Mindy Fullilove, a research psychiatrist at New York State University Psychiatric Institute and a professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University, will serve as the new Public Director for the AIA Board of Directors from December 2012 to 2015…

The 2012 MHN Excellence Award winners include: Aire by Handel Architects, Best New Development: High-Rise (Gold); TEN23 by Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects, Best New Development: High Rise (Silver); Via Verde by Dattner Architects and Grimshaw, Best New Development: Affordable/Workforce (Gold); and 220 Water Street by Perkins Eastman, Best New Development: Adaptive Reuse (Gold)…

The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) honored David M. Childs, FAIA, as the inaugural recipient of the George M. White Award for Excellence in Public Architecture…The Society of Architectural Historians announced the launch of a new awards program, to be inaugurated at the SAH Awards Gala in Chicago, 11.10.12; other recipients include Gwendolyn Wright, Associate Professor of Architecture & Planning at Columbia University…

The Rockefeller Foundation announced the recipients of the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal: Ronald Shiffman, Rosanne Haggerty, Carl Skelton, and the team from iobyErin Barnes, Brandon Whitney, and Cassie Flynn

Zetlin & De Chiara announced that Partners Michael S. Zetlin, AIANY Legal Counsel and ex officio, Michael K. De Chiara, Raymond T. Mellon, Carol J. Patterson and Michael J. Vardaro have again been named top construction litigation attorneys in New York by Super Lawyers Magazine, and for the second year, Associate Principal Jaimee Nardiello has been named a New York Rising Star…

Perkins Eastman announced that Cindy Froggatt has joined the firm as an Associate Principal…HLW New York announced the appointment of Jennifer Brayer as Partner-in-Charge of the office…Mancini•Duffy/TSC welcomes Fran Ferrone as Director of Workplace Innovation, and James Brucz as Senior Workplace Consultant for the Center for Workplace Innovation (CWI) segment of the practice…HLB announced that Jeffrey Miller, FIALD, has re-joined its New York studio as a Design Principal focused on business development…

2013 OCULUS Editorial Calendar Announced!
The Oculus 2013 Editorial Calendar has been set. If you are an architect by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated in the calendar to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA: kristen@ArchNewsNow.com. Note: 2013 marks the 75th Anniversary of Oculus (launched 1938!), and 10th Anniversary of the magazine’s current iteration.

Reminder: The Center for Architecture is currently accepting applications for the Stewardson Keefe LeBrun Travel Grant. Application Deadline: Thursday, 11/01/2012, 5:00pm


10.26.12 Call for Entries: 60th Annual P/A Awards—Architect Magazine

10.31.12 Call for Entries: The Battery Conservancy: Draw up a Chair Americas Design Competition – Portable Outdoor Seating for the Battery

10.31.12 Call for Entries: Architectural Record One Millionth CEU Test-Taker Sweepstakes

10.31.12 Call for Entries: Generation Kingspan Student Architectural Design Competition

11.01.12 Call for Applications: 2013 Rome Prize Fellowships—American Academy in Rome

11.01.12 Call for Entries: Building Trust International Open Photography Competition: “Developing World – Digital World”

11.01.12 Call for Papers: 50th IMCL Conference on Reshaping Suburbia into Complete Healthy Communities, Portland, OR, 06.23.13 – 06.27.13

11.01.12 Call for Submissions: 2013 World Habitat Awards

11.05.12 Call for Submissions: RIBA Open Ideas Competition: Re-imagining York’s Guildhall Complex

11.16.12 Request for Applications: 2013 Sustainable Design
Assessment Team Program (SDAT)

11.16.12 Call for Submissions: NYCEDC “Change the Course” – The NYC Waterfront Construction Competition

11.20.12 Call for Entries: Street Seats Design Challenge: Design Furniture for Boston’s Fort Point Channel

11.23.12 Call for Entries: 2012 Palladio Awards Honoring Excellence in Traditional Design

11.30.12 Call for Entries: Sherwin-Williams Emerald Paint Design Contest

11.30.12 Call for Submissions: Detroit by Design 2012: Detroit Riverfront Competition

12.01.12 Call for Entries: 2013 Berkeley Prize Essay Competition – The Architect and the Accessible City

12.07.12 Call for Entries: USITT 2013 “Ideal Theatre” Student Design Competition for Architecture and Theatre Students

12.10.12 Call for Applications: 2013 Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence

12.15.12 Call for Entries: 2012 Western Red Cedar Architectural Design Awards

[Ongoing] Call for Applications: TH!NK:Art+Architecture Design-build Camp, Abetenim Arts Village, Ghana

10.18.12: Robert Selsam, Senior Vice President, Boston Properties is a 2012 Heritage Ball honoree. Mr. Selsam spoke about the entire development process of 250 West 55th Street, the new one million SF office building by Boston Properties nearing completion on 8th Avenue from 54th to 55th Streets.

Robert Selsam

Daniel Fox

10.22.12: Iris Weinshall, Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning, Construction and Management, City University of New York is a 2012 Heritage Ball honoree. Ms. Weinshall moderated a dialogue at the Center for Architecture with CUNY assistant directors Risa Honig, AIA; Max Pizer, AIA; and David Salmon, who manage architects assigned to different colleges at CUNY.

