11.23.11 Happy Thanksgiving! While the year may be coming to a close, the Center for Architecture is gearing up for a busy December. Save the date for the 2012 AIANY Board Inaugural on 12.06.11, from 5:00-6:00 pm, and check the calendar for the many panel discussions and events on the “Buildings=Energy” exhibition now on view through 01.21.12.

– Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP

Note: The digital edition of the Fall 2011 issue of OCULUS magazine, “Interior Motives,” is online now! Click here to read.

Deans Discuss Relevance of Architecture

Event: “Arch Schools 2011” Exhibition Reception and Deans Roundtable
Location: Center for Architecture, 11.19.11
Speakers: George Ranalli, AIA — Dean, The City College of New York Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; Mark Wigley — Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Anthony Vidler — Dean, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union; Kent Kleinman — Dean, Cornell University College of Architecture, Art and Planning; Urs P. Gauchat, Hon. AIA — Dean, New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture and Design; Frank Mruk, AIA, RIBA — Associate Dean, New York Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Design; William Morrish — Dean, Parsons The New School of Design School of Constructed Environments; Thomas Hanrahan — Dean, Pratt Institute School of Architecture; Stan Allen, FAIA — Dean, Princeton University School of Architecture; Evan Douglis — Dean, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Undergraduate Department in the School of Architecture; Mark Robbins — Dean, Syracuse University School of Architecture; Robert Shibley, FAIA — Dean, University at Buffalo (SUNY) School of Architecture and Planning; Keith Krumwiede — Associate Dean, Yale School of Architecture
Moderator: Sarah Whiting, Assoc. AIA — Dean, Rice School of Architecture
Introduction: Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, DPACSA — Founder, Deans Roundtable and Arch Schools Exhibition
Sponsors: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Robert Dell Vuyosevich, AIA


Center for Architecture

For the past seven years, the Center for Architecture has showcased exemplary student work from New York area schools in an annual exhibition highlighting high caliber curricula that seek to produce a new generation of talent. The “Arch Schools 2011” exhibition was kicked off by a discussion among deans of the schools of architecture at 13 of the 14 institutions represented in this year’s annual show. Posited by moderator Sarah Whiting, Assoc. AIA, dean of the Rice School of Architecture, the topic of debate addressed the issue of architects’ social relevance and the role of the profession in public discourse. Each of the deans offered insight into how this charge is integrated into their respective curricula. Mark Robbins, Dean of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, wants to expose his students to difficult design challenges while providing them with the practical ability to converse with a client. His goal is to breed designers who are “agile enough to deal with a broad scope.” The objective of creating a broad bandwidth resonated with Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation’s Mark Wigley, who feels the responsibility of architecture schools is to equip students with the ability to define the public across a trans-generational spectrum. Many public events orchestrated by Wigley’s department are examples of utilizing discourse as a form of the profession’s social relevance.

The roundtable participants debated the architectural discipline in relation to the Occupy Wall Street movement at some length. The dispersive efficiency with which the movement has gained momentum was noted by Whiting, commenting that this type of discussion parallels architectural discourse. Referencing a recent New York Times article by architecture critic Michael Kimmelman that noted the role of public space as a stage, the participants discussed the role of architecture as a catalyst for social change. “We must not neglect the citizenship of the school,” commented Wigley, adding that the institution needs to take a position in society.

The trend toward exposing students to social relevance appears to be prevalent among many of the schools represented. SUNY Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning Dean Robert Shibley, FAIA, commented that the mix of expert discourse and local knowledge are the ingredients that make architects powerful contributors to the larger environment. By engaging in activities such as the Solar Decathlon and designing innovative housing projects for Habitat for Humanity, students are becoming agents of public change, using their skills to make a difference and fit into the context of society. With a great sense of optimism, deans are collectively empowering students to move away from linear thinking by translating their experience across disciplines and becoming integral informants of society.

Note: The “Arch Schools 2011” Exhibition Reception and Deans Roundtable took place during ConvergenceNYC2011, an annual conference for architecture students in the NY region organized by AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) and the AIAS at local schools. This year’s theme, “Possibilities,” set out to explore different career paths students may take after graduation from architecture school. Panels on alternate careers and the IDP/ARE process were part of this weekend, along with firm tours and walking tours hosted by the AIANY Architectural Tourism Committee.

