Occupy Cipriani Wall Street?

Cipriani Wall Street

Sam Lahoz

Event: Honors & Awards Luncheon 2012
Location: Cipriani Wall Street, 04.18.12
Honoring: Ennead Architects, 2012 AIANY Medal of Honor; Alexander Garvin, Hon. AIANY, 2012 AIANY Award of Merit; Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA, 2012 Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award; The 2012 AIANY Design Awards Winners

Paul Goldberger, Hon. AIA, Alex Garvin, Hon. AIANY, and Ennead Architects’ Susan Rodriguez, FAIA, were in good company last Wednesday at the AIA New York Chapter’s sold out 2012 Honors & Awards Luncheon. Some 800 architects, engineers, developers, and design professionals gathered—nay, occupied—Cipriani Wall Street to celebrate the three Honor Award and 36 Design Awards winners.

In a format different from last year’s program, which included only Design Awards winners, concise remarks by the three honorees and a well-orchestrated awards conferral left much time for chatting, table-hopping, and networking. Indeed, all signs pointed to an improving economy and positive outlook for 2012.

Goldberger, who won the 2012 Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award, mused about the sometimes antagonistic relationship between architects and critics, noting the humorous fact that architects were honoring an architecture critic, an act akin to “feeding the hand that bites you.”

For Garvin, it paid to be a good teacher. A professor of countless Yale graduates including Goldberger and AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, he was pleased to receive the 2012 AIANY Award of Merit from the people who he considers the experts at “knowing good design.” The award acknowledged his work as a professor, public servant, and private practitioner at his firm AGA Public Realm Strategists, Inc.

Susan Rodriguez, FAIA, of Ennead Architects (which Goldberger jokingly called “the firm formally known as Polshek”), spoke about the wide scope of work the firm undertakes, as well as its commitment to civic principles.

Indeed, perhaps more than any other profession, architects (and landscape architects) are uniquely concerned with the civic impacts of their work. Many of the day’s winning projects paid particular attention to the public realm, especially the September 11th Memorial, which won an Honor Award in the Architecture category. It was designed by Michael Arad, AIA, of Handel Architects.

Occupy Cipriani Wall Street: perhaps a metaphorical stretch. One could say, though, that architects did occupy Cipriani’s grand Beaux Arts banking hall—the former headquarters of National City Bank (now Citibank)—not necessarily as radicals but rather as professionals committed to the practice of civic and principled architecture.

Defying the Mold: Prefab for the Interior

The panel answers audience questions.

Daniel Fox

Event: Inside Prefab Panel Discussion
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.11.12
Panelists: Deborah Schneiderman, author of Inside Prefab: The Ready Made Interior; Greg Lynn, Allan Wexler, Jason Vollen, and Rob Rothblatt, The Center for Architecture, Science, and Ecology (CASE), a collaboration between Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Organizer: AIANY Interiors Committee
Sponsor: SOM

Prefabrication is an efficient and environmentally-friendly method for building homes and other structures. But prefab isn’t just for the exterior. Deborah Schneiderman, an architect and educator, recently published Inside Prefab: The Ready Made Interior, a book that reconsiders prefab from an interior perspective. Defining interiors with modules and units isn’t a new concept. Architectural screens have been employed since 300 BC in China, and their use was re-popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Eames. Cubicles, basic units of the modern office, made their debut in the 1950s. Today, prefab kitchens, bathrooms, and even bedrooms are revolutionizing the residential industry. Contemporary prefab kitchens like FLow2, designed by Studio Gorm, include sustainable features that allow homeowners to recycle waste products while growing their own food.

