July 7, 2010
by: Lisa Delgado

Event: 2010 Design Awards Symposium: Architecture and Interiors
Location: Center for Architecture, 06.19.10
Speakers: Stacie Wong — Project Architect, Peter Gluck and Partners and ARCS Construction Services; Adam Marcus — Project Architect, Marble Fairbanks; David Burns — Principal, STUDIOS Architecture; Philip Wu, AIA — Partner, io Architects; Lyn Rice, AIA — Principal, Lyn Rice Architects; Astrid Lipka — Associate Principal, Lyn Rice Architects; Mark Maljanian, AIA — Design Director, Butler Rogers Baskett; Tom Krizmanic, AIA, LEED AP — Principal, STUDIOS Architecture; Andrew Mazor — Project Architect, Thomas Phifer and Partners; Sonya Lee, AIA — Project Architect, Toshiko Mori Architect; Stan Allen, AIA — Principal, Stan Allen Architect; James Garrison — Principal, Garrison Architects; David Rolland, AIA, JIA, LEED AP — Project Director, Rafael Viñoly Architects
Organizer: AIANY
Moderators: Kelsey Keith – Editor-in-Chief, Architizer.com; Cliff Pearson — Deputy Editor, Architectural Record
Sponsors: Chair’s Circle: Foster + Partners New York; Benefactor: STUDIOS Architecture; Patrons: Mancini Duffy; Peter Marino Architect, PLLC; Studio Daniel Libeskind; Trespa; Lead Sponsors: A. E. Greyson + Company; Dagher Engineering; F.J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc.; Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson; FXFOWLE Architects; Gensler; Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; MechoShade Systems, Inc.; New York University; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Rudin Management Company, Inc.; Structure Tone, Inc.; Syska Hennessy Group; Toshiko Mori Architect PLLC; VJ Associates


East Harlem School, NY, NY, by Peter Gluck and Partners.

©Erik Freeland / http://www.freelandarch.com

The 2010 AIANY Design Awards have provided plenty of proof that stellar architectural design is alive and well, despite the recession. At the Design Awards symposium for Architecture and Interiors, Stacie Wong of Peter Gluck and Partners and ARCS Construction Services discussed how her firm’s tightly integrated design-build process allowed it to keep costs down for a new building for the East Harlem School — built for $340 per square foot. The Architecture Honor Award-winning building features inviting, light-filled interiors and an eye-catching façade design. The school engages actively with the community, but shields its students from the distractions of the outside world, Wong explained. To express that duality, the Trespa-panel façade looks like a “screen or a fabric weave that both masks as well as reveals the activities that happen behind it,” she said.

For Garrison Architects, a project to create Koby Cottage in Albion, MI, offered the chance to explore an ongoing fascination with modular design. “The idea behind modular buildings is to prepare the site while the building’s being constructed in the factory, and that means the time taken to build it is basically cut in half,” Principal James Garrison said. “It also means there’s much less disruption of the environment, whether it’s urban or whether it’s rural.” The Architecture Merit Award-winning cottage has many finely handcrafted details, he added, contrary to what one might imagine of something produced in a factory. His firm also received an Interiors Merit award for the renovation of Slocum Hall, home of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture.

A couple of Interiors Merit Award winners in NYC showed a flair for integrating high-tech information displays: STUDIOS Architecture’s Dow Jones office space and Lyn Rice Architects’ The New School Welcome Center. The trick is to integrate such digital displays into the design from the beginning, said Tom Krizmanic, AIA, LEED AP, of STUDIOS Architecture. If they’re not “in the DNA” of the project, beware — the space might end up looking like a P.C. Richard showroom, he joked.

Many other award winners showed a fascination with the transparency of glass, balanced with the need for energy efficiency. Thomas Phifer and Partners’ Fishers Island House served as one of the most extreme examples, with an airy transparency that makes the house and surrounding gardens seem to meld into one. The glass is insulated and blocks UV rays to provide a climate-controlled, safe environment for the owner’s art collection, explained project architect Andrew Mazor.

Once, Modernists held a “fascination with pure transparency,” remarked Stan Allen, AIA, principal of Stan Allen Architect, which won an Architecture Merit Award for Salim Publishing House in Paju Book City, Korea. Nowadays, “I think we’ve returned to an interest in transparency, but it’s modified by that sense that the façade, the elevation, can do something more.”

Lisa Delgado is a freelance journalist who has written for OCULUS, The Architect’s Newspaper, Blueprint, and Wired, among other publications.


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