Foundation Premieres Opera Film Inspired by Louis Kahn

Event: Premiere Screening of ARCHITECT
Location: Center for Architecture, 11.17.11
Speakers: John Conklin — Opera Designer; Sue Ann Kahn — Musician, Daughter of Louis Kahn; Lewis Spratlan — Composer; Jenny Kallick — Amherst College Music Professor; Michiko Theurer — Artist
Moderator: Hugh Hardy, FAIA — Principal, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture
Organizers: Center for Architecture Foundation
Sponsors: Judy and Walter Hunt; Goetz Fitzpatrick; Bleecker Area Merchants’ and Residents Association; SoHo Wines & Liquor; Washington Square Wines & Liquor


Center for Architecture Foundation

ARCHITECT, a chamber opera based on the life and work of Louis I. Kahn, is an interdisciplinary work that weaves opera with photographs, video, and watercolors of both Kahn’s inspirations and his buildings. The piece features vocal and instrumental music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan, libretto by Amherst College Music Professor Jenny Kallick, electroacoustic music by John Downey, Jr. and Kallick, and paintings and photography by Michiko Theureur.

The discussion following the premiere screening examined the birth and evolution of the opera. Panelists talked about the use of multi-media to create an interdisciplinary art form — one where the audio and visual components work together yet functioned separately. Each speaker offered insights about the opera and discussed how each medium added to both the piece and to Kahn’s legacy. They spoke of the link between the opera and Kahn’s attention to materials, color, light, and sound. Kallick explained that the interplay of visual images on screen accompanied by electroacoustic and chamber music reflects the idea of buildings as “sounding spaces,” an idea central to Kahn’s work. Through her research, Kallick discovered that Kahn, who once considered a career as a composer, often said that “to hear a sound is to see a space.”

Looking forward, Kallick and Spratlan explained their visions for ARCHITECT. They intend to make the audio available for download, as well as perform additional live performances, possibly in one of Kahn’s buildings.

Funds raised from the event will support the Center for Architecture Foundation’s Kindergarten through 12th grade educational programs.

Alsop Messes with Architecture

Event: 2011 Oberfield Lecture: Will Alsop — In Austere Times It’s Time to Dream
Location: Center for Architecture, 11.07.11
Speakers: Will Alsop, OBE — Principal, All Design (Alsop Lawrie, Ltd.) & Officer, Order of the British Empire; Member, Royal Academy, London
Organizers: AIANY Interiors Committee
Sponsors: Gensler


Sharp Center for Design at the Ontario College of Arts and Design.


Will Alsop, OBE, the mind behind iconic buildings including the Peckham Library in London and the Sharp Center for Design at the Ontario College of Arts and Design (OCAD) in Toronto, subscribes to “aesthetic pluralism and populism.” He claims that what most contemporary architects regard as tasteless, he deems indispensable. The gaudy and colorful make his world full of richness and vitality. Alsop asserts that a vibrant built environment with popular appeal can ameliorate lives.

Throughout his lecture Alsop promoted intertwining social and architectural ambitions. Some of his most renowned projects have employed humanist agendas and consensus-building tactics from the outset. While designing the OCAD project, for instance, he and his colleagues solicited feedback from the surrounding community. After learning that residents across the street wanted unobstructed views of the park and other local groups desired unimpeded access to the green space, Alsop designed a hovering structure to satisfy all parties. The fact that the Sharp Center’s major formal move derived from popular consensus, rather than a preconceived vision by the designer, supports his view that the “napkin sketch” by the omniscient architect is an ideological fallacy. According to Alsop, good architecture takes inspiration from its context, its community, and, above all, its ability to inspire delight.

Aesthetic pleasure is clearly a high priority for Alsop, who embraces multiplicity and populism in his design process. Saturated color, odd material juxtaposition, and formal whimsy are integrated into his designs to elicit smiles. Painting, mixed media, and video play a significant role in the exploration and explication of ideas. If this slew of techniques yields the occasional ill-regarded building, so much the better, he said. For Alsop, failures are equally as valid as successes when one is dealing with the joyful, messy business of architecture.

