A Call to Vision: NOMA Conference 2011

Event: NOMA 2011 Atlanta: Architects as Visionaries
Location: Atlanta, GA, 10.20-22.11
Speakers: For a full list of speakers and events, click here.

(L-R): Revolution Sports — Revolution Park Sports Academy, Charlotte, NC by Neighboring Concepts (Charlotte); Cartagena — Mixed Use and Urban Plan for Internally Displaced People in Cartagena, Colombia, by Marshall Moya Design (Washington, DC); Family Housing — Affordable Family Housing Building, Oakland, CA, by HKIT Architects (San Francisco).

(L-R): Neighboring Concepts; Marshall Moya Design; HKIT Architects

Beginning as a horizontal entrance canopy and continuing vertically up the front wall to the roof, a series of sinuous elements engage the facade, symbolic of a “dragon tail,” which is fitting for the location in Chinatown, Oakland, CA. What kind of building could this be? One would never guess: affordable housing. The Affordable Family Housing Building by HKIT Architects (San Francisco), with lead designer Rod Henmi, FAIA, NOMA, was one of several “visionary” concepts, winning a Design Excellence Honor Award in the Professional Design Competition, Unbuilt category, at the 39th annual National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) conference, themed “Architects as Visionaries,” which took place in Atlanta, GA, 10.20-22.11. The building will include 98 apartments for low- and moderate-income families.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Ed Jackson, Jr., executive architect for the newly dedicated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall, spoke of the 15 years of lobbying to get the legislation permitting the memorial passed, and the next 15 to complete the project.

Seminars during the conference included “Sustainability and the Design Process,” organized by AIANY Chapter member Terrence O’Neal, AIA, LEED AP, and “Designing and Working on an International Platform,” organized by Kelly Powell, NOMA, president of NYCOBA-NOMA, the New York Chapter of NOMA. Chapter of the Year honors went to NYCOBA-NOMA for its focus on career development and its high level of activity.

Film Producer Michelle Jones and Co-producer Will Stroman showed “Master Builders in the Nation’s Capital,” featuring the history and biographies of African-American architects in Washington, DC, past and present. Jones, a former archivist at AIA National, expressed her hope that NOMA members in other cities will be inspired to make similar films.

The competition program for the Student Design Awards, entitled “Village Walk Complex,” was a transit-oriented development including visitor center, grocery store, retail, and parking. The winning proposed structure by Auburn University students “celebrates the civil rights movement while creating a revitalized community surrounding the Ashby MARTA train station” in Atlanta. The jury commented that the building, although a large structure, honors the community and the scale of adjacent housing, while also offering flexibility to be adapted to other future uses. Washington University (St. Louis) and Boston Architectural College won second and third place, respectively.

Neighboring Concepts, from Charlotte, NC, won the Design Excellence Honor Award in the Professional Design Competition, Built category, for the Revolution Park Sports Academy in Charlotte, by lead designer Darrel Williams, FAIA, NOMA. The jury lauded the project’s respect for proportion and scale and the designer’s knowledge of materials, as well as the use of a passive solar wall on the south side.

Marshall Moya Design, Washington, DC, took the Design Excellence Honor Award for a new category, “Vision,” in line with the conference theme, for “Mixed Use and Urban Plan for Internally Displaced in Cartagena, Colombia.” Internal political conflict caused the displacement of four million people in this city. The project offers a new model of housing for the poor, in which a five-tower hotel is stacked vertically over housing for the homeless, and, for financial sustainability, the “at-risk” residents grow food in vertical and horizontal roof gardens and are offered jobs at the hotel.

The Vision category was the last award presented. It was a fitting conclusion to the conference and an optimistic nod to the modern era of the early 20th century, when architects were solvers of social problems and not merely form-makers.

In this issue:
· High Line, Hudson Yards Complete a Vision for Western NYC
· John Jay College Educates for Justice, Builds for the Future
· Washington Mews Undergoes Modernization
· UNIQLO Puts on a Display in Midtown
· Students, Faculty, Staff Connect Over Human Condition

High Line, Hudson Yards Complete a Vision for Western NYC

Leg 3 of the High Line with a new tower at Hudson Yards.

