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


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


On view 10.01.2011-01.21.2012


CFAF Hosts openhousenewyork Weekend Family Festival

On 10.15-16.11, the Center for Architecture Foundation, in partnership with openhousenewyork (OHNY), hosted several local organizations, providing children and their families with free interactive and engaging projects.


Hundreds stopped by the Center for Architecture for the OHNY Weekend Family Festival, as part of the 9th annual OHNY Weekend and the city’s first month-long Archtober festival. Ted Mineau (right) was one of many volunteers who helped make OHNY a success.

Eveline Chang (left); Catherine Teegarden


Participants created architectural centerpieces (to be displayed at the Heritage Ball) and architectural masks, made stained-glass windows, built a small cityscape, and played with Lego robotics.

Eveline Chang


Hands-on activities were offered by organizations, including the Museum at Eldridge Street, The Noble Maritime Collection, No Longer Empty, The Trust for Governors Island, and Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. One child gave his input on Governors Island’s new playground (left). Children created origami boxes and assembled them into a NYC cityscape (second from left). Across the street on LaGuardia Place, Public Workshop led families in building large structures out of cardboard discs, bringing the Family Festival outside for the public to enjoy (right).

(L-R): Catherine Teegarden; Catherine Teegarden; Jessica Mak; Hae-In Kim

The Foundation offers Family Days at the Center for Architecture on one Saturday every month. The next program will take place on 11.12.11, focusing on the Center’s exhibition, “Buildings=Energy.” The Foundation also offers after-school, vacation, and summer programs for students in grades 3-12. For more information about the Center for Architecture Foundation’s Programs@theCenter or ways to get involved, visit or contact Catherine Teegarden at

OHNY Opens Doors to its Ninth Year

It’s been nine years since openhousenewyork (OHNY) started making architecture more accessible to the public, and each year I eagerly anticipate the weekend. For me, it is not only exciting that buildings open their doors to the public, making NYC feel more welcoming and inviting, but it also gives me a chance to explore neighborhoods I do not usually visit. This year, I focused on West Harlem/ Hamilton Heights, touring Curtis + Ginsberg Architects’ PS90; taking the AIANY ENYA tour of the 135th Street Marine Transfer Station (site of the current ideas competition, The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections); exploring the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, by Ohlhausen DuBois Architects with WASA/Studio A and Harvey Marshall Berling Associates; and The Gadson Gallery, housed in a circa 1900 brownstone on W.134th Street. In walking from site to site, I passed through the City College campus, came across the relocated Hamilton Grange, and strolled along Convent Avenue. It is events like OHNY that allow me to slow down and really appreciate the city.

My biggest criticism of OHNY is that this year the organization introduced a $5 fee for some of the walking tours, in addition to the OHNY Passport (for a $150 donation, individuals can cut lines at popular sites). I understand the need for funding, especially in these economic times, but by requiring donations the spirit of OHNY changes. It no longer provides an accessible environment for open exploration. Granted, $5 is not a large sum of money, and volunteers have the same privilege as OHNY Passport holders, but I hope that next year the organization is able to find alternate ways to raise money, whether it’s through selling merchandise or by finding more sponsors. Or perhaps OHNY will be able to take Open House London’s lead and advocate for government funding. This is an important event for architecture and NYC, and I hope that more organizations show thier support.

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis announced the 10 winning projects for Sukkah City STL, which included the submissions from two New Yorkers, Filip Tejchman and Sean Corriel

The Institute for Urban Design (IFUD) has been selected to organize U.S. representation at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012. The exhibition, “Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good,” will be co-curated by Cathy Lang Ho, architecture writer and IFUD board member, and Ned Cramer, editor-in-chief of Architect magazine, with David van der Leer, assistant curator of architecture and urban studies at the Guggenheim, as curatorial strategist. The advisory team includes Paola Antonelli, senior design curator at MoMA, Zoe Ryan, curator of architecture and design at the Art Institute of Chicago, Michael Sorkin, critic, principal of Michael Sorkin Studio and president of the board, and Anne Guiney, journalist and IFUD’s executive director…

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Patrick Foye, a state economic development official, will head the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ). He succeeds Chris Ward who served as executive director for three years. In addition, PANYNJ has taken operational control of Moynihan Station Development Corp and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp

Dr. Ellen Fisher has been appointed vice president for academic affairs/dean at the New York School of Interior Design

The Friends of the High Line announced Cecilia Alemani has been appointed the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. curator and director of the High Line Art Program…

At the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat‘s 2011 World Conference in Seoul, South Korea, Timothy Johnson, AIA, LEED AP, a partner at NBBJ, was appointed Chairman of the CTBUH; he is the first architect to serve in a leadership role in the council’s 42-year history…

Janson Tsai Design, a firm specializing in the design of broadcasting, film, and recording studios, and entertainment venues has merged with Perkins Eastman

Parsons The New School for Design has announced three new graduate programs: MS in Design and Urban Ecologies; MA in Theories of Urban Practice; and MA in Design Studies. The programs will launch in Fall 2012…

Call for Projects & Ideas for Oculus Spring 2012:
Small is Big: Can small firms act big?

