New York Architects Craft Vital Public Projects

Event: Design for Decades: Spaces for Learning
Location: Center for Architecture, 01.19.11
Speakers: Daniel Heuberger, AIA, LEED AP — Principal, Dattner Architects; David Helpern, FAIA, LEED AP — Principal, Helpern Architects; David Holowka — Senior Project Manager, New York Public Library; Sergio Silveira, RA — Assistant Commissioner, NYC Department of Design + Construction; Bruce Barrett, RA, LEED AP — Vice President of Architecture & Engineering, NYC School Construction Authority; Stephanie Gelb, FAIA, LEED AP — Vice President of Planning and Design, Battery Park City Authority
Moderator: Ned Cramer, AIA — Editor-in-Chief, Architect
Organizer: Center for Architecture
Sponsors: NYC Department of Design + Construction; NYC School Construction Authority; New York Public Library; Battery Park City Authority; Dattner Architects; Helpern Architects; Artek; Bentley Prince Street; Knoll

Installation view of “Design for Decades” in the Margaret A. Helfand Gallery at the Center for Architecture. Pictured is the St. Agnes Branch of the New York Public Library.

Sam Lahoz

A supergraphic of the word “imagine” adorns the wall of the restored St. Agnes Branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL). This text describes the lofty aspirations of the architects, clients, and communities of both the St. Agnes branch, designed by Helpern Architects, and P.S./I.S. 276, designed by Dattner Architects. These two projects, though different in their evolution, location, and function, required a similar imaginative vision to become realized.

Built in 1906 on the Upper West Side by Babb, Cook, and Willard, St. Agnes had fallen into disrepair following a series of ill-advised architectural interventions. The local community and the NYPL were dedicated to restoring the building to its initial grandeur and hired Helpern Architects to design a gut renovation. Since previous remodels had altered the original detailing and natural lighting of the library, Helpern focused on reintroducing daylight into the building. The firm uncovered fan lights on the street façade, as well as a glazed extension at the rear of the building. The community was so enthusiastic about these and other changes, according to Principal David Helpern, FAIA, LEED AP, that it supported construction progress with significant cash donations.

In contrast to St. Agnes, the local community of Battery Park City played a more political role in the construction of Dattner Architects’ P.S./I.S. 276. Pressure imposed on elected officials by neighborhood parents resulted in the city permitting an unusually rapid design and construction process. Further complicating matters, the site was spatially constrained. Dattner Architects proposed a vertical scheme in which a series of shared spaces in the middle of the building would separate elementary school students on the first floors from middle school students on the upper levels. Additionally, the firm designed the school to the Battery Park City Authority’s sustainable design guidelines as well as the SCA’s Green School Guidelines, resulting in a building that also serves to teach students about green design and construction, noted Principal Daniel Heuberger, AIA, LEED AP.

The Design for Decades initiative, which operates at a national level, highlights significant built work designed by AIA members. St. Agnes and P.S./I.S. 276 have been selected as part of the showcase. Projects are primarily exhibited online, but both projects are also on view at the Center for Architecture until 01.29.11.

Masters of the White Box Draw Inspiration from the Past

Event: The 4th Annual Arthur Rosenblatt Memorial Lecture for Excellence in Museum Design, Richard Gluckman on Content Context=Concept
Location: Center for Architecture, 01.12.11
Speaker: Richard Gluckman, FAIA — Principal, Gluckman Mayner Architects
Organizer: AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee

The Mori Arts Center in Tokyo.

Courtesy Gluckman Mayner Architects

Richard Gluckman, FAIA, principal of Gluckman Mayner Architects, has been designing spaces to showcase art for more than 30 years. He believes that it is harder to design a museum to accommodate general, rotating exhibitions than one intended to house work by a specific artist or genre. “There is the myth of flexibility,” he explained. “You can tailor the aspects of space, but the fewer options people have, the happier they are.” Though Gluckman Mayner is known as a “master of the white box,” inspiration also comes from a traditional source — the Caravaggio-lined Cerasi Chapel in Rome. Gluckman marvels at the energy and connection between viewer, art, and space, an effect he endeavors to recreate in his own designs for both gallery interiors and new museum buildings.