Schneiderman convened a panel of architects who are creating prefab elements that defy the mold. Greg Lynn’s prefab designs are “bespoke rather than meant for mass production.” Many of his experimentations involve plastics—materials that often get a bad rap—but Lynn appreciates their efficiency, recyclability, and light weight, which lower shipping costs. Plastic can also take unexpected forms; Lynn created fountains reminiscent of Bernini’s sculptures from recycled toys for the Venice Biennale in 2008. He uses other high-tech materials in inventive ways, such as his design for the 3DI Chair, which is made of carbon tape and weighs in at only four to six ounces but is capable of supporting thousands of pounds. Similarly, architect and artist Allan Wexler creates custom pieces that are tactile and encourage user interaction. “Two Too Large Tables” is a public art installation for the Hudson River Park at 29th Street in Manhattan. Made of brushed stainless steel and Ipe wood, the structure is composed of chairs that support a shade pavilion, allowing “people to feel like they are doing the work,” explains Wexler.

Prefab elements can also help architects bring nature indoors. The Center for Architecture, Science, and Ecology (CASE), a collaboration between SOM and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, developed The Active Phytoremediation Wall System, a modular wall system containing hydroponic plants that ties into a building’s HVAC system, removing airborne contaminants and reducing energy loads, explained CASE Associate Director Jason Vollen. The system will be integrated into the design of the Public Safety Answering Center II, the new 911 call center in the Bronx. According to Rob Rothblatt, associate director and senior designer at SOM, the system will create a “green zone” that will provide workers respite from the stresses of their jobs.

Schneiderman’s inspiration to write her book came out of her concern that the interior design field’s interest in sustainability was limited to material selection, such as those that contain lower amounts of VOCs and are made of recycled materials. Such materials, however, are often hard to source. “We had to go beyond and look at fabrication,” she explained. “Designers must also consider shipping, life cycle costs, and disposability.”

A Civic Action – Artistic Interventions for Long Island City

An image of Big Allis from Mary Miss’ “If Only The City Could Speak.”

Courtesy Mary Miss

Event: The Civic Action Planning Model
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.12.12
Panelists: Lyn Rice, AIA, Partner, Rice+Lipka; Elliott Maltby, Principal, Thread Collective; Claire Weisz, AIA, Partner, WXY Archtecture + Urban Design
Moderator: Julie V. Iovine, Executive Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper and editor of the forthcoming Civic Action publication
Organizer:Center for Architecture; Noguchi Museum

”If Only The City Could Speak” is the name of the installation by artist Mary Miss and her project team, conceived as part of “Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City,” which recently closed at the Noguchi Museum. This artist-led initiative, a collaboration between the Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park—both situated in the area of study—illustrates that artists are one of the groups in the city that should not only speak, but take a leading role in the future of the built environment.

Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) moved to the neighborhood—variously known as Ravenswood, Long Island City, or Astoria—in 1960, and seven years later fellow artist and sculptor Mark di Suvero moved there, too. Both artists shared a vision for their neighborhood. In 1985, Noguchi realized his by establishing a museum to exhibit his work. A year later, di Suvero founded Socrates Sculpture Park.

According to Jenny Dixon, director of the Noguchi Museum, who was in the audience, thanks to the visions of Noguchi and di Suvero, “Ravenswood is an important, international cultural destination. But more than that, it is also one of New York City’s few neighborhoods to remain a vital mix of art, industry, and residences. It is being redeveloped and more will follow with the new Roosevelt Island Cornell University/Technion development in close proximity.”

To that end, and in the spirit of Noguchi and di Suvero, the museum and park collaborated on a planning process with multidisciplinary design teams led by noted public artists Natalie Jeremijenko, Mary Miss, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and George Trakas to create different scenarios for the future of the neighborhood.

Panelist Elliot Maltby, an artist on Mary Miss’s team, described how the team explored the idea of establishing Ravenswood as a place of innovation, experimentation, and collaborative projects among artists and scientists who could address issues of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Using the vertical elements of a local landmark—the smokestacks of Big Allis, a giant electric power generator—he said that “artists should get there before the project begins and should be the instigators, instead of being responsive to others.”

Claire Weisz, AIA, partner WXY Archtecture + Urban Design, and urban strategist for the project, concurred: “Artists have a role in leading and instigating…the wrong way to involve artists is to ask them to make products.”

