In this issue:
• Park This Way!
• SOFA Recreates Itself with a Big Bang
• Turkish Typology
• The Greening of a Queens Plaza
• From Parking Lot to Parkland, with a Green Outlook

Park This Way!


The New York Botanical Garden parking garage by Ennead Architects.

Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects

The New York Botanical Garden recently held a ribbon-cutting for a new eight-story, 300,000-square-foot parking garage designed by Ennead Architects that can accommodate 825 vehicles. Located on a former industrial site near the local Metro-North station, the pre-cast concrete facility’s dominant features are “vertical gardens” on all four sides of the building. A series of forked elements, resembling a simple branch structure, forms an overall textural enclosure. Interstices between columns will be covered with a greenscreen® wire trellis, planted with a variety of flowering vines. Glass circulation towers at each corner of the building will glow at night, and, in collaboration with Light Projects, exterior accent lighting will illuminate the structural rhythm of the enclosure facing the railway. Parking consultant Desman Associates was also involved in the project.

SOFA Recreates Itself with a Big Bang


A rendering of the interiors of the International Sculpture & Functional Art Fair

David Ling Architect

For the 15th consecutive year, David Ling Architect is designing interior spaces of the Park Avenue Armory for the upcoming International Sculpture & Functional Art Fair: SOFA: NEW YORK. Two booths with irregular cut-outs lead from the entrance through a long, illuminated tunnel to the approximate center of the 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall—still one of the largest column-free interior spaces in the city—to a piazza-like common space. Various booths emanate from this courtyard, making the positioning of the 55 exhibition stands of international art galleries seem less hierarchal. In the back of the hall, a large, illuminated, Coroplast house-like structure with cutout rectangular windows floats overhead. A constellation of light blocks appear to explode out of the structure and float from above in an irregular configuration.

Turkish Typology


Section perspective of the Bilkent Erzurum Lower School


Construction is set to begin on the FXFOWLE –designed Bilkent Erzurum Lower School, located in Erzurum, one of Turkey’s largest and most modern cities that continues to be the a trading center along the Silk Road. Composed primarily of Turkish travertine, basalt stone, zinc, and wood, the 70,000-square-foot building features 10 classrooms and music, science, art, and multipurpose rooms. Sited 6,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by 10,000-foot mountains on all sides, the school is conceived as two entwined ribbons of enclosed walks that connect the existing upper school campus to the site’s mountainous, arid topography. Two stories high, the topmost ribbon contains the upper elementary program and a central student cafeteria with sweeping southern and northern views. Bending to meet grade, the ribbon creates a central green for the campus on one side, and a wind-protected entrance and play area on the other. A lower ribbon follows the upper, and then peels in the opposite direction until it meets the lower grade of the site to create a separate entrance and play area for the lower elementary program. Additional campus amenities include an Olympic-size hockey rink, a track and field, a kitchen garden that will also be used for educational purposes, and a potential solar array and bioretention area. Construction is expected to be completed in 2014.

The Greening of a Queens Plaza


Queens Plaza is now Dutch Kills Green.

Linda Pollak/ Marpillero Pollak Architects

The initial phase of the Queens Plaza enhancement project in Long Island City has been completed and officially named Dutch Kills Green. Once the formal gateway to the borough, the area has suffered years of under-utilization until now, when it once again serves as an inviting space with new crosswalks, sidewalks, countdown pedestrian signals, improved lighting, native trees and plantings—including 489 new trees, landscaped medians, an off-street bikeway, and a separate pedestrian walkway. Sited at the plaza’s eastern end, a former commuter parking lot has been replaced by a new 1.5-acre open space that includes wetlands, non-invasive and drought-tolerant native plantings, artist-designed benches, and interlocking/permeable pavers to direct storm water to the plantings. A 1.3-mile master plan was designed by a team headed by Margie Ruddick/WRT, and composed of Linda Pollak/Marpillero Pollak Architects, architect and urban designer, Leni Schwendinger Light Projects, artist Michael Singer, and Langan Engineering. Construction began in 2009 and is ongoing. And the new name? Won in a public competition, it is derived from Dutch Kills, a navigable tributary of Newtown Creek, the name of a hamlet where Queens Plaza is located, and an important road hub during the Revolutionary War.

