If you have yet to see our summer exhibition, “Open to the Public: Civic Space Now,” the culmination of this year’s presidential theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision,” established by AIANY 2014 President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, you should stop by the Center for Architecture soon! The exhibition will close on 09.08.14. Before this happens, however, we will be celebrating the opening of Christopher Janney’s public art installation, “Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations” on 09.05.14 at 5:00 PM. As the name suggests, this program is an important initiative of President Brown’s theme.
“Sonic Forest: Civic Celebrations” is an “urban musical instrument that will further activate the Center for Architecture’s neighboring public space, LaGuardia Park. A site-specific pattern of 16 eight-foot-tall “trees” will join the statue of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia by Neil Estern. Each “tree” houses interactive photo-electric sensors, computer-controlled LED lights, and an audio speaker. Visitors will trigger the sensors by touch or movement, producing an ever-changing score of melodic tunes and environmental sounds enhanced by light effects.
The opening reception will precede the final program for “Open to the Public: Civic Space Now,” a panel discussion titled “The Future of Public Space.” Suzanne Fraiser, AIA, associate professor at Morgan State University School of Architecture and Planning, Guido Hartray, AIA, founding partner at Marvel Architects, and Susan Silberberg, AIA, founder of CivicMoxie and lecturer in urban design and planning at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, will discuss the critical role played by our shared urban realm in the face of increasing population density in a conversation moderated by Richard Sennett, founder of Theatrum Mundi and professor of Sociology at NYU and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
After the panel discussion, the celebration will continue at Favela Cubana (543 LaGuardia Place) across the street from the Center for Architecture!
Signed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has fostered independence, empowerment, and inclusion for millions of Americans. On 08.19.14, Anthony Marx, the president of the New York Public Library, welcomed Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) Commissioner Victor Calise , a few hundred friends and well-wishers, and the winners of the 2014 ADA Sapolin Awards. The awards, presented each year by the mayor and MOPD, recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to increasing accessibility for people with disabilities, and an Advocacy Award to an individual or entity that has advocated on behalf of people with disabilities. The ADA Sapolin Awards are named for the late MOPD Commissioner Matthew Sapolin, who passed away in 2011, and the Advocacy Award is named in honor of the late Frieda Zames, a disability activist and mathematics professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
Marx started the evening by reminiscing about his mother’s role in working with people with challenging medical conditions. He stated: “New York is the capital of the diversity of experience of the world,” and added, “I could not be more proud to host this event here at this library, bringing this diversity of experience and insight – making sure that everyone has the opportunities they deserve.”
Mayor de Blasio noted that the library “is a place of inclusion, a place where inequality is addressed and equality fostered. I am so proud to join everyone tonight celebrating the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s a victory we should respect and celebrate over and over again.” He kicked off the festivities by thanking Commissioner Calise, saying, “Victor has done extraordinary things for this city.” He also noted, “Somehow he finds time for his athletic life as well,” and complemented the commissioner on his prowess as “an Olympic athlete who competed in 1998 at the Nagano Olympics on the Paralympics Sled Hockey Team.” Read More
On 08.20.14, Enterprise Community Partners held a resilience roundtable on ways to incorporate resilience measures into its Green Communities Criteria. Enterprise Green Communities aligns affordable housing investment strategies with environmentally responsible building practices, and the Green Communities Criteria were developed to provide a framework for building green, affordable housing developments. Developments must fulfill an adequate number of the criteria in order to receive Green Communities certification. After 10 years of successful implementation, Enterprise is updating the list of criteria with resilient building methods. For the New York region, the focus is on flooding issues.
Enterprise brought together a group of experts to suggest standards for the updated criteria. After opening remarks by Enterprise VP & Market Leader Judith Kende and a thorough introduction to the Green Communities Criteria by Enterprise Program Officer Michelle Mulcahy, there were keynote introductory remakrs by Alex Wilson of Resilient Design and AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA. An overview of the resilience work of Enterprise Community Partners was followed by participants breaking into four work groups. These were based on the criteria’s four existing categories: Location and Neighborhood Fabric + Site Improvements, Materials Beneficial to the Environment and Healthy Living Environment, Integrative Design and Operations & Maintenance, and Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency. Each group was encouraged to consider their assigned area in context and to think holistically about approaches to resiliently. Read More
Ten days before it closed in Sugar Hill on August 10th, I was able to visit the “If You Build It” temporary art exhibition, organized by No Longer Empty (NLE) and presented in collaboration with the Broadway Housing Communities. The work of 22 contemporary artists was situated throughout the extraordinary building designed for Broadway Housing Communities by David Adjaye, Hon. AIA. The artwork, on view since June 25th, occupied third-floor apartments and the ninth-floor sales office, along with roof terraces and the entrance forecourt. The exhibition anticipates how the new housing will form links between its architecture and the art, and activism and community spirit of the Sugar Hill neighborhood, described as the historic epicenter of the Harlem Renaissance.
