Center for Architecture Opens Two Exhibitions on the Middle East

Opening at the Center for Architecture for “CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000-present” and “City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982”

Sam Lahoz

Event: Opening for “CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000-present” and “City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.22.12
Speakers: AIANY President Joesph J. Aliotta, AIA; AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA; Pedro Azara, curator of City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982; Malwina Łyś-Dobradin, Director for Global Network Programming, Columbia University GSAPP; Craig Konyk, AIA, Principal, KONYK; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture, GSAPP
Performance by: Heather Raffo and Salaam
Organizer: Center for Architecture
Benefactor: A Estéban & Company
Lead Sponsor: Buro Happold
Sponsors: Eytan Kaufman Design and Development; FXFOWLE
Supporters: Arup; Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Dewan Architects & Engineers; GAD; HDR; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; NAGA Architects; Ramla Benaissa Architects; RBSD Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; World Monuments Fund; Zardman

The Center for Architecture welcomed more than 500 guests for the opening of two exhibitions on architecture in the Middle East. The exhibitions—“CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East” and “City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982”—present a variety of work in the region, both historical and contemporary.

“City of Mirages” offers a survey of projects for Baghdad, both built and unbuilt, from the city’s golden era following the discovery of oil in 1952 and prior to the Iran-Iraq War. Baghdad in these years was a cosmopolitan city in the midst of rapid modernization, a boom town that drew the most prestigious international architects of the day. The exhibition features models and drawings of buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, José Luis Sert, Gio Ponti, Willem Dudok, and Alison and Peter Smithson, among others. Notable surprises include Le Corbusier’s partially realized Saddam Hussein Sports Complex, and a mass housing project by Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown that was constructed without the firm’s knowledge. Built work includes large scale urban projects for the campus of the University of Baghdad by Gropius and The Architects’ Collaborative and the public housing designs by Constantinos Doxiadis that later became the infamous Sadr City. These projects are visible in a six-foot wide site model built by students at the University of Baghdad.

The second exhibition, “CHANGE,” presents a snapshot of contemporary architectural design in the region. The work in the show was submitted in response to an open call by the Center, and includes projects by AIANY members, AIA members across the United States, and architects and engineers practicing in the Middle East. “CHANGE” forms a fitting counterpart to “City of Mirages,” documenting a moment of accelerated transformation marked by ambitious urban projects and a convergence of international architecture and engineering offices, not unlike the earlier era in Baghdad.

The evening closed with musical performances by the group Salaam and Heather Raffo, an Iraqi-American actress and playwright.

Preservation and Change in the Middle East

nARCHITECTS, ABC Department Store, 2012, Beirut, Lebanon


Event: Change in the Middle East: Preserving the Past, Inventing the Future
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.25.12
Introduced by: Jill Lerner, FAIA – Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox
Speakers: Suad Amiry – Founder, Riwaq; Khaldun Bshara – Acting Executive Director, Riwaq; Yiannis Avramides – Program Assistant, World Monuments Fund; Pedro Azara – Curator, “City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982;” Mohamed Al Assam – Chairman/Managing Director, Dewan Architects & Engineers; Shams Eldien Naga – Principal, NAGA; Anthony Fieldman, AIA, LEED AP – Design Principal, Perkins+Will; Brian Wait – Partner, Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Moderator: Michael Luongo – Journalist & Adjunct Travel Writing Professor, NYU
Organizer: Center for Architecture
Benefactor: A Estéban & Company
Lead Sponsor: Buro Happold
Sponsors: Eytan Kaufman Design and Development; FXFOWLE
Supporters: Arup; Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Dewan Architects & Engineers; GAD; HDR; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; NAGA Architects; Ramla Benaissa Architects; RBSD Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; World Monuments Fund; Zardman

The Middle East has long been a source of fascination (and often frustration) for prominent architects, ranging from Le Corbusier and Gropius to avant-garde designers of today, such as Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel. “Even in the ‘50s, this region was really interested in developing very visionary approaches to architecture,” observed Jill Lerner, FAIA, president-elect of the AIANY, as she introduced last week’s symposium at the Center for Architecture on design and engineering in the region. But due to economic and political tumult, architects’ schemes in places like Iraq and Dubai have sometimes proven tricky or impossible to execute.