A whopping 59% of AIANY members are single practitioners or small practices. We invite NYC-based sole proprietorships and small firms to submit article suggestions and/or public-sector, private-client, or research projects that demonstrate the power of well-organized, small firms to work like larger ones for possible inclusion in the Spring 2012 issue of OCULUS magazine. Please submit ideas by November 11, 2011 to OCULUS Editor-in-Chief Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA, at

10.28.11 Call for Entries: Armstrong ideas2reality Competition

10.29.11 Call for Halloween Costumes: Domus and Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Architecture Costume Competition

11.01.11 Call for Entries: CLOG:APPLE

11.10.11 Call for Entries: desigNYC’s 2012 Recharging Communities

12.15.11 Call for Entries: Gardner Museum Fellowship in Landscape Studies 2012

01.16.12 Call for Entries: AIANY ENYA The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections

03.31.12 Registration Ends: [Un]Restricted Access – From Military Space to Civic Space Competition

10.09-11.11: The Association of Architecture Organizations (AAO) and the Architecture + Design Education Network (A+DEN), in conjunction with the Association for Community Design (ACD), hosted the Design in Action 2011 Conference in Philadelphia to explore the latest ideas in community design, outreach, and K-12 design education.

Ronald E. Bogle, Hon. AIA, President and CEO of the American Architectural Foundation and an AAO/A+DEN co-founder, recognized Jaime Endreny, Executive Director of the Center for Architecture Foundation, for the Learning by Design:NY program. Learning by Design:NY was a U.S. nominee (Institution Category) in the first Golden Cubes Awards of the International Union of Architects.

Kristen Richards

At the “Healthy Communities through Design” session, Rick Bell, FAIA, an AAO co-founder, and Sean Fischer, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Built Environment program at the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, spoke about NYC’s Active Design Guidelines and the AIANY’s Fit-Nation collaboration with other U.S. communities.

Kristen Richards

New Yorkers busy in Philadelphia: James Corner Field Operations’ recently-completed the Race Street Pier in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge has become one of Philly’s newest favorite spots.

Kristen Richards

The Barnes Museum, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, is readying for its grand opening on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway next May.

Kristen Richards

Architecture for Humanity hosted its fall design conference, Design Like You Give a Damn: LIVE!, at the Center for Architecture 10.21-22.11. Sarah Bush, the Associate Development Director at Architecture for Humanity, pictured right with AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, was one of the organizers.

Rick Bell (left); Bridget Dodd (right)

This is the last week that the “New York New Work” exhibition will be on view at the West 4th Street train station. Stop by before the end of the month!

Rick Bell

“Design with the Other 90%: Cities” is an exhibition on view through 01.09.12 at the United Nations Visitors Lobby, organized by the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Dan Gottlieb and Penny Herscovitch, of Padlab in Los Angeles, designed the Safe Agua Water System for Santiago, Chile.

Rick Bell

Pro-union political activism (musically) takes to the street in front of the Center for Architecture.

Rick Bell


10.12.11 We are almost half-way through Archtober and the AIANY Chapter, the Center for Architecture, and the many partner associations continue to celebrate the month with lectures, building tours, and exhibitions. Check out the Archtober blog for day-to-day updates. And be sure to stop by the Center to see this year’s President’s Theme Exhibition “Buildings=Energy.”

Also, next weekend is openhousenewyork. I know many of you are planning tours of your offices or built projects. Please e-mail me at and let me know. The next issue will include our annual photo montage from the weekend.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

It's Bad Out There: High Water Everywhere

Event: VisioNYC 2080: Towards a Risk-Resilient City
Location: Center for Architecture, 10.06.11
Speakers: Klaus Jacob — Geophysicist & Urban Environmental Disaster Expert, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Earth Institute, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Respondents: Adam Freed — Deputy Director, Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning; Deborah Gans, AIA — Principal, Gans Studio, & Professor of Architecture, Pratt Institute; Jill N. Lerner, FAIA — Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects, & President-elect, AIANY; Donald Watson, FAIA, CIP — Architect & Planner, Vita Nuova, Former Chair, Yale School of Architecture Environmental Design Program, Former Professor and Dean, School of Architecture, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, & Co-author, Design for Flooding
Moderator: Lance Jay Brown, FAIA — Principal, Studio Lance Jay Brown, Distinguished Professor, Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York, & Co-chair, AIANY DfRR Committee
Introduction: Illya Azaroff, AIA — Founding Principal, +LAB, & Co-chair, AIANY DfRR Committee
Organizers: AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR)


NYSERDA’s ClimAID Synthesis Report (left); NYC Panel on Climate Change’s Climate Change Adaptation in NYC (right).

