Christopher Benninger: Designing India’s Universities

Christopher Benninger “develops wonderful places to learn,” stated Dean of NJIT School of Architecture and Design, and moderator of the night, Urs Gauchat, Hon. AIA.

During 04.25.16’s lecture at the Center for Architecture, featured speaker Christopher Benninger, Principal of CCBA Architects in Pune, India, walked through the designs and methodology of educational institutions his studio has designed in India over the past 40 years. Historically, higher education had been an elite activity in India, but 15 to 20 years ago, the country began to allow private enterprises to found educational institutes. There followed a boom of universities. Continue reading “Christopher Benninger: Designing India’s Universities”

Editor’s Note

After almost three years at AIANY, and over a year as its communications director and editor-in-chief of e-Oculus, life beckons in Washington, DC. Although I will be staying within the AIA world as the assistant director of AIA|DC, I will miss the Center for Architecture’s unique vibrancy and character.

After this issue, e-Oculus will take a late summer vacation and return on September 11 under the interim editorship of Camila Schaulsohn, currently an e-O contributing editor and AIANY’s office manager.

It has been an honor letting you all know about the things happening here and in New York architecture. And I encourage even the most dyed-in-the-wool New Yorkers (like myself) to hop on a bus or train to DC — there’s lots to do and see! — Daniel Fox

Do the FAR ROC-away

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” Although the quote is by Rahm Emanuel regarding the financial crisis, don’t let partisan politics cloud the message’s potency. No doubt, those directly affected by Superstorm Sandy, which brought so much devastation to New York and the region, take this to heart.

In light of the disaster, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and its partners – developers of Arverne East in the Rockaways, Queens – took this message to heart, too. They rightly stopped the project in its tracks to rethink the entire plan, venturing to do things they couldn’t do before.

To solicit the best ideas for a path to an innovative and resilient scheme, the coalition, including HPD, L+M Development Partners, The Bluestone Organization, Triangle Equities, Enterprise Community Partners, and AIANY, held an ideas competition. On 07.18.13, the four finalist teams of the FAR ROC competition’s first phase were announced at the Center for Architecture. Continue reading “Do the FAR ROC-away”

146th Annual Meeting Report: Chapter Business and Awards

The AIA New York Chapter membership gathers each June to elect the Board of Directors and members of select committees, as well as to conduct chapter business and honor those who contribute to New York’s built environment. In a time when organizations are fleeting, it’s incredible to know that this was our Chapter’s 146th Annual Meeting.

Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, was elected 2014 President. Principal of Lance Jay Brown Architecture + Urban Design, he is also a Distinguished Professor in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York. Tomas J. Rossant, AIA, of Ennead Architects, was elected First Vice President / 2015 President-Elect.

All awards and citations conferred are below, and the entire elected slate can be viewed here. Continue reading “146th Annual Meeting Report: Chapter Business and Awards”

Editor’s Note

AIA New York and the Center for Architecture are engaged in many different activities including exhibitions, city-wide programs, and policy advocacy. This morning, we opened in our Breakthrough Space “Design(in) The Heart of New York,” a two-month exhibition that showcases the 26-acre Hudson Yards development. It is presented in collaboration with Related Companies and Oxford Properties.

We are also participating in the IDEAS CITY festival this weekend. Held from Wednesday, May 1, through Saturday, May 4, IDEAS CITY – founded by the New Museum in 2011 – is a major collaboration between hundreds of arts, education, and community organizations. The Future of the City exhibition preview and discussion this Friday, 05.03.13, is the Center’s contribution to IDEAS CITY.

The conversation will serve as an introduction to the Future of the City exhibition. Presented as part of NYCxDESIGN – New York City’s design week – Future of the City showcases our policy platform along with our Post-Sandy Initiative. You can read more about this important initiative and download a copy of the just-published Post-Sandy Initiative Report: Building Better, Building Smarter – Opportunities for Design and Development here. Our “Future of the City Symposium” on 05.11.13 will explore these concepts further.

Also, as announced in the last issue of e-Oculus, AIANY is co-sponsoring the FAR ROC design competition. We invite you to participate in the competition, which is re-imagining Arverne East – an 80+ acre site on the Rockaway Peninsula – in light of Sandy and climate change.