Renderings Courtesy KPF

After receiving two $5 million challenge grants and a $20 million gift from the Diller-Von Furstenberg Foundation, the third and final portion of the High Line will be developed. In addition, Mayor Bloomberg recently announced a 1.7 million-square-foot, 51-story tower at its northern end, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF). To be the largest commercial building in NYC, the lower third, approximately 600,000 square feet, will house the global corporate headquarters of Coach. The leather goods company will anchor the tower within the 26-acre mixed-use Hudson Yards development site. Construction is set to begin mid-2012, and is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2015. The master plan for the project, also designed by KPF, encompasses approximately 5,000 residences in nine residential buildings, six million square feet of commercial office space, including a one million-square-foot retail complex, a 150-room five star hotel, a cultural facility, and a new public school, all planned around 14 acres of public open space. The Number 7 subway line will be extended to the area with a scheduled December 2013 opening.

John Jay College Educates for Justice, Builds for the Future

John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Photo courtesy Turner Construction ©Bernstein Associates

The new 625,000-square-foot John Jay College of Criminal Justice recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony. Located between West 58th and 59th Streets, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed building provides the functions of a traditional college campus within the confines of one city block. The scale is similar to adjacent buildings and provides a strong visual presence from the West Side Highway. The new building consists of a four-story, 500-foot-long podium and 14-story tower. The podium, which provides connections to the school’s existing Haaren Hall, an early 20th-century building, contains dense social and academic programs and is topped by a 65,000-square-foot landscaped terrace that will act as a campus commons. The tower contains faculty offices, academic quads, a conference center, and instructional laboratories. The building doubles the size of the college’s existing facilities and is a component of John Jay’s transformation into a senior college of The City University of New York system.

Washington Mews Undergoes Modernization

Washington Mews.

Kliment Halsband Architects

Kliment Halsband Architects has begun construction on the restoration of the 100-year-old streetscape and the renovation of four buildings on Washington Mews. The earliest structures on the block-long cobblestone lane were built as stables in the early 19th century and in 1916 were converted into artist studios. New York University purchased the property in 1950 and began using the buildings for faculty residences and cultural institutes. The design preserves the historic character of the street while upgrading underground infrastructure and improving sidewalks and street lighting. The four buildings that will undergo exterior rehabilitation and interior renovation will provide a flexible suite of multi-purpose rooms, including conference rooms, lecture halls, and offices. The use of glass walls in the offices in all buildings intends to allow the floor plate to appear continuous. Each building will have new energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems, use sustainable finishes, and be universally accessible. Landscape architects Mathews Nielsen is collaborating on the restoration of the streetscape.

UNIQLO Puts on a Display in Midtown


Courtesy of Atsushi Nakamichi, Nacasa & Partners, Inc.

UNIQLO clothing stores recently opened an 89,000 square-foot global flagship store on Fifth Avenue and a 64,000-square-foot store on 34th Street. Gensler acted as the executive architect for both new locations, working to realize the futuristic, experiential ideas of Tokyo-based interior design firm Wonderwall. The design of the Fifth Avenue store features 60-foot escalators flanked by grand stairs lit with LED risers, spinning mannequins, and more than 300 LCD screens for digital signage. Gensler also collaborated with Wonderwall to achieve the scale and vision of the three-story façade, which includes four glass elevators with large-scale LED screens that create moving signage across the façade. UNIQLO’s store design emphasizes visual displays, vast open spaces, 100 dressing rooms, 50 cash registers, and hand-held inventory checking devices. Gensler also ensured that all designs comply with energy codes through the use of UV-coated insulated glass units (IGUs) and a state-of-the-art mechanical system.

Students, Faculty, Staff Connect Over Human Condition

Cornell University College of Human Ecology.

Photos courtesy Gruzen Samton — IBI Group

The ribbon was recently cut on the new 87,000-square-foot Human Ecology Building at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology. Designed by Gruzen Samton — IBI Group, the building was created to suit the needs of several departments, primarily Design & Environmental Analysis and Textiles & Apparel. Its open floor plan invites faculty, students, and staff to reach across disciplines and find commonalities related to the human condition. The new building features high-tech research laboratories; multi-purpose classrooms; studios for drawing, design, and fabrication; a gallery for student and faculty works; and community spaces and seminar rooms for collaborative projects. The commons links the existing school to the new addition with a multi-purpose space. At night, the wing glows and is a backdrop for outdoor events in warm weather. A new 255-car garage, built into the hillside and faced with local stone, serves as a base and a foil to the glass-clad academic building above. The building complies with LEED-Gold standards and green features include automatic ventilation, a green roof, electric vehicle charging stations, and a glass façade for harvesting daylight.


New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to landmark Westbeth, following through on a promise made seven years ago to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and other community groups working to extend landmark protections in the Far West Village.

