Fulton Center…A Vision Realized

From transportation experts to engineers and architects, everyone was in attendance at this caucus held at the Center for Architecture to speak and learn about the behind-the-scenes construction of downtown’s newest transit hub, the Fulton Center. With a successful opening on 11.10.14, little did one know about the challenges the project surmounted in order to see its completion. Thankfully, Robert Eisenstat, AIA, and Vincent Chang, AIA, RIBA, of Grimshaw Architects; Sandra Bloodworth of MTA Arts & Design, Arup’s Craig Covil, and Urday Durg of the MTA were there to share the ups and downs they encountered while planning for the construction. They also offered exclusive insights about James Carpenter Design AssociatesSky Reflector-Net installation. Continue reading “Fulton Center…A Vision Realized”

Cities for Women, Cities for All

“Do we see a street as somewhere we belong to? Does the area where I live have sufficient services and diversity? Does the public network consider my needs?” These are only a few of the questions posed at the breakfast leadership event with Zaida Muxi Martinez, coordinator of the Masters Program in 21st Century Sustainable Housing at the Barcelona School of Architecture. These questions reevaluate public space, facilities, and mobility through the lens of a woman and her needs, and the topic of gender-based planning. Take, for example, this question: “Can I walk to my day-to-day needs?” I’m asking about the security of the area for a woman day and night, pedestrian-friendly traffic, and the crossing speed at a stoplight for a woman with a stroller and toddlers. All of us experience public spaces, such as parks, sidewalks, and street crossings. Often, we take the public places where we are most comfortable for granted. When we are not at ease we are more observant. We become aware that the sidewalk is too narrow, the park is too dark to traverse alone, the street crossing is very wide with very little time to cross. Continue reading “Cities for Women, Cities for All”

Unveiling Marginalized Communities

Mark Gardner, AIA, LEED AP, opened the “Invisible Histories: The Social Practice of Civic Engagement” program by introducing the concept of invisibility and civic engagement: “Tonight is about making the invisibile, visible. Each of these panelists has studied and participated in a process to understand how to uncover the stories of marginalized communities.” He was referring to the buildings, vacant lots, and public spaces where these communities existed unchanged. The lecture helped shine a light on people’s numbness towards these communities, and bring the matter of civic engagement to the forefront of our attention, prompting us to pause and take notice the public housing “projects” on our way to work in the morning. Continue reading “Unveiling Marginalized Communities”

Lights, Camera, Demolition: Penn Station Recalled on Stage and in Pictures

Then I started thinking, Im taking down what some poor guy broke his back 50 years ago to put up. Going home to his kids at night telling them their daddy was building a station that would last forever.Paul Abbot, Scene 5

On 11.06.13, The Eternal Space, a play written by Justin Rivers, reminded everyone at the Center for Architecture about the 1963 demolition of Penn Station and the lives of the New Yorkers that were changed along with it. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Station’s demise, and what better way to bring back the haunting images of that deconstruction than with a reading of River’s moving play, with Norman McGrath’s historical photographs as the scenic backdrop. Continue reading “Lights, Camera, Demolition: Penn Station Recalled on Stage and in Pictures”

Low Rise High Density Now

Low-rise, high-density housing – a topic much explored recently at the Center for Architecture through the just-closed exhibition “Low Rise High Density” – is characterized by being dense enough to support mass public transportation, yet squat enough to eschew elevators. The type seeks to combine the benefits of urban and suburban living by providing tenants with more privacy and ownership of their space with fewer floors per building. As the last program in a series of three public discussions on the exhibition’s rich content, “Low Rise High Density Now” garnered a full house of passionate professors, students, and practicing architects committed to solving the challenges of housing in the greater New York area. Continue reading “Low Rise High Density Now”

“Hong Kong at 15”: Jonathan Solomon and Chan Yiu Hung in Discussion

As the second program in this year’s 2013 presidential theme “Global City/Global Practice,” this discussion at the Center for Architecture focused its attention on Hong Kong, one of the world’s densest cities. The dialogue also continued to explore New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox’s (KPF) Hysan Place and Pelli Clarke Pelli Architect’s International Financial Centre (IFC), as they influence and are influenced by Hong Kong’s culture and urban context. Continue reading ““Hong Kong at 15”: Jonathan Solomon and Chan Yiu Hung in Discussion”

How to Succeed in Design Competitions

The panelists discuss ENYA’s “The Harlem Edge|Cultivating Connections” Ideas Competition.

