The American Institute of Architectus New York Chapter - eOculus: Eye on New York Architecture and Calendar of Events

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Jessica Sheridan, Editor • Dan Hillman • Mauricio Alexander • Linda G. Miller • Carolyn Sponza, AIA



CONVERSATION: Jeremy Edmunds, Assoc. AIA



Residential Tower to Act Neighborly | A S.E.E.D. Flowers in Singapore | Condos Edge Lincoln Center | L'Enfant's Vision Revived | Monroe Brings New Life to Main Street | Middle School Joins Community | State to Help Fund City School Construction

Roosevelt Island Tour Leaves Participants Dumbstruck | Council Votes 50-0 for New Historic District





Special e-Oculus Issue—Jane Jacobs | Most Jane Jacobs Block | AIA 2007 National Convention | Designing with Natural Stone Scholarship | Shrinkage Worldwide Awards | upstateHOUSE Green Building Competition


At the Center for Architecture
Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation—ENYA International Ideas Competition Exhibition | Barcelona In Progress

About Town
Cityscapes | Ciudad Moderna | Vaults of Heaven | High Style of Dorothy Draper

Click the above link to go to to eCalendar on the Web.



Editor's Note: With Jane Jacobs's passing, we are working on a special issue of e-Oculus in her memory. We welcome all of your memories, anecdotes, and photographs to be included in this issue. Please submit to by May 9.


How China is Adjusting to Exponential Growth
By Susan Chin, FAIA, 2005 AIA New York Chapter President

Organic growth in China
Courtesy Dynamic City Foundation

Event: 3x3: A Perspective on China—The Future Fast Forward
Speakers: Neville Mars, chairman, Dynamic City Foundation. Beijing; Yan Meng and Hui Wang, principals, Urbanus Architecture Office, Beijing and Shenzhen; moderator Bert de Muynck, co-founder, People's Architecture
Organizers: People's Architecture, AIA NY Chapter
Sponsors: Gluckman Foundation, Christopher Giattino
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.17.06

China's dramatic transformation since the Cultural Revolution is a result of growing up in the public eye, according to Bert de Muynck. Presenting the "future fast forward" development of China 2020—planning 400 cities for 400 million people—Neville Mars, architect and chairman of the Dynamic City Foundation in Beijing (DCF), addressed the daunting task to understand China's rapidly changing social, political, and economic urban context. DCF's new book, The Chinese Dream, illustrates the explosive organic growth in Shanghai and Beijing driven by market forces, migration, utopian models, and planned growth. With this growth, society will change the way it communicates, lives, works, and thinks affecting issues of density, building typologies, and a stratified society. New Chinese cities—many less than 750,000 people—will map patterns of urbanization ranging from sprawl and diminished farmland to megacities and megaurban regions.

Yan Meng and Hui Wang, principals of Urbanus Architecture Office in Shenzhen and Beijing, believe cities are collages filled with contradictions. They describe their projects as "urban infill" and "urban refill," stressing how architects serve as a progressive force in society by filling urban spaces with vital activities. Diwang Park A in Shenzhen, an urban infill project, added buildings and follies to a green space. CCTV Media Park in Beijing will unify structure with gridded planting, interactive media wall, performing stage, and production studios. Proposed "urban refill" projects will convert industrial and old residential areas to theme parks or museums creating the appearance of architecture developed over time. Urbanus Architecture Office's unique solution for Dafen—a typical city where development expanded over fields and enveloped a village—preserved the village industry by building over the village, thus protecting the existing urban fabric and maintaining cheap rents.

Alternatives Impede Impending Collapse
By Bill Millard

Courtesy Bill McKibben

Event: "Deep Sustainability: Building Communities that Actually Work" Presenter: Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature (1989), Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age (2003)
Organizers: Architectural League of New York, Architecture and Environment series; co-sponsored by the Department of Architecture, Interior Design and Lighting, Parsons The New School for Design
Location: Tishman Auditorium, Parsons the New School for Design, 04.17.06
Podcast: Both excerpt and entire lecture available here.

"I wrote a book called The End of Nature," McKibben says. "Optimism isn't my stock in trade." In his analysis of systems reaching breaking points, he sees developed economies caught in a vise between the peak-oil phenomenon (occurring no later than 2015–2020) and the even graver problem of climate change. Because of global warming, ice caps are already melting and feedback loops are approaching tipping points.

Fossil fuels are exceptional forms of energy storage: compact, portable, and rich in BTUs. McKibben imagines a future where humanity grieves over how casually it has squandered such convenient resources—and where we cannot view the beauty of, say, Frank Gehry's roofs without also noting the huge amounts of energy embedded in titanium. "Architects are the first line of defense against energy waste," he stated, while specifying that responsible solar and wind technologies alone cannot create a society that could be as profligate with such energy as the West has been with fossil-fuel power.

McKibben finds energy-sparing building design just as essential as fire codes. He praises efforts like Curitiba Mayor Jaime Lerner's transportation revolution in Brazil, reflecting political willpower favoring the public realm over private privilege; he finds European-style centripetal cities outperforming the centrifugal American model in human satisfaction as well as ecological variables. He distinguishes between an orientation toward belonging, which might inspire a longer-range view of resource use, and the dysfunctional orientation toward belongings. Perhaps this kind of rhetorical formulation goes down a bit easily, particularly when he's speaking to the converted (few oil or auto executives were in this audience).

Bill Millard is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in Oculus, Icon, Content, and other publications.