Panelist Lyn Rice, AIA, partner at Rice+Lipka and participating Civic Action architect, agreed. He has worked on several collaborative projects with artists, most notably at Dia:Beacon, where Robert Irwin, an artist, landscape architect, and engineer, collaborated on the design and construction of the museum. In some cases, individual artists whose work would be exhibited were consulted. “All ‘creatives’ should get involved in the beginning and it is good to have equal voices together,” he said.

The second phase of the project will begin Sunday, 05.13.12, when the artists of Civic Action will take the exhibition of concepts, plans, and models that were at the museum, and translate them into physical realities with interactive public art projects at Socrates Sculpture Park. John Hatfield, executive director of Socrates, remarked, “An interesting and productive dialogue between artists, architects, urban planners, local community groups, and city officials on development plans for the Ravenswood area of Long Island City continues.”

Thinking about Think Tanks

Adam Greenfield, Founder of Urbanscale, discusses Urbanflow.

Daniel Fox

Event: RE:Think – Design Thinking Outputs
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.12.12
Panelists: Troy Therrien, Partner, Th-ey and Curator at Experiments in Motion, Columbia University, New York; Adam Greenfield, Founder, Urbanscale; Ken Farmer, DoTank Brooklyn; Landon Brown, Director of VisionArc; Georgeen Theodore, Partner, Interboro Partners; David Benjamin, Principal, The Living
Moderator: Chris Leong, Partner at Leong Leong
Organizer: AIANY New Practices Committee

Media Sponsorship for New Practices’ 2012 programming provided by The Architect’s Newspaper.

I had always associated think tanks with the government, especially the military. A panel of eight energetic young architects set out to refresh the concept, each rebranding “think tank” in the context of small architectural practices searching for a way to combine thinking, planning, and strategy with action.

How many people does it take to form an architectural think tank? For Troy Therrien of Th-ey, it can start with two. But Therrien’s presentation of a history of think tanks, one that focused on freedom of exchange instead of control by knowledge, ensured that the results of an incubation period will affect—and be affected—by many individuals. For Ken Farmer of DoTank, the number of people in a think tank is different every time. Working with an ever-changing set of clients and colleagues, Farmer’s bottom-up approach to the organization and dissemination of knowledge gives his think tank process freedom from agenda. While the “incubator rises out of market forces,” WHOWNSPACE, a project related to DoTank, can push against them by calling attention to the rights of New York City residents in public spaces.

Georgeen Theodore described projects by her firm Interboro Partners, which is continuously “working within the constraint of the city, and working against it,” as looking for “spontaneous urban moves.” Interboro’s 2011 project “Holding Pattern” for the Young Architects Program at PS1, for example, used the “Robin Hood” design method. They created objects that could be re-used outside the walls of the museum: in a nearby taxi cab company’s offices, senior and day care centers, high schools, settlement houses, the local YMCA, a library, and a greenmarket. Landon Brown of VisionArc, a think tank dedicated to exploring the role of design and global issues, was also interested in the way that architects could “study informal resource networks.” He presented mapping and imaging projects that responded to climate, energy, and resource issues.

David Benjamin, who co-founded The Living in 2004, aligns with the concept of the think tank through an approach to technology, “not for progress or efficiency” but for experimentation itself. By far the most bottom-up design process described was Benjamin’s use of differentiating patterns in certain bacteria’s genetic make-up to inform design. On a completely different, but comparably complex scale, Adam Greenfield presented Urbanflow, an “operating system for cities” recently deployed in Helsinki.

For many of the panelists, dissatisfaction with traditional practice methods compelled them to find new avenues for working with corporations and institutions. If think tanks are the new smart start-ups of architectural practice, they threaten the future of top-down Starchitecture.

Aids to Aging in Place: Assisted Living, Nursing-Home Care, and NORCs

Frank Lang, Director of Housing, St. Nicks Alliance, discusses assisted living.