The work on display at the many notable galleries Gluckman Mayner has designed can be “defined by architectural terms. The art itself provides parameters in some cases, also,” Gluckman said. For example, a large operable door and column-free spans accommodated sculptures by Richard Serra in the Gagosian Gallery. For Serra’s studio in Queens, Gluckman noted that the design was a case of the “place of production mimicking the place of presentation.”

Inventive uses of practical materials and a complimentary approach to context characterize Gluckman Mayner’s designs for new museums and additions. For the Museo Picasso in Malaga, Spain, the firm restored a 16th-century palace, inserting six modern buildings into its dense fabric. Their stark, white plaster surfaces differentiate them from the traditional, buff-colored buildings, yet their texture and mass recall the region’s 1,000-year-old masonry traditions. Gluckman’s interest in masonry, particularly affordable pre-cast units, intensified with a design for the Austin Museum of Art and the renovation and expansion of the Perelman Building at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Currently on the boards are two new museums in China — the Zhejiang University Museum of Art and Archeology in Hangzhou, and the Qibao Cultural Museum in the Minhang District of Shanghai. Both designs draw inspiration from traditional Chinese architecture while establishing frames for art as well as the landscape. Gluckman Mayner’s designs ensure that viewing art is anything but a neutral experience.

In this issue:
· Carnegie Hall Adds Music to its Upper Floors
· Hold Your Heart High in Times Square
· Fordham’s Manhattan Campus to Double Law School Space
· Museum of the Moving Image Moves into the 21 Century
· A 24-Story TOD Rises in New Brunswick
· The Broad Unveils Contemporary Art


Carnegie Hall Adds Music to its Upper Floors

Carnegie Hall Studio Towers.

Iu + Bibliowicz Architects

Carnegie Hall released plans for the Studio Towers Renovation Project that will create new spaces for music education on the building’s upper floors and fully refurbish the venue’s backstage areas. The renovation, designed by Iu + Bibliowicz Architects, features a new 61,000-square-foot education wing that will include 24 new ensemble/workshop rooms, practice rooms, and teaching studios, as well as a new archive room. Adjacent to the wing is a new outdoor roof terrace — a feature first envisioned in 1892 by the building’s original architect William Burnet Tuthill, now re-imagined as a gathering place for performers and concertgoers, teachers, students, and staff. The backstage areas, which are located largely within the south tower, will undergo an upgrading of artist support spaces, including three new orchestra rooms, and double the number of floors supporting hall’s performance activities.

Plans also include updates to the 120-year-old building’s systems, conforming to contemporary building codes, restoration of key historic exterior and interior elements, and a consolidation of administrative offices. As part of the renovations, work on the exterior will restore and improve the landmarked building, including the removal of non-historic changes at the street level and roofline, largely dating from 1986 or later.


Hold Your Heart High in Times Square

Light Hearted.

Freecell

“Light Hearted,” designed by Brooklyn-based Freecell, has won the Times Square Arts 2011 Valentine competition, a project of the Times Square Alliance Public Art Program. The 10-foot diameter lightweight construction has an open weave fabric that allows wind to pass through and capture and reflect light. The main structure is constructed of five pairs of aluminum elliptical loops radially arranged with rotating connections and covered with a red fabric skin. Teams of six volunteers will hold up the heart for display for 15 minutes at a time in Duffy Square in Times Square from 02.10-20.11. The heart lies flat on the ground until volunteers lift the structure and unfold it into a heart. Visit http://www.lighthearted.us/ to volunteer.


Fordham’s Manhattan Campus to Double Law School Space

Fordham University School of Law.