Marvine Pierre

Event: Insider Information: How to Succeed in Design Competitions
Location: Center For Architecture, 10.11.12
Organizers: AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA)
Speakers: Tyler Caine, LEED AP, 2012 ENYA Ideas Competition “Harlem Harvest|Cultivating Connections” second place team; Behrang Behin, Assoc. AIA, 2010 “City of Dreams: Living Pavilion” – first place team; Ian Gordon, RA, 2008 ENYA Ideas Competition “South Street Seaport: Re-Envisioning the Urban Edge” second place; and Richard Sarrach, Adjunct Professor, Pratt Institute
Moderators: Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, AIANY Assoc. Director, and Sean Rasmussen, Assoc. AIA

The Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) is responsible for organizing several competitions such as “Figment: City of Dreams Pavilion” and the “ENYA Biennial Ideas Competition.” The committee recently held a panel discussion on how to succeed in design competition, an event offering emerging architects the opportunity to learn about competition strategies from design experts.

The panelists included: Tyler Caine, LEED AP, who won third place in the 2008 Ideas Competition, and first place in the Gowanus Lowline Competition in 2011; Ian Gordon, RA, who won second place in the 2008 Ideas Competition; Behrang Behin, Assoc. AIA, who won first place in the 2010 City of Dreams Pavilion; and Richard Sarrach, a professor at Pratt University who has participated and won a number of competitions.

The discussion covered strategies such as selecting which competitions to enter, selecting teammates for the project, designing the presentation layout, and managing time and funds. All of the panelists agreed that awards are important when selecting a competition to enter, including how much publicity a winning project might gain. The panelists also agreed that emerging and experienced architects should treat high-pressure competitions as integral to developing necessary skills as an architect.

“You have to invest in a competition just like you would your college education,” said Professor Sarrach, responding to a question regarding high competition entry fees for recent graduates. “You are investing in yourself.”

Moderators Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and Sean Rasmussen, Assoc. AIA, also described the committee’s experience with designing the competition brief and materials, and shared insights into what they look for in project entries. The event was successful in providing emerging architects an opportunity to discuss strategies and gain the confidence needed to be successful in their next design competition venture.

Next Stop: Architecture

Event: Design by New York Subway Exhibit
Location: West 4th Street Subway Station, 10.10.12
Organizers: AIA New York Chapter

If you’ve taken the A, B, C, D, E, F, or M lines lately and gotten on or off a train at West 4th, you might have noticed that instead of the usual movies, food, and fashion advertisements, the station walls are lined with large, colorful photos of architecture projects. AIANY’s annual subway show, “Design by New York,” features 188 projects (86 in New York City) in 39 countries, all designed by AIANY Chapter member architects and architecture firms (below are a few more interesting statistics about the projects on view). The exhibit, covering the southern corridors of the West 4th station, showcases everything from competition entries and built projects, to small residential work and large-scale landscape and urban design projects. It represents well the scope of today’s diverse architectural practice.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the exhibit will be up until November 4th and is organized as a part of Archtober, Architecture & Design Mont. The showcase is a great opportunity for architects to share their work with the multitude of commuters who who use the station, bringing architectural design to the public. Happy Archtober!

The 147 U.S.-based projects include 73 public projects; 34 of the 86 projects in New York City are public projects; 106 firms have worked or are currently working on these projects; and 28 countries are represented. Projects by region:
12 projects in Asia, including 3 in China and 4 in Korea
11 projects in Europe
8 projects in the Middle East, including one in Iraq
2 projects in Central America (Mexico, Trinidad, and Tobago)
2 projects in North America (Canada)
1 project in Africa (Burundi)
1 project in Oceania (Australia)
1 project in South America (Brazil)

Transition 101

The event’s format allowed attendees the opportunity to meet with many different mentors.

Ellen Abraham

Event: Transition 101
Location: Sun Decor Fabrics | NY Design Center, 08.15.12
Organizer: AIANY Women in Architecture (WIA) Committee
Mentors: Dana Bryne Klein, Meri Tepper, Marta Karamuz, Mary Deitz, Dolores Spivack, Siena Shaw, Marvine Pierre, Jessica Sheridan, & Carolyn Morin
Sponsor: Sun Decor Fabrics

“Time’s up!”