On the Town with Marshall Berman
By Gregory Haley

The thrill and spectacle of Times Square
Annique Fung

Marshall Berman: "Every book is a building and every building is a book."
Anita Kan

Event: This Will Kill That? A Reading Forum with Marshall Berman
Speaker: Marshall Berman, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, City College of New York and the Graduate Center, author On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Times Square
Organizers: Emerging NY Architects (ENYA), AIA NY Chapter
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.25.06

Times Square has been a backdrop for the acting out of primal scenes—both symbolic and real—in modern American history, according to Marshall Berman. Through references to Theodore Dreiser's movie, "Sister Carrie," and Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph "VJ Day, The Kiss," Berman's On the Town highlights the symbolic versatility of Times Square as a space where the drama of life, love, and human striving play out in the public arena. Situated in a democratic and pluralistic society, Times Square is also a place where the intermingling of ethnicity, race, and gender allows the modern individual (see Al Jolson in "The Jazz Singer") to discover his or her true identity as a subjective individual.

Throughout his life, Berman observed the way different generations come to the square and learn from each other about the possibilities of the world. Despite the corporate control prevalent in Times Square today Berman is hopeful that new generations will find ways to take ownership of the Square and return it to its role as a crucible for modern identity.

Gregory Haley, AIA, AICP, is an architect and urban designer at Grimshaw Architects PC, and has taught architectural design studios at NYIT School of Architecture. Haley also coordinates the ENYA Reads program.

Light + Architecture = Unified Design
By Daniel Hui

Lighting emphasizes surface, volume, and texture
Roland Halbe

Event: Light and Space: 18 Works
Speaker: Hervé Descottes
Organizer: The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, Feltman Lecture Series
Location: Cooper Union, The Great Hall, 04.24.06

In the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, designed by Steven Holl Architects, Hervé Descottes designed lighting to highlight "poetry, expanse, and texture of the space." Light emphasizes the texture and dimension of the curvilinear surfaces, and gives dramatic height to the gallery volumes throughout the day. At night, the museum becomes a dramatic beacon of light, glowing outward from the frosted glass.

Ranging from ancient Roman aqueducts to contemporary museums, Hervé Descottes' diverse work explores how light can establish a design hierarchy, emphasize volume and texture, highlight functionality, heighten drama and human emotion, and foster collaboration. Descottes' projects emphasize the significance of the relationship between surface, volume, and light; to which he notes: "Lighting does not exist if there is nothing to catch it."

Daniel Hui is a recent Dartmouth College graduate, and will begin work towards a MArch1 at Harvard Graduate School of Design in the fall.

When Five-and-Dime Grows a Skyscraper
By Carolyn Sponza, AIA

Cass Gilbert clutches his Woolworth Building
Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA

Frank Woolworth counts his nickels and dimes
Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA

Event: "The Skyscraper and the City: The Woolworth Building and the Making of Modern New York"; Downtown Third Thursdays
Presenter: Gail Fenske, Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture, Art & Historic Preservation, Roger Williams University
Organizers: Alliance for Downtown New York
Location: Woolworth Building, 233 Broadway, 04.20.06

Frank Woolworth honed his skills marketing five-and-dime stores across the country, and used many ideas that foreshadowed the architecture-as-advertisement design trends of today. The site for his 1913 building was chosen due in part to its proximity to pedestrian and commuter traffic, with its location overlooking City Hall Park intended to frame the building as a "giant sign board." At 55 stories and 750 feet tall, the Woolworth Building was the tallest building on the Manhattan skyline through much of the 1920's, but was built for primarily speculative tenants; Woolworth's desire to build a monument to brand his company outweighed his need for only several floors of office space in New York. Soon after completion, the building's outline was integrated into the company's logo, with the tower's form becoming synonymous with the Woolworth identity.

The building's frothy exterior and "technically audacious steel construction" was fueled by Woolworth's "irrational desire" to build the tallest building in the world, augmented by architect Cass Gilbert's wild ambition to construct the largest commercial office building in New York, revealed Gail Fenske. Incidentally, the pair is immortalized in several less than flattering gargoyles in the lobby. The building's continued architectural notoriety is testament to this shared vision, proving that Woolworth's translation of his stores' retail window dressing into an architectural concept has sustained currency today.

Green: Learning from the Past
By Bill Millard

Ground Zero: a site for potential sustainability
dbox for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Event: "Green Ground Zero: Guidelines for Downtown and Beyond"; Green Teams series
Presenters: Randolph Croxton, FAIA, Croxton Collaborative Architects; Mahadev Raman, building sector leader, Arup; Daniel Nall, P.E., FAIA, Sr. VP and Director of Advanced Technology, Flack & Kurtz; Hillary Brown, AIA, LEED AP, principal, New Civic Works; moderator Carol Willis
Organizers: Skyscraper Museum
Where: New York Public Library Donnell Library Auditorium, 04.18.06

The 15 buildings included in the Green Teams series represent extraordinary progress, Randolph Croxton, FAIA, acknowledged, but "if sustainability is a postgraduate degree, we're clearly in kindergarten." Older buildings often optimized natural light, cool air, and other resources before the Modern world of sealed, air-conditioned buildings full of appliances, fluorescent lighting, and asbestos took over. The 19th century Audubon House is among the city's most energy-efficient buildings offering measured optimism.

