IN THE NEWS
AROUND THE AIA + THE CENTER
At the Center for Architecture
Editor's Note: I know we are all breathing sighs of relief knowing that Molly the cat has been removed from the store wall in the West Village. Both the cat and the historic 157-year-old building are safe and sound.
REPORTS FROM THE FIELD
Red Hook Imports Big Boxes
The era of the big box store is about to begin in Red Hook
Event: Opening Reception: "Big Box on the Basin: Retaining Red Hook's Last Working Shipyard"
When the vessel "Empire State" departed from the Todd Shipyard in February 2005, the era of ship repairing in Red Hook, Brooklyn, came to an end paving the way for the world of big box stores. A 35,000-square-foot Ikea store, slated to open in 2007, is being developed with the promise of hundreds of jobs for residents. Plans call for paving over the 750-foot-long dock for a 1,400-car parking lot and demolishing several buildings including an 1867 pump house. A waterfront esplanade preserving the shipyard's cranes is also planned.
The Municipal Art Society (MAS) advocates that an old dry dock can coexist on the 22-acre site with a new Ikea, an idea echoed in the "Big Box on the Basin" exhibition at the Urban Center. MAS enlisted Harold Fredenburgh, AIA, to devise an alternative plan: build a parking garage beneath the store. "We hope that Ikea will recognize that they can build their store and their parking lot while saving Civil War-era buildings and a functional ship repair dry dock," said Kent Barwick, MAS President. Community members are also working with Ikea to ensure that this "eyesore" will become a place of employment while at the same time opening the waterfront for residents to enjoy.
Beauty Is the Byproduct
Michael Rock aspires for a supermarket effect at the Prada store
floto + warner
Event: "F**k Content"
Michael Rock and his New York-based firm 2×4 are part graphic designers, part re-think tank, changing the way people view graphics in the built environment and treating "beauty as byproduct." With writing published in Any and Wired magazines, with built work including Chicago's McCormick Center at IIT and Prada stores worldwide, and by collaborating with OMA among others, the firm's portfolio covers the full graphic design spectrum. Rock's 500-slide lecture was prefaced with the caveat that the firm "never wanted [to be] a boutique," but aspired instead for a "supermarket" effect.
Describing his design work as a series of "ghostly meanderings," Rock is preoccupied by form. Playing with the objectified fashion world, the work either reveals the body (one graphic campaign for Prada's Soho Epicenter cut out the fashion of the previous season's prints leaving only scrambled body parts in its wake), or dislocates it (the graphic design and catalog for the "Waist Down" exhibition displays a retrospective of Prada's skirts gliding, puckering, and standing up without the benefit of limbs underneath). Supergraphics for the McCormick Center consist of a series of round activity icons, with student stick figures flattened into different poses. Even 2×4's approach to print design is physical; often books are modeled first so the concept of the publication is clear without benefit of the supporting content.
Almost entirely absent from the lecture were staple buzzwords like "branding" and "wayfinding," replaced by a critical look at popular advertising and consumption. Even the title of the lecture, "F**k Content," a possible play on Rem Koolhaas's latest book Content, shows Rock's wry commentary on today's popular culture.
Rare Cheers for the Public Sector
The Battery Park City Authority mandates that developers follow Green Guidelines
Courtesy Skyscraper Museum
Event: Battery Park City: Green Through Government
Billion-dollar projects often make people risk-averse, emphasized Carol Willis. Washington ideologues view public-sector action as inherently counterproductive, yet local government guidelines can prove to be the fountainhead of remarkable progress. By mandating that developers compete for sites and follow Green Guidelines written by architects, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) has raised standards for sustainability in the residential market. These achievements will last long after the "green premiums" have been amortized, Rafael Pelli, AIA, pointed out.
James Cavanaugh explained the BPCA's background, organization, spaces (strong on public amenities), and standards (e.g., 30% greater energy efficiency than state code requires). Pelli anatomized his firm's contributions and discoveries to date, from occupant-sensitive HVAC controls to high-performance curtain walls. Russell Albanese gave an optimistic business perspective on private-public partnership noting that suppliers are overcoming green-tech phobia to embrace new practices and products (and bring down their costs). Bryan Cho's firm, The Related Companies, is extending the lessons of Robert A.M. Stern Architects-designed LEED gold-rated Tribeca Green to future projects in Boston and Chicago.
