by Rick Bell FAIA Executive Director AIA New York
In Moscow, at the Manejh conference center in the former Tsarist cavalry training pavilion, 30 architectural projects from NYC (See Names in the News) were displayed during the Zodchestvo 2010 Architectural Festival of the Union of Architects of Russia (UAR). The exhibition, organized by AIANY, was a result of an invitation from UAR President Andrey Bokov to the AIA to be part of the annual design gathering, the Russian equivalent of the annual AIA Convention. Many recall that Bokov was a speaker at the AIA Convention in Miami this past June, and an exhibition of recent Russian design work, organized by Brian Spencer, FAIA, hung in the convention center’s halls. Here, then, was a chance to reciprocate, and the exhibition, called “NEW YORK NOW: The Architecture of Social Responsibility,” was culled from the 200 projects currently on display in the south passageways at the West 4th Street Subway Station a kilometer from the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place.
Projects in the show included a recycling barge transfer station by Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA, and the NYPL library renovation at St. Agnes Branch Library by Helpern Architects. A recreation center by Belmont Freeman, FAIA, accompanied the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts by Ennead Architects, and a courthouse in Allentown, PA, by Ricci Greene Architects.
The exhibition was facilitated by overall festival director Yuri Avvakumov and festival designer Egor Sopolov, and benefited from the strategic advice of Moscow-based architect Anya Bokov, who has worked in New York and Boston. Curators-of-record were Vladimir Belogolovsky and this writer, with major assistance from AIANY staff members Rosamond Fletcher, Suchi Paul, Jeremy Chance, and Cynthia Kracauer, AIA. Concurrent with the AIANY “MADE IN NEW YORK” subway show, the Zodchestvo installation shows that the Chapter promotes the value of architecture and of the work of AIANY members worldwide. As they say in Moscow, Architecture Matters!