The symposium, titled “Change in the Middle East: Preserving the Past, Inventing the Future,” explored the myriad challenges and successes that architects and preservationists are currently experiencing in the region. The program was one in a series of events tied in to three new exhibitions: CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000-Present; City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982; and LIVE FEED: Middle East Collaborations, 2005-2012, Columbia University GSAPP+CUMERC.

NAGA Principal Shams Eldien Naga and other speakers commented on Dubai as the site of many of the Middle East’s greatest excesses, in terms of flamboyant designs that, due to the economic downturn, were often never built. He criticized the local tendency to embrace designs that are massive and “iconic,” meaning that they must be unique and reject historical architectural conventions.

Naga and Anthony Fieldman, AIA, LEED AP, of Perkins+Will emphasized that their firms’ designs in the Middle East instead combine a modern aesthetic and traditional elements. Fieldman also discussed his firm’s efforts to make buildings such as the College of Education in Kuwait University City sustainable despite climatic extremes. Currently under construction, the building features a self-shading curtain wall that cuts solar gain by 85%, he noted.

Brian Wait of Ateliers Jean Nouvel presented his firm’s design for the National Museum of Qatar, one burdened by ideological constraints. “The oil boom was to be portrayed as a natural and normal step in democratization of the country, instead of as a tidal wave that wiped out a traditional [Bedouin] culture,” he said. He also expressed concern over the headlong pace of development in Qatar and elsewhere in the region. Qatar’s capital, Doha, is “proliferating out in the desert like some kind of padded, air-conditioned bubble monster,” he remarked.

Other speakers discussed efforts to preserve historic architecture and to improve public spaces in the Middle East, not an easy task in war-torn places such as Palestine, Iraq, and Syria. Pedro Azara, curator of “City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952-1982,” remarked that one obstacle to rehabilitation in Baghdad is the city’s troubled history. Some local architects feel guilty that they were forced to do presidential projects while Saddam Hussein was in power. To engage in rehabilitation means “to confront with the past, and the past is an ugly past,” Azara said. Many local architects prefer to embrace a tabula rasa instead, “to forget about a past no one wants to confront.”

Suad Amiry and Khaldun Bshara of Palestinian NGO Riwaq said that their organization has adopted a strategy of tying architectural preservation to the creation of new jobs in the area. “Heritage can be a mode of life and a mode of work . . . and it’s a medium for decolonization,” Bshara said. In that way, the region’s rich architectural heritage might turn out to be the key to a brighter future.

Lisa Delgado is a freelance journalist who has written for Oculus, The Architect’s Newspaper, Architectural Record, Blueprint, and Wired, among other publications.

Shared Experiences: Digital Media Technology Meets Architecture

Mahir M. Yavuz, Researcher on Visualization Interface Cultures, Art University of Linz, Austria; Claudia Bernett, Director of User Experience, Method; Phillip Tiongson, Potion; Andrew Bell, Visual Architect, Barbarian Group; Dean Di Simone, Founder, Tender Creative; and Michael Szivos, Director, Softlab (moderator, at podium)

Murrye Bernard

Event: RE:Think | Smart Environments
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.16.12
Speakers: Mahir M. Yavuz – Researcher on Visualization Interface Cultures, Art University of Linz, Austria; Claudia Bernett – Director of User Experience, Method; Phillip Tiongson – Potion; Andrew Bell – Visual Architect, Barbarian Group; Dean Di Simone – Founder, Tender Creative; Michael Szivos – Director, Softlab (Moderator)
Organized by: AIANY New Practices Committee
Underwriters: Axor/Hansgrohe; NRI.
Sponsors: Forest City Ratner Companies; Perkins Eastman; STV Group, Inc.
Supporters: Cameron Engineering; DeLaCour & Ferrara Architects; Ennead Architects; FXFOWLE; Ingram, Yuzek, Gainen, Carroll & Bertolotti; Jack Resnick & Sons, Inc.; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, PC; Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, PC; Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.; Viridian Energy & Environmental/Israel Berger and Associates.
Media Sponsor: The Architect’s Newspaper

We spend our days migrating from screen to screen—smart phone to computer to TV—noted Claudia Bernett, Director of User Experience at Method. Technology can be isolating; even “social media” isn’t always so social (ever look around a bar and realize everyone’s updating Facebook rather than talking to their real-life friends?). However, technologies including interactive screens and media façades are becoming increasingly popular features of buildings, and architects must recognize their shifting roles in coordinating these integrations. A panel of digital consultants gathered for RE:Think | Smart Environments to discuss how designers can best collaborate to create spaces that encourage social interactions and shared experiences.

