Establishing Roots at Grass Roots

Towards the end of my first month on the job I had the pleasure of attending the AIA Grassroots Leadership Event in Detroit. Geared towards the leaders of AIA components from across the nation, I started to more comprehensively understand the diverse concerns that motivate the wide range of AIA chapters. Continue reading “Establishing Roots at Grass Roots”

Lobbying Law Update to Impact Architects

When you present a client’s projects to New York City government review entities, your testimony may be “lobbying” and subject to the NYC Lobbying Law.

Lobbying is the attempt to influence decisions made by city government officials and is governed by a series of local laws, dating to 1987 and revised in 2013, that include requirements for architects to register as lobbyists. The City Clerk has prepared a pamphlet with additional information on the registration requirements for architects and other professionals. Continue reading “Lobbying Law Update to Impact Architects”

Programming Spaces: Shaping User Experience from the Building to the Space In Between

People and space are inexorably linked, and therefore cannot be studied in isolation. This intersection is the main focus of the newly-formed AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee, which aims to bring social science tools to the forefront of the architectural practice. On 02.23.16, the Committee hosted its inaugural event, Program Cubed: Shaping Our Intentions, Our Experiences, and Our Buildings, to discuss the multiple meanings of the term “program” in relation to people, place, and space. Continue reading “Programming Spaces: Shaping User Experience from the Building to the Space In Between”

Towards 80×50: Row House Retrofit

The story of New York City’s first Passive House reveals the innate economic and environmental opportunities that can be realized through elegant design. Tighthouse is a distinct example of the benefits of Passive House Certification. Passive House, originally a German design philosophy, focuses on the construction of an extremely insulated and airtight structure that retains cooling in summer and heating in winter. Ultimately, a Passive House uses upwards of 75% less energy than a traditional building, while adding little or no cost premium to the construction process. As New York strives to meet its ambitious 80 x 50 carbon reduction goals, Tighthouse is worth a closer look. Continue reading “Towards 80×50: Row House Retrofit”

2016 AIANY Design Awards Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 AIANY Design Awards!

The 31 selected projects and the architecture firms that designed them represent the exceptional work by AIA New York members and architects practicing in New York City. Collectively, our jurors enthusiastically decided not to award a Best in Competition, noting that each winner had successfully developed an idea and approach that not only resolved, but elevated, the project’s specific challenges.

Each winning project, granted either an Honor or Merit Award, was chosen for its design quality, response to its context and community, program resolution, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique. The winning submissions, 19 of which were NYC-based, range from a chicken coop to large-scale urban interventions.

Click here to see a full list of winners.


Names in the News

The Municipal Art Society 2016 MASterworks Awards honor the Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage and Salt Shed by Dattner Architects in association with WXY Architecture (Best New Building); High Bridge by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and the NYC Department of Design + Construction (Best Neighborhood Catalyst); PS 62 The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Best New Infrastructure); Whitney Museum of American Art by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Cooper Robertson (Best New Urban Amenity); St. Anne’s Warehouse by Marvel Architects (Best Adaptive Reuse); and St. Patrick’s Cathedral renovation by Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects (Best Restoration). Continue reading “Names in the News”

New Deadlines

2016 Oculus Editorial Calendar
If you are an architect in practice or by training, or see yourself as an astute observer of New York’s architectural and planning scene, Oculus wants to hear from you! You may submit projects/topics from anywhere, but architects must be New York-based. Please submit story ideas/projects by the deadlines indicated below to Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA:

Fall: Tech in the City
Why cutting-edge industry loves older buildings. How technology businesses transform neighborhoods and the city at large. Adaptive Reuse & Interiors.
Deadline for story ideas: 05.16.16

Winter: Preservation & Reinvention / Rethinking Preservation / Preservation & Urbanism / Preservation Today
Projects with a unique take on history and how to reconcile it with contemporary needs. Focus on daylight and natural ventilation as city becomes more dense; historic preservation as zoning tool; quality vs. scale. Is city preserving too much in historic districts?
Deadline for story ideas: 08.19.16 Continue reading “New Deadlines”


03.09.16: NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora and Chief Architect Margaret Castillo unveiled the agency’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles at the Center for Architecture. (l-r) Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner, NYC Department of Design and Construction; Margaret Castillo, FAIA, LEED AP, Chief Architect, NYC Department of Design and Construction; Carol Loewenson, FAIA, 2016 President, AIANY; and Benjamin Prosky, Executive Director, Center for Architecture/AIANY. Continue reading “Sighted”