In this issue:
· CCNY Architecture Students Inhabit New Home
· Cooper Union Morphs Three Schools into One
· Pediatric Emergency Services Cater to Children
· Tram Terminal Will Light Way to Roosevelt Island
· Ode to Poetry
· Developer Lends Land For Public Art
· Zinc Goes Green for Prototype Villa
· Five Teams Short-Listed for Basque Country Master Plan
· Calatrava’s New Rail Station Realized (in Liege, Belgium)

CCNY Architecture Students Inhabit New Home


Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at City College of New York.

Rafael Viñoly Architects

The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at City College of New York officially opened last week, a few blocks south of its former home in Shepard Hall. The 135,000-square-foot facility, designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, houses administrative offices, classrooms, exhibition space, an architectural library, design studios, faculty offices, a model shop, and a rooftop open-air amphitheater. The original Modernist, glass-block building designed and constructed as a library in the late 1950s, was gut-renovated, preserving only the structure of reinforced concrete columns and floor slabs. The exterior is now clad in pre-cast concrete with light shelves. Oriented vertically on the east and west façades, and horizontally on the south, aluminum louvers are designed to balance outward views and maximize shading. The open-air amphitheater overhangs the atrium. The central atrium brings daylight down to the ground floor, and incorporates intersecting steel staircases and pedestrian bridges. Faculty offices look over the open-plan design studios that take advantage of the natural light along the perimeter.

Cooper Union Morphs Three Schools into One


41 Cooper Square.


The recent ribbon cutting ceremony at 41 Cooper Square, designed by Morphosis with associate architect Gruzen Samton, marked a defining moment in Cooper Union’s 150-year historyand its goal to create an iconic building that reflects the institutions values. The nine-story, 175,000-square-foot building houses the Albert Nerken School of Engineering and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, along with student and teaching studios and common spaces that serve the School of Art and the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. Conceived as a vehicle to foster collaboration and cross-disciplinary dialogue among the college’s three schools previously housed in separate buildings, state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, studios, and public spaces have replace more than 40% of the college’s academic space.

The building itself is symbolically open to the city. Visual transparencies and accessible public spaces connect the institution to the physical, social, and cultural fabric of its urban context. Built to LEED Gold standards, the facility will be the first LEED-certified academic laboratory building in NYC. Technologies such as radiant heating and cooling ceiling panels, an operable building skin of perforated stainless-steel panels offset from a glass-and-aluminum window wall, a full-height atrium, a green roof, and a cogeneration plant make the facility 40% more energy efficient than a standard building of its type. In addition, flexible laboratories, studios, and classrooms are designed with renewable, recycled, and low-emission materials that will accommodate pedagogical objectives and research activities. The project team for the new academic building includes owner’s representative Jonathan Rose Companies, and construction manager F.J. Sciame.

Pediatric Emergency Services Cater to Children


Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York (MSCHONY).

Davis Brody Bond Aedas

Davis Brody Bond Aedas (DBBA) and New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital (MSCHONY) recently broke ground on the new Alexandra and Steven Cohen Pediatric Emergency Department in the Washington Heights. The $50 million project will be located within the Children’s Central Building and in the existing shell of the Children’s Bed Tower. DBBA designed the new department after collaborating with Poltronieri Tang to complete a feasibility study and program development. Occupying 30,070 gross square feet, the building will create 29 treatment bays and two trauma bays, radiology and CT-ready suites, a pharmacy, orthopedic and cast procedure rooms, negatively- and positively-pressured isolation rooms, and a mechanical system that affords department-wide isolation and purge capabilities in the event of airborne catastrophic or infectious event. The scale of the new pediatric emergency department will ensure an intimate and nurturing environment for its young patients. Both clinical and public spaces will display full-height images taken from children’s literature, and various waiting rooms integrate intimate family reading areas, a multimedia/interactive wall, and game kiosks. Completion is scheduled for summer of 2011.

Tram Terminal Will Light the Way to Roosevelt Island


Manhattan Terminal at night.

Courtesy BL Companies Architecture

BL Companies Architecture plans to transform the Manhattan Tram Terminal to Roosevelt Island, operated by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, by incorporating lightness and movement. The transportation hub design will replace the metal roof with thin sheets of sloped, translucent polycarbonate — a material that will provide soft diffused day lighting, reduce energy consumption, reduce the heat island effect, and limit evening light pollution. The waiting platform will be similarly covered with polycarbonate. Partially glazed walls and motorized doors will provide further protection from the elements. The undersides of each roof will be comprised of energy efficient lighting and offer a warm, low-intensity glow. On the Roosevelt Island side, the tram station’s exterior metal cladding will remain intact, except that the metal siding flanking both sides of the platform will be removed. The waiting platform will be enlarged and partially enclosed, and will also include translucent polycarbonate roofing, glazed walls, and soft, indirect lighting.

Ode to Poetry


Poets House.