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

Construction is underway on the site of what will be Fordham University’s new School of Law. Clad in a curtain wall of cast stone, metal, and glass, the building is located south of Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. Designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the law school will occupy the lower nine floors of the 22-story building, while the upper floor will house 430 undergraduate students. The 468,000-square-foot building will more than double the law school’s current program, event, and office space, and will feature a two-story atrium, a moot and trial court facility, and a 562,000-volume law library. The $250 million project is the centerpiece of the first phase of Fordham’s $1.6 billion development plan. The building is expected to be completed in 2014 and earn a LEED Silver certification.


Museum of the Moving Image Moves into the 21 Century

Museum of the Moving Image.

© Peter Aaron/Esto. Courtesy Museum of the Moving Image

The expanded and redesigned Museum of the Moving Image, located in Astoria, Queens, recently opened. Designed by Leeser Architecture, a three-story addition was added to the former Astoria Studio complex built in 1920 for Paramount Pictures. The 97,700 square feet nearly doubles its original size. The original building façade retains its industrial masonry-and-glass structure and incorporates a new mirrored and transparent glass entrance. The lobby contains an 83-degree slanted wall that serves as a seamless screen for video projections, with a gathering space beneath the sloping ceiling. A pair of ramps enclosed in glowing blue tunnels leads up from the lobby to a new 267-seat theater with a wraparound ceiling and walls made from triangular, fitted fabric panels. A secondary screening room has a hot pink entrance and features exposed loudspeakers and a gray, perforated acoustical wall and ceiling surface. The building also includes a 1,700-square-foot video screening amphitheater, and a 68-seat screening room. A new education center occupies the west side of the ground floor. The museum’s 10,000-square-foot courtyard will open this spring, and from this space, visitors can see the contrast between the old and the new, light blue façade made out of 1,067 thin aluminum panels.


A 24-Story TOD Rises in New Brunswick

New Brunswick Gateway Transit Village.

Meltzer/Mandl Architects

Meltzer/Mandl Architects has completed the design of the New Brunswick Gateway Transit Village, a 24-story transit oriented development (TOD) project sited across the street from Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, and adjacent to the New Brunswick train station. TOD’s cluster mass transit with living, working, and shopping spaces; this 632,000-square-foot project includes more than 120,000 square feet of commercial space, a 657-vehicle parking garage, and 58,000 square feet of retail. Forty-two of the 192 residential units are market-rate condominiums, 150 are rental apartments, and 20% are designated as affordable housing. The 14-story residential tower will sit atop a 10-story parking structure, which will be wrapped by offices, as well as a series of street-level commercial spaces. The building will comprise a series of discrete structural systems, including pre-cast concrete for the parking structure and a steel frame for the residential tower and commercial spaces. A highlight of the project is a pedestrian bridge linking the larger community and the campus directly to the train platform. The $150 million project, expected to be completed in June 2012, is a partnership with the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), other city agencies, Rutgers University, and Pennrose Properties.


The Broad Unveils Contemporary Art

The Broad.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Plans for “The Broad,” a Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles, were recently unveiled. The three-story museum features a porous, honeycomb “veil” that wraps the building visible from a penthouse sky-lit gallery designed for the Broad Collection of contemporary art. The veil lifts at the corners, welcoming visitors into a lobby with a bookstore and espresso bar. An escalator “tunnels” up through the archive, arriving at a 24-foot-high, 40,000-square-foot column-free, flexible exhibition space that can be shaped according to curatorial needs. Visitors descend down a winding stair through the vault that offers behind-the-scenes glimpses through viewing windows into the vast holdings of the collections and lending library. The museum is expected to be completed in two years.

The AIA selected five recipients for the 2011 Institute Honors for Collaborative Achievement, including the Active Design Guidelines, an effort of AIANY, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Department of Design+Construction (DDC), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Department of City Planning (DCP), the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), along with several civic organizations and professional societies…

David Burney, FAIA, NYC Design+Construction Commissioner received the AIA’s Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. Amanda Burden, Hon. AIANY, FAICP, NYC City Planning Chair, received the American Architectural Foundation’s Keystone Award….

