a stone platform with flower niches, flanked by a water path along which families and friends gather to celebrate the life of their loved ones while dispersing the ashes.

“In France, it is starting to become important to rescue the landscape,” noted Bouriette, and when designing within the urban context of Bordeaux, they aim to invite nature into the city. Bordeaux is divided both by class and by its hilly topography; but as an asset, the city contains 400 hectares (988 acres) of preserved natural landscape near its center. Bouriette and Vaconsin are involved in the transformation of this green space into an urban park, Parc des Coteaux. They carved out a pathway with a minimalist approach that preserves nature while allowing people to experience the landscape, linking several communities and neighborhoods.

On abandoned urban sites, subtlety isn’t exactly an option: nature must be reconstructed. Bouriette and Vaconsin imagined an entire new neighborhood block for La Ramade as part of the revitalization of a social housing complex in Bordeaux, complete with new vegetation and paving that links it to local transit. “Typically, the design process starts at the urban level; then the architecture is created; and landscape is the third consideration,” Bouriette explained. “Instead, we start with the landscape, establish a framework, and then arrive at the architecture.”

AC Dispatch

Atlantic City hosted the first-ever, metro-area, tri-state convention of the AIA, bringing together architects from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. To many it seemed a strange choice of venue for a late September convocation — poorly served by public transportation, lacking in urban design and architectural imagination, a sad place on the edge of a great sand beach.

But what Atlantic City lacked in design sensitivity, it made up in chutzpah, conviviality, risk-taking, and posing the eternal questions: Would anyone go? Would the suspense about the tri-state design awards conferred by the three state presidents keep those sitting on the edge of their chairs? Would the fog lift? Could you place bets on the Architectural Billing Index?

And yes, people went — more than 150 from New York and many from its largest AIA Chapter. Spotted in the crowd were bold-face names, like newly-appointed Design Trust Executive Director Susan Chin, FAIA; AIA National 2013 President Mickey Jacob, FAIA; AIANY President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP; AIANY Past-Presidents Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, LEED AP, and Tony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA; AIANYS Past-Presidents Terrence O’Neal, AIA, LEED AP, Burt Roslyn, FAIA, Orlando Maione, AIA, and Russ Davidson, AIA; Claire Weisz, AIA, an AIANYS board member representing Manhattan, and Venesa Alicea, AIA, LEED AP, also a board member representing Associate Members; Ennead Managing Partner Joseph Fleischer, FAIA; CACE Executive Committee Director Valerie Brown, from the Westchester-Hudson Valley Chapter; Adam Melis from AIA National Government Affairs; and Tom Schell from Naylor, publisher of OCULUS. But as Alicea noted, very few of the convention attendees were Associates — perhaps a function of the price point, location, or mid-week timing.

There was suspense — as the award program was revealed just before jury chair Larry Chan took to the lectern. Some sat, others gravitated towards the buffet. And the ABI was up — go figure.

Keynote speakers included Topaz Medallion winner Stanley Tigerman, FAIA, and our own Richard Meier, AIA, who will also be feted at this year’s Heritage Ball on 10.27.2011. A high point of Meier’s talk was his reminiscing about growing up in New Jersey, along with Jordan Gruzen, FAIA, and together heading down to the Steel Pier-era shore.

In his spirited “pecha meier” talk, the Pritzker-winning architect showed Esto-wonderful images from a score of projects, including the Neugebauer House in Naples, FL; the Rachofsky House in Dallas; the Perry Street Towers with 165 Charles Street; the Burda Collection building in Baden-Baden, and the Arp Museum in Rolandseck, Germany; the courthouse in San Jose with its dome on grade; the Weill Hall for Life Sciences labs at Cornell; the façades of two towers for Mitsubishi in Tokyo; the 8-star hotel in Tianjin; City Green Court in Prague; a proposed residential tower at the corner of Rothschild and Allenby in Tel Aviv; the Jubillee Church in Rome; and, last — though certainly not least — the Getty Center in Los Angeles, where “landscape is very much part of the experience of being there.”

Seminar panels on sustainability, codes, accessibility, and lighting animated late-night discussions at bars themed around other parts of the country, including the mildly Wild West.

AIA New York State elections — all uncontested — were held. Succeeding AIANYS President David Businelli, AIA, from Staten Island, is Buffalo’s Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, confirmed as 2012 President, and joined by AIANY member Eric Goshow, AIA, LEED AP, as President-Elect. Tim Boyland, AIA, was elected as Vice President for Government Advocacy.

