In this issue:
· Trump SoHo Goes SoHi
· Passaic River Inspires Conceptual Design for Visitor’s Center
· DC Opens First in a Series of New Libraries
· North Carolina Museum Vaults Open
· Canceled Building Gets New Life in Istanbul
· Five Rivers to Join at Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge

Trump SoHo Goes SoHi


Trump SoHo.

Handel Architects

The 46-story, 386,000-square-foot Trump SoHo New York, designed by Handel Architects, recently opened. Clad in a silver-and-glass curtain wall with skybox windows projecting from the façade, the hotel contains 391 guestrooms and suites and has more meeting and event space (including SoHi, an event space on the 46th floor) than any hotel in SoHo. Handel Architects also designed an adjacent landscaped urban plaza featuring a continuous green wall offset by a series of garden rooms. Other designers contributed to the interior spaces: Studio A designed Quattro Gastronomia Italiana; DIGuiseppe Architect designed The Spa at Trump and Bar d’Eau, a seasonal indoor-outdoor bar along the pool on the seventh-floor roof deck; Kastel designed an exclusive cocktail lounge; and the Rockwell Group designed the guestrooms, lobby, and library.

Passaic River Inspires Conceptual Design for Visitor’s Center


Newark Visitor’s Center.

di Dominico + Partners

The conceptual design competition for a new Visitor’s Center in Newark, NJ, was won by a team led by Long Island City-based di Dominico + Partners. The structure consists of an undulating green roof that is a metaphor for the Passaic River. The competition, sponsored by AIA Newark and Suburban Architects in conjunction with its Emerging Professionals and Young Architects Forum, called for a multi-use 13,435-square-foot building that would fit into the surrounding community and reflect the city’s diversity. Uses include an information center, auditorium, interactive display area, gallery space, conference room, café, and a gift shop. Second prize went to a team led by NY-based PLT Design, and fourth was won by a team led by super-interesting! of Brooklyn. Newark-born Richard Meier, FAIA, FRIBA, was honorary jury chairman.

DC Opens First in a Series of New Libraries


Benning Library.

Paúl Rivera — archphoto

The Benning Library, the first in a series of new flexible and open libraries in Washington, DC, recently opened. Designed by Davis Brody Bond Aedas, the building is terraced into the sloping terrain, allowing access from both Benning Road at the upper level and a commercial shopping area at the lower level. The two floors of the 22,000-square-foot, $12 million facility are connected by an interior public stair, which creates a space that encourages pedestrian circulation through the library to connect one elevation to another. The facility features community spaces on the lower level, including a 100-person, multi-purpose room, two 12-person conference rooms, and a public gathering and exhibition space. The upper level houses the library’s collection of books, DVDs, CDs, and other library materials. The upper level also features separate reading areas for adults, teens, and children, complete with a children’s program area. The firm was commissioned in 2007 by DC Public Library to design both the Benning Library and the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, the latter of which is scheduled to open this summer.

North Carolina Museum Vaults Open


View of the Entry Canopy and Contemporary Galleries, North Carolina Museum of Art.

Photograph © Scott Frances; Courtesy the North Carolina Museum of Art

After a three-year expansion, the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, will open to the public this week. Located on a 164-acre park in Raleigh, the single-story, 127,000-square-foot structure has a roofline defined by a rhythmic series of curves expressive of a system of vaults and coffers designed to bring daylight into the building. In addition to creating a significantly larger home for the collection, the new building, known as the West Building, also has multiple entries, a new restaurant, retail store, and other visitor amenities. The expansion project enables the NCMA’s 1983 East Building, designed by Edward Durell Stone, to become a center dedicated to temporary exhibitions, education, and public programs.

Canceled Building Gets New Life in Istanbul


Vakko Fashion Center and the Power Media Center.

REX Architecture took an abandoned skeleton of an unfinished hotel project in Istanbul and turned it into the now completed corporate headquarters for two sister companies — the Vakko Fashion Center and the Power Media Center. Construction began just four days after the firm received the commission because they were able to modify plans for the California Institute of Technology’s Annenberg Center, which had the same plan dimension, floor-to-floor height, and servicing concept, which had also recently been canceled. The project was divided into two structurally independent components — a U-shaped concrete structure, and the Ring, which contains a new, six-floor steel tower called the Showcase. The Ring houses flexible office space, and the Showcase includes an auditorium, showrooms, meeting rooms, and executive offices.

Five Rivers to Join at Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge


Xinjin Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge.

WXY Architecture

WXY Architecture and Weidlinger Associates have won the international design competition for the Xinjin Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge. Located in China’s Sichuan Province, the idea for the design reflects the location of the bridge at the confluence of five rivers. The 600-foot-long bridge, based on a double helix configuration, will have new bridge landings and plazas and an interactive lighting design. Rotterdam-based MVRDV, Glasgow-based OLA Architects, and Ty Lin Shanghai were short-listed in the competition.