From Parking Lot to Parkland, with a Green Outlook


A rendering of the Green Outlook complex by Cook+Fox Architects

Cook+Fox Architects

The Riverside Park Fund and the Riverside Clay Tennis Association (RCTA) have banded together to launch a $6 million capital campaign to transform a portion of the park, with a scheme designed by Cook+Fox Architects. Called the “Green Outlook,” the initiative has the potential to turn what was originally conceived by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1875 into a sustainable complex that addresses the environmental, practical, and cultural needs of both the RCTA and surrounding area while restoring the natural health of the site. The project aims to achieve net-zero impact, prioritizing environmental stewardship and aesthetic beauty, keeping the original transit-oriented park in mind. A planned wildflower meadow will incorporate a rain garden that functions as a storm water management tool, as well as a bed for soil fertilized by composting toilets housed in a small, mostly underground building with a maintenance facility on top; this replaces the area’s few portable potties. The obsolete parking lot, a remnant of the Robert Moses era, will be become a meadow scattered with branched sculptures that incorporate solar photovoltaic systems.


The Orange Country Legislature’s vote on the future of Paul Rudolph’s 1971 Orange County Government Center is now set for May 3. The grassroots Taxpayers of Orange County advocates for the preservation of the building, as do a number of preservation organizations. The World Monument’s Fund (WMF) has launched a petition to stop the demolition.

stillspotting nyc: queens – the latest edition of the Guggenheim’s series which invites architects and artists to respond to the cacophony of the city with different projects—is going on now through the beginning of May. Brooklyn-based SO-IL has arranged self-guided tours of Jackson Heights. Each stop is the home or business of an area resident. Participants can hear stories about that person’s background and transition settling into the neighborhood. Locations and times vary.

McKim, Mead & White’s 1921 Town Hall on West 43rd Street has been designated a National Historic Landmark, making it New York City’s only addition to this year’s list. The building has been a designated New York City landmark since 1987.

“Let there be light” showcases plans for the Delancey Underground’s proposed LowLine park at the Mark Miller Gallery through April 29. The show includes a life-sized rendering and 3-D model.

In this issue:
• Cracking the Code
• e-Calendar

Cracking the Code
As architects, we understand the need to exercise leadership in creating the built environment, and when we understand the minimum requirements we can design for a sustainable future. In September 2011, AIA New York Chapter began offering courses on the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code in partnership with Urban Green Council through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), with funding provided by NYSERDA. The four-hour, four-credit course was developed to familiarize architects and engineers with the code, the fundamentals of low-energy design, and the process available to demonstrate compliance. At the end of April 2012 we will have delivered 31 sessions of the course in New York, Syracuse, Albany, Morrisville, Rochester, and Onondaga counties. Outreach partners, including AIA New York State, the USGBC New York State Upstate Chapter, AIA Eastern New York, AIA Central New York, and AIA Rochester, enabled this course to reach further than the confines of the Center for Architecture to bring the substance of the code to designers statewide.

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

V. Guy Maxwell’s Bird-Friendly Glass Testing Flight Tunnel receives the 2012 Arnold W. Brunner Grant

Images from Bird-Friendly Building Design, by Christine Sheppard, Ph.D

The Center for Architecture Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 Arnold W. Brunner Grant: V. Guy Maxwell, AIA, LEED AP, Partner at Ennead Architects. Maxwell’s collaborator on the awarded proposal, Bird-Friendly Glass Testing Flight Tunnel, is Christine Sheppard, Ph.D., Bird Collisions Campaign Manager at American Bird Conservancy and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University.

The proposed project is for the design and construction of a field laboratory testing apparatus to conduct research on the in-flight response of birds to a variety of architectural glass types. Glass windows in all types of buildings and a range of locations—cities, suburbs, and rural areas—are a fatal hazard for birds. Building upon previous research and lessons learned from Dr. Sheppard’s earlier testing tunnel, the team will develop a “next generation” standardized testing apparatus and an associated testing protocol. Research performed in the flight tunnel will broaden scientific knowledge underlying this significant environmental issue and make possible the development of new glass types and architectural design strategies to prevent bird collisions with buildings.

The Arnold W. Brunner Grant was established for mid-career professional architects for advanced study in any area of architectural investigation that will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching or practice of the art and science of architecture. The 2013 deadline is February 1, 2013.

