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”

Lead Us Not Into Penn Station…

There may be only one proposition that every sentient being in the tri-state region would agree on: Penn Station, as we know, it has to go. As Margaret Newman, FAIA, noted at the “Transportation as Cultural Identifier: Penn 2023” on 04.19.14, the station was built under the twin erroneous assumptions that New York City and rail travel were both in conditions of irreversible decline. Penn Station is slightly smaller than Bryant Park – about 8½ acres, or 368,000 vs. 418,000 square feet – yet the number of people passing through it daily, reported Newman, is roughly equivalent to the population of Denver, some half a million. And pass through it is all most of them do: it is no place to linger, the opposite of a welcoming space, disliked as widely as its lamented predecessor was admired. As Chris Sharples, AIA, hardly needed to remind this audience, it is a place where “we use the word ‘flee’; Vincent Scully probably would use the word ‘scurry.’” “If you think it’s bad now,” added Thomas Wright of the Regional Plan Association (RPA), “you ain’t seen nothing yet,” considering the rising numbers of users at this confluence of multiple transit systems. (Some 80% of Manhattan’s entering commuters now come from west of the Hudson, feeding New Jersey Transit’s growth over the past two decades, with the Long Island Rail Road holding steady, and true high-speed rail for the Northeast Corridor a possibility.) Endure it though we all do, the situation is critical. Continue reading “Lead Us Not Into Penn Station…”

Films Behind Façades

Last year, the Montreal International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), the hotbed of international art films that it is, screened 250 films from 28 countries. This year’s “Architecture on Screen,” the fifth annual at the Center for Architecture, captured seven of those films for two days of architecture, film, and conversation. Continue reading “Films Behind Façades”