The Women in Architecture Committee (WIA) recently hosted Transition 101, a team speed-mentoring event offering female architecture students and intern architects an opportunity to discuss career options and professional development with experienced architectural designers. Structured similarly to speed dating, participants were asked to join a table of mentors and were given 25 minutes to converse about one of four discussion topics: pursuing licensure, selecting alternate/non-traditional career paths in design, reviewing portfolios, and reviewing résumés and cover letters. When their “time was up,” the mentees rotated to another table.

Sun Decor Fabrics’ representatives welcomed Transition 101 to their space at its NY Design Center showroom, and opened the event with a slideshow presentation of their window treatment and fabric designs. Afterwards, WIA organizers started the clock and the speed mentoring began. Conversations at each table swelled with growing queries from the attendees. At the “alternate careers” table, for example, the young designers expressed concern about not being able to earn Intern Development Program (IDP) hours outside of typical architecture settings. Mentor Siena Shaw dispelled these fears, responding: “As long as one is working under a licensed architect, he/she can earn up to 465 IDP hours working for developers, engineering firms, interior design firms, or planning firms.” Shaw herself was a full-time carpenter constructing homes before working for an architecture office.

Young women at pivotal points in their design careers had the opportunity to speak with seasoned female designers and architects about finding their own design niche, pursuing licensure, and refining their CVs and portfolios. The event was successful in encouraging these young women to continue practicing architecture specifically after college, providing them with female exemplars who they can contact as future mentors as their careers progress.

Opening “The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections”

Event: “The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections” Exhibition Opening
Location: Center for Architecture, 07.12.12
Organizers: AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee
Underwriters: King Displays; Tietz-Baccon
Benefactor: Artek
Supporters: ARC TRI-STATE; Doodlit; Franke Gottsegen Cox Architects; Gensler; The Janus Property Company

Marvine Pierre

Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, presented a certificate to the members of Linearscape for their ENYA-prize-winning project Sym’bio’pia. (l-r) Joseph Aliotta; Ting Chin, AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C; Yan Wang, AIA, LEED BD+C; Venesa Alicea, AIA, LEED AP, 2013 AIA National Associates Committee Executive Board, Director-at-Large; Brynnemarie Lanciotti, Assoc. AIA, ENYA Co-chair; Amanda Rivera, Assoc. AIA, ENYA Co-chair.

Sam Lahoz

Venesa Alicea, Amanda Rivera, and Brynnemarie Lanciotti <3 Harlem, ENYA, and the AIA. Michael Marrella, AICP, The Harlem Edge Juror & Director of Waterfront and Open Space Planning, NYC Department of City Planning, is a fan of the waterfront, naturally.

Sam Lahoz

On July 12th, some three hundred people gathered to celebrate the opening of “The Harlem Edge,” ENYA’s fifth biennial waterfront design ideas competition. The exhibition occupies three gallery floors, all of which were crowded with spectators on opening night. Those present included architects and agriculturalists, as well as high school students and their families. Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, AIANY 2012 President, began the night with a warm welcome, appreciation for ENYA’s activism and description of the AIANY’s theme of Future Now!. Following his introduction, Harlem Edge organizers Venesa Alicea, AIA, Regional Associate Director at AIANYS, along with Amanda Rivera and Brynnemarie Lanciotti, co-chairs of ENYA, presented the prize winners with their awards. The $5000 ENYA Prize went to “Sym’bio’pia” by Linearscape, Ting Chin and Yan Wang – a New York based interdisciplinary design studio founded by graduates of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and SCI-arc.

The opening reception was a conjunction of activities. At the event, one could browse the 98 design proposals, purchase the Harlem Edge publication, or pose for photographs with colorful props representing the competition’s three themes: waterfront, agriculture, and community. It was a festive environment, making the exhibition opening a success.

“The Harlem Edge” will remain on view until 10.31.12. Be a part of the guided tours both at the Center and at the Harlem site, and then come back for the closing party. Participate in re-envisioning the future of West Harlem.

[Editor’s note: For more photos of the opening by Marvine, click here.]