The next Center for Architecture Scholarship and Grant deadline is May 1, 2012 for the Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals. The Haskell Award was founded to encourage student journalism on architecture, planning and related subjects, and to foster regard for intelligent criticism among future professionals. For application details as well as information regarding the other scholarships and grants offered by the Center for Architecture, please visit the Center for Architecture Foundation’s website

Winners of the World Architecture News (WAN) Interior Design Awards 2011 include Outsider Tart by David Lesniak and The Wright Restaurant at the Guggenheim Museum by Andre Kikoski Architect (both Shortlisted in the Restaurant & Bar category)…The New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) will present the Green Design Awards to Gensler for the Design of Interior Spaces; Lutron Electronics for Interior Products; The Related Companies Development for Development/Real Estate; and NYC Green Codes Task Force Advocacy for Advocacy/Community…

The 2012 SMPS-NY Industry Award winners include The Battery SeaGlass Carousel by WXY architecture + urban design; DiMenna Center for Classical Music by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture; and Via Verde – The Green Way by Grimshaw Architects and Dattner Architects…The Dancing Water Theater at City of Dreams designed by Pei Partnership Architects won a 2011 Design for Asia Merit Recognition Award…

Winners of the American Council Engineering Companies of New York’s (ACEC New York) annual awards include WSP Cantor Seinuk for its structural systems design work on the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum, Empire Award; The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) for its rapid response to the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, Council’s Award of Merit; Diamond Award winners are Hazen and Sawyer, Paerdegat Basin CSO Facility; and Malcolm Pirnie, the Water Division of ARCADIS, Co-Digestion and Combined Heat and Power Improvements (Water and Storm Water); Arup, Calais Land Port of Entry; HDR, Reconstruction of Roosevelt Island Bridge over the East River East Channel; HNTB Corporation, Rehabilitation of the Atlantic Avenue Viaduct Phase II; and Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants, Phillipston Rte 2/2A Bridge Replacement and Rapid Build (Transportation)…

Ecology and Environment Engineering, Golden Triangle Natural Gas Storage (Energy); Lizardos Engineering Associates, Expansion and Renovation of the New Katz Women’s Hospital at North Shore University Hospital, Joseph R. Loring & Associates, Hudson Valley Community College, TEC- SMART, and Syska Hennessy Group, UN Headquarters, North Lawn Conference Building (Building/Technology Systems); Arup, Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, DeSimone Consulting Engineers, HL 23, Hardesty & Hanover, Willis Avenue Bridge 2, Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, Cofferdam for the Cannelton Hydroelectric Plant and WSP Cantor Seinuk, World Trade Center Memorial and Museum (Structural Systems)…

AECOM, Yankee Stadium Redevelopment City Work; Cameron Engineering & Associates, Manorhaven Beach Park Pool Complex; C.T. Male Associates Engineering, Surveying, Architecture & Landscape Architecture, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Fab 8; and Parsons Brinckerhoff, Southern Expressway, Route 219, Section 5 (Special Projects); Thornton Tomasetti, Pennsylvania State University Millennium Science Complex (Industrial and Manufacturing Processes and Facilities);  H2M Group: Holzmacher, McLendon & Murrell, Treatment Online in Advance of Impending Plume; and URS/HAKS Joint Venture, New Croton Aqueduct Rehabilitation (Water Resources); KLD Engineering, Queensboro Bridge/Tramway MPT Modeling & Analysis; and Sam Schwartz Engineering, BQE Enhancement Study (Studies, Research and Consulting); Gannett Fleming Engineers and Architects, Searchable Property Environmental E-Database (SPEED) (Surveying and Mapping Technology); and Watts Architecture & Engineering, Richardson Olmsted Complex Stabilization (Environmental)…

The longlist for the WAN 21for21 Award 2012 includes nARCHITECTS, Andre Kikoski Architect, Terreform, and HL23 by Neil M. Denari Architects…The nominees for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant Design include Design Bureaux for Boulud-on-the-Bowery DBGB Kitchen and Bar; Bentel & Bentel for Le Bernardin; and Glen & Company for Miguel Sanchez‘s Romera…

Richard Meier, FAIA, will be presented with the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award on April 19…John Belle, FAIA, of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, will receive The New York Landmarks Conservancy Preservation Leadership Award on April 25…

Huntsman Architectural Group has hired Olaf E. Coerper, AIA, as Director of Architecture for the firm’s New York office…Lilker Associates Consulting Engineers announced that Steven Hammer, P.E., LEED AP, and David Tanenbaum, P.E., LEED AP, have been named senior vice presidents…