Perine Rabble Rouses NYC Housing

Event: 2011 Ratensky Lecture: Jerilyn Perine
Speaker: Jerilyn Perine — Executive Director, Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC)
Introductions: Mark Ginsberg, FAIA – Partner, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, CHCP President; Ron Shiffman, FAICP, Co-founder, Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development
Organizer: AIANY Housing Committee
Sponsor: Brooklyn Brewery

“I didn’t start out looking for trouble,” said Jerilyn Perine, executive director of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), a non-profit research organization dedicated to improving housing and neighborhood conditions through the co-operative efforts of the public and private sectors. Perine is the former commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) during the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations.

In addition to her 30 plus years as an urban planner, this native New Yorker has been personally touched by the plight of housing for the poor. As a child, she saw first-hand her once vibrant Brooklyn neighborhood take a downturn to become a place that could no longer support retail establishments, and subsequently its residents. Her first experience as an urban planner was when she was asked to “go see what’s left” in burned out places in the South Bronx, Harlem, Bushwick, and Bed-Stuy, after the blackout of 1977.

In his introduction, Ron Shiffman, FAICP, co-founder of the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development, called Perine a “rabble rouser.” As HPD Commissioner during the Giuliani administration, she was instrumental in starting programs designed to return 50,000 units of tax-foreclosed residential property to local, private ownership and to prevent future cycles of abandonment. Later, she was the author of Mayor Bloomberg’s 2002 New Housing Marketplace Plan, aimed at strategizing ways to improve and increase affordable housing in the city.

As head of the CHPC, she is spearheading “Making Room,” a three-year research project, being done in collaboration with the Architectural League, to re-examine the prototypical housing unit for a 21st-century city. Findings are showing that non-traditional households are struggling to fit into existing housing stock. NYC is no longer a housing innovator, falling behind other cities around the world that are more responsive to housing demands. Key parts of our housing laws and codes contribute to the problem, currently acting as barriers to the development of new housing types.

To that end, the organization issued a call for ideas for new types of housing to serve a changing population. Deborah Gans, AIA, proposed a “barnacle” approach, where a single-family home could be added to for multi-generational housing. The team of Stan Allen, FAIA, and Rafi Segal designed an office that could gradually transform into a residence depending on the need. Mini-lofts for students, singles, and the elderly were proposed by Peter Gluck and Partners, and Jonathan Kirschenfeld presented an “S.R.O redux” housing type for multi-tenant bulidings. According to CHPC President Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, “Perine has crazy ideas, and makes them a reality.”

Architects Tell Stories to Build Their Firms

Event: “What’s Your Story: Build Narratives that Boost Your Business”
Location: Center for Architecture, 11.14.11
Speakers: Kevin Allison — Founder, The Story Studio; Richard Cook, AIA — Partner, Cook+Fox Architects; Helen Dimoff, Assoc. AIA — Communications Director/Principal, NBBJ
Organizer: AIANY Marketing and PR Committee

While a good story can help sell a Hollywood blockbuster, what helps sell your design practice? Three marketing and storytelling experts recently convened at the Center for Architecture to explain how.

Kevin Allison, founder of The Story Studio, suggested that telling a story allows a potential client to connect emotionally with a firm’s work. After all, he joked, “People don’t laugh about facts and figures.” He reviewed the five basic “beats” of a story arc: (1) the Setup, or the “who” and “where”; (2) Inciting Action, the event that sets the story in motion; (3) Rising Action, or the ways in which the stakes increase; (4) the most important part, the Main Event, the turning point, epiphany, or climax; and (5) the Resolution.

Richard Cook, AIA, of Cook+Fox Architects, demonstrated these elements by describing some of his personal epiphanies, including a trip to Cambodia to adopt his child that ultimately led him to sustainable design. He put a narrative spin on some his firm’s notable “green” projects, such as the Center for Well-Being in East Hampton and the Bank of America Tower in NYC, by describing the design processes and client interactions behind them.