Iris Weinshall

Daniel Fox

10.23.12: Cesar Pelli, FAIA, Senior Principal, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects is a 2012 Heritage Ball honoree. In his lecture, Mr. Pelli commented on projects that have been significant in his career and at different stages of his life.

(r) Cesar Pelli, FAIA, with Rafael Pelli, AIA, LEED AP.

Laura Trimble

10.24.12: Joshua David and Robert Hammond, Co-Founders, Friends of the High Line, are 2012 Heritage Ball honorees. On 10.24, Joshua David gave a first-hand tour of the celebrated elevated park.

(c) Joshua David gives speaks to the group.

Julie Trebault

10.04-10.06.12: Big Sibs, a group of the largest AIA urban chapters with more than 1,000 architect members, met this year in Houston, TX.

2012 AIANY President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, with Susan and Raymond Brochstein, FAIA, at the Brochstein Pavilion, Rice University. The Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion was designed by Thomas Phifer & Partners.

Rick Bell, FAIA

10.02.12: The SoHo showroom of Poltrona Frau hosted a reception to celebrate the start of Archtober and the Architecture and Design Film Festival.

Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director, with Peter Marino, FAIA.

Center for Architecture

10.03.12: The annual desigNYC exhibition opening party introduced Recharging Communities, an exhibition of 15 collaborations between nonprofits and designers improving lives of New Yorkers.

(l-r) Anne Rieselbach; Andy Bernheimer; Granger Moorhead; Evan Bennett; and Steve Hoffman

Gabriele Gordon

10.10.12: Richard Meier, FAIA, was congratulated by Alexander Gorlin, FAIA, for receiving Decoration and Design Building’s Stars of Design Lifetime Achievement award at a grand fete at the D&D Building.

Kristen Richards

10.9.12: The Center for Architecture Foundation hosted a launch event at The Jimmy for its architectural guide of the NYC skyline in partnership with the James Hotel.

(l-r) CFAF Lead Design Educator Tim Hayduk, CFAF President-Elect Joe Tortorella, PE, CFAF Development and Operations Coordinator Alice Stryker, CFAF Board member Susan Appel, CFAF Program and Marketing Manager Eveline Chang, CFAF Board member John Simoni.

Center for Architecture Foundation

(l-r) David Roccosalva, Director of New Business at Buro Happold and CFAF Board member Tom Krizmanic, AIA.

Center for Architecture Foundation

10.17.12: The annual Arthur M. Rosenblatt Memorial Lecture was delivered by Craig Dykers, AIA, Senior Partner Snohetta, on the topic of “Being Alone Together: Managing the Museum as Mausoleum Syndrome.”

Dykers ponders the chicken/egg conundrum.

Kristen Richards

(l-r) Rick Bell FAIA, Paul Rosenblatt AIA, Elaine Molinar, Barbara Spandorf, AIA, Stan Ries, Craig Dykers AIA, and Ann Marie Baranowski, AIA.

Kristen Richards

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced the winner of the “NYC Best for Business Infographic Competition 2012” by Sara Matiz, principal at MAD Studio / Matiz Architecture & Design.

Sara Matiz/MAD Studio

A note from Oculus: The digital edition of Oculus Fall 2012 – “Learning Curve” – is now online! Click here to learn about collaborations between New York architects and educators, and see the impact design has on both teachers and students.

The Oculus 2013 Editorial Calendar has been set. If you are an architect by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! Projects/topics may be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas by the deadlines indicated in the calendar to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA: kristen@ArchNewsNow.com.

Note: 2013 marks the 75th Anniversary of Oculus (launched 1938!), and 10th Anniversary of the magazine’s current iteration.

Regeneration along the Banks of the River

Amanda Schachter, AIA, and Alexander Levi, AIA, SLO Architecture, presenting at Axor NYC.

Berit Hoff

Renderings of Bronx River Right-of-Way

Courtesy SLO Architecture

Courtesy SLO Architecture

Event: Bronx River Right-of-Way: Presentation by SLO Architecture
Location: Axor NYC, 09.27.12
Speakers: Amanda Schachter, AIA, and Alexander Levi, AIA, SLO Architecture
Organizers: New Practices Committee, AIA New York Chapter
Underwriters: Axor Hansgrohe; NRI
Patrons: Sure Iron Works; Thornton Tomasetti
Supporter: Samson Rope
Media Sponsor: The Architect’s Newspaper

New York is emerging from the cocoon of its industrial past. Its citizens have begun to realize the true value of abundant and varied natural resources, and they are taking action. No longer will waterways be used exclusively as transportation networks for goods, or the dumping grounds for pollutants. Instead, New Yorkers have embraced the notion that these features actively contribute to their quality of life.

Such is undoubtedly the case with the Bronx River. This underappreciated waterway wends through some of the more historic and attractive parts of the borough. It suffered from decades of neglect, however, as it became trash-littered and inaccessible from many surrounding neighborhoods. Fortunately, the river has experienced a recent renaissance engendered by curious kayakers, concerned residents, and dedicated urbanists.

