Jeanne Gang and Michael Kimmelman Discuss Truth and Public Work in Architecture

On 03.24.17, two of the biggest names in architecture stopped by the Center for Architecture for a lively evening of illumination and calls to action. Once the crowd of 180 fans filed into Tafel hall and the mezzanine balcony, AIANY and Center for Architecture executive director Benjamin Prosky warmed up the crowd for the two giants who, as he noted, needed no introduction: Jeanne Gang, principal of Chicago-based Studio Gang, and Michael Kimmelman, New York Times architecture critic. Continue reading “Jeanne Gang and Michael Kimmelman Discuss Truth and Public Work in Architecture”

Designing for the Refugee Crisis Reveals Both Hard Truths and Hope

On 02.23.17, AIANY’s Global Dialogues Committee brought the roiling debate around refugees to the Center for Architecture for a night of hard truths and small glimmers of hope. The lecture, titled “Designing for the Refugee Crisis,” gathered a distinguished panel of political and design experts to discuss the complex concerns surrounding this global problem. Continue reading “Designing for the Refugee Crisis Reveals Both Hard Truths and Hope”

Spotlight on the 2017 AIANY Design Awards Jury

Every year since the program’s inception, the AIANY Design Awards have celebrated outstanding architectural design by AIANY members and New York-based architects, as well as recognizing local work by architects from around the world. Awards are given in four categories—Architecture, Interiors, Projects, and Urban Design—as reviewed by the seven-person jury who establish criteria, evaluate excellence, and determine the awards given for Honor and Merit designations. This year, Oculus guest editor Alan Brake will serve as moderator when the jury convenes in the coming weeks.

Honor and Merit winners will be revealed at the Design Awards Jury Symposium on March 6, 2017, and further celebrated at the Honors and Awards Luncheon on April 21, 2017. Keep reading to learn more about each 2017 AIANY Design Awards juror: Continue reading “Spotlight on the 2017 AIANY Design Awards Jury”

‘SAY IT LOUD’ Includes Timeline of Black Architects in New York

Opened in conjunction with Black History Month, SAY IT LOUD: Distinguished Black Designers of NYCOBA | NOMA puts the spotlight on architects and allied professionals of color, as well as their rarely recognized impacts on the architecture and design fields and the community at large. Among the 20 architects, designers and students honored with project photography, quotes, and video interviews, Roberta Washington, FAIA, NOMA, Principal, Roberta Washington Architects, has contributed a timeline of the history of black architects in New York, which we’ve reproduced below. Continue reading “‘SAY IT LOUD’ Includes Timeline of Black Architects in New York”

Sighted: Durban Edition

Sophie Troskolanski, an organizer of the Healthcare Otherwhere International Student Competition; Mila Bolt, competition winner and a student at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT); Cameron Sinclair, Founder, Architecture for Humanity, Director, Jolie-Pitt Foundation, competition juror, and UIA keynote speaker; and Madeleine Swete Kelly, a Durban-based architect, were joined by AIANY 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, and Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, at Archiball, the closing UIA party celebrating the student-run competition. Continue reading “Sighted: Durban Edition”

Behold City Hall Station

Known mostly through the images like those prominently on display at the Museum of the City of New York’s (MCNY) exhibition “Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile,” the secret hideaway of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been glimpsed by a few curious New Yorkers looping around on the #6 train at Brooklyn Bridge Station and explored by a lucky handful of (mostly) New York Transit Museum members. On 06.05.14, presidents and members of AIA’s local New York chapters boarded an empty #6 train and toured the abandoned City Hall Station. Led by the MTA’s affable Frank Klimasz, the tour proved the aphorism “not all subway stations are created equal” correct.

When City Hall Station opened in 1904, the southern terminus of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the crown jewel of the nascent system. The nontraditional curved platform is bedecked in tiled green and white archways, once-sparkling chandeliers, and intricate glass skylights that dramatically light the underground space. The plaques that commemorate the construction of the underground train system honor architects Heins & LaFarge of St. John the Divine fame, but omit Rafael Guastavino, MCNY’s unsung hero and the true mastermind behind the station’s design (and, coincidentally, the cathedral’s 12-story vaults). Walking through the station, the collective feeling was one of nostalgia: “Why don’t we have spaces like this anymore?” Continue reading “Behold City Hall Station”

The Swiss Touch in Landscape Architecture

As AIANY 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, noted in his introduction for the opening of “The Swiss Touch in Landscape Architecture,” at the Center for Architecture, landscape architecture “stands at the center of urban and political discourse of our time.” Paradoxically, he said, it’s still largely “unknown to the public.” That’s why we need to bring that under-appreciated practice to light; after all, it is such an integral part of the oft-used term urban fabric, but it’s “not understood in a dogmatic way” like buildings. This exploration of landscape design as part of the social/physical aptly fits into the AIANY’s year-long theme, “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision.” Continue reading “The Swiss Touch in Landscape Architecture”

Urban Nature, from Zurich to New York

“‘Nature’ is simply another 18th- – and 19th-century fiction.” – Robert Smithson

This is one of the quotations that AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, chose to introduce the 05.16.14 event, “Urban Nature: Between Human and Non-Human.” A collaboration between ETH Zurich and Columbia GSAPP, the conference featured eight speakers who approached the relationship between “urban” and “nature” from a variety of angles; yet, the construction of nature as a concept and the natural-built dichotomy were major themes running through the fascinating collection of topics explored. Continue reading “Urban Nature, from Zurich to New York”

Fast-paced Design Awards

Nine of this year’s AIANY Design Award winners lined up for an evening of presentations “pecha kucha” style – 20 slides at 20 seconds each. It’s the fast-paced format that Tokyo-based Klein Dytham Architecture concocted a decade ago as a monthly party delivering quick doses of design diversity. The Chapter’s 2014 winners presented projects ranging from theoretical and unbuilt work to renovations, high rises, and urban interventions.

Leading the way with 4 World Trade Center by Maki and Associates, Mary Dietz of Silverstein Properties gave the audience an overview of the LEED Gold building and its place on the redeveloped World Trade Center site. Jean-Gabriel Neukomm, a principal at SPAN Architecture, took us to the other end of the spectrum with an interior retail space in China for Calvin Klein that features blackened steel and white marble. While both are fine examples of minimalism, Adam Yarinsky, FAIA, a principal at Architecture Research Office (ARO), presented the renovation of the godfather of Minimalism’s New York abode, the Donald Judd Home and Studio. Judd’s place on Spring Street was essentially stripped and historically preserved in a move so fine one is hard-pressed to find the new. Continue reading “Fast-paced Design Awards”

Names in the News

The winners of the design100 2014 New York Design Awards, presented at Steelcase on 05.20.14 as the closing event for NYCxDesign, include: STUDIO V Architecture for Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway; Family and PlayLab for +Pool; STUDIOS Architecture for Shuttercock Headquarters; Gwynne McCue Interiors for Transformer Tea House Dining Room; and dlandstudio architecture and landscape architecture for BQ Green; Built/NYC at the NYC Department of Design + Construction wins the Design Champion Award. AIANY executive director Rick Bell, FAIA, presented a special award to the City of New York… Continue reading “Names in the News”