Global energy-use trends relate to social formations and economic development, according to Mahadev Raman. Energy use rises linearly and sharply with industrialization but levels off as nations develop service economies; as India and China continue to industrialize, for example, energy demand will exhaust fossil-fuel supplies. Renewables are the only realistic long-term solution, and conservation in the building sector requires technology adoption beyond what current economics encourages. While emphasizing forms of community organization that increase efficiency in ways no single skyscraper can accomplish, Daniel Nall, P.E., FAIA, detailed glass, lighting, HVAC, insulation, cogeneration, and water-use technologies. Waste heat and non-potable water, in particular, represent huge missed opportunities; better coordination on communal scales, with a recognition that one system's sink can be another system's source.

Hillary Brown, AIA, recommends that Lower Manhattan, Jamaica, and Hudson Yards join Chicago, Seattle, and other national bellwether areas for infrastructural best practices. Critical to the Ground Zero property—the world's most closely scrutinized 16 acres—is its visibility, focusing worldwide attention on the inherent efficiencies of multi-use natural urban systems.

Bill Millard is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in Oculus, Icon, Content, and other publications.

NYIT Students Dig Graves and Eisenman
By Linda Crites, Hillier Architecture

Eisenman and Graves preach originality and caution against dazzle
Kristen Richards

Event: A Conversation Among Friends: Architects Michael Graves and Peter Eisenman
Speakers: Peter Eisenman, FAIA; Michael Graves, FAIA; moderator Judith DiMaio, AIA
Organizers: New York Institute of Technology's School of Architecture and Design
Location: Steelcase, Inc. 04.18.06

Responding to a comment about the increasing influence of computers in architecture, Peter Eisenman, FAIA, proposed banning Photoshop as a way to lessen the "dazzle" in students' portfolios. Michael Graves, FAIA, concurred and explained that there's more to a building than what can be created on screen. "Just like a novel, a building has to have stories and sounds," said Graves. Originality is most important, according to both architects.

Serving as a crash course in their work, Eisenman and Graves discussed the development of the New York Five, their favorite ways to lecture, and recent work at Princeton. It was the audience Q&A at the NYIT event, however, that brought out the architects' personalities with questions ranging from how to deal with blob architecture to the best way to teach theory.

The media's role in architectural criticism also drew the speakers' ire. Critics are capable of comparing lesser-known architects to the celebrities but have lost the ability to tell "a good Rem from a bad Rem," according to Eisenman. When asked about sustainability, Eisenman left little doubt of his view on the topic: "Sustainability is like motherhood. I love it but am totally incapable of it."

300SF is All You Need
By Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA

Event: Urban Center Books Program: Tiny Houses: Lecture by author Lester Walker
Speaker: Lester Walker
Organizers: Municipal Art Society and Urban Center Books
Location: Urban Center, 04.18.06

After discovering a tiny gable-roofed house in the middle of the woods in Maine built by an elderly woman, Lester Walker decided that everyone should own a small, secluded retreat. Acting the part of anti-architect enabling people to build their own ideal sanctuaries, Walker traveled searching, researching, and recording tiny houses across America to be compiled in Tiny Houses: or How to Get Away From It All.

From the first tiny houses built by English settlers in the 1620's, to Henry Thoreau's 1845 Cabin on Walden Pond, to George Bernard Shaw's Writing Hut built to swivel around a steel pole, tiny houses have historically significant, pragmatic, and sometimes flippant applications. For example, in the 1850s, a Methodist congregation in Ocean Grove, NJ, constructed clusters of tiny houses with shared public worshiping, dining, and bathing facilities. Half of each house was built with wood and the other half with canvas. In the winter, the canvas half was stored for a more compact living environment, and in the summer the canvas was unfurled to take advantage of the warm weather. When slaves were freed in Barbados, they had to rent the land they inhabited, but were permitted to own their houses. They constructed "chattel" houses that could be easily moved to new locations as needed. In locations where ice fishing is popular, clusters of 30-square-foot shanties are built and pushed onto ice ponds creating temporary weekend villages. Each shanty fits two fishermen with two benches/beds and a center aisle.

Pointing out that today houses are growing to average more than 2,000 square feet, Walker declared that his average Tiny House is just 300 square feet. Proving that so much space is unnecessary, he attempted to design the smallest house possible. He transformed his truck into a portable home—complete with a bed in the rear, a workshop on one side, a foldout kitchen on the other, and a camper toilet. He now travels fully equipped with the bare essentials.


CONVERSATION: Jeremy Edmunds, Assoc. AIA—Advocate

Jeremy Edmunds, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, sits on the AIA Advocacy Committee representing interns and unlicensed AIA members. e-Oculus joined Jeremy to discuss some issues currently affecting architects.

e-O: What is your role as a member of the national AIA Advocacy Committee?

JE: My role as a voting member of the Advocacy Committee is to represent the interests of interns and other unlicensed members of the AIA (associates) as they relate to government regulations and the public image of the profession.

e-O: What are some of the policies that AIA national is addressing?

JE: Policies range from reducing dependency on fossil fuels to fighting to increase the diversity of the profession and make it more accessible to those historically marginalized.

One position statement to move forward involves ARE timing. Graduates should be able to sit for the exam when they feel best prepared. This will benefit the profession and public in the long run by increasing access to a broader range of qualified individuals. To transform this belief into reality, we have developed education tools for use in lobbying each state currently prohibiting interns from taking the exam before completing internship. This national push is well underway and we expect significant progress to be realized in the next year or so.

Another issue addresses how architects can transform the way we live by developing healthy (non-toxic, walkable, and safe), environmentally low impact neighborhoods. This involves rigorous research, passionate communications, active consensus building, and especially education of our members, elected leaders, and the public.