Amanda Schachter, AIA, and Alexander Levi, AIA, principals of SLO Architecture, certainly fall into the latter category. Through a series of advocacy projects focused on the Bronx River, these architects have sought to draw attention to the waterway and the historic structures that surround it. Their most recent initiative involves the Cass Gilbert-designed Westchester Avenue rail depot for the now-defunct New York, New Haven, and Hartford Line.

Commissioned by no less a Gilded Age titan than J.P. Morgan, this structure has sat derelict above tracks – now owned by Amtrak – since the bankruptcy of the train line in the the late 1930s. As a variety of different infrastructural networks exploded immediately adjacent to the station, the beautiful steel, masonry, and polychromed terracotta structure became utterly isolated from the surrounding community. Ironically, Schachter and Levi first noticed the building not while wandering around the neighborhood on foot, but while kayaking on the Bronx River.

Independent of SLO Architecture’s projects, local community groups began lobbying for the development of a new green space along the river’s banks. This effort resulted in the creation of Concrete Plant Park in 2006, immediately adjacent to the Westchester Avenue station. Access to the park, however, is difficult, and it lacks such basic facilities as public bathrooms. Seizing the opportunity to refresh a historic structure, while simultaneously providing amenities to the growing Bronx River waterfront greenbelt, SLO proposes to use the station as a new access point and activity space for Concrete Plant Park.

Perhaps surprisingly, SLO does not intend to restore the edifice in the conventional manner. Instead, the architects want to shift the functional focus of the building by bifurcating its component parts and relocating one of them to the riverfront. The existing grand foyer will remain in situ, where it will act as a triumphal entry to the park. It will also contain restrooms and other service facilities. The former waiting room will be lifted off of its concrete pad above the Amtrak rails and reconstituted on a series of delicate columns planted in the river. Hovering over the water, this structure will serve as an accessory space for education and other park functions. The two parts of the station will be connected by a walkway with a bulbous and diaphanous safety cage.

Levi and Schachter admitted that many of the architectural questions raised by such a substantial adaptive reuse scheme remain unanswered. As they explained it, they are seeking public support for the project before they commit to a final design. As a result, SLO’s proposal for the Westchester Avenue Station seems to function best as a playful and thoughtful act of committed urbanism. As the Bronx recovers its waterfront patrimony, one hopes to see similarly unorthodox and idealistic designs blossoming along the river’s edge.

Best Schools Build Both Community and Curriculum

Sam Lahoz

A view of the hanging desks in the Center’s double-height space.

Sam Lahoz

Guests listen to the “talking heads” of contemporary education and learning theoreticians.

Sam Lahoz

Thomas Mellins, curator, “The Edgeless School” and Juulia Kauste, director, Museum of Finnish Architecture, and project leader, “The Best School in the World,” in front of a panel from “The Best School.”

Sam Lahoz

Event: Press preview and opening: “The Edgeless School: Design for Learning” and “The Best School in the World: Seven Finnish Examples from the 21st Century
Location: Center for Architecture, 10.01.2012
Introduction: Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY executive director
Speakers: Thomas Mellins, curator, “The Edgeless School”; Juulia Kauste, director, Museum of Finnish Architecture, and project leader, “The Best School in the World”; Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, President, AIANY; Jukka Pietikäinen, Consul General and Ambassador, Consulate General of Finland
Sponsors: Duggal, Hyperakt, Shaw Contract Group, Waldners (underwriters); Avery Dennison, MechoSystems (patrons); Ennead Architects, F.J. Sciame Construction, Levien & Company (sponsors); Bonetti/Kozerski, Lutron Electronics, Turner Construction Company (supporters); and 2012 AIANY Chapter Inaugural Fund: Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (patron); Beyer Blinder Belle, Forest City Ratner Companies, Mancini Duffy|TSC, New York City School Construction Authority, Perkins Eastman, STV Group, and Thornton Tomasetti (sponsors); ASSA ABLOY, Cameron Engineering, Cosentini Associates, DeLaCour & Ferrara Architects, E-J Electric Installation Co., Ennead Architects, F.J. Sciame Construction Co., FXFOWLE, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, Jack Resnick & Sons, JAM Consultants, JLS Industries, Knoll, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Lend Lease, Milrose Consultants, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Syska Hennessy Group, Vanguard Construction & Development Co., Viridian Energy & Environmental / Israel Berger and Associates, and World Trade Center Properties (supporters)
Organizers, “Edgeless School”: AIANY in collaboration with the Committee on Architecture for Education and the Center for Architecture Foundation
Senior Research Consultant: Edith Ackermann, Ph.D., Visiting Scientist, MIT School of Architecture
Exhibition Design: Sage and Coombe Architects
Graphic Design: Hyperakt
Organizers, “Best School”: Museum of Finnish Architecture, as part of New Finnish Design CITY campaign, produced by the Consulate General of Finland and the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York

My high school was a 1960s experimental “pod school” gone wrong. A maze of hallways connected clusters of hexagons, which were divided by flimsy partitions into windowless classrooms. Recently, the building was demolished to make way for a newer model, and I admit that I didn’t feel very sentimental when I saw photos of those pods split open by the wrecking ball.