Winners of the AIA Long Island Archi Awards include the United Cerebral Palsy Health Center by Perkins Eastman Architects; Wallace K. Harrison Estate by Schappacher White Ltd.; and Dune Road Residence by Stelle Architects with developer David J. Wine’s Oliver’s Realty Group

The 2010 GSA Design Awards winners include the U.S. Land Port of Entry in Massena by Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, Architecture and Art Citations; U.S. Land Port of Entry, Calais, Maine by Robert Siegel Architects, Architecture Citation; Historic District of Columbia Courthouse by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, Preservation Citation; The Peter W. Rodino Federal Building High Performance Renovation by Dattner Architects with Richard McElhiney Architects, On-the-Boards Engineering Citation; Federal Parking Garage, San Juan, Puerto Rico by Gruzen Samton Architects, On-the-Boards Architecture Citation; and U.S. Courthouse, San Diego by Richard Meier & Partners Architects, On-the-Boards Urbanism Citation…
Eight firms have been selected to receive the Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices award, including NY-based Interboro Partners, WXY architecture + urban design, Ruy Klein, and Taylor and Miller Architecture and Design

desigNYC, which connects NYC non-profits with pro bono designers, announced its 2011 list of design and non-profit collaborations: Educating Tomorrow with Language Dept. and Rubenstein Technology Group; Greenhouse Project: NY Sun Works & Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation with Abruzzo-Bodziak Architects; Green Map System with Otto NY; Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation with Fogelson-Lubliner; Ioby with Publicis Design; Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project with Rodrigo Corral; Nostrand Park with Vamos Architects; PortSide NewYork with architects 590BC and Studio L’Image; and Public Allies + Bronx Community Pride Center with Fink & Platt Architects

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) — Real Estate Division honored Ted Moudis, AIA, with the Camillo Ricordi Humanitarian Award…

Rafael Cestero, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, will be leaving his post at the end of March to join L+M Development Partners as a Managing Director…

01.12.11: The AIANY Global Dialogue Committee announced the winners of its recent “Call for Collaborative Design” and charrette program to elicit new prototypes for transitional to permanent housing for Haiti. For more information, visit http://www.haitihousingcollaborative.org.

(L-R): Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director, AIANY; Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, 2011 AIANY President; Rory Christian, Director, Energy Department, NYCHA; Noushin Ehsan, AIA, Chair of the AIANY Global Dialogues Committee; and Diane Chehab, Assoc. AIA, Acting Director, The Launch Team, Office of the CIO, NYCHA.

Emily Nemens

01.12.11: The Fourth Annual Arthur Rosenblatt Memorial Lecture for Excellence in Museum Design, hosted by the AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee, was Richard Gluckman, FAIA, who spoke on “Content Context=Concept.”

(L-R): Ann Marie Baranowski, AIA, LEEP AP; Paul Rosenblatt, AIA; Richard Gluckman, FAIA; Barbara Spandorf, AIA, LEED AP; Stan Reis; and Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP.

Emily Nemens

01.20.11: In connection with the current “High Bridge” exhibition, a panel discussed the relation between the High Bridge and High Line. The High Bridge was the most recent focus of the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) biennial design ideas competition.

(L-R): Bryan Winter, RA, Executive Director, NYC Cement League; Keith VanDer Sys, Principal of PEG office of landscape + design; Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, ENYA HB:BX competition organizer & Job Captain at Gensler; Adrian Benepe, Commissioner Department of Parks and Recreation; Patricia Cruz, Executive Director, Harlem Stage; Brynnemarie Lanciotti, Assoc. AIA, Co-chair of ENYA; Peter Mullan, Vice President of Planning and Design, Friends of the High Line; Yvonne Chang, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, and Joseph E. Hawkins, Assoc. AIA, ENYA HB:BX competition organizers.