Much discussion took place at the AIANYS Board Meeting and elsewhere about the NYC Lobby Commission’s efforts to label and register all architects as lobbyists if they present at Community Boards or regulatory commissions (see link to AIANY Chapter testimony).

The high point for many was meeting people from (relatively) afar, or at least from outside of one’s daily or conventional experience. Perhaps that is where the Atlantic City metaphor seems most positive — bringing people together to look out at foggy skies, trying to make sense of where architecture and architects are going when the chips are down.

Note: To read more about the election results and award winners, see Names in the News.

In this issue:
· 48 Horses on Parade
· Hamilton Grange is Restored, Relocated, and Open to the Public
· Townhouse Updated with Artistic Flair
· Bard Makes More Music
· Milstein Hall Opens Doors to Students
· Printing Plant to be Transformed into New Film Archive Building


48 Horses on Parade

Jane’s Carousel.

Julienne Schaer

Children of all ages can enjoy riding on the newly opened Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park and designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel. The 1922 carousel, with its 48 horses and two chariots, underwent a complete 25-year restoration. Ateliers Jean Nouvel was commissioned to design a pavilion that would allow the carousel to operate year-round. The all-weather, 5,000-square-foot, 27-foot-high, acrylic-and-steel structure features retractable doors to showcase the carousel and skyline views of Lower Manhattan, and the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. In addition to the pavilion, a thorough landscape renovation of the 4.5 Empire Fulton Ferry section of the park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), is underway. Included is a new pedestrian connection between this section and the Main Street portion of the park to the north.


Hamilton Grange is Restored, Relocated, and Open to the Public

Hamilton Grange National Memorial.

Rogol Photography

The two-story Hamilton Grange, Alexander Hamilton’s country residence, has been restored by John G. Waite Associates and relocated to St. Nicholas Park in Harlem, on a portion of the original family estate. The house, designed by John McComb, Jr. in 1802, is now called Hamilton Grange National Memorial under the care of the National Park Service. One of the city’s few free-standing Federal-style houses, the house had been located on a site so tight that it lost portions of the foundation and both front and rear porches. The entrance had been moved to one side of the building and interior spaces had been altered. Using illustrations and photographs of the building on its original site, the design team was able to recreate the balustrades along the roofline and the porches and side “piazzas,” which can be entered from the parlor and dining rooms. The house now rests on a new ground-floor foundation that accommodates an exhibition space and a small theater.


Townhouse Updated with Artistic Flair

National Academy Museum and School.

Andy Ryan

Founded in 1825, the National Academy Museum and School on Museum Mile in the Huntington Mansion recently reopened after a series of renovations designed by Brooklyn-based Bade Stageberg Cox. Originally designed in 1913 by Ogden Codman, Jr., the building integrates a museum, art school, and honorary association of artists and architects, and has one of the largest collections of American art. A new lobby features the telling of academy’s history via video and custom-designed light box displays, and features a ceiling engraved with the names of members dating back to 1826. A street-level gallery links the contemporary lobby to the building’s historic rotunda. The walls of the second- and fourth-floor galleries have been resurfaced to create full-height walls suited for hanging large-scale artworks. New lighting allows for tailored solutions to exhibitions, and previously boarded up windows now let in natural daylight. The entry to the school leads from a glass-and-steel vestibule to an open lobby used for student exhibitions, informal workshops, and critiques. FXFOWLE Principal Bruce Fowle FAIA, vice president of the academy’s board of governors, oversaw the renovations.


Bard Makes More Music

Bard College Conservatory of Music László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building.

Deborah Berke & Partners Architects

Plans are underway for the groundbreaking for Bard College Conservatory of Music’s László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building, designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects. Located on Bard’s Annandale-on-Hudson campus, the more than 16,000-square-foot building uses geothermal wells and heat pumps in accordance with the college’s environmental best-practice standards. The project features a 145-seat hall composed of maple paneling and flooring, fabric-wrapped absorption panels, and sound-attenuating diffusers. The hall can be configured in a variety of ways for students to re-imagine traditional concert spaces. In addition, the building contains 15 teaching studios, a large classroom that can be used for audio and video recording, and a lounge. The project is expected to be completed in January 2013.


Milstein Hall Opens Doors to Students

Milstein Hall.