While I can’t blame the awkwardness of my teenage years entirely on the shortcomings of my school’s design, many architects and educators believe that environment makes a difference in students’ test scores and social skills. To kick off Archtober, the Center for Architecture hosted an opening reception for two new exhibitions showcasing the latest developments in K-12 design in the U.S. and Finland, respectively titled “The Edgeless School: Design for Learning” and “The Best School in the World: Seven Finnish Examples from the 21st Century.”

“The Edgeless School” exhibition occupies both the Center’s main level and mezzanine, featuring drawings, photographs and models of 17 schools recently constructed in New York and across the U.S. The notion of “edgelessness,” explained curator Thomas Mellins, involves blurring traditional distinctions: spaces are multi-purpose instead dedicated, desk configurations are non-static instead of typical grids, glass walls blur indoor and outdoor spaces, and funding often comes from a combination of both public and private sources.

There are no pod schools here. The designs on display offer new takes on the traditional building blocks of schools. Typical locker-lined hallways meant only for circulation have been reinvented to encourage lingering; they are wide and well-lit with built-in seating. Classrooms reflect the shift from the teacher as authoritarian figure at the front of the room to a facilitator of ideas who moves easily throughout the space and guides students’ exploration.

These exemplary new American schools reflect concepts that the Finns have long applied in designing their educational spaces. “The Best School in the World” exhibition, located in the Center’s adjoining storefront at 532 LaGuardia, portrays seven contemporary Finnish schools through photographs, models, and drawings, supplemented by a video on the history of the country’s school system.

Finnish students have consistently excelled in standard testing, and it’s not a stretch to see how their environments have helped them succeed. “We have a very long tradition of believing in the idea that the environment is key to [fostering] learning,” shared Juulia Kauste, director of The Museum of Finnish Architecture.

Though the two exhibitions were organized independently and initially appear as juxtapositions, viewers will likely find many common threads and begin to understand the dialogue generated between American and Finnish school design. “The social conditions may be a little bit different, but we’re learning from each other,” affirmed Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director.

Putting the Pleasure Back in Americans’ Favorite Guilty Pleasure

The 2013 Ford Fusion parked outside the Center for Architecture.

Daniel Fox

(l-r) Donald Albrecht, Jill Lerner, FAIA, Jeff Nield, and Rick Bell, FAIA

Daniel Fox

Event: Fords and Architecture
Location: Center for Architecture, 10.03.2012
Speakers: Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director, AIANY (moderator); Jeff Nield, Manager, Strategic Design Vision and Futuring, Ford Motor Company; Jill Lerner, FAIA, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox; Donald Albrecht, Curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of the City of New York; Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, LEED, Managing Director, AIANY (introduction)
Organizers: Ford Motor Company and AIANY
Sponsor: Ford Motor Company

We know what they do to the atmosphere, to cities, to human lungs and bones. The conundrum is that cars are still not only indispensable in most of the U.S. – both for individuals wanting full participation in civic life and for the economy in general – but, at their best, unavoidably cool. If the U.S. auto industry can adapt successfully to an era when buyers value sustainability and efficiency as well as horsepower, suggested a special Archtober panel, it’ll be in part because of design that revives the mojo of iconic ’65 Mustangs and ’57 Thunderbirds and confers it on advanced vehicles as well: hybrids, electrics, maybe even autonomous models.

Even in a city where the dominant mobility choice is pedestrian – and in an era of climate change, green urbanism, PlaNYC, and widespread awareness of the downsides of Robert Moses-era urban design – few of us are immune to the appeal of a well-designed car. Automotive design helped inspire Le Corbusier imagine his “machines for living”; the streamlined contours of buildings by Jørn Utzon, Ai Weiwei, Herzog & de Meuron, and others, as Ford’s photo installation in Tafel Hall for this event made clear, bear unmistakable resemblances to Detroit’s signature product.

As opening remarks by Rick Bell, FAIA, suggested, architectural and automotive design both strive for the Vitruvian virtues of firmness, commodity, and delight. Cars, he noted, help define national and personal images; “people still define themselves by what they drive,” expressing values from their first car onward. His unavoidable pun on cold fusion, a long-sought holy grail among physicists, generates the phrase “cool fusion,” a concept whose implications extend well beyond the name of an advanced model.

With an icy-green new Fusion parked tantalizingly in front of the Center for Architecture, implying that future hybrids can be not only as eco-responsible as a Prius but as sporty as an Aston Martin (this model definitely looked like it could accommodate the 007 twin-machine-gun option), three architects and a Ford designer offered an invited audience their insights into common ground between these realms.

Donald Albrecht, curator of the Museum of the City’s recent “Cars, Culture, and the City” exhibition, spoke of his first car (a 1969 Volvo) in terms of the minimalism of Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche, along with outlining the linkages between Henry Ford’s assembly lines and modern office procedures.