The exhibition marks NLE’s fifth anniversary, which has presented site-specific artwork at locations as diverse as Tapestry on East 124th Street in East Harlem (Weaving In & Out, 2010), to the Andrew Freedman House on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx (This Side of Paradise, 2012). The stated goal of NLE is “to broaden the audience for contemporary art, to promote socially conscious artists, and to build resilience in communities through art.” This is achieved, citywide, with flair and flamboyance, by presenting professionally-curated, site-responsive art exhibitions where a community of artists, educators, scholars, and the public come together to create and experience art, free of market imperatives and institutional constraints. Read More
At the International Union of Architects (UIA) World Congress in Durban, South Africa, last month, member organizations representing more than 1.3 million architects in 124 countries unanimously supported the 2050 Imperative to eliminate CO2 emissions in the built environment by the year 2050. This is the first time in the UIA’s 65-year history that all the regional Architect Councils of Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa signed onto the declaration.
The 2050 Imperative was drafted by Architecture 2030, a non-profit research organization founded by Ed Mazria, AIA, dedicated to the reduction of carbon emissions of the built environment by changing the ways that cities, communities, infrastructure, and buildings are planned, designed, and constructed. The declaration was delivered to the UIA World Congress.
By adopting the Imperative, UIA member organizations are charged with promoting the planning and design of carbon-neutral cities, towns, and buildings. Its action items are partly based on the recent “Roadmap to Zero Emissions” that Architecture 2030 presented at the UN Climate Change meeting in Bonn, Germany, on 07.10.14.
To learn more about Architecture 2030 join us for a breakfast and call to action with Mazria on 09.24.14 at the Center for Architecture. At “DESIGN! Life Depends on Us,” he will lay out the blueprint for a just and carbon-free built environment, and review the progress made in the building sector since issuing the 2030 Challenge in 2006.
The annual Murray & Roberts Des Baker Student Competition took place this year concurrently with the UIA Durban 2014 Congress. In keeping with the Congress theme of ”Architecture Otherwhere,” which explored other ways of knowing and doing, the theme of this year’s Des Baker Competition comprised three components of PLAY + PURPOSE.
The notion of PLAY alludes to the idea of engagement as the process of interaction between people and products with reference to the passing of time and the experience of place. The idea of PURPOSE is concerned with adding economic, social, and environmental value to a particular place, which emphasises a holistic view of sustainability. Lastly, the ”+” speaks to the all-important conversation that is embedded in the in-between of play and purpose, which is of vital significance in the process of well-considered architecture. Read More
Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns is a fine text for professionals and student of urban design. This book can live on one’s desk and be a constant reminder of the New Urbanist standards that can craft urban environments. The textbook-like graphic interruptions and the uneven quality of images makes it feel more guidebook than linear narrative, but it is a thorough compendium of urbanist information. Authors Victor Dover and John Massengale, AIA, specify a series of typologies in the first chapter, “Historic Streets,” which is a tremendous argument in itself for how to read various cities. Massengale has an affable tone and gentle manner. This is exhibited in his prose as well as at his presentation for the AIANY Oculus Book Talk given at the Center for Architecture on 08.11.14. Time spent with the book and Massengale himself renders decades of street observation and interrogation. We all yearn for his vision of a Good Street. Read More
On 08.19.14, the Center for Architecture Foundation Young Patrons sailed the Hudson and the East Rivers on their first boat tour, highlighting new developments and projects that are dramatically changing Manhattan’s iconic skyline. This Classic Harbor Line tour was led by Arthur Platt, AIA, co-chair of the AIANY Architecture Tour Committee and partner at Fink & Platt Architects, who provided a dynamic and informative narrative about some of New York’s most historic landmarks as well as newer developments like Hudson Yards and the Brooklyn waterfront. Fifty young design professionals from a variety of creative fields embarked on The Manhattan, a luxurious 1920s-style modern yacht designed by Rick Scarano. To view more beautiful photos of the night, visit the Center for Architecture Foundation Young Patron’s Facebook Page. Our sincere thanks to Platt, our Young Patrons Committee members, and friends of the Foundation for making this event such a memorable one. Read More
In this issue:
- Abstract Painter Gets a Tangible Exhibition Space Dedicated to His Life and Work
- What’s Normal in Chelsea?
- Major Changes Coming for GWB Bus Station Commuters and the Community
- Old School Transforms into a New Dorm
- Animating the History of a Place through Still Photos Read More
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Victor Calise of the of the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) honored JetBlue, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Handi-Lift, New York Relay, and Christina Curry at the 2014 Sapolin Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to increasing accessibility for people with disabilities…The winners of Architectural Lighting magazine’s 2014 AL Light & Architecture Design Awards are Studio V Architecture/Tillotson Design Associates, Horton Lees Brodgen Lighting Design/AECOM, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, John Pawson/Mindseye Lighting, and Renfro Design Group… Read More