Signature Urban Properties received the green light to develop a mixed-use affordable housing development for West Farms and Crotona Park East, the Bronx. Ten new buildings will consist of 1,325 units of housing and 46,000 square feet of retail space. Dattner Architects designed the master plan and is working on the design for the first two buildings.

The Museum of the American Revolution, a non-profit organization dedicated to the history of the American Revolution, has selected Robert A.M. Stern Architects to design a museum built in the historic area of Philadelphia. MFM Design will create exhibitions to display weapons, artwork, manuscripts, and commemorative artifacts from the period.

In this issue:
· Vote Now for the AIANY Nominating Committee
· e-Calendar

Vote Now for the AIANY Nominating Committee
The election for the 2012 AIANY Nominating Committee is underway. To vote, active Architect, Associate, and International Associate members received an e-mail with the subject line “Vote now for AIANY Chapter Nominating Committee” and containing a username and password. If you are a member and did not receive the e-mail, check your spam filters. If you still cannot locate it, contact AIANY Director of Member Services Suzanne Mecs at smecs@aiany.org for assistance. The election will close 11.15.2011.

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


Building Connections 2011

On view 10.01.2011-02.11.2012


On view 10.01.2011-01.21.2012

CFAF Takes an Insider's Tour of Kahn's FDR Four Freedoms Park

Gina Pollara, executive director of the Four Freedoms Park, guided visitors through the construction site (left). John Kurtz, AIA, partner at Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, described the acquisition and placement of the granite for the southernmost point of the monument.

Catherine Teegarden

The Center for Architecture Foundation’s tour series New Buildings New York took participants to the southern tip of Roosevelt Island to visit the last piece of undeveloped land on the island. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park was designed by Louis Kahn in honor of President Roosevelt after the island’s name was changed from Welfare to Roosevelt Island. Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Mayor John V. Lindsay announced the project in 1973, and Kahn completed the design before his death in 1974. The project was shelved by the city until recently, when the Roosevelt Institute in partnership with NYC and NY State were able to raise the funds and resurrect the project. Construction of the Park began in March 2010 and scheduled to open in Fall 2012, will be the only work of Kahn’s in NYC.

Participants met at the Roosevelt Island Historical Society Visitors Center kiosk for a guided walk of Roosevelt Island’s architectural and historical landmarks, led by CFAF staff and volunteers. The group was greeted at the construction site by Gina Pollara, executive director of FDR Four Freedoms Park, and John Kurtz, AIA, partner at Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, which is acting as the architect-of-record for the current construction.

Pollara explained the development of the project over the last 30 years, and the symbolic significance of both the park and its relationship to the United Nations across the East River. Four Freedoms refers to Roosevelt’s seminal speech underlying essential freedoms to which all people should have access (freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear).

Kurtz then provided a detailed explanation about the execution and construction of the project, including “The Room,” a contemplative space at the end of the monument and island that overlooks the U.N., the East River, and other neighboring boroughs. The large blocks of granite, with their precise geometry and reflective surfaces against the water and sun, reinforce Kahn’s intentions to create a civic space for reflection.

Funds raised from the tour helped to support the Center for Architecture Foundation’s Programs@theCenter — interactive gallery tours and hands-on workshops designed to engage youth and families in contemporary topics about the built environment.

The Foundation thanks Pollara and Kurtz for volunteering their time to lead the tour, as well as to CFAF Board Member Carol Loewenson, AIA, and volunteer Marie-Louise Gelså Skanderup for coordinating the event.

For those who are interested in Louis Kahn, the Center for Foundation will be presenting the premiere screening of ARCHITECT, a chamber opera based on his life and work. The film tells Kahn’s story through original music accompanied by photographs, video, and paintings created specifically for the film. The fundraiser will take place at the Center for Architecture on 11.17.11, 6:00-8:00pm. For more information about the Foundation’s exhibitions, events, and education programs, visit http://www.cfafoundation.org.

Occupy Wall Street Is Calling for Design Ideas

As Occupy Wall Street (OWS) persists into the growing colder nights, I have been wondering when architects would become more involved with efforts to shelter protestors. I am excited to see the results of Storefront for Art and Architecture’s recent call for ideas, Strategies for Public Occupation, which has a 12.01.11 deadline, although there is no promise that the winning entry will actually be constructed. This seems like a perfect exercise for designers at all experience levels, and a great opportunity for experimentation with new materials and ideas.