Berit Hoff

Event: Aging in Place in the City: Environments for Affordable Care and Support
Location: Center for Architecture, 4.18.12
Speakers: Joseph Healy, Jr., Ph.D.; C.O.O., Comprehensive Care Management, Centerlight Health Care, Centerlight Health System; Stacey Johnston, M.P.A., Director of Key Initiatives, Centerlight Health Care; Frank Lang, Director of Housing, St. Nicks Alliance; Georgeen Theodore, Partner, Interboro Partners
Moderator: Christine Hunter, AIA, Principal, Magnusson Architecture and Planning
Organizer: AIANY Design for Aging Committee

On average, New Yorkers are living longer, resulting in a larger number of senior citizens in our population, a trend that will continue to increase significantly in this century. Much thought is being given to developing improved ways to accommodate the specific needs of these seniors so that they may maintain a substantial amount of independence and level of enjoyment as they age. Since geographic range for the performance of daily activities tends to decrease with age, cities seem to be better able to provide needed services in close proximity to seniors’ homes than less densely populated areas. Yet providing services in the most convenient and efficient manner requires considerable planning. Three approaches were discussed in this session.

Frank Lang of St. Nicks Alliance, a not-for-profit organization and settlement house that has served neighborhoods in Brooklyn for many years, spoke about its efforts to create “enriched housing” within one of its affordable senior buildings that contains 150 units, originally constructed as independent housing. This new program provides additional assistance to 25% of the residents, and includes within the building community recreational activity/program areas and dining facilities (complete meals are served), with registered nurses and equipment always available to manage medication and medical care. Assisted-living facilities that provide long-term care for their residents must be specifically licensed, in addition to conforming to federal HUD regulations, Medicaid rules to determine eligibility of residents, and other local laws. This complex matrix of regulations has been a challenge to St. Nicks in its efforts to meet the needs of residents with varying levels of frailty, all of whom cannot qualify for assistance under existing rules.

Joseph Healy and Stacey Johnston spoke about the comprehensive services that Centerlight Health Care offers for seniors in their own homes as well as in their PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) Centers, 13 of them in the New York City area. In these centers Centerlight operates a multidisciplinary healthcare delivery system to maintain a desirable quality of life for seniors that enables them to live as independently as possible. It is fully government-funded through Medicare and Medicaid. The centers are located in needy areas, operate from five to seven days per week, and serve approximately 1,100 visitors per day. They provide complete nursing care, including therapeutic rehabilitation on an as-needed daily basis, and present an atmosphere and range of daily activities/programs to encourage seniors to attend. Transportation to the centers is provided. Full meals are served, with foods culturally appropriate to the areas in which the centers are located.

Georgeen Theodore is a founding partner of Interboro Partners, an architecture and planning research office. Much of her research has focused on NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities), which are residential buildings or complexes where people have lived for a substantial period of time, so eventually an increasing number of the residents are seniors. The realization that these buildings should offer special services for their aging residents originated in the 1980s here in New York City, and has since spread throughout the country and elsewhere. Specific legislation has been developed for NORCs, aimed at providing support services that enable senior residents to remain in their homes and live independently. In NYC, where there are now numerous NORCs, most of them are in tower-in-a-park, limited-equity co-ops—a type of complex frequently built in the 1950s-1970s where residents have remained because of the financial structure of the developments. Many of these have adapted very well to organizing their senior communities and acquiring funds to provide spaces and needed services ranging from recreation to health care. Questions were raised, though, about whether this is really the best physical form for a NORC. The major criteria for NORCs seem to be a minimum level of density, a community of seniors, and the convenience of services. Thus, future NORCs may emerge in the types of housing that have been built more recently, such as low-rise-high-density complexes or different high-rise models.

An audience member asked the panelists what they see as the next developments in providing for the needs of an ever-growing population of seniors. The speakers indicated that these would have to grow out of the preferences of the next generation of soon-to-be seniors, but they felt that there would be a strong concentration on the use of advancing technology, which is likely to offer caregivers the capability of monitoring remotely seniors in their own homes to be sure they are safe and healthy, and to enhance family connections for homebound seniors. Ideally, the processes of caregiving will become more efficient and effective, and less costly.

“I’m an Architect.”

Robert Lopez, RA, introduces DPCs.