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.) is investing in architecture.—What are the trends? —Issues: generational; demographic; sustainability; technology. —Case studies
Submit story ideas by 07.27.12

04.15.12 Call for Entries: Solutia World of Color Awards International Design Competition

04.16.12 Call for Entries: International Architectural Ideas Competition— National Museum of Afghanistan

04.30.12 Call for Entries: CTBUH Best Tall Building Awards 2012

05.01.12 Applications Due: Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals

05.04.12 Call for Nominations: Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs Medal

05.31.12 Call for Entries: Arquideas — Landscape, Architecture & Wine Academic Competition

06.30.12 Call for Entries: New Economy Class Layout (Boeing 787)

07.01.12 Call for Submissions: Land Art Generator Initiative Design Competition

07.31.12 Call for Nominations: 2012 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize

03.22.12 – 03.26.12: David Rockwell, AIA, designed a dining environment for the 2012 DIFFA Dining by Design event.


A monochromatic design scheme for the table, covered in melted wax and illuminated by candles, was offset by vibrant pillows made of David Rockwell’s new Spotlight fabric collection for Jim Thompson.

Rockwell Group/Blandon Belushin

03.27.12: An opening reception was held for the exhibition “A Plague Remembered: AIDS Memorial Design Competition,” on view at the Center for Architecture through 04.11.12.


Paul Kelterborn, co-founder, AIDS Memorial Park and a project manager for Public Programs at the Municipal Art Society of New York, with Keith Fox, Chairman, AIDS Memorial Park and President, McGraw-Hill Construction; and Christopher Tepper, co-founder, AIDS Memorial Park and Director of Development and Planning at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation helped celebrate the opening of the exhibition A Plague Remembered: AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition, on view at the Center for Architecture March 27 to April 11, 2012.

Kristen Richards

03.28.12: Ten members of the AIA New York Chapter were elevated by the AIA College of Fellows. A reception was held at the Center for Architecture to honor their achievements.


Timothy Allanbrook, FAIA
Kevin Bone, FAIA
Mary A. Burke, FAIA, IIDA
Richard A. Cook, FAIA
Umberto Dindo, FAIA
Steven Holl, FAIA
Daniel John Kaplan, FAIA
Joyce S. Lee, FAIA, LEED AP
Jonathan J. Marvel, FAIA
Marion Weiss, FAIA (not pictured)

Kristen Richards

03.29.12: Storefront for Art and Architecture hosted Red/Read, the organization’s 2012 Spring Benefit, in the Woolworth Building’s lobby.

The lobby and the building’s spire were awash in red light.

Tomaz Capobianco

Honorees Bernard Tschumi, FAIA, and Barbara Kruger

Carly Otness/MACKME.COM

04.04.12: FIGMENT’s signature fundraising gala, Groundbreaking, broke records for a good time at Andy Warhol’s Factory.


Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, City of Dreams Pavilion Director and former ENYA co-chair, with FIGMENT Executive Producer David Koren.

Kristen Richards

04.04.12: As part of the Oculus Book Talk series, architecture and design critic Alexandra Lange presented her new book, Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities.


(L-R): Oculus Committee Chair Guy Geier, FAIA, FIIDA, LEED AP; Alexandra Lange; and Kirsten Sibilia, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, past Oculus Committee chair.

Kristen Richards

04.05.12: A celebration was held in Tafel Hall at the Center for Architecture to mark the 10th “ANNiversary” of ArchNewsNow.COM, a daily newsletter and webzine founded by Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA (and editor of Oculus!).


AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA (left), and AIANY President Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, presented Richards with a Chapter Proclamation.

Tami Hausman


Fred Schwartz, FAIA, and Tracey Hummer of Frederic Schwartz Architect give a congratulatory hug to Richards.


Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA, with NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Robert Tierney.

04.07.12: Preparations were in the works for the April 4th opening of “No Longer Empty,” a multimedia installation by numerous artists, including Mel Chin, Martine Fougeron, and Esperanza Mayobre, as part of “This Side of Paradise.” Organized by Manon Slome and Naomi Herrson Ringskog at the Andrew Freedman House at 1125 Grand Concourse in the Bronx, the exhibition runs through June 5th. See for more details.

Rick Bell, FAIA