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December 7, 6:00pm: Inaugural of the 2005 AIA New York Chapter
Tuesday, December 7: Inaugural of the 2005 AIA New York Chapter Board
Friday, December 3, 7:00pm: Daniel Libeskind with Alexander Garvin
Wednesday, December 8: Metro NY Construction Specifications Institute Annual Holiday Dinner. Morans Restaurant at Historic St. Georges Chapel, 103 Washington Street. Tkts.: $100; call 866.307.2267 for details and reservations.
December 8, 8:00am-5:30pm: NYU 37th Annual Capital Markets Conference
7, 2005: Registration deadline for
AIA Staten Island
2004 NYC Canstruction Competition
evening of December 2nd a group of SDA Volunteers assembled at National
to tally the votes. Unlike some Donald Trump “Apprentice” teams,
this crew quickly worked out an ingenious assembly line system to tally
the mountain of votes crammed into Hefty bags. Thirty-four boxes were
arranged on a large conference table to mirror the ballot – from
the 15th floor host showroom down to the 1st floor showrooms – one
box labeled for each entry. Two to three volunteers had the task of
unfolding the ballots back to their original 8 1⁄2”x11” size,
checking for a single vote and then placing them in one of two piles – each
pile represented a side of the table that the vote’s box was
on. These piles were continually handed off to the other volunteers
who dropped each ballot into the appropriate box. A few hanging chads
had to be set aside, but unlike Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court did
not have to be called in. When all the ballots were boxed the counting
The Cityscape 2004 Architectural Review Awards were presented at a gala reception in Dubai, UAE, on Monday night. The team of Robert A. M. Stern Architects and Frederic Schwartz Architects, along with Southeast University of China and Sungal Corporation, was honored twice for its work on the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai: the Master Planning Award, and the Mixed-Use Future Project Award for the People's Tower (at 718 meters, it will be the world's tallest tower – at least for a while). Click on link for a complete list of winners.
Norman L. Koonce, FAIA, will retire after seven years as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of AIA National on December 31, 2005; a search committee will be formed in early 2005 to identify a new EVP/CEO for a January 1, 2006 appointment....Butler Rogers Baskett has been retained to provide site evaluation and complete design services for the 52,000-square-foot New York law office of McKee Nelson, LLP, at One Battery Park Plaza...London-based David J. Hughes, Int'l. Assoc. AIA, RIBA, has been named CEO of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects...Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, LEED, has been named a principal at Archimuse; she previously served as managing principal of the New York office of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects...Richard L. Tomasetti, previously co-chairman, has been elected Chairman of Thornton-Tomasetti Group; Dr. Charles H. Thornton, who shared the co-chairmanship with Tomasetti, will continue to be actively involved with the firm and with his family's management consulting firm, Charles H. Thornton and Company...Material Connexion has opened a materials resource office in Cologne, Germany.
Chief Architect of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Ed Feiner, FAIA, posed the hypothetical question: "How long will Grand Central Terminal be around? It drew murmurs of "years" from the audience at the Center For Architecture on November 23. He commented that the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan expected buildings to have a life expectancy of 100 years, but that today, the GSA sees their buildings going through five or six mechanical systems, lasting hundreds of years, and becoming the future landmarks of communities throughout the country.
In conjunction with the exhibit "Civic Spirit: Changing the Course of Federal Design," currently on view at the Center, Feiner was joined by Gary P. Haney, AIA, of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and William Pederson, FAIA, of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates to discuss their projects that are part of the GSA's Design Excellence portfolio consisting of federal office buildings, judicial facilities, border stations, and missions.
When completed in 2006, the SOM-designed U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters new home in Suitland, Maryland, will house 6,000 employees (and 3,000 cars). The site, seven miles southeast of Washington, DC, makes the most of its suburban setting and natural surroundings. Two halves of office buildings are organized around green space that is an extension of the adjacent woods. Laminated wooden sunshades on the exterior wall will create a dance of light and shade in the interior, and even the garage will be covered in ivy.
According to Pedersen, federal judges make good clients because they have a passion for architecture. His statement is backed by the fact that the United States Courthouse in Buffalo, which will start construction in 2006, marks the third time he's worked with judges. For Buffalo, the intention is to express that "this is a living city" with one of the best collections of buildings circa 1929. Situated on a triangular site across from Buffalo's historic Niagara Square, the building is elliptical in shape and has a transparent veil of glass planes. At night the elevator tower that anchors the courthouse will become a lantern.
member commented that the GSA was "designing for optimism." That
makes sense when, according to Feiner, "the GSA's Board
of Directors are the members of Congress and our shareholders are the
Mexico City and architecture were on the minds of many in mid-November when the Center for Architecture kicked-off Mexico City Dialogues: New Architectural Practices with a party and day-long symposium bringing architects and educators from Mexico together with their counterparts in New York. The events were organized to accompany the city-wide mexicoNOW festival, and marked the launch of a series of dialogues that will accompany the Center's first international exhibition featuring the work of young Mexican architects transforming the architecture and urbanism of Mexico City, opening in late January.