Daniel Fox

Event: Understanding Permissible Corporate Entities and the New D.P.C. Law in NYS
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.17.12
Speakers: Douglas Lentivech, Deputy Commissioner for the Professions, Office of the Professions, New York State Education Department; Robert Lopez, RA, Executive Secretary to the New York State Board for Architecture and the State Board for Landscape Architecture, Office of the Professions, New York State Education Department
Organizers: AIANY Professional Practice Committee and the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NYASLA)

Believe it or not, the name of your design firm might be illegal. Are you a non-licensed designer calling yourself an architect? Or did you know that if you’re an intern stockpiling hours for licensure while working under a non-licensed designer, your experience hours might not officially count? While Douglas Lentivech and Robert Lopez, RA, came down from Albany to introduce one of New York State’s newest types of corporation—the Design Professional Corporation, or D.P.C.—they also came with a message: names count when it comes to “permissible corporate practice.”

After describing the myriad-but-familiar types of corporations in the state—your LLCs, LLPs, and PCs—Lentivech and Lopez let the architect and landscape architect audience know that through the hard-won lobbying of the AIA and ASLA, design professionals other than licensed architects, landscape architects, engineers, and land surveyors may now own “less than 25% of the shares and may constitute less than 25% of director and officer positions” of a new D.P.C. In other words: do you want to make your Director of Marketing a partial owner of your firm? Well, now you can, provided you form a new D.P.C. (the periods between each letter are legally required), and merge your old company into the new. (Read a full description of the new law here.)

But the other points of Lentivech and Lopez’s discussion concerned the standards of professional practice. The message for architectural interns was especially clear. If your firm’s owners are non-licensed designers, you will not receive credit for your experience when it’s registration time. They also reminded designers that if you are not a licensed architect, you cannot legally practice architecture and cannot name your firm John Doe Architecture/Architects.

To reiterate: according to the New York State Office of the Professions, “to use the title ‘Architect’ in New York State, an individual must be licensed and registered by the New York State Education Department.” Conversely, if you are licensed and own a firm, that firm must, in its name, describe the type of professional service provided (most obviously, architecture). Moreover, in the world of increasingly-creative firm names, if you do use a name like John_DOE_Designs_123 on your website, for instance, your firm’s officially-registered name (i.e. John Doe Architecture PC) must be included somewhere on the page as well, all in the name of fair and non-deceptive practice.

But take heart! Once licensed, all the benefits of belonging to a profession are conferred, not the least of which is being able to call yourself a real-life architect.

Finnish Lines

Marc Clemenceau Bailly, AIA, moderates the panel discussion.

Laura Trimble

Event: Helsinki-New York Roundtable Discussion and NEWLY DRAWN Opening Reception
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.21.12
Speakers: Introduced by: Riitta Gerlander, Deputy Consul General, Consulate General of Finland, New York
Group 1: Tuomas Toivonen, Now Office; Philipp von Dalwig, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, Manifold Architecture Studio; Taryn Christoff, AIA, and Martin Finio, AIA, Christoff:Finio Architecture; Anu Puustinen, Avanto Architects; David Benjamin, The Living; Marc Clemenceau Bailly, AIA, Gage-Clemenceau Architects (moderator)
Group 2: Elizabeth Gray and Alan Organschi, Gray Organschi Architecture; Michael Szivos, Softlab; Stella Betts, Levenbetts; Mikko Summanen and Kimmo Lintula, K2S Architects; Tuomas Toivonen, Now Office (moderator)
Group 3: Jonus Ademovic, Archipelagos; B. Alex Miller, Taylor and Miller Architecture and Design; Janne Teräsvirta, ALA Architects; Emily Abruzzo, AIA, LEED AP, Abruzzo Bodziak Architects; Andrew Berman, AIA, Andrew Berman Architect; Philipp von Dalwig, Manifold Architecture Studio (moderator)
Performance by: Tuomas Toivonen, Urbanism in the House
Organizer: AIANY; Architectural League of New York; Finnish Cultural Institute in New York; Consulate General of Finland in New York; and the Museum of Finnish Architecture
Organizer: AIANY Professional Practice Committee and the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NYASLA)

Three trans-national panels and an urban design rap performance animated the opening of the Breakthrough Space exhibition “Newly Drawn: Emerging Finnish Architecture” at the Center for Architecture on Saturday, April 21. The rap, from Tuomas Toivonen’s “Urbanism in the House” album, featured such lines as “How to connect and combine / bold ambition with humble quality, / sensitive responsibility with fresh concepts, local traditions with new technology.”