“When people think about technology, they want to create spectacle—but the result is an audience of spectators,” Phillip Tiongson of Potion observed. His firm attempts to move beyond the spectacle by allowing users to take more ownership in spaces. Potion has designed wine bars that feature interactive menus, allowing customers to become their own sommelier. Similarly, Andrew Bell, a visual architect at Barbarian Group, said “technology serves as a layer to draw people into an experience.” For example, the new SoHo store for Cellure, a skin-care line, subtly integrates touch screens that appear as silvered mirrors, allowing customers to answer questions about their complexions.

Although digital media technologies have some interesting architectural applications, there are still a few drawbacks. Mahir M. Yavuz, a researcher on Visualization Interface Cultures, Art University of Linz, Austria, points out that media façades on buildings are often low-resolution and have poor visibility in daylight and can cause light pollution at night, not to mention they compete with our already short attention spans. Dean di Simone, founder of Tender Creative and developer of the Work+ app that allows freelancers to search for perfect spaces in which to work, wonders what crowd-sourcing—a means of pushing the creative process out to the masses—could mean for architecture. Sites like are already testing the concept, but haven’t been met with entirely positive responses from architects.

If a client shows interest in incorporating digital media in a project, the panelists advise architects to begin the coordination process with consultants like them early in the process. Rather than simply applying a screen to a wall, designers should strive to shape spaces that are interactive and truly social—creating an enhanced reality rather than a virtual one.

Murrye Bernard is a freelance architecture writer and a contributing editor to Contract Magazine and e-Oculus.

New Orleans Points to a New American Dream

Plan for the 21st Century: New Orleans 2030.

Goody Clancy

Event: Climate Change: Inevitable Challenges and Potential Opportunities
Location: Center for Architecture, 02.17.12
Speaker: David Dixon, FAIA – Director of Urban Design, Goody Clancy (Boston, MA)
Respondents: Illya Azaroff, AIA – Co-chair, AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) Committee; James S. Russell, FAIA – Architecture & Design Columnist, Bloomberg News
Moderator: Lance Jay Brown, FAIA – Co-chair, AIANY DfRR Committee
Organizer: AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee

“Cities have become the new American Dream,” said David Dixon, FAIA, director of urban design at Boston-based Goody Clancy. With a surplus of suburban homes, and a shortage in urban apartments, the problem is that we are not ready yet to make the transition. As society is changing, our challenge as architects and planners is to make cities more livable. The solution, according to Dixon, is to develop amenity-rich, walkable, multi-modal, compact growth.

Goody Clancy has a long history in urban planning, but perhaps one of the most pivotal projects for Dixon is the Plan for the 21st Century: New Orleans 2030. Post-Katrina, Dixon was moved by the true commitment New Orleanians had to rebuilding their communities, absent of all NIMBYism. He grew to understand why some of the early planning efforts, including the “Green Dot Plan” and a proposal to relocate residents of East New Orleans to outer boroughs of the city, were sharply criticized. Comparing those plans to the East Baltimore Development Initiative, which has taken more than 20 years to relocate a community across a street for a hospital expansion, the complex logistics involved with uprooting and relocating a whole community are beyond impractical. James S. Russell, FAIA, a respondent after Dixon’s talk, emphasized that “especially in New Orleans, where the meaning of ‘neighborhood’ is so strong, a nuanced solution is the only answer.”

With the New Orleans 2030 plan, Goody Clancy is not just focusing on rebuilding communities; the firm is also using the inevitability of rising sea levels as a source for sustainable planning. Dixon referenced strategies spearheaded by the Netherlands as an inspiration for the firm’s work in New Orleans. The country is creating islands, new ports, and using natural growth to filter water and prevent flooding. With its intricate canal system, the Netherlands sees water as an amenity. With New Orleans 2030, Dixon wants to create a “blue signature” throughout the city with its own canal system. Instead of perceiving canals as eyesores or building over them so they are out of sight, the new New Orleans will both restore wetlands and create community gathering places. Dixon hopes that the canals will create a shared sense of future and identity for each neighborhood.