Jill Lerner, FAIA (first car, a Ford Pinto), recalled working on Detroit’s Walter B. Ford College for Creative Studies, a design academy with a strong pipeline into the automotive field. She not only finds parallels between the two professions in the areas of aesthetics and emotional connection, but notes that technological advances commonly migrate between them (neoprene seals, for example, were developed by the auto industry, then applied to buildings’ fenestration). Comparing the energy-performance monitoring of a Prius to smart-building technologies that offer occupants informative feedback and control, she suggested a series of developments along multiple dimensions related to individual options (e.g., family-scale fleets of multiple cars for specific purposes). Mass customization, diversification, and precise information management, it seems, have thoroughly replaced the standardization embodied by Ford’s Model T.

Ford’s Jeff Nield also underscored parallel aims between architects and auto designers, noting that “in both cases, you want to put a person or a group of people in an environment that they’re comfortable in for a long period of time.” Responding to inquiries about cars’ adaptation to changing demographics, he described “how to get more out of less” as a high-priority aim at Ford; just as “a skyscraper is a brilliant solution to having a very small footprint,” automakers are maximizing efficiencies in spatial footprint, fuel use, and other variables.

A recurring theme, however, was that beauty trumps rationality in people’s relations to cars. “We’re differentiating ourselves,” Nield said, through “studying what makes a beautiful automobile timeless. We want our products to stand the test of time visually and aesthetically. Our goal right now at Ford is to design beautiful cars that customers fall in love with. And underneath that is a very impressive efficiency and power-train story, but that is really where our design director J Mays is taking the brand. We’re at a time where we can be responsible but also have the romantic and dramatic vehicle.”

There is much to say, and much being said elsewhere, about the auto’s history of crowding other mobility options out of public space; about externalities and subsidies; about urban driver behavior and accountability. Your humble reporter (full disclosure: first car, 1970 Ford Maverick; second car, ditto; current ride, antique Fuji 12-speed) found it refreshing, on this occasion, to step aside from those concerns and consider beauty for a while. It’s essential to nearly everyone’s experience of built space, whether that space stands still or rolls; though it’s an off-limits topic in some circles, it’s at the center of auto designers’ thinking. No serious consideration of transportation can ignore it.

Audience comments, particularly by Dale Cohen, Assoc. AIA, and Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, returned to factors that make people fall in or out of love with cars: no car of the last two decades, Cohen noted, inspires the love we gave up for classic T-birds, and Zipcars, Brown suggested, offer alternatives to the “psychological baggage” of auto ownership. The 2013 Fusion, Nield suggests, is the American hybrid with a chance to reintroduce romance.

On the other hand, the Zipcar system may make serial flings preferable to automotive monogamy altogether. Technologies like the Google Driverless Car are providing reasons to rethink whether the individual experience of driving is all that lovable anyway; perhaps it’s become dull enough to delegate to robots. At any rate, the most admirable vehicles, as with buildings, will be the ones that respond to a broad, complex definition of beauty.

Sleepless in Saratoga

Jill Lerner, FAIA, Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, and Susan Chin, FAIA, at the Racing Museum

Rick Bell, FAIA

Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, Peter Marino, FAIA, and Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP

Rick Bell, FAIA

People generally go to Saratoga for the waters, the racing, or for Skidmore College. Last month there was another reason: the AIA New York State Convention, held at the Hilton downtown near Caroline Street. We’ll come back to Caroline Street – and return to Saratoga, especially since it is possible to go up and back on one of the best trains in the country. Amtrak – who knew? – has a “superliner” or “VistaDome” car north of Albany on the route to Montreal. A glazed-roof train car provided Mary Burke, FAIA, Margaret Castillo, AIA, Abby Suckle, FAIA, and this correspondent an utterly new and different vantage point of the fall foliage, the bucolic landscape, and the upper Hudson. Starting a trip to a congregation of AIA stalwarts in this unconventional manner put the sojourn in an entirely different perspective. The AIA New York Chapter delegation was spearheaded by 2012 President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, and President-elect Jill Lerner, FAIA.

The opening reception took place at the extraordinary National Museum of Racing. With a collection of racing memorabilia, artifacts, and artwork, the museum also had everything from a real starting gate to a skeleton of a horse in motion.

The 30th AIANYS Annual Convention was organized by AIANYS Past President David Businelli, AIA, along with Dan Wilson, AIA, David Pacheco, AIA, and Jeffrey Morris, AIA, from AIA Eastern New York. It was animated by the robust presence of Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and the communication skills of President-elect Eric Goshow, AIA. Three extraordinary keynote speakers punctuated the three days. The first of the lectures, “Building an International Practice,” was given by Peter Marino, FAIA, looking hip and hungry in black leather. He shared war stories, anecdotes, and tips, such as “speak the language,” while describing how his practice has succeeded in countries all over the world. When one’s clients are the major fashion houses of the world – think Chanel – hanging with celebrities doesn’t hurt, nor does being on the cover of L’Uomo Vogue back in December 2009. Peter’s advice, however, was relevant to firms small and large, no matter what their client base. It dealt with empathy, outreach, and flair – distinguishing characteristics of his career and that of others who would wish to succeed in the global economy.