Note: This letter is in response to last issue's Editor's Soapbox about the Louis Kahn Roosevelt Memorial and the Emerging NY Architect committee's Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation competition. See On View for information about the exhibition at the Center for Architecture.

Dear e-O,

We submitted the amphibious city entry (to the ENYA Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation competition) inspired by FDR's New Deal, which pumped money into projects such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Astoria Pool, LaGuardia Airport, the Triborough Bridge—all on the East River (add to that the United Nations + FDR Drive). As for the Kahn Roosevelt memorial, our proposal preserved the earthworks that currently exist on the site, which were intended to serve as the base for the proposed memorial, so we did incorporate the memorial into our proposal. It was our intention to permit the river to run its course, gradually transforming this area into a waterfowl refuge, in the spirit of another Roosevelt—Teddy—and something quite different from a naturalistic park.

Describing Kahn's memorial design as concrete paving lined with trees does it some disservice. Stone was the material proposed for the site, and the design involved a dramatic choice of sequences as well as a number of spaces that would have made for great fireworks viewing.

What is really surprising to us however is the fact that there is no memorial considering the impact of the Roosevelt family on just this city (never mind the nation and world). They deserve more than a stretch of highway, which is why we proposed renaming the East River for the Roosevelts.

Thanks to ENYA for the competition. It opened our eyes to things we had missed.

David Cunningham, RA, LEED
The "South Port" proposal is included in the Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation exhibition at the Center for Architecture, and it was chosen by the jury for publication (available for sale online).



When I heard that Jane Jacobs had passed away last week, I scanned my memory of the books, interviews, and lectures that continue to inspire me. I remember hearing her speak at City College, May 6, 2004 ("The Past, Present and Future of the Office Skyscraper," the First Annual Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism). I was impressed not only by her age and the length of her speech—she just kept going!—but by the quality and innovation of her ideas.

Jacobs spoke of how social values have changed in America. A rapid increase in large corporations moving their headquarters to suburbia is contributing to the condemnation of New York City. She called for agricultural development in the city in order to prevent urban obsolescence. By incorporating and introducing plant life to vacant spaces, in infill spaces and across the vast landscape of roofs, New York will be able to thrive economically and culturally.

Jacobs's progressive ideas are practical, simple as well as complex. Her genius lay in her ability to observe, listen, and react to changes in society as they occurred. The best way to honor her legacy is by doing the same with the goal of bettering life for communities, the environment, and the world.

In Jacobs's memory, e-Oculus invites everyone to submit memories, contacts, photos, recollections, and anecdotes to be collected and compiled in a special issue of e-Oculus. Please email to no later than Tuesday, May 9.



Residential Tower to Act Neighborly

Sky House
Courtesy FXFOWLE Architects
Still under construction, the Sky House, a 262,000-square-foot luxury condo designed by FXFOWLE Architects for The Clarett Group, will use air rights from its neighbor, the historic Church of the Ascension. The through-block building—three slender interlocking masses—will rise 55 stories at Madison Square Park North. In addition to 139 one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences, the building will incorporate a three-story base to serve as a new parish house for the church. The minimalist red-brown iron-spot brick building was also designed to blend in with existing low scale neighborhood.

A S.E.E.D. Flowers in Singapore

S.E.E.D. resort
Courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects
The Polshek Partnership Architects and Singapore-based DP Architects have designed Marina Bay, a resort for Star Cruises and Genting International, an integrated resorts specialist. The development, to be known as the Singapore Entertainment & Events Destination, or S.E.E.D, will offer quality exhibition space, convention halls, and meeting rooms, including one of the world's largest plenary halls with a seating capacity of 5,500 and a grand ballroom that will accommodate 6,000 people. The hotel complex will be the country's largest with more than 5,000 rooms. The budget for the proposed design exceeds $5 billion.

L'Enfant's Vision Revived

D.C. Courthouse
Courtesy Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners
Renovation is about to begin on the Old D.C. Courthouse, one of the oldest public buildings in the nation's capital dating back to 1821. The 134,770-square-foot building, considered the centerpiece of Judiciary Square, will be restored, expanded, and modernized by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners to house the D.C. Court of Appeals. As part of the 2002 master plan for Judiciary Square, designed by Gruzen Samton in association with Karn Charuhas Chapman & Twohey, restoration includes historic courtrooms and a two-story skylit space in white marble. A new plaza and entrance pavilion will be built, keeping the proportions and character of the historic structure with contemporary ADA compliance. A new ceremonial courtroom and attorney and public workrooms are part of the underground expansion.

Monroe Brings New Life to Main Street

Harrison Hall, Monroe College
Courtesy Susan Doban Architect
Brooklyn-based Susan Doban Architect has designed Harrison Hall, a 61,500-square-foot, six-story dormitory for Monroe College in downtown New Rochelle. With 50 suites for 250 students and a cafeteria that will serve the entire campus, the new building complements two adjacent buildings, also designed by Susan Doban, AIA, as part of the college's master plan. The first floor will be open, like a storefront, and is expected to enliven Main Street. Construction is scheduled to being in spring 2007.

Middle School Joins Community

New Middle School in Peekskill, NY
Courtesy Peter Gisolfi Associates
Peter Gisolfi, AIA, has designed two academic "houses" that will provide classrooms for a total of 800 students, grades six through eight in Peekskill, NY. Attached to the classroom complex will be an activities building containing an auditorium, cafeteria, gym, and competition swimming pool for use by students and community residents. The four-story 140,000-square-foot structure is budgeted at $42 million and will be completed in the fall of 2007.