The one blog that I found dedicated to sheltering protestors is the recently launched “alt shelter.” On this site, bloggers suggest using foam insulation, military tents, and storage crates. One proposal elevates a small structure on crates to maximize storage and provides vent holes to minimize water condensation. Pods are lined next to each other in another proposal, similar to a row of sleeping bags. One post describes principles of snow huts (or quinzees) to provide warmth from the cold. Although I do not believe that this website is run by architects, it is the only one I have found that describes feasible and achievable construction methods.

There are a number of existing temporary shelter strategies — often used in disaster relief efforts or to develop refugee camps, for example. But I think that OWS is a unique opportunity for Lower Manhattan to become a test bed for architectural exploration. If a shelter is unsuccessful, there are resources available to fine-tune or alter designs according to various needs. If one idea fails, there is still time to make adjustments before the freezing weather kicks in. We may be experiencing an economic crisis, but this is a flush time for creativity. I hope to see new ideas flourish that could be similarly implemented in other locations throughout the world.

The Trust for the National Mall announced finalists for the first stage of the National Mall Design Competition to restore three areas on the mall. Finalists will be announced 12.15.11: Union Square: Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Hood Design; Gustafson Guthrie Nichol/AEDAS; Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects/Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect; Reed Hilderbrand/Chan Krieger NBBJ; Rogers Marvel Architects/Peter Walker and Partners; Snøhetta/AECOM… Washington Monument Grounds: BalmoriAssociates/Work Architect Company (WORKac); Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Hood Design; Handel Architects/W Architecture and Landscape Architecture; Michael Maltzan Architecture/Tom Leader Studio; OLIN/Weiss/Manfredi; TEN Arquitectos/Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects… Constitution Gardens: Adropogon/Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Lee and Associates/Moore/Associates; McKissack & McKissack/Oehme Van Sweden; Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architect/Paul Murdoch Architects; OLIN/Weiss/Manfredi; Rogers Marvel Architects/Peter Walker and Partners

Out of a field of 11, five NY-based teams are shortlisted to redesign Chicago’s Navy Pier’s public spaces: Aedas Architects (with Martha Schwartz Partners, Halcrow Yolles, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Marshall Brown Projects, Pentagram, Fisher Marantz Stone, Suzanne Randolph); Frederic Schwartz Architects (with Alejandro Zaera-Polo Architects, Thomas Balsley Associates, Arup, Atelier Ten, Pentagram, Fisher Marantz Stone, Nancy Rosen); James Corner Field Operations (with Terry Guen Design Associates, nARCHITECTS, Bruce Mau Design, Leo Villareal, L’Observatoire International, Ed Marszewski, Fluidity Design Consultants, Patrick Blanc, John Greenlee & Associates, Chris Wangro, Billings Jackson, Buro Happold, Primera, HR&A Advisors, ETM Associates); !melk (with HOK, UrbanLab, Terry Guen Design Associates, Thirst, Zoe Ryan, Conservation Design Forum, HR&A Advisors, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Sam Schwartz Engineering, Leni Schwendinger LIGHT Projects, CMS Fountain Consultants,Karin Bacon Enterprises); SHoP Architects (with Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch, Coen + Partners, GCAM Group, Mark Robbins, Pentagram, L’Observatoire International, Acoustic Dimensions, Arup, Xavier Vendrell Studio, Grimshaw Architects, Harley Ellis Devereaux, Studio Lab, Schuler Shook, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Sarah Herda)…

The Waterfront Center, a Washington, DC-based non-profit, recently announced award-winning projects at its international conference, co-sponsored by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. Five of seven projects were from NYC: Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken, NJ, by Gruzen Samton — IBI Group, New Jersey Transit; Port Imperial Queens West: Stage II, Long Island City, by Abel Bainnson Butz, Queens West Development Corp.; Riverside Park South Waterfront, Manhattan, by Thomas Balsley Associates, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Vision 2020; and NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, by NYC Department of City Planning

Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council has been elected chair of the World Green Building Council, a coalition of green building councils from 89 countries, assuming office in January 2012… Laura Raicovich, currently deputy director of the Dia Art Foundation, has been appointed director of global initiatives at Creative Time…