(l-r) Nancy Goshow, AIA, Helene Dreiling, FAIA, Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and Susan Chin, FAIA

Rick Bell, FAIA

Andy Frankl (center) receiving award with (r-l) Ed Farrell, Kelly Hayes McAlone, AIA, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, and Rick Bell, FAIA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

Bracketing the opener was the closing keynote by Eric Cesal, who studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and has worked in Haiti with Architecture for Humanity. The author of Down Detour Road, Eric spelled out the steps by which architects and designers can engage their communities to make a difference. The third impressive keynote was by Billy Procida, president of Procida Advisors LLC, who suggested that architects “crossover to the other side” and test their skills at development.

Of the 44 programs, two that particularly stood out were on areas of practice. One, by Robert Lopez, RA, head of the State Board of Architecture in the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department, was called “Understanding Permissible Corporate Entities and the New Design Professional Corporation Laws in NYS.” It packed the room with those eager to learn more about the implications of recent changes in State regulations pertaining to firm ownership, and the basic tenets of the corporate practice prohibitions in New York.

Nancy Goshow, AIA, longtime co-chair of the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee, organized a panel discussion that brought together Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and Susan Chin, FAIA. Helene is newly elected as AIA’s national president for 2014; Kelly, apart from her AIANYS leadership, is interim assistant vice president in the Capital Planning Group of the University of Buffalo; and Susan heads the Design Trust for Public Space, and was recently elected an AIA National Vice President. Issues discussed included gender and generational perspectives, and the change in the nature of architectural employment in private sector firms, academia, and public agencies. Despite the fact that currently women comprise 40% of enrollees in schools of architecture, only 25% of architects in this country are women, and 17% are AIA members. This panel of accomplished architects discussed the challenges of being women in practice, at home and in the AIA. The first questions came from some of the men in the room, including former AIANY Presidents Walter Hunt, FAIA, and Tony Schirripa, FAIA. The most important concluding remarks, however, came from Nicolette Feldser, Assoc. AIA, the associate director on the AIANYS Board, who noted that the Convention was poorly attended by younger members. Costly and largely mid-week, many Associates who might have benefited from the discussions and debates were effectively locked out. Maybe this can change in Syracuse next year – so save the dates of September 25-27, 2013.

The Convention’s trade show brought 89 vendors and distributors to Saratoga whose products or services were new to many architects attending. Many of those taking booths from upstate companies were relatively unfamiliar, but very accessible – for example Hubbell Galvanizing. Familiar faces with new technologies to offer included folks from Marvin Windows, Oldcastle, and Schindler, among many others. It was gratifying to see downstate companies, such as B&B Sheet Metal from Long Island City, represented by Gretchen Cobb, engaging with those specializing in preservation practice in New York City. The most sought-after giveaway of the show, apart from product information necessary for our designs, was the elegant umbrella from Belgium-based Buzon Pedestal International; with its canvas case and “brelli” logo, it came in handy during the misty weekend.

Business of a different order was conducted at both the AIANYS Board Meeting and subsequent Annual Meeting. At the former, the State Component’s Strategic Plan was formally adopted. Described as a “living document,” it will undoubtedly be seen in conjunction with the developing “repositioning” endeavor of AIA National.

At the Annual Meeting, Raymond Beeler, AIA, was elected to be 2014 AIANYS President in an uncontested election that testified to the respect he has garnered as the Board’s Vice President of Public Advocacy. The replacement for Ray Beeler as VP will be Mary Burke, FAIA, whose campaign speech and thoughtful reflections on priorities of engagement helped assure her election despite the qualifications and service of Randolph Collins, AIA, who promises to stay involved with outreach efforts. Mary and Randy worked together on the design of the new office space for AIA New York State in downtown Albany.

Sarah Caples, AIA, and Everardo Jefferson, AIA, receiving award from Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

(r) Julie Ann Engh, Assoc. AIA, receiving award from (l) Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA, and (c) Raymond Beeler, AIA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

(l) Karen Kubey, Assoc. AIA, receiving award from (r) Kelly Hayes McAlonie, AIA.

Rick Bell, FAIA

Service awards were conferred to many AIANY Chapter members throughout the three day convention. These included Caples Jefferson (Firm of the Year); Julie Ann Engh, Assoc. AIA (Intern – Associate Award); Andy Frankl of Ibex Construction (Honorary AIANYS); Walter A. Hunt, Jr., FAIA (Jame William Kideney Gold Medal Award); Paul Segal, FAIA (Fellows Award); and Abby Suckle, FAIA (President’s Award). Friends of the High Line, represented at the ceremony by Erycka Montoya Pérez, won the Community Development Award. Michael Sorkin, who won the Educator Award, was not able to attend, having fractured his ankle on a slippery New York City sidewalk; his prepared remarks were abbreviated for delivery, but his regret communicated. Kate Spata also received the Student Award in absentia, as she is currently studying in Barcelona.