State to Help Fund City School Construction
Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki jointly announced New York State would provide 50% of New York City's $13.1 billion five-year School Capital Construction Plan. The Governor signed the legislation providing $1.8 billion in aid and authorizing an additional $9.4 billion in financing through the New York City Transitional Finance Authority, of which half will be paid for by the State, the remainder by the City. The funds will be used to modernize and expand City schools including 21 projects that were previously on hold.



Roosevelt Island Tour Leaves Participants Dumbstruck
By Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA

Tour gathers at the Renwick Smallpox Hospital ruin, site of the Southpoint competition
Darris James, Assoc. AIA

What would you do with Southpoint Park?
Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA

From a place where the Dutch raised hogs, to a destination of exile and illness, Roosevelt Island has endured a sordid past. With the help of Judith Berdy, president of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, a tour of Southpoint began at the foot of the (temporarily?) defunct Tram Station. In conjunction with the exhibition for the Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation competition, hosted by the Emerging NY Architects (ENYA) committee, AIA NY Chapter, the tour (04.29.06) offered historic background along with local opinion about Roosevelt Island's future.

Roosevelt Island is currently developing luxury housing complexes and eliminating government subsidized housing, threatening the diversity and equilibrium that makes Roosevelt Island unique, according to Berdy. $12 million was awarded for Southpoint Park's development. Because NY State has a 99-year lease on the island (since 1969), yet holds the island responsible for its own undertakings as a "self-sufficient" entity, much debate leaves the future of the southern tip in question. Ending the tour with the question about whether or not Louis Kahn's FDR Memorial should be built, Berdy left participants—many opinionated New Yorkers—without solutions.

Information about the Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation competition is available on the ENYA Competitions website. The exhibition will be on view at the Center for Architecture through June 17 (see On View). Competition catalogs are available for $15 at the Center for Architecture and online. The competition was sponsored by AIA New York State, The Graham Foundation, Gensler, Electronics Design Group, Inc., Stephen Mosier, Propylaea Architecture Atelier, The Rubin Family Foundation, and Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

Council Votes 50-0 for New Historic District
By Martin Zelnik, AIA

On April 26, 2006, The New York City Council voted 50-0 for the creation of the Fieldston Historic District (L.U. 91 and Res 283) located in Riverdale, the Bronx. The AIA Bronx County Chapter was instrumental in initiating and organizing the support of the architectural community which included: the AIA New York Chapter, notably Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director; Jorge Bosch, AIA, President of the NY Society of Architects; the Brooklyn and Queens Chapters of the AIA; and the AIA New York State. It's amazing what a unified architectural voice can accomplish.

Martin Zelnik, AIA, is a member of the AIA Bronx County Chapter.



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The April 19 issue of The Onion ("America's Finest News Source") published an article addressing many issues relevant to architects, designers, planners, and all related fields. Your sympathy will run high. See "Beaver Overthinking Dam."



Croxton Collaborative Architects (with Cecil Baker Associates, Philadelphia) won an AIA Committee on the Environment Award for the design of Philadelphia Forensic Science Center… The American Society of Landscape Architects announced that five projects with New York-area ties have been granted 2006 Professional Awards, including: The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA (Sawyer/Berson Architecture & Landscape Architecture); Columbus Circle, New York, NY (Olin Partnership); The Elizabeth & Nona Evans Restorative Garden, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland, OH (Dirtworks); Brille Residence, East Hampton, NY (Edmund Hollander Landscape Architect Design); and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (Zion Breen & Richardson Associates, Site Planners/Landscape Architects, Cream Ridge, NJ)…

The Historic Districts Council, a citywide advocate for New York's historic neighborhoods, will confer this year's Grassroots Preservation Awards upon several groups and individuals at their annual awards ceremony and preservation party. The Coalition to Preserve the Austin, Nichols and Company Warehouse and The Tottenville Historical Society on Staten Island's South Shore will be honored as well as: Council Member Letitia James who will receive the "Friend in High Places" Award; Victoria Hofmo, resident and longtime advocate for Bay Ridge, Brooklyn; and Linda Eskenas, a citywide preservationist, who focuses on Staten Island. Cityland, a monthly publication of the Center for New York City Law, will receive the "Friend in the Media" Award.

Among American Academy in Rome 2006-2007 Rome Prize Winners are two New York area names: Lisa Marie Mignone, Department of Classics, Columbia University; and Thomas Tsang, Co-Founder, Architecture of Metropolitan Post and Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York Institute of Technology… The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation has named Jan Seidler Ramirez Chief Curator and Director of Collections for the Memorial Museum…



Morgan Library & Museum: Renzo Piano holding court with the press in the library's new "courtyard."
Kristen Richards

West 12 Street: Claire Weisz, AIA, "swimming" with a life-size model of a luminescent fish by artist Barbara Broughel for the Carousel at the Battery, designed by Weisz + Yoes Architecture.
Kristen Richards

Groups dispersed throughout the five boroughs to aesthetically improve public schools on the 12th Annual Hands On New York Day.
Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA

Grand Central celebrates Earth Day.
Jessica Sheridan, Assoc. AIA

Paul Rodgers/9W Gallery: CIMA (Congress of International Modern Architecture) third annual exhibition and silent auction "Architects on Art 2006," Theoharis David, FAIA, Theo. David Architects, CIMA Acting President, and Executive Director Valerie Lucznikowska announce the winning bids for 20 artworks including work by David Norman Foster, Hon. FAIA, Richard Rogers, Hon. AIA, Ati Gropius Johansen, Richard Meier, FAIA, John Johansen, FAIA, and Rodney Leon, AIA (some real steals were had!).
Kristen Richards