The BPCA's support for green technologies is discriminate. Fuel cells, for example, need to run 24 hours a day, and units large enough to be efficient (200 kW) are over-scaled for residential use. Pelli and colleagues also considered bamboo flooring, recycled durable surfaces, and elevated wind turbines, but these ideas were premature or unaffordable. Cavanaugh favors technologies that can be replicated elsewhere; much depends on timing and a technology's state of development. As construction costs drive developers toward condos rather than affordable rentals, homeowners' closer attention to building systems is likely to feed the green revolution—though the panelists lamented that this revolution is still skewed toward the upper end of the market.
Bill Millard is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in Oculus, Icon, Content, and other publications.
Nouvel's Architecture Lives in the Moment
Courtesy Columbia University GSAPP
Event: Louisiana Manifest
Highlighting the tension between the generic placelessness of global culture and the specificity of place within contemporary architecture, Jean Nouvel, Hon. FAIA, urges architecture to live in the "here and now." In his own Louisana Manifest, Nouvel claims, "each situation requires a new architecture."
Nouvel's projects weave the specifics of architecture into the structure and history of their environment. By extending a public greenway to the harbor along a former riverbed, his master plan for Valencia's waterfront recalls the geographical past of the city and proposes a fresh identity. Likewise, for Les Halles in Paris the various garden levels intertwine with the larger urban pattern of parks and public spaces while the flora evoke the regional ecology. With his emphasis on the primacy of place, Nouvel urged his fellow architects: "If you do not like a city, if you don't respond to it: spare it, spare it—go somewhere else!"
Gregory Haley AIA, AICP is an architect and planner at Grimshaw Architects PC, New York and has taught architectural design studios at NYIT School of Architecture.
Students and Professionals Converge
CONVERGENCE NYC informally began at the Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation exhibition opening
Event: CONVERGENCE NYC
Many students have difficulty discovering and deciphering the process to become an architect; CONVERGENCE NYC, a full-day symposium, helped demystify this transition. Thomas Penn, AIA, NY State IDP Coordinator, introduced students to the IDP and licensure process. A panel discussion, themed "New Opportunities and Approaches in the Practice of Architecture," answered questions on varying topics including the transition from academia to professional practice, paths to leadership in architecture, the role of architects in civic leadership, and the duality of architecture as the study of form as well as a form of study.
While visiting architecture firms across the city, students gained access to the design field first-hand. Professionals presented projects and gave tours of their offices; in some cases, students were invited to submit portfolios. Firms that volunteered to host student groups included Dattner Architects, Grimshaw Architects, HOK, Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects, Pentagram, Polshek Partnership Architects, TEN Arquitectos, and SHoP Architects.
Approximately 60 Students from New York and New Jersey schools attended the symposium. Barnard College, CCNY, NY City College of Technology (NYCCT), Columbia University, Cornell University, NJIT, NYIT, Syracuse University, and the University of Buffalo were represented.
Jason Zoss is Student Director, AIA New York State, and is working toward an MArch I from Cornell University.
Sustainability Reaches Central Africa
Courtesy Wildlife Conservation Society
Event: "Gabon's New National Parks," part of National Landscape Architecture Month, April 2006
In September 2002, Gabon's President, El Hadj Omar Bongo, designated 11% of this Central African nation's land to become national parks. John Gwynne of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), local scientists, designers, architects, and in-country field staff are providing expertise to advise on plans for a sustainable tourism plan for Gabon.
The country's low population offers opportunities for nature-based economic development. Gabon is the epicenter of the largest wild forest block left in Africa—full of forest elephants, rainforest gorillas, African buffaloes, and many Central African birds, fish, and amphibian and reptile species. Many tens of kilometers of Atlantic beach remain pristine, with hippos swimming in the surf and elephants on the sand. These may become the most important refuge for Leatherback Turtles, the largest of sea turtles, now suffering global 90% population loss. Wild rivers such as the Djidji, in Ivindo National Park, offer special places for water tourism and adventure exploration with wildlife in view.
Gabon's ecotourism plan brings together conservation and adopts state-of-the-art green construction for tourist facilities crafted to protect wildlife, and respect and enhance the land, all to the long-term benefit of local people.
7 WTC Redefines NYC
Artist Jenny Holzer provides a moving text installation dominating the glass front lobby incorporating poem fragments about New York
7WTC responds to its urban context
The lustrous façade reflects lights throughout the day
Event: "Open Dialogue: Explore the New 7 World Trade Center"
The new 1.7 million-square-foot 7 World Trade Center scheme, 741 feet tall with 42 tenant floors, is distinguished by its response to urban context, surface, sustainable design, and safety innovations. The building footprint responds to the historic Manhattan street grid by opening up the previously closed Greenwich Street corridor, allowing access, natural light, and southern views. Clear glass wraps taught around the façade divided by stainless steel spandrels colored to "match the tone of the sky." The effect is a lustrous quality that reflects light throughout the day. The glass volume sits over a Con Edison substation occupying the windowless lower levels. Consultants with James Carpenter Design Associates, known for its glass work, treated the surfaces of the unoccupied floors with a metal skin. Floor-high vertical panels create shifting patterns of shimmering color that reflect sunlight and are backlit at night with bars of pre-programmed LED lights that dance across the façade.