The “Newly Drawn” show, on view at the Center through April 30, introduced some of the most interesting young, up-and-coming Finnish architects and their latest projects, visions, and ways of working. The panel conversations were moderated by AIANY New Practices chairs Marc Clemenceau Bailly, AIA, and Philipp von Dalwig, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, along with Toivonen of Now Office, an architect, rap artist, DJ, and public sauna owner. Discussions brought together the Newly Drawn emerging Finnish firms and New Yor- based winning firms of the AIANY New Practices competition and the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices.

The program and related exhibition are part of the 10-month long New Finnish Design CITY project coordinated by the Consulate General of Finland and the Finnish Cultural Institute. They are, as well, part of the celebration of Helsinki’s designation as 2012 World Design Capital. The Finnish architects present included Mikko Summanen and Kimmo Lintula of K2S, Anu Puustinen of Avanto Architects, and Janne Teräsvirta of ALA Architects. Introductory remarks were by Deputy Consul General Riitta-Liisa Gerlander and Martta Louekari from World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.

Among the New Practices winners present, Emily Abruzzo, AIA, LEED AP, of Abruzzo Bodziak Architects, was eloquent in her pecha kucha presentation of office work in a larger environmental context consistent with the environmentalism of AIANY’s Future Now! Presidential theme. Her installation will animate the upcoming opening of the New Practices exhibition on Thursday, June 14. For Saturday’s conference and concert, the discussion was very much focused on what we can learn from each other, and how design competitions and alternative modes of practice can cross lines of demarcation.

In this issue:
• Making it BIG in Vancouver
• SHoP Designs a New Place to Shop
• New Center for Science, Health, and Wellness Enlivens a Community College Campus
• A New Beginning for The Barnes
• Creating Space by Walling-In

Making it BIG in Vancouver


Courtesy BIG

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been commissioned by Canadian developer Westbank to design the Beach + Howe, a mixed-use tower in downtown Vancouver. The 49-story building contains 600 market-rate residential units atop a nine-story podium. The base is composed of three triangular blocks, designed for commercial, retail, and leisure activities, that face on to public plazas and pathways. The shape of the tower responds to its site, located adjacent to a major street bridge and a park that needs access to sunlight, as well as a desire to optimize conditions for the building’s inhabitants, both in the air and at street level. A close to 100-foot setback from the bridge ensures that no residents will have windows and balconies in the middle of heavy traffic, resulting in a footprint that is restricted to a small triangle. As the tower rises, it gradually cantilevers over the site, turning a triangle into a rectangular floor plate for residential use, while freeing up public space at its base. The building is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and features canted, triangular clusters of green roofs. The façades respond to various solar exposures. James K.M. Cheng Architects, known for creating an architectural style known as “Vancouverism,” is consulting architect on the project.

SHoP Designs a New Place to Shop


Courtesy SHoP

Plans for the redevelopment of South Street Seaport’s Pier 17, designed by SHoP Architects for the Seaport’s owner/operator Howard Hughes Corporation, was presented at the Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC). Though not considered to be a historic structure, the existing 1987 wood shed, designed by Benjamin Thompson Architects and known for its vernacular pier architecture, is located within the confines of the South Street Seaport Historic District. SHoP’s plan preserves the existing building’s frame and footprint, but replaces the rest with a new three-story glass building that includes a landscaped rooftop featuring an auditorium/bandshell for 700 people. The design echoes a New York City streetscape with smaller, individual structures with shops and restaurants separated by open-air pedestrian walkways. Atop are two expansive floors, each measuring 60,000 square feet for larger establishments. James Corner Field Operations serves as landscape architect. The project is located just north of the SHoP-designed Pier 15 and the East River Esplanade.