Submissions due May 5th!
Design Awards 2006
Advance Registration: AIA 2006 National Convention
Save money and register for the AIA 2006 National Convention by May 3. The convention will take place June 8-10 in Los Angeles.
In Jane Jacobs's memory, e-Oculus invites everyone to submit memories, contacts, photos, recollections, and anecdotes to be collected and compiled in a special issue of e-Oculus. Please email
Curbed and Polis are accepting photos and videos for the "Most Jane Jacobs Block" in New York City. Submissions must keep in mind Jane Jacobs' neighborhood tenets, celebrating "the 'street ballet' of your favorite block" with a spin.
AIA National is looking for individuals willing to share their expertise, particularly in all aspects of creating high-performance buildings using sustainable design principles, at the AIA 2007 National Convention in San Antonio.
Veronafiere is accepting letters of interest to attend its continuing education course "Designing with Natural Stone" in October 2006 in Verona, Italy. The scholarship will cover tuition, hotel, meals and local transportation. For more information email The Consultants International Group (
This year's Shrinkage Worldwide Awards promotes design towards a sustainable future with evidence of productive cross- and inter-collaborative work between disciplines. The design is for a poster manifesto to promote deflating the bubble of expansion or "bigness."
UpstateHOUSE Magazine is searching to award and publish sustainable, single-family homes constructed between January 2000 and December 2006. For more information on specific New York counties eligible, check the competition website.



Oculus 2006 Editorial Calendar
Ideas/Submissions Deadlines (projects can be anywhere, but architects must be New York-based). Contact: Kristen Richards
June 20: Fall: Infrastructure New York
September 20: Winter: The Business of Practice




At the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place:

Gallery Hours
Monday–Friday: 9:00am–8:00pm
Saturday: 11:00am–5:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED


March 31–June 17, 2006

Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation—ENYA International Ideas Competition Exhibition

Galleries: Kohn Pedersen Fox Gallery, HLW Gallery, South Gallery

The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee presents an exhibition of the second biennial international ideas competition. The exhibit features 77 visions for a Universal Arts Center at Southpoint Park on Roosevelt Island. ENYA Prize recipient, second place, third place, student prize, and historic preservation award, along with 42 selected entries are included in the accompanying catalog available for $15 at the Center for Architecture as well as online.

Southpoint: from Ruin to Rejuvenation is hosted by ENYA in cooperation with the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association and Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital.

Exhibition sponsored by: AIA New York State, The Graham Foundation, Gensler, Electronics Design Group, Inc., Stephen Mosier, Propylaea Architecture Atelier, The Rubin Family Foundation, and Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation

Hermann Feldhaus

The Universal Forum of Cultures-Barcelona 2004
Aerial View of the sector
Eva Serrats

Related Event

May 12, 6:00–8:00pm
Antonio Muntadas + Juan Herreros Collaboration: A Speculation


March 17–June 10, 2006

Barcelona in Progress

Galleries: Gerald D. Hines Gallery, Public Resource Center, Judith and Walter Hunt Gallery and Mezzanine Gallery

An exhibition presenting Barcelona's dramatic Post-Franco transformation through the present. Architectural models, renderings and photographs outline a framework for the progressive urban trajectory this city has chartered, and a global context for evaluating developments in large scale metropolitan planning.

Organized by: Center for Architecture with the Ajuntament de Barcelona

Exhibition Underwriters:
Ajuntament de Barcelona Rockefeller Brothers Fund Hines

Exhibition Symposium Underwriter:
Institut Ramon Llull

Additional support provided by:
Barcelona Regional Col·legi d'Arquitectes, Barcelona Chapter Spanish Consulate of New York


About Town: Exhibition Announcements

05.11.06 through 05.26.06
Cityscapes: an exhibition

Fred J. Sklenar shares his impressions on the essence of New York City in this retrospective exhibition of his paintings, which capture the "wonderment of Manhattan" and the "living and breathing metropolis."

Gallery 27+ for Creative Communications; 242 West 27th Street 4A (212) 924-7930

Sklenar's nostalgic view of the New York at the Cityscapes exhibition
Courtesy Gallery 27

Through 06.10.06

In this exhibition, artist Terence Gower explores modernity in the context of cities and buildings by using clips from the film "Despedida de Casada" to shed light on both the constraints and liberties in which architecture structures the human experience.

Storefront for Art and Architecture; 97 Kenmare Street

Through 06.11.06
American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow

This exhibition, which displays over 180 objects, examines how the concept of streamlining was accepted in the 1930s and 1940s, and how its design influence continues today.

Bard Graduate Center; 38 West 86th

Two Fiestaware Juice Pitchers designed by Frederick H. Rhead, c. 1936
Courtesy Bard Graduate Center

Through 07.28.06
Vaults of Heaven: Sanctuaries of Byzantium

Hagia Sophia and other Turkish sites come alive in the work of photographer and architect Ahmet Ertug. The achievements of Byzantium—and the efforts of the World Monuments Fund to conserve these fragile treasures—are reinterpreted in this exhibition.

World Monuments Fund; 95 Madison Avenue, 9th floor

Courtesy World Monuments Fund

Through 08.27.06
The High Style of Dorothy Draper

This exhibition documents the life and career of interior designer and tastemaker, Dorothy Tuckerman Draper, exploring her work through drawings, advertisements, vintage photographs, and accouterments, as well as through her company's designs for interiors and products.