© Cornell University

In August, the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AAP) opened the studios of its first new building in more than 100 years. The 47,000-square-foot Milstein Hall, designed by OMA New York, physically unites the AAP’s long-separated facilities to form a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. The new building features a large, horizontal plate that connects the levels of the AAP’s existing Sibley and Rand Halls to provide 25,000 square feet of studio space with panoramic views of the surrounding environment. Enclosed by floor-to-ceiling glass and a green roof with 41 skylights, it cantilevers almost 50 feet over the street to establish a relationship with the Foundry — a third existing AAP facility. Beneath the studio, the ground level accommodates major program elements, including a 253-seat auditorium and a dome that encloses a 5,000-square-foot circular critique space. The dome supports the raked auditorium seating; it becomes the stairs leading up to the studio space above; and it is the artificial ground for an array of exterior seating pods fostering public activities. The building will be completed this October.


Printing Plant to be Transformed into New Film Archive Building

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Courtesy Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), recently unveiled Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s design for its new facility located in the city’s downtown arts district. Sited in an unoccupied, single-story, sky-lit Art Deco printing plant with a three-story administrative wing, plans call for preserving essential aspects of the building, including the sawtooth roof and distinctive façade. Extensive excavation will create 12,500 square feet of additional gallery space suitable for light-sensitive work, as well as public study areas, a seminar room, a 32-seat screening room, and spaces specially designed for K-12 visitors. The ground floor will contain a grand lobby, museum store, and 10,800 square feet of exhibition space. Planning began in 1997 when an engineering survey determined that the existing building did not meet seismic codes, nor could be upgraded and still suit the needs of a museum. The opening is targeted for late 2015.


THIS JUST IN…

Spector Group is the architect for the 292,000-square-foot upgrade of The Berkeley Building on West 44th Street, NYC…

Coming soon to a street near you… NYC Bike Share is scheduled to launch in summer 2012. The program will feature 600 stations and 10,000 bikes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, potentially stretching to Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Alta Bicycle Share will run, manage, and maintain the system, while NYC Department of Transportation will coordinate community outreach and regulate station siting…

The Sliced Porosity Block, designed by Steven Holl Architects, recently celebrated its topping out. Located in Chengdu, China, the 3-million-square-foot mixed-used complex consists of five towers with offices, apartments, retail, a hotel, cafés, and restaurants…

In this issue:
· Archtober is Coming!
· AIANY Advocates for Proposed Changes to Lobbying Laws
· e-Calendar


Archtober is Coming!
Archtober is New York’s Architecture and Design Month, a festival of architectural design activities, programs, and exhibitions taking place throughout October. The official Archtober kick-off starts Saturday, Archtober 1, with the opening of the Archtober Lounge at 10am and the Building of the Day tour of the Center for Architecture at noon. The Center for Architecture Foundation will have an exhibition opening reception for Building Connections, from 3-5pm. AIANY President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP will present the presidential-theme exhibition Buildings=Energy, in conjunction with the opening of Smarter Living — the 2,000-Watt Society, with a public reception from 7-9pm. Stay informed on all of the Archtober news by joining the Archtober Facebook group, following Archtober on Twitter @Archtober, and visiting www.Archtober.org. Thirty-five cultural and civic institutional partners have come together under the Archtober banner to celebrate NYC with architectural and design-related programming every day throughout the month. Download the Archtober Guide here.


AIANY Advocates for Proposed Changes to Lobbying Laws

AIA Advocacy is mobilizing its forces to protect the profession and to affect change in proposed lobbying laws that would make architects register as lobbyists with the New York City Clerk!

Margery Perlmutter, Esq., AIA, AIANY Director of Legislative Affairs; Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director; William Stein, FAIA, of Dattner Architects; Edward Applebome, President and CEO of AKRF; and Mark E. Strauss, FAIA, AICP, LEED AP, from FXFOWLE attended on behalf of the Chapter and presented testimony on the impact of the broad interpretation of the definition of lobbying as it applies to architects — who are required by law to appear as technical experts at hearings on nearly every development project. AIANY advocated that changes suggested by the NYC Lobbying Commission would result in an economic burden on the entire architecture industry in NYC, which includes more than 2,000 firms and nearly 5,000 architects. In addition, the commission is suggesting that clients of architects also register as being a client of a lobbyist, placing an incredible burden on countless others.

The NYC Lobbying Commission was appointed in February 2011 to review the city’s lobbying laws and make recommendations to the mayor and the city council that identify areas to strengthen the current laws.