Courtesy NYSERDA (left) and NYC Panel on Climate Change (right)

Among prominent geophysicists, Klaus Jacob studies things he must tell the public about and delivers his warnings in terms as reasoned as they are bracing. His work during the 1980s led to the creation of the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, NYC’s first seismic building codes, and other purposeful responses that have drawn national attention. Turning his attention now to the ominous synergies between sea-level rise and storm surges, he briefed the new AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) Committee’s first public audience on the need to assess flooding risks, develop engineering plans, and allocate funds to maximize resilience on every scale from single buildings to regions. A stronger case for the value of this emerging specialty would be hard to imagine.

Continued climate change is as close to a certainty as science can provide. With the “warning shot” of Hurricane Irene fresh in memory, Jacob cautioned that “we really are in trouble already” and described the need for risk-aware design, guided by the best available scientific information, as a race against time. Not all of his message was alarming: the best estimates of the benefit/cost ratio for flood preparation are in the 4:1 range, so that each dollar spent on measures that protect lives, places, and property brings about $4 worth of value in the form of destruction deferred. He commended city officials’ awareness of environmental hazards, but he noted that risk perception is notoriously difficult.

Multiple documents have been emerging on the subject, most recently the NYC Panel on Climate Change’s Climate Change Adaptation in NYC and NYSERDA’s ClimAID Synthesis Report. Their scientific grounding is generally improving, but Jacob critiqued the former publication for relegating the scenario of large-scale ice melts in Greenland and western Antarctica to an easily overlooked footnote. Planning for 100-year storm surges under current conditions is hard enough; scenarios involving rising sea levels at two or four feet call for higher degrees of resilience. New York’s subways — our most economically essential infrastructural component, but also “the default sewer system” during combined overflows — might take 21 days or longer to recover from a 100-year storm, producing time-integrated economic loss estimates between $58 and 84 billion. Under current financial (let alone political) conditions, marshaling the resources for preparations measured in the tens of billions is, to put it mildly, a reach.

Jacob does not let political pessimism paralyze his sense of urgency. “I’m not an architect, so I don’t give you the solutions,” he noted, “I gave you the problems.” Some available answers are facile or worse: denialism, inaction, and unchecked greenhouse-gas emission simply maximize hazards, and relying on insurance is hardly better (insurance firms are aware of climate change, and wind or flood insurance is becoming unobtainable). As respondent Donald Watson, FAIA, reminded the audience, Buckminster Fuller looked to “comprehensive anticipatory design science” for solutions to problems; Jacob and the panel likewise called on architects to look several decades beyond PlaNYC’s timetable and foresee adaptations to more drastic scenarios.

Waterfront cities worldwide offer a broad range of responses, some positive, some otherwise. Measures such as NYC’s Million Trees initiative have useful effects on certain scales (though they carry their own costs, should even a small percentage of these trees buckle in a storm). Large engineering approaches like London’s flood barriers (already being retrofitted) leave Jacob skeptical, though he hailed residential-scale inventions like self-deploying passive floodgates. He finds Lagos nightmarish but oddly resilient, with its informal and thus flexible infrastructure, but called Dubai blatantly irrational — noting the irony in that city’s development depending on the same mineral resource that contributes so heavily to the sea level rise that puts it at risk. He cited Hamburg’s Hafen-City, with its adaptive reuse of docks and elevated new Philharmonie, as an emulable balance of planning and creativity. Cities and architects alike, all speakers suggested, would be wise to reinvent themselves for an era when the Earth increasingly insists that human civilization’s growth, should it keep growing, must become dramatically and steadily smarter.

President's Theme Exhibition Reveals How Buildings = Energy

Event: Buildings=Energy Exhibition and Opening
Location: Center for Architecture, 10.01.11
Speakers: Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP — 2011 AIANY Chapter President; Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, LEED AP — AIANY Managing Director; Michael Strauss — President, Center for Architecture Foundation
Organizers: AIANY in collaboration with the Center for Architecture Foundation
Sponsors: Underwriters: ARUP; Con Edison; Perkins+Will; Lead Sponsors: Buro Happold; STUDIOS Architecture; 3M Window Films; Energy Products Distribution; APG Design Studio; Sponsors: FLIR; MechoShade Systems, Inc.; Robert Silman Associates; Trespa; Supporters: Acheson Doyle Partners Architects, PC; DeLaCour Family Foundation; Ibex Construction; KPF; Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.; Friends: 1100:Architect; Bleecker Area Merchants & Residents Association (BAMRA); Brenda Levin; Capsys Corp.; Community Environmental Center, Inc.; Helpern Architects; Hugo S. Subotovsky AIA Architects, LLC; Levien & Company; New York Building Congress; Inc.; Oppenheimer Brady Vogelstein; P.W. Grosser Consulting, Inc.; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; Viridian Energy & Environmental, LLC