Elizabeth Felicella, courtesy

The Poets House, a poetry library and literary center designed by Louise Braverman Architect, recently opened in its new home at Ten River Terrace in Battery Park City. The 11,000-square-foot space is located on the ground and second floors and contains a reading room that will house a 50,000+-volume collection, a whimsical children’s room, and a programming hall where leading poets will recite their works. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the space features insulation made of recycled blue jeans, lights that adjust based on natural daylight levels, low-flow lavatories, wind and hydro-electric power, and building materials that are recycled or manufactured locally. Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburg designed the outdoor amphitheater. In 2004, the organization received approval from the Battery Park City Authority to build a new library at the base of the Polshek Partnership-designed Riverhouse condo tower, and signed a 60-year, rent-free lease agreement in 2007. Poets House estimates that over the course of its new lease, it will save about $60 million, which will now to go programs and services.

Developer Lends Land For Public Art



Courtesy LMCC

Trinity Real Estate has donated 37,000 square feet, or one square block, of vacant, undeveloped space between Canal, Grand, Sullivan, and Varick Streets to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for approximately three years (or until the market picks up) for public art exhibitions. The recently-opened LentSpace, designed by Interboro Architects (a winner of a 2006 AIANY New Practices Award), is curated by Adam Kleinman of the LMCC. The project features a tree nursery that provides shade while incubating street trees to be planted throughout the downtown neighborhood at a later date. A custom, operable fence encourages a variety of social encounters; incorporating benches for seating, the fence also acts as a support for the end-to-end graphic design commission that repurposes its façade. These two elements frame a central event space, and when walking across the east/west axis, visitors pass through three zones with unique spatial engagements. The encounters continue after exiting the lot, as LentSpace is bookended with Juan Pablo Duarte Square, creating a larger network of open space. The inaugural exhibition features three distinct but inter-connected programs. “Points & Lines” presents seven art installations that each refer to issues of “boundary” in relation to LentSpace’s identity as both host and guest. “end-to-end” and “Late Editions” are parts of a series of print-media based reviews of the space and exhibition by artists and architects.

Zinc Goes Green for Prototype Villa


Libeskind Villa

Studio Daniel Libeskind

Studio Daniel Libeskind has unveiled the prototype of the Libeskind Villa, the first in a series of signature homes. The residence has been built in Datteln, Germany, at the headquarters of Rheinzink, the developer of the villa’s zinc façade. A trio of interlocking architectural bands envelops the angular villa; the asymmetrical interior has spiraling, two-story peaks and smooth transitions to secluded terraces. Design details include: a balcony adjacent to the master bedroom with elaborate metalwork; light wells that direct daylight into a sauna; and recessed wardrobes that streamline dressing spaces. The villa is largely constructed of wood, with a wooden core that offers maximum thermal insulation and efficient operation. In addition, the insulation of the exterior walls matches that of passive houses. The home employs onsite renewable energy sources including a solar thermal system invisibly integrated into the zinc façade, as well as a geothermal system with a high-efficiency heat pump. Electric power may be generated from photovoltaic thin film, and rainwater can be harvested from the roof for use in the garden’s irrigation system. The project complies with many of the world’s energy-saving standards, including Germany’s KfW40 code. The project has been realized in partnership with Berlin-based company proportion.

Five Teams Shortlisted for Basque Country Master Plan
Five design teams, out of 47 that applied, were short-listed to develop proposals for a new master plan that will regenerate the area surrounding the Bay of Pasaia in the Basque Country of northern Spain. NY-based Balmori Associates in collaboration with Dutch firm S333 Architecture + Urbanism will compete with four other international teams led by Zaha Hadid, West 8, KCAP, and Ezquiaga, of the UK, Holland, and Spain, respectively. The Province of Gipuzkoa has created the Gipzukoa Aurrera for the development of strategic projects, and has organized the competition to plan an outer harbor for the bay between 2011 and 2020. In spite of the physical limitations specific to the bay and the fact that it does not have a bulk liquid handling dock, current port activity moves an annual cargo of around five million tons, which contributes approximately 1.8% to the domestic product of Gipuzkoa. Other challenges include the bay’s relationship with the existing urban centers, which belong to four different municipalities.

Calatrava’s New Rail Station Realized (in Liege, Belgium)


Liège-Guillemins high-speed rail station.

Santiago Calatrava

The new high-speed rail station at Liège-Guillemins, Belgium, designed by Santiago Calatrava, has opened. The architect was first commissioned to design the station in 1996 after Euro Liege TGV determined that the existing station was unsuitable for the demands of high-speed rail travel. Calatrava was required to replace the existing station without interrupting train service for the 36,000 daily riders. Envisioning a building that would reflect the new station’s significance as a high-speed, inter-urban link through Europe’s cities, Calatrava designed a structure “without façades” with a glass-and-steel vaulted roof that stretches over five working platforms. The result is a station designed to symbolize the city’s renewal and provide shorter travel times to Aachen, Cologne, and Brussels, as well as to Frankfurt, Paris, London, and the Southern portions of Europe, which are now only a few hours away.