Twenty-six teams have been selected for the 19th annual CANstruction — AECOM; American Express; Arup; Cetra/CRI Architecture; Dattner Architects; DeSimone Consulting Engineers; Eleanor Roosevelt High School/Sandra Forman, Architect; Ennead Architects; Ferguson & Shamamian Architects; GACE Consulting Engineers; Gensler/WSP Flack + Kurtz; Gilsanz Murray Steficek; Gruzen Samton — IBI Group; Halcrow; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Langan Engineering/John Fotiadis Architect; Leslie E. Robertson Associates; MKG; National Reprographics; Parsons Brinckerhoff; Robert Silman Associates; Severud Associates; Skanska USA; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Ted Moudis Associates; and Thornton Tomasetti. A special installation will be designed and “constructed” by MTA-NYC Transit. Sculptures will be on view from 11.10-21.11 at the World Financial Center…

Dexter Tinapay, RA, is now the design director of The Spector Group’s Manhattan office… Lucinda Sanders has been appointed 2012 President of the Landscape Architecture Foundation…

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 kristen@ArchNewsNow.com.

12.01.11: Call for Ideas: Storefront for Art and Architecture’s
Strategies for Public Occupation

12.12.11: Call for Proposals: Riverscaping Design/Build Competition for the Connecticut River, MA

12.15.11: Call for Entries: Amsterdam Iconic Pedestrian Bridge International Competition

12.16.11: Call for Entries: International Parking Institute’s 30th Annual Awards of Excellence Competition

01.15.12: Call for Design Ideas: Civitas Design Competition to Reimagine the East River Esplande

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

01.16.12: Call for Entries/Proposals: “Folly” for Socrates Sculpture Park

10.27.11: The annual Heritage Ball was held at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers, followed by the official after-party at the Center for Architecture, Party@theCenter.

2011 Heritage Ball Honoree Richard Meier, FAIA, FRIBA, with AIANY 2012 President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP.

Stacy Sideris, Courtesy the Center for Architecture

Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway helps honor colleague Janette Sadik-Khan, DOT Commissioner, at Heritage Ball.

Sam Lahoz, Courtesy the Center for Architecture

Honoree Gary Barnett, President and founder, Extell Development Company, with Mark Moran of Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.

Sam Lahoz, Courtesy the Center for Architecture

Honoree Leslie Koch, President of the Trust for Governors Island, with DDC Commissioner David Burney, FAIA.

Sam Lahoz, Courtesy the Center for Architecture

Michael Arad, AIA, of Handel Architects, with Susanna Drake, ASLA, AIA, of dlandstudio.

Sam Lahoz, Courtesy the Center for Architecture

Center for Architecture Foundation students designed original centerpieces for the guest tables at Heritage Ball.

Sam Lahoz, Courtesy the Center for Architecture


Sam Lahoz, Courtesy the Center for Architecture

Party@theCenter Committee member Sarah Stein-Sapir (l), here with friends, raised money for the Center by selling the most party tickets.

Sam Lahoz, Courtesy the Center for Architecture

AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP (r), celebrates with (l to r) AIANY Director of Exhibitions Rosamond Fletcher, Development Director Jen Apple, and newest staff member Development Coordinator Megan Boomer

Kristen Richards

10.20-22.11: NOMA 2011 Atlanta: Architects as Visionaries took place in Atlanta, GA. To read about the conference, see “A Call to Vision: NOMA Conference 2011,” by Terrence E. O’Neal, AIA, LEED AP, in this issue.

Panelists for “Sustainability and the Design Process” at the 2011 NOMA Conference, Atlanta. L-R: Terrence O’Neal, AIA, LEED AP, TONA — Terrence O’Neal Architect (NYC); Sanford Garner, AIA, LEED AP, A2SO4 Architects (Indianapolis, IN); Jimmie Tucker, AIA, LEED AP, Self Tucker Architects, Inc. (Memphis, TN); Rainy Hamilton, Jr., AIA, Hamilton Anderson Associates (Detroit, MI).

Tariq Abdullah, NOMA

Students from Auburn University with their winning scheme for the 2011 NOMA Student Design Competition, “Vine City Village Walk,” Atlanta, GA. L-R: Sarahgrace Godwin; Damian Bolden; Weng “Kenny” Lao; Phillip Ewing; AU Professor Kevin Moore; Kyle Johnson. Not pictured: Tanner Backman; Jordan Cox; Andrew Dolder; Yesufu O’ladipo; Laura Taylor.

Chris Dowdell Photography

The Cooper Union’s founding principle that education should be “as free as air and water” is in danger. As the board of trustees prepares to vote on whether or not the school will remain tuition free, tell President Jamshed Bharucha if you believe in Peter Cooper’s ideals that the Cooper Union needs to stay free. Click here to sign the petition: http://signon.org/sign/save-cooper-union-without?source=s.em.mt&r_by=1489714