Artist and architect Raul Cardenas of the Tijuana-based artists collective Torolab set the stage as DJ for the November 17th party, co-sponsored by Storefront for Art and Architecture. Saturday's symposium offered a tantalizing, yet compromised view of the megalopolis, noting the constraints and conditions that define the practice and politics of architecture in Mexico City. Participants included a select group of young Mexican architects to be featured in the Center's upcoming Mexico City Dialogues exhibition, as well as Jose Luis Cortes, Dean of Architecture at the IberoAmericana University in Mexico City, and Vice President of the UIA.
Cortes outlined the dialectic between practice and education in Mexico City and the U.S. in the first of three panels. Advocating a stronger connection between students and the profession particularly in the areas of technology, materials, and sustainability, Cortes also noted the collective mandate to address the globalization of practice through exposure to alternative cultures and diversity. Remarking on the challenge to find quality educators willing to teach in Mexico, he praised the younger generation for their ability to make successive leaps in academia and practice.
Hernandez (F304) described how young architects in Mexico City adopt
the Nike “Just Do It” slogan in crossing
traditional borders that separate architectural practice from real
and academia. Elaborating on the more complex relationship between fields
of expanded practice, education, and publishing in Mexico, Hernandez
dismissed the common “reality of practice / practice of reality” disconnect.
David Lewis (Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis) offered insight into how his students
at Parsons learn to creatively engage and resist prescribed roles for
architects, while Stan Allen (Stan Allen Architect and Dean of Architecture
at Princeton University) noted how the number of architecture students – 50,000
in Mexico City versus 50 at Princeton – allows far greater flexibility
for recent educational experiments in the U.S.
The concluding panel with Jose Luis Cortes, Jose Castillo (architectural 911sc), Margaret Helfand (Helfand Architecture), Richard Plunz (Columbia University), and Mauricio Rocha (Taller de Arquitectura) summarized the ways in which Mexico City serves as a laboratory for the problems – housing, waste and sewage treatments, infrastructure and transportation – currently facing cities globally. This analysis afforded an expanded backdrop for exploring the urban planning models of the two cities, and offered an introduction to what will surely be lively visual and cerebral material on view at the Center in January.
The Center concluded the three-day series of events with a family day workshop organized by the New York Foundation for Architecture. Kids and parents constructed a three-dimensional version of Mexico City using topographical maps, building blocks, and cut outs of major New York City and Mexico City landmarks and public spaces.
All of the events were made possible by Vitro, the Center for Architecture's Underwriting sponsor.
Egg-shaped auditorium, a Parsons-red table on the stage.
A few requisite jokes (cousins, vodka, marriages), and Paul Goldberger got right to the heart of the issue, asking Frank Gehry for his take on the conflicted subject of fame. What has marked Gehry's work, he noted, is the hi-lo conflation: instantly recognizable yet architecturally advanced buildings. How does he do it, Goldberger asked.
"I question stuff," Gehry explained.
The architect is currently designing a private house in Venice, a compound that, in accordance with his wife's wishes will have "no curves," and "no metal." The house will instead be a series of structures built out of interlocking 12x12 wood beams.
Goldberger asked the question that has crossed everyone's mind at least once: "Does innovation originate in your mind or with technology?"
Gehry responded with the usual self-deprecating computer-illiterate waffling, but it seems that the crux of the issue is not centered around theoretical design implications, but on actual ramifications of design and construction. The architect now has better, and closer, relationships with subcontractors, he explained. "There are no surprises," Gehry said. "Everything is pre-worked out." The advent of CATIA, a French computer-modeling system that the firm can send directly to fabricators, has changed the faces of Gehry's structures.
For a while, these curving and convoluted faces were all that anyone wanted. People kept calling, Gehry remembered, but they kept asking for Bilbao Two, Three, Four, Five. Program wasn't an issue, so long as they could say they had a Gehry.
The Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles has been acknowledged as his piece de resistance. A project that took 18 years from inception to completion, the music performed in the concert hall, Gehry said, brought tears to his eyes. It was, he said, "extraordinary."