SOM and Silverstein Properties focused on safety aspects as well as sustainable design in 7WTC. Rainwater collected from the roof helps to cool the building and irrigate the public park designed by landscape architect Ken Smith. Other initiatives include the use and proper disposal of recycled materials, and significant energy conservation from high-tech glass maximizing natural light. The concrete core, unusual in New York City, was poured after the steel superstructure was raised. Circulation to the emergency stairs is through the core rather than around it, increasing rentable area for tenants. The core also helps 7WTC exceed the safety requirements in the NYC Building Code containing egress stairs much larger than required and incorporating an innovative fire suppression system. These efforts have earned 7WTC the first NYC LEED Gold rating for a high-rise in the Core and Shell category, as well as the distinction of having some of the safety features written into the NYC Building Code.
Scott Jardine is a writer and project architect at David Fratianne Architect in New York City.
Variety Is New York Now
Event: "People's Choice Presentations from New York NOW Exhibition"
Based on voting from last year's "New York NOW" exhibition, five designers secured a chance to elaborate individual processes for their chosen works. Common themes of memory, community, and personal experience are current issues and challenges facing New York architectural practice today.
Despite Lebanon's lack in technological advancements, Michel Abboud designed a small, minimalist beachfront house inspired by the poetic nature of the site. For much needed student housing at Teachers College, Columbia University, Mitchell/Giurgola Architects created a dual tower scheme with ample public space allowing for architecture to interact with the city. Frances Levine's terrace design for an apartment in a high-rise building took into account, through the use of indigenous plant life, the geology and history of New York's landscape—despite budgetary and programmatic restrictions. The dimensions of Empty Sky, a September 11th Memorial by Frederic Schwartz, FAIA, correspond with those of Twin Towers, significantly "attaching itself to Ground Zero, while being physically distant." Lonn Combs addressed the design of Air Park IAH in Houston in terms of a personal narrative emphasizing landscape, as well as an "opportunity to extend the programmatic element of an airport."
Pollyanna Rhee has done graduate work in education and is a member of the steering committee for Architecture for Humanity New York.
After exploring the 77 entries to the Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation competition on display at the Center for Architecture (see On View), I discovered some interesting architectural trends. I noticed that some of the proposals referenced the community's request to keep the park wild, but none of them incorporated any aspect of Louis Kahn's FDR memorial—although one team proposed a mobile amphibious city inspired by FDR's New Deal. Many of the entrants planned the site similarly to the Mark K. Morrison Associates proposal currently being developed, incorporating aspects such as a ferry landing, providing overlooks, and placing a café and performance space inside the stabilized James Renwick Jr. Smallpox Hospital ruin. Some entrants submerged programmatic elements underground to keep the southern tip an open park. Whether entrants were listening to comments made by the community, or developing the site according to their personal instincts, the preference to preserve open, natural parks is clear.
I have spent the last two years with the Emerging NY Architects Committee (ENYA) organizing the Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation competition. For the competition, ENYA remained politically neutral, presenting registrants with all of the proposals for Southpoint Park as part of the historical site analysis (including the Mark K. Morrison "Wild Gardens" and the Louis Kahn FDR memorial). Although there are organizations fighting for Kahn's memorial, which proposes to pave the whole southern tip of Roosevelt Island in concrete and line the perimeter with trees, I think it says something when many of the 300+ entrants from around the world chose to propose a natural landscape. The community has voiced its opposition, and now emerging architects are showing that this site should remain a natural park.
Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
eON THE SCENE
Event: "The Metropolis View: 25 Years Through the Lens," Metropolis magazine's 25th Year Anniversary Party
During Metropolis magazine's 25th year anniversary celebration, e-O asked journalists and designers about their fond memories of this perennial magazine. It became apparent that Metropolis not only reflects design in vogue, but also has shaped those who influence it. "The Metropolis View: 25 Years Through the Lens" exhibition runs through 04.28.06 at the Art Directors Club.
Andrew Blum; contributing editor, Metropolis
Lisa Chamberlain; contributing writer, NY Times Real Estate Section
Kristen Richards; editor, Oculus & ArchNewsNow.com
Frederic Schwartz, FAIA; architect, Frederic Schwartz Architects
When speaking with the progenitors of Metropolis about its future, optimism and continuity were the prevailing themes.