Ultimately, even though the country has learned much from Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans after the floods, said Russell, what needs to change is how cities apply those lessons to their own planning efforts. He thinks architecture and planning professionals could have the biggest impact if they better understood how city governments work. Illya Azaroff, AIA, the co-chair of the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee, added that any city can learn from past disasters. Now is the time to anticipate what needs to be done to protect our cities in the future.

Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, is a project manager at Gensler and a past editor of e-Oculus.

In this issue:
· Plans for Abu Dhabi’s New Medical City within a City are Unveiled
· Newark’s Teachers Village Begins Phase One
· MiaSci Gets a New Museum and a New Name
· A Glass Pavilion is a Welcome Sight at the WFC
· Expanded Public Library Weaves Old and New Styles
· The LowLine Sees the Light of Day

Plans for Abu Dhabi’s New Medical City Within a City are Unveiled

Rendering of the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Plans for the new 3-million-square-foot, 838-bed Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, envisioned as a “city within a city,” have been unveiled. The centralized, orthogonal plan, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), replaces the existing hospital center and combines a general hospital with a level-one trauma center and women’s and pediatric hospitals. A two-story stone plinth (a reference to the ancient architecture of the region) at the base of the facility houses medical functions shared among the three hospitals. Within the plinth are lobbies, courtyards, cafes, retail, and education spaces, and connects to a network of rooftop gardens that also serves to unify the bed towers that rise above. The exterior sun screens, which characterize the bed tower façades, vary from the simple rhythm of the general hospital to playful colors and patterns of the children’s hospital and the intricate mashrabiya-inspired (pierced screens or latticework made of wood or stone) geometries of the women’s hospital. The project utilizes state-of-art, high-efficiency systems as well as age-old regional concepts to mitigate the locale’s extreme desert climate. From roof-top solar collectors to the simple fabric scrims that will shade the main garden level, a comprehensive climate strategy is designed to achieve a certified sustainability rating in the local equivalent to LEED. The project, which is scheduled to start construction in 2013, is a joint venture with ICME, a consulting and management firm that specializes in healthcare, and Tilke and Partners, consulting engineers and architects, both with offices in Abu Dhabi.

Newark’s Teachers Village Begins Phase One

Rendering of the Newark Teacher’s Village at Four Corners

Richard Meier & Partners

Seven years after the idea for Newark’s Teachers Village at Four Corners was conceived, construction has finally begun. With a master plan designed by Richard Meier & Partners, the mixed-use development will span 12 city blocks and include 15 million square feet of office, retail, residential, schools, and a hotel. The $150 million first phase of the project includes eight buildings, five of which are designed by the firm, with 70,000 square feet of retail space and 200 housing units. Four are six-story, mixed-use buildings with street-level retail below residential units ranging from studios to two-bedrooms expressly for rent by teachers. The fifth is a four-story building that will house two charter schools, a gym, and a basketball court that can also be used by the community. The project, designed in accordance with the Newark Living Downtown Plan and located near the Prudential Center and Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology campuses, is ripe to rehabilitate the neighborhood and transform it into a retail corridor that promotes daylong pedestrian activity. Because the project is in a historic district, developer RBH Group had to receive approval from Newark’s Landmark Preservation Commission to demolish eight mostly vacant buildings from the 1870s, and ensure that the contextualism of the new buildings complements the district’s historically significant structures. The rest of the Phase One design team includes Princeton-based KSS Architects, which designed the charter school and a daycare center building, and Newark-based Mikesell & Associates, which designed a retail and residential building and most likely will fit out an existing skeletal structure.

MiaSci Gets a New Museum and a New Name

Rendering of the atrium in the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

Grimshaw Architects

Construction has begun on the Grimshaw Architects-designed Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami. Overlooking Biscayne Bay, the museum will share the city’s 40-acre park with the new Miami Art Museum (by Herzog & de Meuron). The partly open-air 250,000-square-foot museum will showcase a microcosm of South Florida’s animal, fish, and plant species. The building is structured around a landscaped indoor and outdoor “living core” of terrestrial and aquatic spaces featuring a 600,000-gallon aquarium, a full dome 3-D planetarium, interactive exhibits, learning centers, exhibition space, and cafes. To power exhibits and conserve resources, the building is designed to harness energy from water, sun, wind, and even from museum visitors when it opens in early 2015. South Florida-based Rodriguez and Quiroga Architects Chartered is the executive architect; other design team members include: ArquitectonicaGEO (landscape architect); Atelier Ten (LEED management); James Corner Field Operations (museum plaza landscape design); MWH (Living Core life support systems); Thinc (Living Core design and development); Visual Acuity (technology consultant).