The Museum of the City of New York; 1220 Fifth Avenue

"Lobby," 1937; Photographer, Van Nes-De Vos
Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

About Town: Ongoing and Upcoming

Through May 2006
Green Towers for New York/The Skyscraper Museum

Through 05.05.05
Prairie Skyscraper: Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower/Yale School of Architecture; 80 York Street, New Haven, CT

Through 05.07.06
Transformed by Light: The New York Night/Museum of the City of New York

Through 05.07.06
Andrea Zittel: Wagon Stations/Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria

Through 05.07.06
Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art/Museum of Arts & Design

Through 05.07.06
Why? 25 Case Studies/Museum of Arts & Design

Through 05.13.06
Site_Specific/Yancey Richardson Gallery

Through 05.21.06
Archicule/Makor Gallery

05.11.06 through 05.26.06
Cityscapes: an exhibition/Gallery 27+ for Creative Communications; (212) 924-7930

Through 05.28.06
Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night/The Whitney Museum of American Art

Through 06.10.06
CIUDAD MODERNA/Storefront for Art and Architecture

Through 06.11.06
American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow/Bard Graduate Center

Through 07.28.06
Vaults of Heaven: Sanctuaries of Byzantium/World Monuments Fund

Through 08.27.06
The High Style of Dorothy Draper/The Museum of the City of New York

Through November 2006
The Ernst Benkert Travel Desk/Proteus Gowanus


eCalendar now includes the information that used to be found in eOculus' Around the Center, Around the AIA, and Around Town sections. Click the above link to go to to eCalendar on the Web.




Would you like to get your message featured in eOCULUS? Spotlight your firm, product, or event as a marquee sponsor of eOCULUS, the electronic newsletter of the AIA New York Chapter. Sponsors receive a banner ad prominently placed above the table of contents. Your message will reach over 5,000 architects and decision-makers in the building industry via e-mail every two weeks (and countless others who access the newsletter directly from the AIA New York web site). For more information about sponsorship, contact Dan Hillman: or 212.358.6114.

Commercial Loft sublet:
New construction, prime Soho location. Private office and workstations available for sublet within architect's office. Sun-filled office loft, access to all amenities including conference rooms, roof terraces. 24/7 building access. Contact Elaine Suben 212-524-8512 for further information.

Leni Schwendinger Light Projects NYC seeks Junior Lighting Designers w/min 2 yrs exp interior/exterior architectural lighting. Creative problem solver excel communication, organizational design skills. Software: Auto Desk AutoCADD, MS Office & Project. Familiarity w/specifications, manufacturers, lighting calcs, hand drafting/sketching, field experience. Email letter/resume with salary requirements -

Dormitory Authority - State of New York

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York is seeking a Registered Architect for our NYC Office to handle Certificate of Occupancy Projects. Experienced architects must have knowledge of former/present building codes, zoning, local rules/regulations and procedures adopted by NYC regulatory agencies. We offer excellent benefits, a collaborative culture, professional development opportunities, and competitive compensation. Please visit our website at for more information.

Submit credentials to:
Allison Thomas
Dormitory Authority, State of New York
515 Broadway
Albany, NY 12207-2964
Fax: (518) 257-3550

All offers will be contingent upon a thorough & in depth background check

Prestigious design firm looking for junior person to assist with design for a public building adjacent to Ground Zero. Required: model-making and renderings with 3-D Studio Max. Will also assist with working drawings. Salary level: commensurate with experience. Reply to:

Spacious double workstation office available
Top floor w/ panoramic views located @ 29th Street & Seventh Avenue. High speed internet access included. Access to conference room, pantry & copier. Contact Ms. Vega @ (212) 243-5330 or

In this position, you will be an architectural design team leader for major capital construction projects for NYC Transit operations or facilities. We require a valid New York State registration as an Architect and four years of full-time experience in Architecture with a minimum of one year experience as a project leader or major contributor on a complex project requiring specific expertise within the Architectural discipline acquired in the last three years.  A Master's degree in Architecture from an accredited college will be accepted as equivalent to one year of full-time experience in Architecture. Candidates with in depth knowledge of the capital construction process, both design and construction, project management and excellent communications skills are highly desirable.

Please email your resume to:; Fax: 646-252-2256; Or mail to: Ms. Valerie Tookes, HR Departmental Operations, 2 Broadway, Room D21.13, New York, NY  10004.  All applicants must reference job number: 003330NYAIA


NYC Transit is an equal opportunity employer

Full Time Positions
Midtown architecture firm specializing in high-profile justice facilities is currently seeking to fill the following positions:

Interior designer/Architect
Requirements: Bachelors degree in Interior Design or related field. Minimum five (5) years experience in functional analysis and space planning, selection and presentation of finishes, presentation drawings, furniture specifications, strong design, presentation, and AutoCAD Desktop skills a must.

Requirements: Bachelors degree in Architecture. Minimum two (2) years experience, has general knowledge and understanding of project development process. Proficient in current version of AutoCAD, Photoshop, and Excel. Individual must be a team player, and possess strong technical, design, and presentation skills.

Project Architect
Requirements: Lead a project team in development of technical design and the preparation of architectural design and construction documents. Collaborate with Project Designer, checks and coordinates documents with consultants. 7 years minimum experience with strong communication, leadership and ACAD skill a must.

To apply please submit your resume via fax @ 212-279-1037 or via email

Architect L-1 (3 positions)
Architects within DACE's Bureau of Design and Review division are an integral part of the team that designs and implements Mayor Bloomberg's $7.5 Billion plan to develop 165,000 units of affordable housing for New Yorkers by 2013. The chosen candidates will perform complex architectural work and may supervise employees.