Horace Havemeyer III; Publisher, Metropolis Magazine
Susan S. Szenasy; Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine
(l-r): Horace Havemeyer III, Metropolis Publisher; Susan S. Szenasy, Metropolis Editor in Chief; Frederic Schwartz, FAIA; Lisa Chamberlain, NY Times Real Estate; Andrew Blum, Metropolis contributing editor; Kristen Richards, Oculus & ArchNewsNow.com Editor
Darris W. James, Assoc. AIA
IN THE NEWS
High Line Breaks Ground
Mets To Batter-Up in New Ball Park
Fresh Kills Revamped
Cornell Students Study Downtown
On the Auction Block: Pieces of Washington Square
Mayors' Institute on City Design Seeks Director
AROUND THE AIA + THE CENTER FOR ARCHITECTURE
AIANYS Talks Policy and Design
Former Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson, Jr., delivered the keynote address on urban strategy and land use policies. Interactive sessions centered on neighborhood revitalization and home ownership, transportation initiatives and the Community Preservation Fund, downtown and waterfront development, downtown revitalization and comprehensive urban planning, major projects in the Bronx including the Bronx River Greenway and the River Plaza Mall, and the need for a unified statewide policy on economic development in urban areas.
For more information on AIANYS and the themes for 2006, click here.
IIDA Builds Leadership Over Breakfast
Organized by the IIDA New York Chapter, the event will be held April 26 at Pier 60 Chelsea Piers. Tickets are $300. The event is co-sponsored by Herman Miller and Interior Design magazine. For registration information, contact Jocelyn Pysarchuk (email@example.com) or click here.
Emerging Architects Inspire Future Architects
Emily sketches out her proposal for Southpoint Park
Introducing Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park and the island's Smallpox Hospital Ruin to a group of children, the Center for Architecture Foundation held a workshop on April 8 in conjunction with the ongoing "Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuventation" exhibition. The children formulated their own ideas for the site, which was also the location of the Emerging New York Architects' (ENYA) 2006 Biennial Design Competition.
One group used the existing Renwick Ruin as an art gallery and designed sculptures out of modeling clay. Another student worked with her father to build an aquarium complex using construction paper and fabric. Erin McCluskey, Program Manager for the Foundation, Jane Pereverzoff, a forensic architect at Thornton-Tomasetti Group, and Todd Rubin, Assoc. AIA, ENYA Competition Committee member, helped facilitate the program. The children embraced the challenges and possibilities of Southpoint. Many of the proposals enhanced the island with new spaces while remaining respectful of the ruin.
The "Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation" exhibition will be on display at the Center for Architecture through 06.17.06. Seventy-one of the over 300 entries received are on display. Exhibition sponsors include: AIA New York State, The Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in the Fine Arts, Gensler, Electronics Design Group, Inc., The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, The Rubin Family Foundation, Stephen Mosier, and Propylaea Architecture Atelier. For more information, see On View.
Todd B. Rubin, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP is a designer at Gensler and a member of the ENYA Competitions Committee.
New Members Welcomed With a Bang
Since the Center for Architecture opened in 2003, membership in the AIA New York Chapter has grown steadily. In the past year alone, Chapter membership has increased over 5%, to 4,089 members. Approximately 80 of the 350 individuals who joined the Chapter in 2005 attended a New Members Reception on March 31, mixing and mingling with members of the Board of Directors, Center for Architecture staff, and committee members. After a formal greeting by Chapter President Mark Strauss, FAIA, AICP, AIANY Secretary Beth Greenberg, AIA, and Director of Member Services Suzanne Mecs, the new members were briefed on upcoming events and invited to join one of the Chapter's 24 different committees.
The Center for Architecture and its programs are a large draw for many new members, including non-architects. Robert McGeachy, a Public Member since August 2005 and non-architect, has already attended the Historic Buildings Committee meetings. Donna Walcavage, a Professional Affiliate, joined the Chapter to access and support its programs. The public work exhibition held at the opening of the Center for Architecture, stands out as one of programs that inspired her to join.
The Chapter offers 12 different membership levels, with architects comprising nearly 67% of total membership. For more information, click the link.
Angeline Huang is a freelance writer and architecture aficionado.
Students Reveal Urban Design Solutions
Concluding the Studio@The Center Program at the Center for Architecture Foundation, students from the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction (UASDC) presented design ideas to transform a new market on the East River into a hotel to a team of architects and city planners. Plans ranged from a U-shaped building that provided space for a marina, to a rooftop recreation center including a memorial to the sailors and ships of South Street Seaport. Façades and materials ranged from mosaics of animals and fish to the antiquated red brick of the neighborhood. The professional team critiquing student work included Paul Wang, Anthony Vacchione, AIA, Richard Kahan, Amy Weisser, Daniella Eidelberg, and John Evans. Projects will be on display at the Center for Architecture in June.