Courtesy ENYA

01.19.11: Architects and clients discuss the collaborative process behind the design for spaces for learning involved in the two feature “Design for Decades” exhibition projects — the St. Agnes Branch Library Renovation by Helpern Architects for the NY Public Library and the NYC Department of Design + Construction, and P.S./I.S. 276 by Dattner Architects for the NYC School Construction Authority with involvement from the Battery Park City Authority.

Panel moderator Ned Cramer, AIA, Editor-in-Chief, Architect, and Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, 2011 AIANY President.

Emily Nemens

01.13.11: AIANY threw Robert Ivy, FAIA, a farewell reception at the Center for Architecture. He has been appointed the Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer of AIA National, effective 02.01.11, and will be relocating to Washington, DC.

At the event, Ernie Hutton, FAICP, Assoc. AIA, presented Ivy with an image he called “Ivy’s Inferno.” The main balloon says,” And here is your new office, Mr. Ivy.”

Ernie Hutton

Ernie Hutton, FAICP, Assoc. AIA; Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP; Robert Ivy, FAIA; and Rick Bell, FAIA.

Kristin Richards

Command Performance by Parks, Design Trust, and Colleagues

Event: Parks Design Manual Launch
Location: Center for Architecture, 01.06.11
Speakers: Adrian Benepe — Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation; Deborah Marton — Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space; David Bragdon — Director of Long-term Planning and Sustainability, NYC Mayor’s Office; Nette Compton — Senior Project Manager for Design, Parks and Recreation; Jeremy Barrick — Capital Projects Arborist, Parks and Recreation; Nancy Owens, ASLA, LEED AP — Nancy Owens Studio; Stephen Koren, RLA, LEED AP — Parks and Recreation
Organizers: Center for Architecture; NYC Department of Parks; Design Trust for Public Space
Sponsors: New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects; Site Specialists; AECOM; Viridian Landscape Studio; Meliora Environmental Design

Courtesy nycgovparks.org

“It may come as a shock to many of you,” said the Design Trust’s Deborah Marton, “but in the fundraising world, soil remediation and bio-intensive pest management are not considered sexy.” The Parks Department’s new design manual promises to do for civic landscape architecture what other recent city-agency-sponsored documents have done for sustainable infrastructure and active design: codify the state of the art and promote sound practices. The manual’s organizers and contributors have given New York and other cities a powerful instrument for designing outdoor spaces that generate both a lighter impact on the planet and an improved quality of urban life. And that, Marton added, is plenty sexy.

High Performance Landscape Guidelines: 21st Century Parks for NYC extends the Design Trust’s High Performance series, preceded by High Performance Building Guidelines (1999) and Infrastructure Guidelines (2005). The primary authors of the Landscape Guidelines, Marton and the Parks Department’s principal urban designer Charles McKinney, Assoc. AIA, ASLA, put their multidisciplinary team of Design Trust Fellows, landscape architects, arborists, and editors through four years of work, beginning with the department’s recognition that its design standards needed updating, and culminating in a rigorous peer-review process.

The work is organized in six segments: Context, Site Assessment, Best Practices in Site Process, Best Practices in Site Systems, Case Studies, and a brief coda, Next Steps, plus a useful 92-term glossary and an extensive index. It is a practical manual, integrating contemporary knowledge about soil, water, and vegetation (“the heart and soul of the document,” in Nette Compton’s phrase) into all its recommendations. Its principles will help shape PlaNYC’s expansion and upgrading of parkland over the coming decades under new Long-term Planning and Sustainability Director David Bragdon, who stressed the connections of “beauty, environmental attachment, and a love of where you are.”

Parks already comprise about 14% of the city’s area — some 29,000 acres. By mitigating heat-island effects, brownfield conditions, sewer overflows, and the urban populace’s chronic shortage of space that’s wholesome to body and spirit, parkland is a critical determinant of livability, both in New York and in other cities that increasingly look here for models to emulate. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe noted that the Landscape Guidelines are the first of their kind in the nation; various in-house personnel and consultants described recently renovated parks and playgrounds that have already put the new document’s ideas into effect.