Lastly, Helen Dimoff, Assoc. AIA, communications director and principal at NBBJ, showed how interactive storytelling can enhance a firm’s marketing materials. “A lot of what we talk about when we market for architecture is the ‘how’ and the ‘what,'” she said. “But we don’t talk about why we design.” To illustrate the “why,” she played two NBBJ-produced videos about projects: the first showed nervous students performing a mock surgery in Stanford University’s Li Ka Shing Medical Education Center; the second interviewed volunteers and employees in the Greater Boston Food Bank, who spoke about how the building allows them to serve the community.

In this issue:
· B2 Modulates Atlantic Yards
· Brooklyn Navy Yard Expands its Illustrious History
· Center for Mathematics Advances Brown University
· New Museum Nestles into its Utah Environment
· Kigutu Builds Sustainably Off the Grid
· A Tower Rises in the East

B2 Modulates Atlantic Yards


Barclays Center.


Forest City Ratner recently unveiled SHoP’s design for three new residential towers that are envisioned to cradle the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. Located along the southern and eastern elevations of the arena site, the buildings will provide approximately 1,500 units of new residential housing. B2, the first of the towers, will also be the largest modular building in the world, with 930 modules. The 340,000-square-foot, 32-story building will contain approximately 350 rental apartments — 130 studios, 180 one-bedroom, and 40 two-bedrooms — and 50% of all units will be affordable to low- and middle-income households. It will also contain 4,000 square feet of retail space and 20,000 square feet of arena storage. SHoP Construction is responsible for design and construction services, Arup serves as structural and mechanical engineer, and X Site Modular is the modular consultant. The building is designed to achieve LEED Silver. Construction is expected to start in early 2012.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Expands its Illustrious History


BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners in collaboration with workshop/apd

BLDG 92, a new visitor’s center and exhibition space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will depict the history of the site, from its time as a naval shipyard to its rebirth as a center for artists and green manufacturing. Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners in collaboration with workshop/apd designed the adaptive reuse of what was once the commandant’s house. Built in 1857, the 9,300-square-foot building underwent extensive structural stabilization, exterior restoration, and interior rehabilitation. A new 24,000-square-foot addition connected to the historic building via an atrium is a contemporary interpretation of the industrial surroundings. The addition will provide space for meetings, and features a rooftop café and an employment center. The entire facility is designed to achieve a LEED Platinum certification. The Navy Yard is currently undergoing its largest expansion since WWII, adding approximately 1.6 million square feet of new space

Center for Mathematics Advances Brown University


Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM).

Michael Moran

Architecture Research Office (ARO) recently completed the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) at Brown University in Providence, RI. The facility is the newest of eight National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes, and is the only one in New England. Located on the top two floors of a downtown tower, much of the existing partitions and layout were preserved. The 104-seat lecture hall is the heart of the space and features views of downtown on three sides. The fourth wall is a writable surface of translucent glass panels inset with two suspended projection screens. This floor-to-ceiling surface is a double layer of illuminated glass, allowing daylight to filter into ICERM’s central lounge, and produces a glowing connection between the lecture hall and the lobby. Furniture was selected to maximize group collaboration, and conference rooms are equipped with Smartboard and video-teleconference technology.

New Museum Nestles into its Utah Environment


Rio Tinto Center, Natural History Museum of Utah.

©Jeff Goldberg/Esto

The Natural History Museum of Utah recently opened the 153,000-square-foot Rio Tinto Center, designed by Ennead Architects. Located on 17 acres, the $103 million museum is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains overlooking Salt Lake City. With 42,000 square feet of copper cladding and a roofline that rises and falls with the contours of the terrain, the building was also designed to cause minimal disruption to the environment. The museum contains more than 41,300 square feet of gallery space, including a 60-foot-high central public space that separates two wings. One wing contains research laboratories, conservation labs, collection storage, and administration, while the other houses public spaces for thematic galleries. The museum is seeking LEED Gold certification and features the use of recycled materials, local resources, photovoltaic energy, radiant cooling, and an extensive stormwater catchment and management system. Salt Lake City-based Gillies Stransky Brems Smith Architects (GSBS) served as architect-of-record, and the exhibitions were designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA).