Students present their plans for an East River hotel
Courtesy Center for Architecture Foundation and UASDC
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NAMES IN THE NEWS
Neighborhood catalyst Gun Hill Road subway station
Courtesy of di Domenico + Partners
The New York Building Congress will honor Daniel L. Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York, Salvatore Mancini, AIA, President/CEO, Skanska USA Civil, and Santiago Calatrava, FAIA, Principal, Festina Lente, at their Leadership Awards Luncheon on May 11, 2006… Costas Kondylis, AIA, senior partner of Costas Kondylis and Partners, will receive the Builder of Israel Award to honor his longtime support of the Israel Bonds program, intended to strengthen Israel's economy…
Five Manhattan projects have been honored with Municipal Art Society MASterwork Awards, recognizing excellence in urban design: 7 World Trade Center/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (best new building); an elevated plaza at 55 Water Street/Rogers Marvel Architects/Ken Smith (best privately owned public space); Historic Front Street/Cook + Fox Architects at South Street Seaport (best residential restoration); Gun Hill Road subway station/di Domenico + Partners in the Bronx (neighborhood catalyst); and Top of the Rock/Gabellini Sheppard Associates at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (outstanding commercial restoration).
The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland has announced three New York-based firms—Reiser+Umemoto RUR Architecture, SHoP Architects, and Studio MDA—are among the six finalists competing for the commission to design its new building at University Circle. An exhibition of the finalists' portfolios is planned at both the museum and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative… Leslie Koch has been named President of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, the organization charged with the redevelopment of the 172-acre island… Paul Makovsky has been promoted to editorial director of Metropolis; he was formerly senior editor at the magazine…
Preregistration deadline extended: 2006 AIA New York Design Awards
The AIA New York Chapter's annual Design Awards Program recognizes excellence in architectural design by New York City architects and in New York City projects. The program's purpose is to increase awareness of outstanding architecture and to honor the architects, clients, and consultants who work together to improve the built environment.
Information: PQ 2007: Performance Spaces for a New Generation
The United States Institute for Theatre Technology is sponsoring the USA Scenography Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial. Exhibiting contemporary stage designs and theater architecture, this year's theme of the US entry is "Performance Spaces for A New Generation." The exhibition will highlight the best of American theater architecture intended for education and training in the performing arts.
Registration: New Silk Road Cultural Park Ideas Competitions
Nine international ideas competitions have been announced for the New Silk Road Cultural Park, the largest destination dedicated to studying Chinese and European culture. The site is located in Xi'an, China, where the Silk Road originated. Invited teams will receive a monetary prize; nine winners will receive design commissions.
Submission: BSA Housing Design Awards Program/2006
The BSA is calling for entries for any built housing type anywhere in the world completed after January 1, 1997. Firms applying must currently reside in New England or New York; otherwise, the project must exist in one of the two. Recipients of the awards, co-sponsored by AIA NY Chapter, will be highlighted in ArchitectureBoston, and honored at an awards celebration on November 16.
Registration: International Religious Art & Architecture Awards
Faith & Form Magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture invite licensed professionals to submit projects (completed since 2001) for recognition in one of nine categories including new religious construction, restoration, and sacred landscape. Winners will receive recognition and will be published in Faith & Form Magazine.
Submission: Designing Politics: The Politics of Design
The International Design Forum (IFG) in Ulm is awarding up to 50,000EU to projects that deal critically with the political and social responsibility of design. Proposals must combine elements of research, practice, and dissemination.
Submission: The World Habitat Awards
Two awards of £10,000 are given annually at the United Nations global celebration of World Habitat Day to projects that provide practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems—one for the global north and one for the global south. Any individual, organization, or government may enter.
Submission: RDA Design Competition
Red Dot Americas is accepting submissions for its first American design competition to identify "good design" in three categories: General (architecture to product), Mobility, and Public Sector. Winners will receive recognition and be exhibited, among other benefits.
Submission: BSA Unbuilt Architecture Design Awards
The BSA announces an open call for entries for unbuilt architectural designs of any project type, including purely theoretical projects and unbuilt client-sponsored projects. Award certificates and/or cash prizes may be provided.
Oculus 2006 Editorial Calendar
At the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place:
Lately, the Center for Architecture has been making headlines in local newspapers and journals:
"Barcelona In Progress":
"Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation":
About Town: Exhibition Announcements
About Town: Ongoing and Upcoming
Through May 2006
Through November 2006
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