New Center for Science, Health, and Wellness Enlivens a Community College Campus


(c) Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Designed by Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, the Center for Science, Health and Wellness at Norwalk Community College recently opened. Each floor of the three-story, 55,000-square-foot glass and brick building contains a specific academic program: nursing and allied health, the sciences, and health and wellness. The nursing unit has six rooms, facsimiles of those in several different hospitals throughout the state, that face a long teaching desk designed to simulate a nursing station. This LEED Gold-certified building includes sustainable features such as natural filtration of storm water, passive solar shading devices and fritted glass on the east west façades, high-efficiency MEP and heat recovery systems, and high-performance glazing. A light reflector projecting from the north façade of the third floor bounces daylight into the north-facing offices and labs. A lounge connects the Center to an existing academic building, which is currently undergoing an interior renovation. Dirtworks Landscape Architecture’s design includes stone walls and indigenous plantings that tie these new spaces visually and culturally to the surrounding New England landscape, and a sculpture titled “Swarm” by Dennis Oppenheim, commissioned by the State of Connecticut, visually anchors the new campus commons. The project is part of a master plan designed by Mitchell/Giurgola that creates a new, second “front door” to the campus on a site that was formerly a service area.

A New Beginning for The Barnes


(c) Tom Crane


(c) Tom Crane

The Barnes Foundation’s 93,000-square-foot new home on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), will be dedicated on May 18th. Set within a four-and-a-half-acre site, TWBTA, in collaboration with Philadelphia-based landscape architects OLIN, created what is described as “a gallery within a garden and a garden within a gallery.” The building has a textured grey-and-gold limestone exterior. The hand-tooled stone, set in panels, is overlaid on a stainless-steel skin with bronze accents. A translucent canopy appears to float above the two-story building and brings daylight to an interior court. An additional level below grade contains a 12,000-square-foot gallery that preserves the scale, proportion, and configuration of the foundation’s original gallery in Merion, PA, for the display of the collection of the Barnes Collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early-Modern paintings, African sculpture, Pennsylvania Dutch decorative arts, and other important works, as well as a 5,000-square-foot special exhibition gallery, classrooms, seminar rooms, a 150-seat auditorium, a special exhibitions gallery, painting conservation lab, a library, administrative offices, and a cafe. The design offers a series of outdoor rooms and spaces that unfold as visitors approach the building, passing through public gardens en route to the entrance. The grounds reference aspects of the Barnes Arboretum in Merion, and feature a public park inspired by the city parks of Paris. A 40-foot-tall abstract sculpture entitled “The Barnes Totem” by Ellsworth Kelly is installed at the end of a reflecting pool where it stands at the intersection of two tree-covered walkways. The foundation is seeking LEED Platinum certification; sustainable features include a green roof, reclaimed local wood and other materials, filtered natural daylight, and use of grey water.

Creating Space by Walling-In


(c) Alan Tansey


(c) Alan Tansey

The Wall-All, an apartment renovation project by Amsterdam and New York-based Haiko Cornelissen Architecten, has been selected as a “stillspot” for the Guggenheim Museum’s stillspottingNYC program in Jackson Heights, Queens. Less–used spaces, such as the office, library, and kitchen, are compressed in the walls of the 1,000-square-foot apartment to make space for the living room. Sliding doors conceal the office while an upside-down door guards the media center in the library wall. Kitchen cabinets are stepped back to cover the kitchen functions, including the refrigerator, creating gaps that avoid door handles. In the bathroom, a polished aluminum wall conceals storage space and shower controls; the wall expands the room by reflecting the exterior window while forming a shower curtain in the open position. For the third edition in the stillspottingNYC series, the museum commissioned SO-IL to develop a “living study of stillness” in the vibrant immigrant neighborhood of Jackson Heights. The resulting project, Transhistoria, tells transformative personal narratives in a series of spaces selected by SO-IL, including the Wall-All apartment; the Transhistoria story is told in its living room. The multi-disciplinary project, by David van der Leer, a Guggenheim assistant curator, explores stillness in all five boroughs.


