September 11, 2013
by Julie Engh Assoc. AIA
A large crowd gathered to celebrate the launch of ENYA's competitoinCredit: Eve Rosen
Credit: Eve Rosen
AIANY 2013 Vice-President/President-elect gave the opening remarks at the launchCredit: Eve Rosen
Amanda Rivera, Assoc. AIA, Co-Chair of AIANY Emerging New York Architects CommitteeCredit: Eve Rosen
Frank Lupo, FAIA, Friends of the QueensWay Steering Committee MemberCredit: Eve Rosen
Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President of the Turst for Public LandCredit: Eve Rosen

The AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee’s 2014 biennial design ideas competition, QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm, supports Friends of the QueensWay and the Trust for Public Land in their efforts to transform the QueensWay into a greenway. Abandoned since 1962, the QueensWay is a 3-1/2 mile elevated railway running between Rego Park and Ozone Park. ENYA’s competition program challenges young designers to program and design access points to the proposed linear park that extend street activity onto the railway above.

At the QueensWay Connection launch party, 2014 AIANY President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, lauded the program’s efforts to preserve and promote open, public space and explore civic visions. Friends of the QueensWay Steering Committee member Frank Lupo, FAIA, presented the organization’s vision for transforming the QueensWay into a thriving public space. Juxtaposing images of the railway’s current abandoned form with renderings showing lush greenery and vibrant public spaces, Lupo announced that Claire Weisz, FAIA, of WXY Architecture + Urban Design, and Susannah C. Drake, AIA, ASLA, of dlandstudio, have been selected to conduct a New York State-funded feasibility study for the QueensWay’s potential conversion. Mark Matsil of the Trust for Public Land pointed out that with more than 250,000 people from more than 100 different ethnic groups living within a mile of the QueensWay, it is a potentially hugely transformative project in one of the most ethnically diverse places on the planet. Adrian Benepe, senior vice president of the Trust for Public Land, said that converting former rail lines to trails is not a new concept – the earliest such project was completed in 1975. The more than 20,000 miles of converted railroad track across the country includes a 230-mile-long rail-trail in Missouri, the longest of its type in the United States.

James Yankopoulos, Assoc. AIA, and Bridget Hagan, Assoc. AIA, of the ENYA Competition Planning Committee, explained the competition site, program, and entrant eligibility – any design student or young professional is eligible to enter the QueensWay Connection competition provided he or she did not complete his or her education at the undergraduate or graduate level more than 10 years prior to the August 22, 2013 competition announcement. Competition registration is now open via the ENYA Competitions website – all eligible young designers are encouraged to register!

Julie Ann Engh, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, currently serves as the 2013 AIANYS Associate Director and AIANY Architecture Tour Committee Co-Chair.

Event: 2014 ENYA Biennial Design Ideas Competition Launch Party
Location: Center for Architecture, 08.22.13
Speakers: Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, 2014 AIANY President-Elect; Frank Lupo, FAIA, Friends of the QueensWay Steering Committee Member; Mark Matsil, New York State Director for the Trust for Public Land; Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice-President and Director of City Park Development, Trust for Public Land; Amanda Rivera, Assoc. AIA; AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee Co-Chair; James Yankopoulos, Assoc. AIA; and Bridget Hagan, Assoc. AIA, AIA New York Emerging New York Architects Competition Planning Committee
Organizers: AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee

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