The Landscape Guidelines are available free electronically (http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_about/go_greener/green_capital.html) and in hard-copy form from the Parks Department and at the Center for Architecture. They can also be purchased on Amazon.

Greening Modernism Challenges Current Sustainable Values

Event: Oculus Book Talk: Greening Modernism by Carl Stein
Location: Center for Architecture, 01.10.11
Speaker: Carl Stein, FAIA — Principal, Elemental Architecture
Organizer: AIANY Oculus Committee
Sponsors: Green Mountain Energy Company

Courtesy AIANY

Carl Stein, FAIA’s Greening Modernism: Preservation, Sustainability and the Modern Movement (W.W. Norton & Company, 11.29.10) offers a compelling and insightful argument for a creative and enthusiastic reexamination of the interconnection between modern architecture, sustainability, historic preservation, and green strategies. One of the many things that sets this book apart from others on architecture and sustainability is the way in which Stein unfolds the theoretical, instructional, and pioneering tenets between design and technology from the pre-petroleum to late-petroleum eras, suggesting opportunities for architecture in a post-petroleum world.

“A sustainable future,” writes Stein, “one in which humankind will have a place in the ecosystem of the Earth, depends on a fundamental reconsideration of how we utilize all of the resources that support the qualities of our lives.” The second greatest end-use energy consumer is infrastructure construction, and there is a dire need to upgrade this part of American society. As you read Greening Modernism, you, too, will be reminded that as much as the truth sounds good on paper, the hardest part is to convert these ideas to the politics of choice and economics. While architects have their challenges set out before them, Greening Modernism will be a hearty and generous companion for those who are willing to challenge what they value in themselves and consider to be the nexus of design, quality of life, and a sustainable global future.

Note: This was the first of a monthly series of book talks hosted by the AIANY Oculus Committee.

In this issue:
· Pratt’s Eco- and Neighborhood-Friendly Myrtle Hall Opens
· Power House Hits a Home Run
· Classical Music Has a Permanent Space Midtown
· Pace Dorms to Face Fulton Street Transit Hub
· Major Medical Research Institute Opens in Houston


Pratt’s Eco- and Neighborhood-Friendly Myrtle Hall Opens

Myrtle Hall exterior (left); Digital Arts Gallery (right).

Photos by Alexander Severin/ RAZUMMEDIA

Pratt Institute has officially opened Myrtle Hall, a six-story, 120,000-square-foot facility for the college’s Department of Digital Arts and several administrative offices. Designed by WASA/Studio A, the building embodies Pratt’s mission to innovate and put green design into practice, along with its commitment to the community and the revitalization of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. The design integrates two wall types — a glass curtain wall and a paneled masonry wall — that relate to the surrounding mercantile brick structures found along Myrtle Avenue. Connecting the two wall systems is a four-story atrium with views into and through the building from both sides. The atrium will also serve as a gallery for alumni work. The fourth-floor gallery will display student and faculty work. Other design features include a loft-like interior that reflects the industrial character of Pratt’s creative workspaces. Sustainable features include exterior sunshades, a green roof, and solar photovoltaic panels. The project is expected to receive LEED Gold.


Power House Hits a Home Run

The Power House.

Photos by Lauren Touryan, Stantec

As part of the Yankee Stadium Uplands and the Bronx Terminal Market Waterfront Park projects, Stantec has transformed The Power House, a vacant 26,000-square-foot steel and masonry structure into a public and commercial building. Built in 1925, the building was originally the icehouse and power station of the Bronx Terminal Market. Remaining part of the market complex, the rehabilitation took more than three years and involved restoring many of the building’s historic features. As part of the modernization of the building, sustainable features, such as an extensive green roof, high-efficiency plumbing, and a photovoltaic array helped earn the building LEED Gold. The space currently houses public restrooms, a concession stand and café space for the adjacent tennis facility, and offices for the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.


Classical Music Has a Permanent Space Midtown

Dimenna Center for Classical Music.