Student awards – and small scholarship checks augmented by an AIA National matching grant – were received by many attending NYC architectural schools, including Mia Zinni (Columbia University); Jeremy Jacinth (The Cooper Union); Robert Conway & Greg Thomas (NYIT); and Charlotte Ensign & Samuel Weston (Parsons The New School for Design). Karen Kubey, Assoc. AIA, was the first-ever recipient of the AIANYS ARE Scholarship, created to recognize Associate AIA members who have made significant contributions at an early stage in their career.

The annual black-tie gala provided the opportunity to celebrate design excellence, with many prize-winning projects designed by AIANY Chapter members, including: Adamson; Morris Adjimi; ARO; Bentel & Bentel; Cook+Fox; Cooper Joseph; CUH2A; Debra Berke; daSilva; Davis Brody Bond; François de Menil; Diller Scofidio + Renfro; Ennead Architects; Fielder Marciano; FXFOWLE; GF55; Gruzen Samton IBI Group; Handel Architects; Hanrahan Meyers; HLWInternational; Jaklitsch/Gardner; Kohn Pedersen Fox; LTL; Peter Marino; Audrey Matlock; NBBJ; Pei Cobb Freed; Port Authority of NY & NJ; Rice+Lipka; Rockwell Group; Frederic Schwartz; SHoP Architects; Smith-Miller Hawkinson; Snøhetta; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Studio Garneau; Tsao+McKown; and Unitedlab.

For me, the closing highlight of the trip was the first tour I have ever taken during an AIA Convention. It was of the Saratoga Race Course, which dates back to 1847. The tour was led by Samantha Bosshart of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, Charles Wheeler, Jr., manager of Planning and Community Relations for the New York Racing Association, and Michael Phinney, AIA, of the Phinney Design Group. We had access from grandstand to stable, from the Woodford Reserve Lounge to the muddy practice course, where those horses not yet en route to southern fields ran for a group of architects mesmerized by the motion, standing in the rain, thinking of the Travers and the history of connection between species.

And yes, at the train station going home, it was possible to buy a bottle of Saratoga Spring Water, available since 1872.

In the News

In this issue:
• Bienvenido, Willkommen, Huan Ying to JFK
• Upscaling the Plaza District
• WXY Designs for WNYC Transmitter Park
• Designing for Social Innovation
• New Bridge Segues the Two Campuses of Lincoln Center
• An Aggressively Passive House


Bienvenido, Willkommen, Huan Ying to JFK

Courtesy Gensler

Courtesy Gensler

JetBlue recently broke ground on a 145,000-square-foot addition to Terminal 5 (T5) for international arrivals at JFK. Designed by Gensler, the space is a seamless extension to the firm’s existing T5, which opened in 2008, and designed to welcome travelers to the United States in a bright, clear environment that will streamline the travel experience. The extension includes the conversion of three existing gates to international swing gates and the addition of three new international swing gates. In addition, the terminal will include a new security checkpoint, an immigration hall, five new holdrooms, and two new baggage claims. Scheduled to open in 2015, the project is being built in collaboration with Arup, Turner Construction, and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.


Upscaling the Plaza District

dbox for Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners has been selected to redesign 425 Park Avenue. The conceptual design for the 650,000-square-foot, 687-foot-tall structure calls for a tapered steel-frame tower rising to meet illuminated sheer walls. The design also features a façade that seamlessly integrates with an internal arrangement that allows for three gradated tiers of column-free floors, defined by landscaped terraces. At street level, the design has the potential for a large civic plaza and a home for significant works of art. Project developers L&L Holding Company and Lehman Brothers Holdings say construction is expected to start in 2015 and be completed by the end of 2017. The building will replace the c. 1957, 380-foot-tall white brick International Style building designed by Kahn & Jacobs.


WXY Designs for WNYC Transmitter Park

Courtesy WXY Architecture + Urban Design

© Amy Barkow

© Ken Taranto

Set on the former location of two transmitter towers, the 1.6-acre WNYC Transmitter Park in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn recently opened. Developed in partnership with the Department of Parks & Recreation, AECOM‘s Donna Walcavage, FASLA, planned and designed the park, and WXY Architecture + Urban Design collaborated on the design of park’s furnishings and structural elements. The design team uncovered an old boat slip and incorporated it into the design of a footbridge that provides access across the park as well as for viewing the tidal waters below. The park features WXY’s River Bench system, a durable and attractive curvilinear bench type with myriad possible configurations, the Z Rail, a modern steel railing installed for safety at the water’s edge along the esplanade and all along the pier, and the 2030 Drinking Fountain, which minimizes water waste by emphasizing the use of refillable bottles and by catching splash.


Designing for Social Innovation

© Kevin Chu

© Kevin Chu

Spacesmith has completed the home for the School of Visual Arts’ (SVA) new program, “Design for Social Innovation” (DSI). At the heart of the 5,000-square-foot-space is a circular, 55-seat auditorium equipped with audio-visual capabilities for presentations, screenings, lectures, and symposiums. The interior of the curved wall is clad in perforated gypsum board panels; the outer walls are finished with magnetic paint that accommodates interchangeable graphics and also functions as white boards, chalkboards, and bulletin boards. The design includes the “playroom,” an open-plan multifunction area, that partially rings the auditorium and is equipped with movable desks, a quiet room for study, computer lab, sound booth for podcasts, and an eat-in pantry that doubles as an open teaching space. Light penetrates the space though generous interior glazing elements; splashes of vivid color are added through the use of brightly colored tile. The DSI is a two-year graduate program that provides students with the design tools and skills needed to become creative leaders in social innovation.