A Glass Pavilion is a Welcome Sight at the WFC

Rendering of the World Financial Center Pavilion

Pelli Clarke Pelli

Ground was recently broken on an 8,000-square-foot pavilion at the World Financial Center (WFC), which marks the start of a second phase of Brookfield Office Properties $250-million renovation. Designed by New Haven-based Pelli Clarke Pelli, which designed the existing WFC in 1988, the pavilion will serve as the complex’s new front door for people using the Fulton Street and World Trade Center (WTC) transit hubs. Located adjacent to the stairs of the WFC’s Winter Garden, the 55-foot-high, 113-foot-wide structure has curved glass on three sides as well as on the roof, and surrounds escalators leading to the WTC underground connection. The pavilion features exposed steel tube basket column structures, Italian stone paving, and a radiant floor heating and cooling system. Thorton Tomasetti (structural engineer) and Flack + Kurtz (MEP), members of the original WFC design team, are returning to work on the project, which is expected to be completed by fall 2013. The Spector Group is architect-of-record, and Plaza Construction is serving as general contractor.

Expanded Public Library Weaves Old and New Styles

The restored double-height reading room in the 1927 wing

Jeff Goldberg/ESTO

Instead of forsaking their local library, originally built in 1927 and in need of major renovations, the Village of Mamaroneck in Westchester County chose a $12 million expansion and renovation designed by BKSK Architects. The Classical Revival building, expanded first in the 1960s and then again in the 80s, now has an additional 13,000 square feet that knits together the library’s disparate parts into anew coherent whole via a reinterpretation of its historic details, such as its entry colonnade and the material palette of stone and white trim. On the main level, the new addition features library circulation and media resources, a small café, and an exhibit space for the Village Historical Society. The upper level contains children’s areas as well as a mezzanine reading space overlooking the 1960s portion of the building. The lower level is organized around a large community room with a separate entrance, accessible for use after hours and shared with the adjacent Emmeline Theater. BKSK articulated the importance of preserving the historic library building as a vital part of the village’s civic center and a tangible link to its past. To that end, a highlight of the project is the restoration of the library’s original reading room in the 1927 section.

The LowLine Sees the Light of Day


Rendering of the LowLine’s underground park


The Delancey Underground is coming above board with the start of a new Kickstarter campaign to raise money that will go towards building a full-scale model of an indoor park that’s been nicknamed the LowLine. The project’s organizers, who include James Ramsey, principal of RAAD, envision the subterranean public park as a year-round, weather-proof amenity suitable for art exhibitions, farmers markets, and other special events. The proposed park would add public space on the Lower East Side without changing the above-ground fabric of the city. Adjacent to the J/M/Z subway lines the space is located on the MTA-owned site of the former Williamsburg Trolley Terminal, which has been out of service since 1948. Six decades hence, the space still features remnant cobblestone, crisscrossing rail track, and vaulted ceilings. The plan to bring light underground starts with solar collectors placed at street level that collect sunlight throughout the day, and is reflected below ground. The light coming to below ground will not emit harmful ultraviolet rays but will distribute light wavelengths that support photosynthesis and enable plants, trees, and grasses to grow—for humans to enjoy.


The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) has selected the team of Rice+Lipka Architects (formerly Lyn Rice Architects) and James Corner Field Operations to make over its 22,000-square-foot building, a former a car dealership.

The board of the New York Public Library has given the green light for Foster + Partners to begin the next phase of designing a new circulating library inside the main library on Fifth Avenue to be built below the Rose Reading Room. NYPL also announced the sale of the Mid-Manhattan branch and the Science, Industry and Business Library, and will forego plans to build new libraries in Upper Manhattan and on Staten Island.