Please contact Jay Bond, AIANY Policy Director, to help.


eCALENDAR
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

CURRENT, UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

Building Connections 2011

On view 10.01.2011-02.11.2012

Archtober Lounge

On view October, 2011

New York New Work

On view October, 2011

Buildings=Energy

On view 10.01.2011-01.21.2012

Learning By Design:NY Celebrates 20th Anniversary

CFAF

(Left): Board member Jerry Maltz, AIA, and staff member Catherine Teegarden facilitated a teacher workshop on the built environment for Lincoln Center Institute, 1997. (Right): Second grade students at PS 144 learned to decipher the language of architecture while on a neighborhood walk, 1996.

Catherine Teegarden

“LBD:NY has been a wonderful program for the students and staff alike because of the connections between different parts of our New York State Curriculum… but even more so because of the connections the students themselves have been able to forge with the community around them.”
– Patrick Hess, PS /MS 161

This year, the Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) celebrates 20 years of its K-12 in-school residency program, Learning By Design:NY (LBD:NY). Co-founded by current CFAF Board Member Linda Yowell in 1991, a committee of architects and educators began to work with NYC schools to enrich curriculum and educate young people to take an active role as citizens and future designers. Over the next few years, LBD:NY had volunteer architects working with teachers in several elementary schools, including current Board Members Jerry Maltz, AIA, and Joe Tortorella, and current CFAF Staff Tim Hayduk and Catherine Teegarden. By 2000, CFAF had an administrative staff of three, with trained design educators and programs in 20 schools.

Seeking to make architecture an intrinsic part of the K-12 curriculum of NYC public schools, LBD:NY has served more than 30,000 youth. Drawing on community resources — local landmarks, cultural institutions, and city development projects — professional design educators present architecture through the lens of social engagement. Working on real-world projects, K-12 students explore the history, social context, and impact of design as it connects to their own lives and communities. Materials and activities vary, from making scale Native American longhouse models with bamboo, clay, and fabric, to creating cell phone tours of Chinatown landmarks, to designing and constructing a rooftop greenhouse.

In any given year, CFAF reaches an average of 2000 students in approximately 80 classrooms throughout the city. CFAF has been awarded the American Architectural Foundation’s K-12 Architectural Education Award of Merit and was recently nominated for the International Architecture and Children Golden Cubes Award.

The annual exhibition, which showcases student work created during LBD:NY residencies, will also be celebrating a major milestone this year. 2011 marks the 15th anniversary of “Building Connections,” which opens on Saturday, 10.01.11 at the Center for Architecture. Educators and the public are invited to the Foundation’s Architecture Education Open House from 3:00-5:00pm to learn more about LBD:NY and be the first to view the exhibition. The Open House coincides with the launch of Archtober, a month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions around the city.

For more information about the Center for Architecture Foundation or scheduling a LBD:NY residency, visit www.cfafoundation.org or contact Tim Hayduk at thayduk@cfafoundation.org.

Emerging Architects Serve Up Food Justice

With a recent visit to Oberlin College, my alma mater, I met with Environmental Studies students to discuss their opinion about the future of sustainability. The hot topic was “food justice,” a new term to me, although not a new concept. I felt these discussions were particularly timely, as the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) just launched its biennial design ideas competition, “The Harlem Edge: Cultivating Connections,” calling for ideas for the decommissioned Department of Sanitation marine transfer station on 135th Street and the Hudson River. The committee collaborated with Nourishing NYC, a hunger advocacy organization, to develop the program.

Food justice, as it was described to me, empowers communities to grow, eat, and sell healthy food — “healthy” meaning locally grown, nutritious, and affordable. The movement aims to affect social change by advocating for new governmental policies that would create an environment where everyone would have access to food and no one would go hungry. Part of the movement involves redistributing food that is available globally to adequately feed those who suffer from malnutrition and starvation.

Nourishing NYC has three aspects to its mission of “achieving ‘nutrition for all’ in NYC”: offer nutritionally balanced meals for free; educate children ages 6-12; and provide hands-on nutritional workshops in the community. The organization recently unveiled a national program, Nourishing USA, expanding its umbrella to other cities in the U.S.

I think The Harlem Edge competition will bring to light how architects and designers can contribute to broad social causes such as food justice. The site of the marine transfer station is perfect for the program, as it is on the water (potential ferry access), near existing transportation infrastructure, close to a Fairway supermarket, and the demographics will quickly change over the next few years as Columbia expands into Manhattanville. With emerging professionals addressing issues of poverty, obesity, and “food insecurity” (another term I recently learned), they are re-establishing the profession as a source for innovative, practical ideas to help solve the world’s problems.