H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture

The 36-year-old Orchestra of St. Luke’s is set to move into its first permanent home in early March. Designed by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, the $37 million venue, known as the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, is located in lower portion of the building that houses the Baryshnikov Art Center in Hell’s Kitchen/Clinton Hill. The 20,000-square-foot center will also provide subsidized rental space for rehearsals and recording sessions for musicians. The space contains a large rehearsal hall that can accommodate a full symphony orchestra and chorus, a chamber orchestra rehearsal hall, an ensemble room, two artist studios, a media center, music library, instrument storage facilities, and a musicians’ lounge and café. The main rehearsal halls feature a “box-in-a-box” construction. The rooms float on pads and springs inside an acoustic isolation box made of concrete and concrete block, thus eliminating noise emanating from outside or from the other performance spaces in the building. South Norwalk-based Akustiks is in charge of the project’s acoustic design. The center is expected to receive a LEED Platinum certification.


Pace Dorms to Face Fulton Street Transit Hub

Pace University.

Karl Fischer Architect

A 220,000-square-foot building for Pace University, designed by Karl Fischer Architect, will rise on a site across from what will become the Fulton Street transit hub. The 24-story building will contain 20 floors of student housing with one floor of amenities. The remaining bottom floors are reserved for retail. The building replaces an existing two-story structure, and is expected to be complete by 2013.


Major Medical Research Institute Opens in Houston

Methodist Hospital Research Institute.

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

The 440,000-square-foot Methodist Hospital Research Institute, an advanced technology facility dedicated to medical research, recently opened in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. NYC-based design architect Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) created a 12-story facility, six floors of which contain open research space housing laboratories and support spaces that form a collaborative research facility for the study of cancer, heart, and neurological diseases, among others. The massing of the facility expresses its internal functions. Common breakout areas connect the labs vertically, encouraging informal interdisciplinary gatherings. Bridge connections to the existing hospital are proposed at several floors to facilitate translational research and a sense of professional community. Houston-based WHR Architects served as executive architect.

2011 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: kristen@ArchNewsNow.com

2011 Themes:
Spring (President’s Theme): Design for a Change: Buildings, People, Energy
[Closed]

Summer: AIANY Design Awards 2011
Recognition of outstanding architectural design by NYC architects and for work completed in NYC. There are four categories: Architecture, Interiors, Urban Design, and Un-built Work. Click here for details.
Register/Submit entries by 02.04.11

Fall: Interior Activity
Architects as interior designers; Changes in corporate culture = transformation of the workplace; Architects designing products/Multi-disciplinary cross-overs; Rebranding hospitality, restaurants, retail to attract new audiences; Interiors as laboratories for small firms.
Submit story ideas by 04.22.11

Winter: Up, Down, and Sideways: Density and Transportation
Density enabled by transportation: mass transit, cycling; Moynihan Station; Regional connections; Housing Authority: former purposeful disconnect, now reintegrating back into neighborhoods; How a century of New York skyscrapers has/is/will affect the architecture, planning, and culture of the city and the world.
Submit story ideas by 08.19.11

For further information, contact OCULUS Editor Kristen Richards: kristen@ArchNewsNow.com.

01.22.11 Call for Entries (DEADLINE EXTENSION): 2011 FIGMENT/ENYA/SEAoNY City of Dreams Pavilion

01.21.11 Call for Applications: ADC Designism Award

01.31.11 Call for Entries: North American Copper in Architecture Awards

02.01.11 Call for Applications: The Arnold W. Brunner Grant

02.01.11 Call for Entries: American Architecture Awards 2011

02.01.11 Call for Entries: Living City Design Competition

02.04.11 Call for Entries: AIANY Design Awards 2011

02.04.11 Call for Entries: Contract 2011 INSPIRATIONS Awards

02.08.11 Call for Entries: Think Space — Urban Borders

02.25.11 Call for Entries: ASLA 2011 Professional Awards

03.01.11 Call for Entries: AIA Flint Chapter Design Competition for the Revitalization of Genesee Towers (pdf)