Weiss/Manfredi has been chosen by the National Geographic Society to renovate and expand its collection of century-old buildings at its headquarters in Washington, DC.The firm was selected over Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Diamond Schmitt Architects, and Steven Holl Architects.

OMA will be designing artist Marina Abramovic’s Center for the Preservation of Performance Art in a building that was originally a movie theater and then a tennis club in Hudson, NY. The center will be used as a museum and performance space.

“Made in USA – German Architects in New York,” curated by Matthias Neumann (normaldesign), features projects located in the city by seven architects: Tobias Armborst (Interboro Partners); Philipp von Dalwig (MANIFOLD Architecture Studio); Thomas Leeser (Leeser Architecture); Jürgen Riehm, FAIA, BDA (1100 Architect); Annabelle Selldorf (Selldorf Architects); Thomas Warnke (space4a); and Tom Winter (Tom Winter Architects). The exhibition is on view March 1 – 23 at the German Consulate General, 871 United Nations Plaza (49th Street and 1st Avenue), Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm (free to the public).

More than 40 firms submitted proposals for the design of the first building on Cornell University’s new tech campus on Roosevelt island; the pool has been narrowed to six firms: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Steven Holl Architects; Morphosis; Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA); and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), which will continue to work with the school to develop the campus master plan. The selection is expected to be made in April with ground breaking in 2015 and occupancy by 2017.

AIANY partners with aecKnowledge
aecKnowledge and AIANY are teaming up to offer online courses on a variety of topics, including sustainability, active design, affordable housing, and historic preservation. Visit to watch free previews of current AIANY course offerings.

NCARB Releases Tools and Resources to Assist Interns With the Rollover to IDP 2.0
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released several tools and resources that interns can use to prepare for the rollover to the Intern Development Program (IDP) 2.0. On 3-5 April 2012, NCARB will implement the final phase of IDP 2.0. This phase will include new experience categories and areas, simplified experience settings, and an enhanced electronic system to report IDP experience. IDP 2.0 is the most significant update to the Intern Development Program (IDP) since its inception in the 1970s. Visit for more information.

Registration is open for the 2012 AIA National Convention & Design Exposition May 17-19 in Washington, D.C.
Registration is now open for the 2012 AIA National Convention & Design Exposition May 17-19 in Washington, D.C.  The exposition, on the theme of “Design Connects,” will feature more than 800 exhibitors and 200 planned program offerings, including workshops and educational opportunities. Visit for more information.

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


Arch Schools 2011

On view 11.19.2011-03.03.2012

LIVE FEED: Middle East Collaborations, 2005-2012

On view 02.17.2012–03.14.2012

City of Mirages: Baghdad 1952-1982


On view 02.22.2012–05.05.2012

Students Design Resort Islands While on School Vacation at CFA

CFAF Lead Design Educator Tim Hayduk and students investigate tropical and ocean eco-systems at the American Museum of Natural History.

Claire Buckley

Twenty 3rd-5th-grade students spent their winter break creating their dream island resort.

Claire Buckley

Students worked with a variety of materials, developing their interests and skills in design through hands-on activities.

Claire Buckley

Design Your Own Island participants developed friendships while closely working together over the 3-day workshop.

Claire Buckley

Students proudly display and present their completed projects to parents and friends.

Claire Buckley

Detail of one of the many inventive deserted islands created during CFAF’s February Vacation Programs.

Claire Buckley

At first, the islands were deserted. Just bare ridges of brown earth forming hills and valleys, encircling ponds and reaching out like fingers into a still, turquoise sea. Then buildings began to appear on choice land at the higher elevations or marching down hillsides through bright green foliage to the sea. Eventually, these were joined by docks, walkways, activity centers, swimming pools, and beach umbrellas you’d expect to find at an eco-resort. An exciting new vacation destination was realized in this new tropical archipelago, improbably located at the Center for Architecture and created by a group of 8–11-year-olds at the Center for Architecture Foundation’s February Vacation Camp, Design Your Own Island.

Held during the public school winter break, this 3-day design program gave students who had stayed home for their holiday a chance to create their own tropical vacationlands under the guidance of CFAF Lead Design Educator Tim Hayduk. The students looked at examples of an environmentally-sensitive resort at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts where Hayduk had spent time last summer, to see how buildings might be designed to create a harmonious setting by the sea. The group also took a trip to the American Museum of Natural History to study tropical and ocean eco-systems, giving them ideas about the kind of flora and fauna they would find on their islands.