Kigutu Builds Sustainably Off the Grid


Village Health Works.

Louise Braverman, Architect

Construction is set to begin on a 20-bed staff residence for Village Health Works, in Kigutu, Burundi, a landlocked, densely populated country in East Africa. Designed by Louise Braverman, Architect, the 6,000-square-foot residence is located in a community that is 100% off the municipal grid and will be powered exclusively by a solar farm. Sited partially below grade and in alignment with the ground contours, the building takes advantage of the earth’s natural insulation for temperature control. Kigutu’s outdoor communal culture has been adopted in the building’s design — oversized porch doors are used to seamlessly connect the outside with a series of interior public living spaces. Extended roof overhangs will optimize natural daylight, and cisterns will capture rainwater for irrigation. Perhaps the most sustainable feature of the project is that members of the community will manually build the residence from local bricks and stone, thus negating the use of fuel-consuming machines and creating transferrable job training skills. This is the first phase of a master plan designed by the firm for the 40-acre site.

A Tower Rises in the East


Renaissance Tower.


Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2012 on the Renaissance Tower, a 36-story office building, designed by FXFOWLE, located in Istanbul, Turkey. The tower is sited at the intersection of two major highways so it can be seen in the round. Functioning like an obelisk, the sculptural massing of the 947,000-square-foot building takes cues from Ottoman geometric motifs and local landforms. The tower is rotated 33 degrees for optimum solar control, and features a solar-responsive stippled golden scrim attached to its curtain wall. Three groupings of two-story “sky-gardens” are strategically integrated at key exposures to provide a thermal buffer between exterior and interior. A larger exterior garden crowns the tower while the base of the building features retail, gardens, and a piazza.


Cook+Fox Architects is designing a building near Herald Square that will house PUBLIC New York, a 16-story hotel. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2012.

The Institute of Multidisciplinarity for Art, Architecture and Design presents “[global] Crisis & Design ver.1.0: Living in the Crisis Era, between Anxiety and Desire,” an exhibition featuring works by Columbia University students and alumni from various disciplines — urban planning, architecture, landscape, fashion, graphic design, and interactive technology design. The exhibition is on view through 12.03.11 at the Artgate Gallery in Chelsea.

On-and-off plans to build a 40-story tower above the Port Authority Bus Terminal, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, appear to have been dashed.

EASTON+COMBS is collaborating with fashion design company Ohne Titel for the fifth installation of BOFFO Building Fashion‘s five part series that pairs fashion designers with architectural designers. The installation will be on view from 12.01-14.11 at 75 Walker Street.

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


On view 10.01.2011-01.21.2012

Arch Schools 2011

On view 11.19.2011-03.03.2012

In this issue:
· New AIA Documents Now Available Online
· e-Calendar

New AIA Documents Available Online
The AIA announced that 31 new documents have been added to the AIA Documents-on-Demand website. There are now 79 documents available online. Documents include most of the G Series forms for Contract Administration and Project Management; as well as documents from the A Series for Owner/Contractor, B Series for Owner/Architect, C Series for Other Agreements, and E Series for Exhibits.

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

(Buildings = Energy) + Kids = Creativity

Eleanor Lygo

Energy ran high at the Center for Architecture Foundation’s Family Day on 11.12.11, as kids and their parents explored the Center for Architecture’s “Buildings = Energy” exhibition. They were excited to discover new technologies for trimming energy demand, such as elevators that recapture energy as they brake, and heating and cooling systems that tap into the earth’s steady temperature. Everyone loved the Solar Pod house designed by City College Architecture students and faculty to occupy empty rooftops in the city and create net-zero housing (and an entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon). They were also impressed by the hi-tech gadgets in the exhibition’s Energy Lab, including the glowing Energy Orb, which changes color to indicate periods of peak energy demand and pricing to help consumers monitor and plan their energy use.

Creative juices really got flowing during the workshop portion of the program when families were challenged to take ideas from the exhibition and design their own energy-efficient buildings. These were as varied as the participants. Young designers proudly presented their buildings to the group and came away with new ideas of their own.