While undergraduates continue to attend tuition-free, Cooper Union will start charging graduate students tuition next year to increase revenue, ending the school’s 110-year tradition of free education.

A $40 million private donation has been given to Brooklyn Bridge Park to construct a 115,000-square-foot facility that will include an indoor cycling track, public boathouse, and bathrooms to be designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners.

Gran Kriegel Associates has been awarded an “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” (IDIQ) contract with the U.S. Coast Guard for the upgrade of three facilities located in District 1, which stretches from Sandy Hook, NJ, to Eastport, ME. The projects include renovations to the control tower at Air Station Cape Cod, MA, repair and renovation of personnel dormitories at Station Fire Island, NY, and the mid-life renovation of Smith Hall, a physical sciences facility at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT.

An exhibition of Steven Holl Architects’ plans for the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University will be on view through June 2 at Meulensteen (formerly Max Protetch Gallery) in Chelsea.

Dartmouth College has selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) to design a major expansion and renovation of its Hood Museum of Art. The expansion will create new exhibition, educational, office, and public spaces in support of the Hood’s mission as a teaching museum. New galleries will incorporate display spaces for African, Aboriginal Australian, modern, and contemporary, and Native American art, as well as works on paper, none of which are on view at present due to space limitations. TWBTA was selected from among four invited architectural firms.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted unanimously to landmark the Barbizon Hotel for Women on the Upper East Side. Designed by Murgatroyd & Ogden, and completed in 1928, the distinctive 23-story building was a residential hotel that was home to noteworthy women writers, actors, and artists. The building was recently converted into condominiums. The LPC also voted to expand the Park Slope Historic District in Brooklyn by 600 properties, making the area the largest protected swath in the borough, with 2,575 buildings.

The Preservation League of New York State has named the former Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island, designed by James Renwick and built in 1854, to its “Seven to Save 2012-13” list of endangered places. Now in ruins, the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy nominated the hospital in recognition of the site’s importance and location between a future Cornell University/Teknion applied sciences campus to the north and the soon-to-be-completed Louis Kahn-designed Four Freedoms Park to the south. The conservancy wishes to see a completed feasibility study for adaptive re-use of the hospital, as well as additional site stabilization. This year’s other NYC designees are the South Village and the IRT Powerhouse. The list also includes the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Center (GAGA Arts Center), Rockland County; Historic & Cultural Resources in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas Regions; Bent’s Opera House, Medina, Orleans County; and Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora, Erie County.

On view through May 9 at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture’s Slocum Gallery is Tsao & McKown Architects’ “OPEN,” materials are primarily viewed on the website – www.sevenprojects.net.

In this issue:
• Repositioning the AIA
• e-Calendar

Repositioning Architects and the AIA

According to AIA National President Jeff Potter, FAIA, and Executive Vice President and CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, the Institute has begun “a year-long initiative exploring the perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, needs, and value of ‘the Architect.’ The initiative developed out of a broad consensus among members that architects and the Institute are at a threshold that demands increased awareness of our place in society and the way we present ourselves to the world.” In addition to soliciting members’ input, the Institute will also reach out to “clients, perspective clients, and the public in order to gain a greater level of insight, especially from those who don’t see a need for (or understand how) an architect or architecture fits into their life.”

The Institute has retained LaPlaca Cohen and Pentagram to guide this important initiative, which is not a rebranding but rather a “repositioning.” We urge AIANY Chapter members to actively contribute to the discussion here to have our voices heard, or contact repositioning[at]aia.org.

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


City of Mirages: Baghdad 1952-1982


Last chance: closes 05.05.12

NEWLY DRAWN – Emerging Finnish Architects

Last chance: closes 04.30.2012

AIANY Design Awards 2012

On view 04.19–05.31.2012