Each student drew a map of their island design, then learned how to transform this into a 3-D contour model that became the base for their resort design. Using colored cardboard, foamcore, toothpicks, wire, and other craft materials, they created the buildings and structures for their island resorts, and turned green tissue paper and “sushi grass” into shrubs, grasses, and tiny palm trees. As a final touch, the students created brochures describing their islands and resorts to potential visitors — their parents and friends who arrived at the end of Day 3 to be treated to tours of the 20 different islands by their designers.

The Center for Architecture Foundation’s upcoming Vacation Camps, March 27 – 29 and April 10 – 12, 2012, will focus on Skyscrapers for 3rd-5th graders and Digital Design for 6th-9th graders. For more information about these programs, or to register, visit

The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee of the AIA NY Chapter announced the winners of its fifth biennial design ideas competition, The Harlem Edge:
1st Prize – Cultivating Connections: ENYA Prize – Sym’bio’pia by Ting Chin, AIA, and Yan Wang, AIA, Linearscape Architecture; 2nd Prize  – The Hudson Exchange by Eliza Higgins, Cyrus Patell, Chris Starkey and Andrea Vittadini; 3rd Prize – Harlem Harvest  by Ryan Doyle, Guido Elgueta, and Tyler Caine; Student Prize – Stairway to Harlem by Daniel Mowery, University of Virginia; and Honorable Mentions for Continuum, by Nasiq Khan and Scott Brandi; Subaqueous Promenade by Doyoung Oh and Jaemin Ha; New Marine Transfer Station by Yashar Ghasemkhani, Arash Mesbah and Pooneh Sadrimanesh; Land Over Water Agro-Pavilion by Michael C. Kilroy and Jonathan Sampson, students at University of New Mexico; and Greenhouse Transformer by Dongwoo Yim and Rafael Luna, PRAUD…

Lyn Rice Architects has been redubbed Rice + Lipka, taking its new name from Principal Astrid Lipka.

Citations for Architect Magazine’s 59th Annual Progressive Architecture Awards include Ephemeral Edge by Dean/Wolf Architects…The Interior Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) announced Diller Scofidio + Renfro as the recipient of the Lawrence Israel Prize…

Winners were announced for The Core Project, an international design competition to generate innovative ideas for renewing the city center of Sebastopol, CA, including a Special Citation for Innovation Excellence for Architecture Commons/Eric Ho (full list here:…

Bernard Tschumi, FAIA, received the National Academy Award for Excellence…Pratt Institute named the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award winners, including Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA

Gensler announced the winner of the 2012 Gensler Brinkmann Scholarship competition, Tina Uznanski, a student in the interior design program at the Pratt Institute…

2012 OCULUS Editorial Calendar
If you are an architect by training or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, note that OCULUS editors want to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA:

Spring: Small Firms Doing Big Things [closed]

Summer: 2012 AIANY Design Awards [closed]

Fall: Learning Curve

Pedagogical shifts affecting architecture for education. — How architects/architecture reinforce new ways of teaching. — How architects/architecture can change the pedagogy. — How big institutional expansion plans are changing the city. — Case studies.

Submit story ideas by 06.01.12

Winter: In Sickness and In Health / Health & Well-being

Why and how the healthcare industry (providers, pharma, etc.) investing in architecture. — What are the trends? — Issues: generational; demographic; sustainability; technology. — Case studies

Submit story ideas by 07.27.12


03.09.12 Call for Entries: Sustainable Interiors – LEED or Not

03.15.12 Call for Entries: AIA NY Medal of Honor Design Competition

03.21.12 Call for Submissions: BOFFO Show House 2012

04.06.12 Call for Entries: 2012 EPA National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

04.09.12 Call for Entries: Pinup 2012 Student Competition

04.13.12 Call for Proposals: Jason Pettigrew Memorial ARE Scholarship

04.16.12 Call for Applications: Deborah J. Norden Travel Fund

05.01.12 Call for Proposals: Figment 2012 NYC

06.01.12 Call for Submissions: Design Exchange Exhibit – Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge

06.01.12 Call for Entries: Eco-Structure Magazine Evergreen Awards

08.31.12 Call for Entries: MNPG Arch Competition