Please visit the Center for Architecture and check out all of the exhibitions on view or attend a program. And while you’re here, pick up a copy of our Post-Sandy Initiative Report. There’s so much happening in the City and around the world, and we’re working hard to keep architects at the forefront of these important events.

AIANY Celebrates Design Excellence at the 2013 Honors and Awards Luncheon

Yesterday, on 04.17.13, a record 900 members of New York’s architecture and related professional communities gathered in one of New York’s most distinguished spaces for its annual Honors and Awards Luncheon. In addition to celebrating the winners of the 2013 AIANY Design Awards, AIANY’s three most prestigious awards were presented by Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, 2013 AIA New York President.

The Medal of Honor was given to William Pedersen, FAIA, FAAR, Founding Design Partner of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; the Award of Merit went to Hon. Robert B. Tierney, Chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; and the Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award was given to Suzanne Stephens, Deputy Editor of Architectural Record. Continue reading “AIANY Celebrates Design Excellence at the 2013 Honors and Awards Luncheon”

Editor’s Note

Two weeks ago, 03.20-23.13, AIANY Board members, along with local and state leadership and staff, attended the 2013 AIA National Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. This issue includes some dispatches from Grassroots, including an advocacy update from Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, 2013 AIANY President; Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director on AIA National’s Repositioning efforts; Julie Engh, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, on AIANY member award winners Susannah C. Drake, AIA, and Jessica Sheridan, AIA, LEED AP; and Venesa Alicea, AIA, LEED AP BC+D’s take on the conference. AIA National also released a 2012 annual report during the event, which you can view here. We are all looking forward to the final Repositioning presentation at the 2013 AIA Convention 06.20-22.13 in Denver, CO.

I would also like to congratulate long-time e-Oculus contributing editor Murrye Bernard, Assoc. AIA, as she steps down from her role here to tackle a new venture (we will, of course, announce her new position soon in one of the sections she edited – Names in the News!). Please join me in wishing her good luck!

Editor’s Note

Welcome to the new e-Oculus! After many months of development, we’re unveiling a new design: larger pictures, a clearer interface, and a more user-friendly website. While the email format is similar to the previous design’s structure (used since 2007), sections have been shortened with links to improve readability and increase the information available in a more compact space. I also invite you to take a look at the e-Oculus archive, including its first issue: 05.17.02. We’ve all certainly come a long way!

I want to first acknowledge 2013 AIANY President Jill Lerner. Her theme “Global City/Global Practice” was kicked off in 2013 by over 250 people at Copenhagen Says: Green-up Your City! A Talk with Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen. Look for a full write-up in the next issue of e-O and in the meantime, watch a video of the program here.

I would also like to thank the Oculus Committee for its vision and commitment to this project, preceding editors Benedict Clouette and Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, for their input and guidance, and our two long-time contributing editors Linda G. Miller and Murrye Bernard, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP. And a very special thank you to original e-Oculus editor and current Oculus editor Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA. Check out our web designers, CHIPS-NY, too (they also developed our Archtober website, and they’re great to work with).

We will continue to make updates to e-Oculus throughout the year and would appreciate your input. Happy reading — and here’s to a prosperous 2013!

– Daniel Fox

We have some important events happening at the Center for Architecture next week! The first is the opening on 12.10.12 of the exhibition Hong Kong at 15: Redefining the Public Realm. A panel discussion between architects here in New York and via live feed in Hong Kong follows the opening reception.

The 2013 Board Inaugural is the next day on 12.11.12, which marks the “passing of the gavel” from current President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, to 2013 President Jill N. Lerner, FAIA. We will recap this year’s “Future Now” initiative and preview what’s to come in 2013 with the new presidential theme “Global City/Global Practice.”

And in a bit of Chapter news, the 2013 AIANY Nominating Committee has been elected: Ann Marie Baranowski, AIA, Jacobs Engineering; Beth Greenberg, AIA, Dattner Architects; Paul Seletsky, AIA, ArcSphere LLC; and Kim Yao, AIA, Architecture Research Office. Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, will chair the committee.