New Bridge Segues the Two Campuses of Lincoln Center

© Mark Bussell

© Mark Bussell

Lincoln Center marked the completion of its six-year, $1.2 billion redevelopment project with the dedication of the 83-foot-long, 10-foot-wide, President’s Bridge, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, lead architects on the of the Lincoln Center Campus redevelopment project. Spanning 65thStreet near Amsterdam Avenue, the stressed-skin steel structure connects the upper level plaza of the Rose Building to the public spaces, concert halls, theaters, library, and eating establishments on the south side of Lincoln Center’s campus.


An Aggressively Passive House

© Evan Joseph/Aguayo Realty Group

© Evan Joseph/Aguayo Realty Group

An 80-year-old townhouse in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn has been transformed into Haus 96, a four unit residential building that meets the Passive House EnerPHit standard. Designed by Ken Levenson Architect and developed by Brendan Aguayo, the approximately 4,000-square-foot project is billed as the first multi-family Passive House in the country. The building uses insulation materials that consist of dense-pack cellulose, a material with very high recycled content and low embodied energy. Windows are triple-glazed and gas filled, with air-tight gaskets providing acoustic separation from street noise, maximum interior day lighting and passive solar heat gains while eliminating convective currents typically associated with poorly insulated windows. Each apartment has its own dedicated ventilation system with high-efficiency heat recovery that provids filtered fresh air to living spaces and exhausts air from bathrooms and kitchen spaces. This maintaining high indoor air-quality by keeping pollutants such as soot, dust, pollen, CO2, and other typical toxins lower than in typical buildings.


This Just In
For SUITE New York’s the 3rd annual Pink Project, 20 architects, including Deborah Berke, FAIA, David Rockwell, AIA, Winka Dubbeldam, Assoc. AIA, interior designers, and style icons have each customized a Grete Jalk GJ chair to be auctioned from now through October 31 to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The proposals designed by firms shorted-listed in the competition for the new 425 Park Avenue – Foster + Partners, Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners, OMA, and Zaha Hadid Architects – will be on view at the Municipal Art Society’s Summit for New York Summit for New York City (http://mas.org/summit-2012-schedule/) on October 19.

SHoP Architects is working on the initial designs for a major league soccer stadium in Flushing, Queens, as well as designing the 200-room hotel and a 350,000-square-foot outlet mall for The New York Wheel on the waterfront in the St. George section of Staten Island. Netherlands-based Starneth, which worked on the design the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer, and Perkins Eastman are architects, engineers, and designers of the wheel.

As part of its commitment to social responsibility, Perkins+Will has partnered with Infinite Family, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that helps children and teenagers from African communities connect virtually with mentors around the world. The firm has designed LaunchPad, a prototype computer lab where young Africans can communicate with mentors via face-to-face interaction thanks to high-speed and high-tech capabilities.

“Recharging Communities,” an exhibition of desigNYC’s 15 collaborations between nonprofits and designers, such as Bernheimer Architecture and d/b/A designbuild, is on view now through October 17 at CD Cucine in Chelsea. Public programs are scheduled during the run.

Hunts Point Landing, designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, recently opened. Part of the firm’s South Bronx Greenway Master Plan, the 1.5-acre site offers water-based public recreation, such as a fishing pier and a kayak and canoe launch, and is linked to other bicycle and pedestrian improvements now underway.

The American Planning Association (APA) designated Fifth Avenue – from Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem to Washington Square – as one of 10 Great Streets for 2012 under the organization’s Great Places in America program. APA singled out Fifth Avenue for its wealth of historic buildings and districts, its vast array of commercial, retail, residential, religious, recreational, and cultural uses; and its reliance on planning and zoning to guide growth.

mag.net, a site-specific installation with dance performances that explores the interaction between architecture, dance, and magnetism, is taking place at White Gallery through October11. Designed by e + i studio in collaboration with human kinetics movement arts, a spider-like web of suspended metal and elastic is reconfigured by dancers with magnets embedded in their costumes.

Billed as the tallest stand-alone hotel in the Western hemisphere, 70-story Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn at 1717 Broadway at 54th Street, designed by Nobutaka Ashihara Associates, has topped out. The two Marriott “select service” hotels will be housed within the structure and will share public spaces and lobbies.

TPG Architecture has been commissioned to design a new 3,300-square-foot bakery and cafe for TLC’s hip owners of Carlo’s Bakery, stars of the TV show, “Cake Boss.” The new space, located in Ridgewood, NJ, will feature a “cake bar,” where guests can watch the decorators at work.

Philly field trip: This year’s DesignPhiladelphia festival offers a view into the city’s creative industries at work. Over 100 events take place city-wide with more than 400 participating designers; the vast majority of events such as open studios, exhibitions, lectures, runway shows, tours, workshops, and the like, are free and open to the public.