Courtesy of the Center for Architecture

The Center for Architecture’s fall exhibition, “Buildings = Energy,” explores how critical choices made by architects can bring about positive changes in cities’ energy use, more specifically NYC. It echoes the “Design for a Change” platform of 2011 AIANY President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP. Castillo, who recently returned from attending the UIA’s 24th World Congress of Architecture in Tokyo, an event that brought to light the post-earthquake challenges facing the country, believes that “this exhibition couldn’t be more timely. Architects should be involved in the political aspects of energy use.”

The exhibition is comprised of informational boards illustrated with project examples, including models and mock-ups of sustainable building strategies. It examines energy use through a variety of lenses, including programming, passive vs. active systems, site and material choices, and concepts such as embodied energy and Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCA). The exhibition also offers examples of how to extend the lives of buildings through renovations, retrofits, reconstruction, and deconstruction projects.

On the mezzanine, viewers learn the basics behind concepts such as peak load, heat flows, and R-value. They also get a glimpse of energy-saving gadgets like the Kill-a-Watt, a meter that assesses appliance efficiency, and the Power Cost Monitor and wattson01, which are systems that display real-time energy use for an entire building. The exhibition also highlights various municipal- and community-based efforts that aim to reduce energy use, such as PlaNYC 2030, Urban Green Council, CCNY’s Solar Decathlon entry Solar Roof Pod, Pratt Center for Community Development, and Solar One by the NYC Department of Education.

Although many of the concepts presented will be familiar to Chapter members, the format is easily digestible and should prove engaging and educational for just the curious visitor. It is on view through 01.12.12.

Adjaye Speaks Through Another Lens

Event: 2011 Rosenblatt Memorial Lecture: David Adjaye on Evolving Art and Exhibition Spaces
Location: Center for Architecture, 10.04.2011
David Adjaye, Hon. FAIA, OBE — Principal, Adjaye Associates
Introduction: Paul Rosenblatt
Organizer: AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee
Sponsors: Stan Reis Photograph; Springboard Design; Brooklyn Brewery

David Adjaye, Hon. FAIA, OBE, not only designs cultural facilities, but sees his design process as a collaborative effort with the many artists and art collectors he has come to know over the years. His practice, which straddles the two disciplines in many ways, is about to break new boundaries in the U.S. as he moves into construction documents for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C.

Adjaye’s collaborations range from an installation created for the 2005 Venice Biennale with Olafur Eliasson, called “Your Black Horizon,” to the Carriage House on the Upper East Side, a home for a prominent art collector. He described the former, which has been relocated to Lopud, Croatia, as a “machine that records light.” At the end of a passage bringing visitors from the outside through a series of paths that grow darker throughout the progression, a chamber reflects recorded light levels in various places in the world within a 24-hour period. Even though light spills through one small datum line, visitors are disoriented by the flood of light.

For the Carriage House, completed in 2010, Adjaye explained that “the client’s ideal is to live in a museum.” Referencing work by Philip Johnson, FAIA, and Paul Rudolph, FAIA, as well as Marcel Breuer’s nearby Whitney Museum, Adjaye looked to preserve and expose the layers of NYC history contained within the site. He accomplished this by revealing the uneven thicknesses of the sheer walls; using a dry concrete mixture that creates “geological phenomena,” rough and worn down in areas; and by exposing the Manhattan schist at the base of the existing building. Walls shift away from floors to create light wells that penetrate the height and depth of the building, and asymmetrical windows create unexpected views both into other spaces in the house and out to the cityscape.

Continuing and expanding on Adjaye’s exploration of urban archaeology, the NMAAHC, designed by the architectural team Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup, will be the last building to complete L’Enfant’s original master plan on the National Mall. With its design, Adjaye is seeking to develop a narrative in the building itself. Noting that the site is adjacent to the Washington Monument — an obelisk complete with a pyramid on top — the shape of the building is an inverted pyramid, similar to those in ancient Benin. The rain screen curtain wall is comprised of elements that relate to both Urdu sculptures and the ironsmithing and carpentry guilds in Louisiana, and the varying apertures are intended to draw visitors through the buildings as well as direct their views out to the key monuments on the Mall and beyond. Expected to be complete in 2015, Adjaye, both in his body of work and in this building alone, aims to tell “a story shown through another lens.”