Responsibilities include: (1) Designing residential buildings and preparing drawings and specifications; (2) Reviewing private architects' plans, specifications and scopes of work; (3) Participating in the inspection of residential buildings to develop a scope of work for in-house designs; (4) Measuring residential buildings to develop plans and construction documents for in-house designs; (5) Completing inspection forms.

Qualification requirements: A valid New York State Registration as an Architect. Current New York State registration as an Architect must be maintained for the duration of your employment.

Preferred skills: (1) Excellent design and organizational skills; (2) Knowledge of AutoCAD, PowerPoint/Word/Excel; (3) Strong written and verbal communication skills; (4) Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines; (5) Extensive knowledge of Zoning Resolutions

To apply for consideration, please write: The Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Division of Architecture, Construction and Engineering (DACE), Mr. Ira Chinsky, 100 Gold Street, Room 7-A4, New York, NY 10038. Please indicate transmittal number 806-06-128 on your resume or cover letter when responding. While we appreciate every applicant's interest, only those under consideration will be contacted. HPD AND THE CITY OF NEW YORK ARE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYERS

Assistant Architect (7 positions)
Assistant Architects within DACE's Bureau of Design and Review section are an integral part of the team that designs and implements Mayor Bloomberg's Plan to develop or preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing for New Yorkers by 2013. The chosen candidates will perform moderately difficult architectural work.

Responsibilities include: As directed, designs residential buildings and assists architectural staff in the preparation of drawings and specifications; Reviewing private architects' plans, specifications and scopes of work; Participating in the inspection of residential buildings to develop scopes of work for in-house designs; Measuring residential buildings to develop plans and construction documents for in-house designs; Completing inspection forms.

Qualification requirements: A Bachelor or Master of Architecture that is the first professional degree in architecture from an accredited college; or a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture that is the first four years of a five year first professional degree program in Architecture from an accredited college and one year of full-time satisfactory experience in architectural work; or a valid New York State Registration as an Architect.

Prererred skills: Excellent design and organizational skills; Proficiency in Autodesk Architectural Desktop 3.3; Knowledge of NYC Zoning Resolution & Building Code, NYS Multiple Dwelling Law & NYC DOB procedures; Strong written and verbal communication skills; Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.

To apply for consideration, please write: NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Division of Architecture Construction and Engineering (DACE), Attention: Mr. Ira Chinsky, 100 Gold Street, Room 7-A4, New York, NY 10038. Please indicate transmittal number 806-06-134 on your resume or cover letter when responding. While we appreciate every applicant's interest, only those under consideration will be contacted. HPD AND THE CITY OF NEW YORK ARE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYERS

The AIA Contract Documents program
provides proven, consistent, and effective standard form contracts to the building design and construction industry. The program directs its efforts toward improving existing documents and developing new ones. In late 2005 the AIA introduced six new contract documents. These included two new agreements and four new scopes of service documents for use with owner-architect agreements.

Paper Documents
The AIA New York Chapter is a full-service distributor of AIA Contract Documents, which are the most widely used standard form contracts in the building industry. These comprehensive contracts have been prepared by the AIA with the input of contractors, attorneys, architects, and engineers. Typically, industry professionals and home/property owners use these documents to support agreements relating to design and construction services. Anyone may purchase and use the AIA Contract Documents. AIA Members receive a 10% discount. For a full list and order form, see or call 212.358.6113 with your fax number.

Electronic Format Documents
The new AIA Contract Documents software is completely redesigned, based on Microsoft Word, and is easier to use than Word itself. Enter project and document information once and reuse it automatically. E-mail documents as Word or PDF attachments. Print "clean copy" final documents with all changes captured in a special report. Go to for Contract Documents Software Training and to download the AIA Contract Documents software.

If you already have the software, Version 2.0.5: Software Update is now available.

AIA New York Chapter's HOME page
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CONVERSATION: Jeremy Edmunds, Assoc. AIA—Advocate, continued

e-O: What role have you specifically played in the process?

JE: I try to focus on policies that I feel are most important to those I represent—from improving access to the profession for emerging professionals to our role in reducing the demand our buildings have on a finite set of resources. Most recently, I worked closely with the National Associates Committee to draft the education materials and strategy for advancing our ARE timing position.

My next project is helping to facilitate communication to members without overwhelming their inboxes. A recent study has shown that there is ample room for improvement in how, when, and what we communicate. I'm also collaborating with Jess Wendover, Assoc. AIA, another committee member, to establish a meaningful relationship with the National Endowment for the Arts.

e-O: If I have an issue that I believe the AIA should address, whom do I contact?

JE: If it's a national or New York State issue, contact the AIA State Government Network representative Michael Spinelli, AIA ( and Regional Directors George Miller, FAIA (, Peter J. Arsenault, AIA (, and Leevi Kiil, FAIA ( If it's a local issue, contact the New York Chapter Director of Legislative Affairs, LeAnn Shelton, Esq., AIA ( If it is an issue related to emerging professionals, don't hesitate to contact me (, and the National Associates Committee (

Also, take the time to write letters, make phone calls, and contribute time and money to good campaigns. Start locally by introducing yourself as a concerned citizen and useful resource to your city council member ( Track state and national issues by reading the AIA's weekly government advocacy update newsletter, The Angle.

Finally, please take the time to contact your elected leaders when requested by the AIA!

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