So, it seems, is he.
+ planners = change: the role of the progressive planners – past,
present and future"
On November 19, the Center for Architecture hosted the third in a series of six forums entitled "community + planners = change: the role of the progressive planners – past, present and future." I moderated a panel that included: Thomas Angotti, Urban Planning Professor, Hunter College; Chester Hartman, Director of Research, Poverty & Race Research Action Council, Washington, DC, Founder of Planners Network; Peter Marcuse, Urban Planning Professor, Columbia University; Frances Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, City University of New York; and Walter Thabit, Urban Planner, Founder of Planners for Equal Opportunity and author.
Hartman opened the Forum by setting the socio-political environment that existed in the mid-1960s. Then, Thabit, one of the first community based advocate planners, shared his personal experiences. When Thabit began his career in the late 1950s, the planning profession was focused on physical development. At that time, the planning and architecture professions had few women and even fewer people of color among their ranks. The work of planners focused on perpetuating the status quo, which often meant displacement of the poor and powerless, leading to development that left our cities and communities segregated with a legacy that we are struggling to overcome today.
The panelists discussed their roles in addressing inequities among their ranks and reforming the planning profession. This included how Thabit came to organize Planners for Equal Opportunity (PEO), and how Hartman later formed PEO's successor, the Planners Network. The discussion focused on how their activities impacted the planning profession and the American Institute of Planners. Their work led to advocacy and neighborhood-based planning movements. The successes and the limits of those successes were touched upon, such as the Lower East Side cross subsidy program and the implementation of the community-initiated plan in Cooper Square after 40 years of concerted struggle. The community based planning, advocacy, and policy work of the Pratt Center and other community-based planning practitioners were highlighted as well.
Also discussed were the roles that planners can play in striving for equitable planning and development, their limitations in fostering change, and the relationship between planners and the social and political movements that propelled that change. Piven and Marcuse elaborated on the critical role that the social and political movements played in the 1960s and 70s, and how those movements influenced the profession.
To a limited extent, they lamented the absence of that kind of energy in today's socio-political environment. The re-election of President Bush with his anti-urban, ill-conceived, neo-conservative economic policies and abysmal environmental record, coupled with his unjustified pre-emptive aggression in Iraq were all mentioned as reminders of how much work is left undone. Piven pointed out that these events collectively endanger us all. In her opinion, the limits to how we define participatory democracy and the ballot should not be viewed as our only means of legitimate political expression. She cited the activism of the past as an example of what we can and should be doing, and she noted that the energy that motivated the civil rights movement was practically non-existent today.
Angotti and members of the audience disagreed, saying that that kind of energy did exist today, and although it takes different forms, it should not be discounted. Examples such as the Environmental Justice Movement were mentioned. Piven argued that planners should not position themselves as "gods" and that as professionals they could only address many of these issues at the margin. Planners are also citizens, and should address societal inequities and injustices.
A full transcript of the discussion will be available in a forthcoming edition of Planners Network magazine entitled "The Progressive Planner" due out later this year.
The Forum Series is sponsored by Pratt Institute's Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and co-sponsored by City Lore, NewYork2050 and the New York City Chapter of the AIA and funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
November 22 (deadline extended): HOW magazine's 6th Annual Interactive Design Competition (PDF)
November 30 (EOI deadline): University Of British Columbia International Architectural Competition For Campus Entrance
December 1 (registration): Open Competition to Design a Memorial within the National AIDS Memorial Grove, San Francisco
December 1: ICFF 2005 Design Schools Open Call for Entries (PDF)
December 15: 2005 Ergo Cup Awards: Call for innovative ergonomic solutions and education in the workplace.
December 23: NYC Parks & Recreation RFP: Partial Reconstruction and Addition to the 59th Street Recreation Center (info online as of 12/1)
January 15: Metropolis Next Generation Prize ($10,000)
January 27: 3rd IAHH International Student Design Competition 2005: Enlightening Learning Environments (International Association for Humane Habitat)
February 25 (registration deadline): Coney Island Parachute Pavilion International Design Competition
Our online calendar is constantly being updated. For the most up-to-date listings, visit http://www.aiany.org/calendar/index.php
Friday, 12/03/2004, 7:00pm
12/07/2004, 6:00 pm
12/11/2004, 12 noon–5:00pm
12/03/2004, 7 pm – Midnight
12/06/2004, Holiday Party 6:00–9:00pm; Book Signing 7:00–8:00pm
12/06/2004, 5:30pm Reception; 6:30pm Program
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2004 The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter.