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Get the Green Light

2019 Best of Design Awards winners for Unbuilt — Green Building
2019 Best of Design Award for Unbuilt – Green Building: Sendero Verde Designer: Handel Architects Location: New York City Designed for Jonathan Rose Companies, L+M Development Partners, and Acacia Network, Sendero Verde is a mixed-use, multi-building project awarded through New York’s SustaiNYC program, which seeks to create affordable housing for New Yorkers without compromising design quality. Sendero Verde will contain 698 designated affordable units as well as extensive community space, retail space, and outdoor gardens. Sendero Verde will be passive-house certified, making it the largest fully affordable passive-house building in the world when it is completed. Sendero Verde’s design aims to provide a community of opportunity to East Harlem residents, with multiple support services under one roof that address the cycle of poverty that disrupts so many people’s lives. Passive House Consultant: Steven Winter Associates Landscape Architect: AECOM MEP Engineer: Cosentini Associates Envelope: Vidaris Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers Honorable Mention Project Name: Coleridge Street Residences Designer: Touloukian Touloukian Inc
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towering bas relief

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects' Centrale nods to the Jazz Age with chevrons of terra-cotta
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Midtown East is a competitive Manhattan neighborhood to design a new tower; the skyline is crowded with an assembly of jostling skyscrapers and landmarks constructed over the last century. Completed in 2019, The Centrale is an 803-foot-tall residential tower designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and developed by Ceruzzi Properties. The building strikes a middle ground between the surrounding Art-Deco icons and post-war glass curtain walls with panels of terra-cotta chevrons and solar-control glass. The 220,000-square-foot tower is located mid-block and is flanked on either side by pre-war midrises of stepped massing and clad in detailed yellow brick, limestone, and ornamental masonry. The challenge for the architectural team was how to incorporate these historical elements into a contemporary mold for a remarkably slender project.
  • Facade Manufacturer Boston Valley Terracotta Interpane Permasteelisa
  • Architect Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects SLCE Architects (Executive Architect)
  • Facade Installer Permasteelisa
  • Facade Consultant Vidaris
  • Location New York
  • Date of Completion 2019
  • System Custom unitized system
  • Products INTERPANE Ipasol Platin 52-36 Boston Valley Terracotta extruded terra-cotta panels
"We were cautious not to fall into the trappings of architectural style and appearance, but rather to emulate the repetition and movement of the Jazz Age and the expressive machinery that celebrated the still young industrial age," said Pelli Clarke Pelli principal Craig Copeland. "The chevron emerged as a key motif for the project; and we soundly incorporated it throughout from the scale of the skyline, to the touch of many close-up details." The base of the project begins with a 100-foot-tall metal screen that cloaks shared residential spaces and is indented with the tower's prevailing chevron detail. Lifting the residences measurably above street level and shrouding the podium with perforated metal is a clever aesthetic solution to engineering requirements. Similar to SHoP's 111 57th Street, the narrow profile of the tower—floor plates are approximately 3,000 square feet— required significant shear walls on the east and west elevations, and is further stabilized by a 400-ton tuned mass damper located at the bulkhead. A series of hinged setbacks occur as the tower rises, shifting the face of the primary elevation to the northeast and northwest in a playful nod to contextual massing. The orientation of the terra-cotta panels corresponds to the alternating facade planes, and are colored cream and dark brown. Using the latter was a practical solution to heighten the depth of a relatively shallow architectural detail, and the terra-cotta bands form something of an abstract impression of fluted buttresses. The design of the facade and the dimensions of the curtain wall units were impacted by the constraints of the site, and contractors relied on a hoist run rather than a conventional crane to install the panels. Typical curtain wall units measure approximately 5'-8" by 11' and 3' by 11', and the terra-cotta units are 4'-4" by 11'. According to Pelli Clarke Pelli associate principal Jimmy Chang, "The design team had to work with this limitation and modify the much more expressed facade (deep saw-tooth profile), to smaller and shallower profile units." Through scaling down the unit sizes, fabricator and installer Permasteelisa saved time in assembly and installation which ultimately translated to overall cost savings of the curtain wall. On the second day of Facades+ NYC, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, engineering firm BüroEhring, and Roschmann Steel & Glass Construction will lead an intensive workshop titled "(P)ReFabricate: An Interactive Reinterpretation of Prefabricated Building Enclosures." Attendees of the workshop will collaborate closely with the team of nine instructors to recalibrate the designs of one of eight prefabricated case studies according to a change in context, contemporary energy standards, and ease of assembly.  
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Burrowed Bunker

The Cleveland Museum of Art's maintenance facility rises from the earth with sculpted concrete
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The Cleveland Museum of Art, constructed of white Georgian marble in 1913, is a remarkable demonstration of Neoclassicism in America and serves as the lynchpin of surrounding Wade Park. Servicing the museum and the surrounding grounds requires extensive upkeep, and over the years a haphazard assembly of buildings was erected to service those needs.  These have been supplanted by a new maintenance facility designed by Boston-based interdisciplinary design firm Sasaki. It is a fine utilitarian solution of digitally-designed concrete formwork and semi-opaque garage doors burrowed into the surrounding landscape. The facility is 5,400-square-feet and is only fully visible on the north elevation and the northeast corner. Sasaki's decision to bury the structure significantly influenced the material choice for the project: It became apparent to the design team that concrete was best suited to handle dead-load stemming from a green roof while being fire-resistant and capable of handling the wear and tear associated with its function.
  • Facade Manufacturer CW Keller, Inc. Platform Cement Kawneer
  • Architect Sasaki
  • Facade Installer Panzica Construction Company Carroll Glass & Maintenance
  • Concrete Consultant Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Facade Consultant Studio NYL
  • Location Cleveland, OH
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System Kawneer 1600 System 2
  • Products Poured concrete
In addition to being the clear structural choice, poured concrete also afforded the design team a moment of aesthetic flourish along the north elevation. Engineering practice Simpson Gumpertz & Heger and formwork fabricator CW Keller collaborated to maximize the structural performance of the concrete canopy, using computational design to redistribute slab thickness according to stress values and stiffness requirements. The results were then inputted into a five-axis CNC milling machine for the fabrication of dozens of wooden formwork panels. The complexity of the project's concrete undulating canopy extended to its on-site installation, which depended on a step-by-step review by the entire project team. "We had only one shot to get this pour right, and it was a success. Once the formwork was installed, the concrete team used a combination of pre-bent and field-bent rebar that met the structural engineer's requirements," said designer Katia Lucic and Sasaki associate principal Bradford J. Prestbo. "It was a challenge to follow the topography of the formwork with complex double-curvature bends in rebar, and before the concrete pour we mapped out each step of the placement sequence." Floor-to-ceiling garage-style curtain walls are located just below the concrete soffit and are large enough to accommodate parking bays for bulky landscaping machinery, such as Bobcats. The walls are semiopaque, allowing for natural daylighting while obscuring maintenance equipment within.
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Global Circulation

Can the role of architecture be redefined in the era of mass migration?
In November 2019, voices from the spheres of architecture, design, political science, cybernetics, sociology, urbanism, and curatorial practice assembled in Riga. Standing alongside a delegation of over four hundred from, and fresh to, the Latvian capital, Architecture of Migration—the first international conference of its kind—sought to open a fissure within which architecture in its broadest sense could be discussed through the lens of migration. “The world today is characterized by movement, speed, networks, connections,” declared Dina Suhanova and Dagnija Smilga. “It is a globe of constant circulation.” Against this backdrop, Suhanova and Smilga, both Riga-based architects and co-organizers of the event, advocated for their own understanding of architecture; an understanding that is quiet in its radicality. In their reading, architecture cannot be reduced to an inhabitable building. It is a system – the physical infrastructure of space, intangible connections, and a medium and prerequisite for movement. A central aim of the conference was to push recognition that architecture operates through, beyond, and without borders, that it is, and always has been, a natural process with varying social and spatial consequences. “Think of [this conference] as an exploded axonometric!” Smilga explained to the delegates. Organized around four scales: “The Nordic-Baltic region in the Crossroads of Global Mobilities”, “The Ecosystem of the Baltic Sea region: A Space Shared?”, “Beyond Intersections of Urban and Rural”, and “Current Responses to the Baltics in flux,” discussions were distilled from global concerns to regional conversations. These four chapters were bound together by a single spine: To build a platform for common understanding and to isolate opportunities between divergent actors. At the heart of this approach was a desire to seek out and identify future scenarios for the development of the "Baltic Space," a physical and conceptual territory encompassing Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Baltic Sea. The most evident pan-national parallels were drawn between the Nordic and Baltic regions, something not altogether unexpected given the area’s distant and recent past. Beginning formally in the 1990s, the Nordic Council (a body that fosters cooperation between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the autonomous islands of Åland) set its sights firmly on closer collaborations with the Baltic nations. This has resulted in an influx of investment. Coupled with a diversification of populations, closer ties with the Nordics has led to a gradual identity realignment. Nordic-Baltic relations go further back, however. In 2016, architects Jurga Daubaraitė and Jonas Žukauskas passed along a text written by the Lithuanian geographer and geo-politicist Kazys Pakštas. (Daubaraitė, Žukauskas, and Smilga were part of the nine-strong curatorial team that presented the first Baltic Pavilion at the 15th Biennale Architettura in Venice.) Published in English in 1944, The Baltoscandian Confederation envisioned a new supranational entity, eponymously named, comprising what we know today as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Pakštas prefaced this prospect with an urgency masked as an observation. “We are living in turbulent, but nevertheless interesting times,” he wrote.  This decade has proved to be similarly turbulent for Europe and the region. In 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea and the E.U. discontinued regular bilateral summits as a result. Russia was excluded from the G8. Sanctions were initiated. For the Baltic states, each of which territorially border the Russian Federation (Lithuania does not border Russia’s western border, it does border the Kaliningrad Oblast) and stand as the easternmost flank of the European Union, recent events have heightened focus on what it means to be in the ‘East’ and what it means to be in the ‘West.’ And they are not alone. The Nordic region—Sweden, Norway, and Finland in particular—have also started to raise an eyebrow eastwards. In 2018, the Swedish government (diplomatically “neutral” and not a member of NATO) reissued a document titled If Crisis or War Comes (Om krisen eller kriget kommer), an informational pamphlet indicating that planning for the defense of the realm had been resumed after decades of demilitarisation.  Many opportunities center on the Baltic Sea, and so follows tension. The Baltic is today considered less of an aquatic ecosystem (although it is, and is rapidly approaching the status of an oceanic dead zone) and more of a pool of infrastructure, movement, and mobility. If it had come to pass, Pakštas’s Baltoscandia would have likely become a nation of significant economic and geopolitical influence. From the low-lying lands of middle Europe to the arctic territories of the far north, the federation would have encircled and controlled access to the Baltic Sea. People of different cultures and languages would have been united under one aegis to form, in Pakštas’s own words, a “zone of smaller nations of common cultural interests and mutual sympathies.” In March 2004, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania became members of NATO. In May of the same year, they joined the European Union and become the first and so far only former states of the Soviet Union to have joined either supranational organization.  Architecture of Migration opened with a discussion on this theme: the Nordic-Baltic region as a territory at the crossroads of global mobilities. During the opening session, a conversation took place between Kirsten Ritchie (Gensler), Ieva Ilves (adviser to the President of Latvia for Information and Digital Policy), and the researcher Justinien Tribillon (cofounder of Migrant Journal, a publication that culminated with its sixth volume earlier this year). Faced with a question on the role of national identity at a moment increasingly shaped and influenced by supranational forms of governance, Tribillon said: “I’m wondering what the [nation] state of tomorrow will look like, and therefore what the identity of tomorrow will look like.” The greater part of the conversations that took place were along similar lines. The discussion was fluid and underlying themes were often reminiscent of ideas that were put forward by the late sociologist and political philosopher Zygmunt Bauman. In 2016, in what was to be his final television interview, a conversation on Al-Jazeera centered on the mass migration and movement of people. Bauman contextualized the perceived ‘migration crisis’, as it was unhelpfully labeled at the time, as part of a crisis of fear and uncertainty. Exponential inequality, dysfunctional economies, increasing concern for the climate, the smelting of governments and institutions—their decreasing dependability, authority, and ability to follow through on their promises—have all contributed to the murky mess that we presently find ourselves wading through, he argued. With no single solution in sight, Bauman was pressed by the interviewer to contemplate a way out of the soup. His retort was simple; he advocated for empathy. “But,” he asserted, “and that is a big but, unfortunately [...], there is no instant solution. Dialogue is a long, long process.” Room for dialogue on issues as urgent, muddling, and wide-reaching as migration remain as hard to find today as they were in 2016. Architecture of Migration made enormous inroads to carve out space for discourse. It was, in many ways, a show-and-tell, a presentation of case studies that oscillated around themes of borders, land, identity, and geopolitics. Alongside presentations by architect and historian Ignacio G. Galán, architect and educator Sille Pihlak (PART), architects Petras Isora and Ona Lozuraityte (AIL), urbanist Keiti Kljavin, and urban researcher Mike Emmerik (Crimson Architectural Historians), Irene Stracuzzi’s project The Legal Status of Ice articulated the diplomatic firestorm currently faced by the Arctic region. At the center of a contentious territorial dispute, Canada, Denmark, Norway, the United States, and Russia all have claims (the latter laid theirs by planting a titanium flag on the seabed 14,000 feet below the North Pole, aided by a robotic submarine). Closer to home, Ivan Sergejev presented the Estonian town of Narva, where he is currently Chief City Architect. As one of the leading minds behind Narva’s European Capital of Culture 2024 bid, which it ultimately lost to Tartu, Sergejev took delegates through the latent potential that can be harnessed by way of conceptual projects. As Estonia’s most eastern township, only meters from the country’s border with Russia, its Russian-Estonian citizenry came together under the auspices of the bid and new life was injected into a place that, in recent years, had suffered from a post-industrial slump. A propositional presentation by Markus Schaefer, a partner of the Zürich-based studio for architecture, strategies, and research Hosoya Schaefer, put the concept of "Deep Urbanism" onto the table. Using Switzerland as a point of reference, Schaefer described a discipline of relationships that generate a complex system of people and their culture acting on equally as complex territories. For Schaeffer, cities cannot be seen as a solution to achieve a sustainable existence. Rather, they should be considered as a form of cultural technology that, in the same way as all technologies tend towards, can have both beneficial and adverse effects. The inherent and multifaceted depth of the city—a place of interaction and transformation, plus—must be recognized and, in so doing, utilized.  Smilga and Suhanova had made clear their reasoning for the conference from the beginning. “We both believe that performing in the field of architecture is part of building surrounding culture,” they declared. Through the lens of architecture, a discipline and practice fundamentally tethered to the ways we live, work, move and belong, came an event that embraced an open-ended understanding of the topic it was seeking to address. The (perpetually) turbulent times that we are each a part of demands us to listen to one another more closely, and with more generosity. As we all move into the third decade of the new millennium, Architecture of Migration proved that space to exchange and reimagine the transforming and transformative role of architecture has a crucial role to play in the most formidable challenges—and opportunities—that we face. James Taylor-Foster is a writer, editor, and curator working in the fields of architecture, design, e-culture, and technology. He is the curator of contemporary architecture and design at ArkDes, Sweden’s national center for architecture and design, in Stockholm. He moderated a discussion at the Architecture of Migration conference.
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Joy in a Dumpster Fire

AN rounds up the funniest stories of 2019
As 2019 draws to a close, we’re looking back on some of the events that made it memorable. We’ve rounded up this year’s funniest, most important, and most controversial stories, as well as homages to some of the people we lost.  Fast food, sci-fi, and sex toys—2019 had it all. Whether it’s Kanye West designing affordable housing (only to have the prototypes written up), Comedy Central dropping the truth on the architect’s ego, or a Taco Bell themed hotel popping up in California, it was an interesting year to say the least. Laugh (or groan or cry) your way through the most lol-worthy stories of the year. Taco Bell hotel The Bell, a pop-up, Taco Bell-branded vacation experience in Palm Springs, California, that promised guests Baja Blasts in bed, drew Crunchwrap Supreme fans from around the country and sold out its pilot summer season in minutes. Guests could cuddle up with a Fire! Sauce shaped pillow or pool float, wake up to the beautiful sight of a Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, and fill up on taco-themed merch in the gift shop. In other words, Live Más.  Kanye Wars: The building code strikes back Kanye West’s Star Wars–inspired, dome-shaped affordable housing prototypes were demolished after Los Angeles County officials found that West had failed to obtain the proper permit for the structures (they used concrete foundations, rendering them more than temporary structures in the eyes of the law). Thus ended this unexpected chapter of L.A.’s architectural history—until the sequel, at least.  A more lovable Hudson Yards Design firm Wolfgang & Hite satirized Hudson Yards—the much-maligned New York City megadevelopment that opened in March—by turning some of its buildings into hot pink silicone sex toys. As the firm put it: “Sex does the body good. After the fiery criticisms of Hudson Yards this year, we thought city officials might need a healthy outlet for working through some of that guilt.” LuXXXury real estate experience, indeed.  Shoddy Shed  Not everyone hates Hudson YardsTIME named The Shed, the development’s transformable art space, one of the World’s Greatest Places for 2019. But The Shed’s moveable walls (one of the highlights of the $485 million complex) aren’t winning many fans: Because of misaligned hardware, some don’t work. Whoops!  Alternatino architecture We’ve all met that guy—maybe he was your boss at your first architectural internship or your most loathed professor in undergrad who handed you a crumpled piece of paper and told you to model it in Revit. The Comedy Central sketch show Alternatino with Arturo Castro got it right in a July episode that parodied architecture clichés. In Gerhardt Fjuck, a decorated designer, all the tropes—and the ego—of the pretentious architect were on full display, right down to the glasses.
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Grass Roots

2019 Best of Design Awards winners for New Materials
2019 Best of Design Award for New Materials: Grass House Designer: Location: Washington, D.C.

The Grass House—a LEED Platinum carriage house located across from the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.—is the first building on the East Coast realized using a panelized bamboo-based structural system called BamCore. The strength of the interior and exterior panels allows for the elimination of double studs that characterize conventional construction today. The Grass House’s hollow wall cavities have been filled with Havelock sheep’s wool insulation, the highest performing building insulation available. Once framed and stuffed, the house was clad in charred Atlantic cedar, and the interior fitted out with willow and walnut details. The result is a series of spaces as comfortable and familiar as they are economical and sustainable.

Resources: Collaborators: JZ Engineering, Steven Winter Associates, Fabio Designs Structural System: BamCore Insulation: Havelock Wool Timber: reSAWN TIMBER charred wood, Basket Farmer willow Lighting: Danielle Trofe Honorable Mention Walking Assembly Matter Design & CEMEX Global R&D
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Spirit of MoMA Past, Present, and Future

MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program curators and alumni talk about its future
Less than a month after the $450 million expansion of MoMA, hints began circulating of the potential cancellation of MoMA PS1's Young Architecture Program (YAP). Begun in 1999 as the first collaboration between the merged institutions, Philip Johnson celebrated his birthday party that summer with a DJ booth commemorating the disco era, spinning Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as the program's initial gesture. For the next 20 years, the jury asked deans, critics, and editors to nominate 30 young firms to compete, selecting a shortlist of five to develop concepts for the annual outdoor pavilion in the Queens-based PS1's courtyard. "The two most open departments to collaboration from day one of the announcement were film and architecture," said PS1 founder Alanna Heiss. "We had a gigantic space that had been used for large-scale installations of sculpture and big outdoor performance programs. We'd done a summer before of a kind of trial Warm Up, which had been more successful than, shall we say, we wanted it to be; ie., we had crowds and crowds of people that we had to devise systems to control for safety. But to merge architecture with the beginning of Warm Up was just a dream." MoMA's chief architecture curator at the time was Terence Riley, who conceived of the initial framework. "An opportunity presented itself in that a couple proposed to MoMA in a meeting with Glenn Lowry [the museum's director] and myself a prize for young architects in honor of the husband's father," said Riley. "He was focused on young architects, and he was thinking that it would be a prize. I was wary and am now about museums giving out prizes. It was really at the spur of the moment that we flipped the conversation to this Young Architects Program. Probably more than any kind of a medal, getting the opportunity for a young architect to actually build something in New York City—which is a freestanding element rather than an interior—I thought this would be super exciting for the museum and for the cadre of young architects of the period." Marcel Breuer had built a temporary house in MoMA's garden in the 1950s, and the Serpentine Pavilion in London also began in 2000 with a much larger budget. The Venice Architecture Biennale's pavilions bear some resemblance, too. During his time as MoMA's chief architecture curator, Barry Bergdoll instigated the impressive Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling in 2008, building housing models in MoMA-owned adjacent lots, which pushed the temporary building program in another productive direction. But YAP was the first temporary pavilion program of its kind in the world. "The first winner was SHoP, and it set a very high standard," Riley said. "It immediately became super competitive, and what I think is amazing, people put so much effort into it, many of the installations stand out as being a turning point in a lot of careers for some amazing architects. You can make a list of them. It's pretty incredible." YAP became an influential model around the world, with MoMA organizing partner pavilions at the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome, with CONSTRUCTO in Santiago, Chile, at Istanbul Modern, and at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul. "The fact that it has a use was critical in the sense that it wasn't just architects scribbling and coming up with seductive forms, although they often did, but they did often have a focus and guidelines," Riley said of YAP. "That gave it some rigor and also some humor. This was for a DJ event. It was about fun; it was about enjoyment. It had it's own character, which was really great." AN asked past YAP winners and curators to comment on its value to their careers, to young architects, and to the field, and to suggest possible future directions for the program. AN: How would you evaluate the program as a platform for you or other young architects to develop their ideas and gain recognition? Florian Idenburg, SO-IL For SO-IL, our installation, Pole Dance, was career-defining. We cannot recognize enough the importance that the program has had on a generation of architects. This potential is something MoMA should not underestimate and should try to maintain as it finds its new form. After two decades, any temporary event starts to lose its potential. I am excited to see what comes next. Eric Bunge, nARCHITECTS The program has undoubtedly been a launchpad for architecture firms, including ours, but its more important impact has been as a petri dish for ideas. Pedro Gadanho, former MoMA curator of architecture and design In a context in which debt-ridden young architects probably have to enter corporate offices just to survive, YAP provided one of the few design opportunities in the U.S. in which a smaller scale, more experimental studio could try out architectural ideas outside the market. And with MoMA’s notoriety [renown] behind it, winning it surely provided a boost in visibility at [an] international level. In this sense, after such a history has been made, scrapping it sounds profoundly unfortunate for the architectural field in the States, as well as for MoMA’s role within it. Gregg Pasquarelli, SHoP founding principal This program was an incredibly important platform for SHoP and other young firms. Dunescape [in inaugural 2000] was one of the first projects that put SHoP on the map in a meaningful way, and we are very grateful to have been a part of MoMA’s incubator. It showed us the tremendous R&D value of designing and constructing exhibitions and temporary pavilions and informs the way that we work to this day. What we learned through Dunescape has proven scalable and enabled us to conceptualize a new way of working that we are hopeful will revolutionize the entire architecture and construction industry. Jenny Sabin, Jenny Sabin Studio Winning the 2017 MoMA and MoMA PS1 YAP competition marked a major transition point in my professional creative career. My built work up until that point had been largely experimental, indoors, and at the pavilion scale. The platform enabled me to push design research to an entirely different scale, to engage active environmental conditions, diverse publics, and to respond to and integrate unique public programs for Warm Up. I can't underscore enough the positive role and impact YAP plays in our field and practice. It was the most rewarding and meaningful project that I have completed to date. It was an incredible honor and the international exposure was mind-boggling. YAP elevated my practice to an entirely new level with new and ongoing projects all over the world. Tobias Armborst, Interboro Partners For Interboro the program was important, changing the trajectory of our work. The particular response we found to the question of temporary architecture really brought forward our interest in rethinking community engagement and developing architecture not only as a product but as an open process that can involve many actors. Pablo Castro and Jennifer Lee, OBRA The YAP program was of course not perfect, the budget was too modest and so were the design fees—in our case our aim to adequately respond to the programmatic requirement of shade ended up being achievable only after being supplemented by a huge other fundraising effort on our part. In later years YAP had also become a franchise for MoMA, sprouting sideshows all over the world. Museums in Santiago, Istanbul, Rome, and Seoul had their own versions of YAP. Sometimes the work produced for these colonial outposts was interesting, but one can't help but wonder if it would not have been better to focus more concentratedly in advancing the conceptual intentions of the effort instead of multiplying it without any kind of contextual adjustment all over the globe. By 2006 when, thanks to YAP, OBRA got its chance to build Beatfuse! in the courtyards of the museum, one could already sense in the place a feeling of being under the intervention of some kind of colonial financial overlord. We were lucky enough to still enjoy the residual presence of the original "guerrilla" attitude which was alive and well in the people that ran and worked in the place: Alanna herself, a great champion of the daring and inspired; Brett Littman, the deputy director who saved our skin several times as we were trying to build Obra's overly-ambitious proposal; Tony Guerrero, the chief installer who—as I remember—used to keep a huge cage full of birds inside his office; and Sixto Figueroa, the congenial head of the Boricua-dominated PS1 shop, the place which, that spring, all of the sudden became our second home. How would you evaluate its success or limits as a model? Pedro Gadanho Its success depended entirely on the architect’s propositions, and how [over] time these could provide yet another design insight into a constricted site, namely by advancing more conceptual alternatives into low-budget construction systems, environmental inventions, and sometimes fascinating functional add-ons. Its limits were the usual ones for this type of initiative: that budgets were never as elastic as architects would love them to be. Terence Riley, former MoMA architecture and design curator, founding partner K/R Architects I definitely think it's a really good thing. Architecture is so abstract now: BIM modeling and so on—I just remember someone asking me, is that a photograph or a rendering? There's this lack of certainty, at least in the world of reproduction. The young architects who got involved in these projects, I am certain it's the first time they were on a job site in such an extended manner and felt the building up close in terms of materials and how things went together. In the beginning, it also addressed the local issue: the lack of younger people to build a building in New York City. It was amazing how much it expanded because of this hyper-competitiveness that seized that whole generation. Where should it go in the future, if it continues, or has the temporary pavilion framework been exhausted, as some critics have suggested? Or what should they do instead? Florian Idenburg Yes, a rethink is very timely. The wide range of issues that at this moment is leading to rage and despair on the streets of the world are real signals that there is an urgent need for real action and real change. The institutions that we brought into the world to “educate” the people—the museums, libraries, and universities—will have to decide. Either remain on the sidelines and continue to offer repose and shelter from the pressures of this much-needed realignment or become active participants. One can imagine the MoMA partnering with city agencies or nonprofits and developing a program in which they sponsor design fees for young architects to work on actual projects that have lasting benefits for people. One can imagine projects that take multiple years and are developed collectively, possibly using PS1 as a space for debate, work, and communication. Eric Bunge It should definitely continue, not only to maintain MoMA’s crucial role in catalyzing architectural ideas, but to continue engaging wider publics. The framework that is important to maintain is the constant renewal of the courtyard, not necessarily one that produces a pavilion. That’s just a problem definition. I think MoMA should find a way to bring back some of the simplicity of the early years, and address the increasingly [difficult] challenges faced by young architects:
  • Cover or reduce the insurance requirements. There were none when we built Canopy; we therefore made it as safe as possible.
  • Start the process much sooner, to allow for more time to design and build.
  • Encourage the architects to design ephemeral environments with the thousands of users in mind, as opposed to (only) creating objects.
Pedro Gadanho The inventiveness with which every participant’s solution showed new possibilities for that site showed that the model was the opposite of exhausted... Gregg Pasquarelli We’re big fans of the temporary nature of the pavilion framework. There’s something exciting and liberating about a project that exists only for a moment in time. The best pavilions have come from the freedom and invention of this approach. Jenny Sabin In taking this hiatus to reevaluate YAP, MoMA is in a unique position to reframe the value of architecture to the broader public and within our niche architecture communities. I don't think the temporary pavilion framework will ever be exhausted. That's like saying architecture has been exhausted. I think the platform needs to be evaluated, and refreshed with eyes on the pressing issues of our time. Important areas that should be examined and discussed include labor, budget, waste and sustainable materials, liability, context, and program—all of which are integral architectural constraints and parameters. Tobias Armborst I went to a discussion of former YAP winners at MoMA recently, and some of those questions were raised there: Is the pavilion still relevant given that there are so many competitions for temporary pavilions now? Is this still the right site? I came away from it thinking that in spite of the changing context, YAP still kind of works as a stage for young architects to present ideas. It’s great to see all these different responses to the site and the temporary nature of the project. However, one aspect in which the program could use an update is perhaps less a change in venue, program, or duration, but in rethinking the compensation. It seems like the program is still based on an outdated idea of self-exploitation on the part of architects, and the expectation of a lot of free labor on the part of students, volunteers, etc. Thinking about new ways of providing fair compensation for design labor (at least the labor of “volunteers”) I think would be [a] very timely update. I don’t mean to just ask for more money, but I think there could be a greater acknowledgment of how architecture is actually made, and by whom, in a rethinking of the compensation model. Pablo Castro and Jennifer Lee Seeing the YAP program suspended is indeed not only sad but also a little bit ominous. In a way, we fear YAP's demise corresponds all too well with the less-than-absolutely-thrilling zeitgeist under which we all live these days in New York City. It makes it only too obvious that time has run out for art (and architecture) as a form of insidious and idealistic cultural guerrilla-warfare. We fancy that was the spirit under which PS1 was originally created by Alanna Heiss in 1971. Should they commission a more durable conversion of the courtyard? Eric Bunge A durable conversion would be a huge missed opportunity. Better a series of interesting potential small mistakes than a permanent potential big one. The emptiness and randomness of that courtyard is the cool counterpoint to MoMA’s sculpture garden. If only every other cultural institution had such a powerful void and the bravery to periodically fill it and empty it. So much of its value is its perpetual renewal. Pedro Gadanho I don’t think a "more durable conversion" substitutes the curatorial trajectory that YAP represented. That would be just another commission, which any museum does regularly to update spaces [to fill] to their needs. Gregg Pasquarelli I’m not sure it’s our place to comment on what form the program should take, but we look forward to seeing what they come up with next! Terence Riley A lot of programs in museums are dependent on one donor who is willing to subsidize it in perpetuity. People wanted to be involved with this because it was frankly a success, and having SHoP lead with such a strong project definitely set a fairly high bar. When I say it's still useful, that doesn't mean in an abstract sense—where that happens isn't really relevant. Could it have gotten stale in Long Island City at PS1? Certainly at this point I would find it hard to think that there was a huge amount of excitement, at least the kind of excitement that there was in the first decade, shall we say. It wasn't just among the young architects, it was also in the media it was covered nationally and internationally; and so on one hand, it's still relevant, on the other hand, a pause doesn't sound like a terrible thing. Things could be done in different ways. I did start the program, but I don't feel that the museum's doing something unethical or whatever. Maybe it's time for a pause. Jenny Sabin I think this requires discussion with previous YAP winners, nominators, students, the architecture community, and Warm Up partygoers, and that's exactly what MoMA is doing. I'm excited to see what happens next. Pablo Castro and Jennifer Lee The successive curators of architecture at MoMA, Terence Riley, Barry Bergdoll, Andres Lepik, Pedro Gadagno, and Martino Stierli all seemed to have done their best to steer YAP toward a position of meaningful significance every year by proposing enlightened programmatic propositions: The project aims to explore and improve upon the quality of public space by implementing the elements of shade, water, seating, bars, and sustainability at this site... The commission is to design and realize a project for summer relaxation and interaction—offering the sort of space often denied to urbanites... After over a decade of successful YAP projects, we now focus the competition to encourage designs based on themes of sustainability, recycling, and reuse... This year, we are keen to consider new materials and materiality as a component of the portfolio (and, ultimately, the final design schemes)... We seek designs that are environmentally sensitive, provide elements of shade, water, and seating while also having [the] potential for fun! All these goals were of course very worthy and desirable, but also hardly in keeping with the revolutionary disruptive objectives with which MoMA first came into prominence in the early 20th century. To be fair, by the turn of the century perhaps the boat had also already sailed on that. Nonetheless, we daydreamed that YAP could have evolved at some point to become the vehicle for putting forward a more considered project for the future of architecture and the city using its public platform to publicize and disseminate a more progressive vision of the future of the built environment. Perhaps something other than urbanism via real estate speculation and architecture via marketing spectacle? Who knows? Notwithstanding these shortcomings, YAP was a valuable program that allowed a rare channel of expression for architects making their first foray into the discipline. As one of the beneficiaries of such initiative, we regret its discontinuation and hope for its return.
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The Old College Try

2019 Best of Design Awards winners for Building Renovation — Civic
2019 Best of Design Award winner for Building Renovation — Civic: Keller Center Designer: Farr Associates Location: Chicago Farr Associates and Woodhouse Tinucci Architects have transformed a 1964 Edward Durell Stone building on the University of Chicago’s South Campus into the Keller Center, the new home of the Harris School of Public Policy. Policy-inspired design solutions connect with the community, place policy on display, and shape the project’s approach to sustainability. The existing, expansive concrete structure offered little connection to the exterior environment. With the renovation, a four-story atrium carved into the building brings daylight down to its lowest level. A monumental stair promotes active design and extends the warmth of the forum up through the atrium with reclaimed ash trees, which were harvested from downed Chicago Park District trees and milled by local residents through a collaboration with artist Theaster Gates. Structural Engineer: Stearn-Joglekar Lighting Designer: AKLD Landscape Architect: site design group Civil Engineer: TERRA Engineering MEP Engineer: dbHMS Honorable Mentions Project Name: Centennial Planetarium Designer: Lemay + Toker Project Name: Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art Designer: Sparano + Mooney Architecture Editors' Picks Project Name: Oregon Conservation Center Designer: LEVER Architecture Project Name: National Arts Centre Rejuvenation Designer: Diamond Schmitt Architects
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Form & Process

ATRA instills its cofounders' Swedish-Mexican heritage in it's first New York show
After opening two galleries this year in Mexico City and San Francisco, multi-disciplinary studio ATRA makes its East Coast debut with their first solo show in New York City. Titled Form & Process, the exhibition showcases the works of Swedish-Mexican cofounders Alexander and Andreas Diaz Andersson, alongside upcoming designers Bogus Studio, Jose Balmaceda, Ann Edholm, and Jose Vera Matos. The showcase is on view at Tuleste Factory through January 2020, by appointment only. Pairing silk-screened and embroidered canvases by Andreas with furnishings by Alexander, the brothers create a dialogue between art and design. Here, an experimental study of material and form ensues a dichotomous blend of their Swedish and Mexican lineages: warm woods and sleek lines, characteristic of Scandinavian design, combine with dark stains and leather distinctive of furniture produced in Mexico during the mid-20th-century. Read the full article on our interiors and design website,
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Aggregate Duo

COOKFOX skirts the East River with 3D-molded precast concrete panels
Brought to you with support from
The waterfront surrounding Brooklyn's former Domino Sugar Refinery continues to rise at a dizzying pace and, similar to DUMBO to the south, this spate of growth is led by Two Trees Development—ongoing projects include PAU's reinvention of the Domino Sugar Refinery and the recently announced BIG-designed towers. Unlike other sections of the Williamsburg waterfront which are dominated by swaths glass high-rises, the Domino Sugar site is a largescale demonstration of opacity. Ten Grand and One South First, a project designed by architectural practice COOKFOX, continues the trend with custom-blended aggregate precast concrete panels. Programatically, the development is split between two distinct masses—respectively housing residential and office functions—and rests atop a three-story podium acting as a full-block streetwall. One South First, the residential tower, rises to a height of 42-stories and careens over the 22-story Ten Grand; both are connected by a glass-clad sky bridge located at the summit of Ten Grand.
  • Facade Manufacturer Gate Precast Schüco Skyline Windows
  • Architect COOKFOX
  • Facade Installer Gate Precast AM Architectural Metal & Glass
  • Structural Engineer Rosenwasser Grossman Consulting Engineers
  • Location Brooklyn, New York
  • Date of Completion 2020
  • System Skyline Windows 1200 Series Dual Action with crank handle (“Tilt / Turn”) Skyline Windows 1200 Series Fixed & Fixed 90° corners
  • Products Custom Gate Precast panels
For the facade, COOKFOX opted for precast concrete panels for both stylistic and performative decisions. "We fine-tuned the shape for each solar exposure to create a self-shading performative facade that decreases solar heat gain during the summer months," said COOKFOX senior associate Arno Adkins. "We were also very inspired by the history of the sugar refinery and the physical characteristics of sugar; shape, color, shadow, and reflectivity. We designed the precast around these characteristics to create a site-specific design that connects to the history of the place." The result is a collection of deep-set modules with chamfered mullions and spandrels that slightly variate according to elevation and function as an intended shading device. The architectural studio collaborated closely with manufacturer Gate Precast to develop the dimensions and molds for the concrete panels. Both teams shared an individual BIM model in Revit, facilitating constant dialogue and the advanced customization of the panels. "Without the ability to make realtime modifications in the architect's office and then share those changes with the fabrication team instantly, the process of design and detailing would have taken several more months to complete thus delaying production and delivery on-site," said Gate Precast. "Coordination with the architecture team on this project was the only way any of this was possible." The bulk of residential precast modules are 9'-9" tall by 5'-9", while those found at the podium and commercial tower are, for the most part, 12'-5" by 10'-0". Manufacturing of the panels occurred at Gate Precast's facilities in Kentucky and North Carolina, where the use of 3D-printed molds allowed nearly 200 castings per piece—typically a standard mold can only be used up to three or four times. After an acid wash and polish, the panels were outfitted with their window systems and glazing. Then came the journey hundreds of miles north to Williamsburg, where the panels were craned into position and fastened to the floor slab with a series of steel anchors connected to six steel embeds cast into the concrete panels.  
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BIG Cove Coming

BIG and James Corner Field Operations reveal Williamsburg’s newest blockbuster towers
Continuing the work done slightly south at Domino Park, today developer Two Trees revealed their newest addition to the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, waterfront. River Street will bring a pair of sloping towers designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and a circular esplanade, cove, beach, boat launch and more, courtesy of James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) to the East River end of Metropolitan Avenue. Two Trees described the project as not replicating the same park-on-a-pier typology as Domino Park but instead will slope to meet the water. Thanks to the existing concrete caissons already adjacent to the site at 87 and 105 River Street, BIG and JCFO have been able to propose building into the East River to create a total of six acres of public space. The BIG-designed towers, from the renderings, will loom over the surrounding neighborhood and dwarf the towers at the Domino Sugar Factory complex next door. Totaling 1.2 million square feet across both buildings, the towers will contain 750 market-rate apartment units, 250 affordable units, 47,000 square feet carved out for a new YMCA (with pool), 30,000 square feet for local retail, and 57,000 square feet of office space. An additional 5,000 square feet will be set aside at ground level for a series of community kiosks, which will likely contain amenities for parkgoers and kayakers. Although the towers will be tall—one will top out at 600 feet, and the other at 650 feet—BIG has attempted to soften their impact by “pinching,” pulling, and spreading out the massing at the base. The towers’ stature will have the added effect of framing the Manhattan skyline for those looking down Metropolitan, and Bjarke Ingels claimed that their triangular footprint was designed as a “funnel” for those looking to reach the shore. River Street’s most striking feature, at least when viewed from above, will be the circular esplanade and on-river landscaping mentioned earlier. Instead of lifting the shoreline bulkhead to protect from storm surges as is typical for a coastal development, JCFO wants to implement a series of berms and soft edges to both protect River Street from flooding and increase access to the river. That will include a new public beach (JCFO senior principle Lisa Switkin noted that New York’s waterways are the cleanest they’ve been in a century), nature trails, plenty of tidal basins, both saltwater and freshwater marshlands, an amphitheater, outdoor classroom, and more. As is fitting for the designers selected by Two Trees, the team claims that River Street borrows from the Netherlands model of “embracing the river” rather than trying to block it out. Accordingly, Ingels claimed that the River Street towers would be able to weather a 500-year-storm surge, thanks to the way the landscape would be able to break up the energy of incoming waves and the placement of the towers’ mechanicals on higher levels. When asked about a timeline, Two Trees was confident that they would be able to have River Street approved in the next two years under the current City Council administration, although the project will still need to undergo the mandatory seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP). After the ULURP concludes, it should take another five years for River Street to be fully built out. The park and a single tower will be built in the first phase, and the second tower would come afterward. However, according to Switkin, because the project will build on to the East River, they will also need a joint permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Though, Switkin also noted, with the passage of the Living Shorelines Act (H.R.3115) in the House of Representatives earlier this week, federal momentum is building to enable exactly these types of projects. River Street will be entirely privately funded and maintained by Two Trees, similar to Domino Sugar Factory.
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Hey Child Stay Wild

The 2019 Best of Design Awards winners for Education
2019 Best of Design Award winner for Education: Cottonwood Canyon Experience Center Designer: Signal Architecture + Research Location: Wasco, Oregon “Who wouldn’t want to learn (or teach) there? Beautiful details give power to the overall restraint of the design, a nod to the surrounding landscape.” —Oana Stănescu As the heart of the Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute run by Eastern Oregon University and Oregon State Parks, the project was inspired by a place-based idea of hands-on, site-specific education. To accommodate educational projects dealing with solar engineering, species diversity, botany, writing, and more, Signal Architecture + Research was tasked to create a highly adaptive, multipurpose design. Indoor spaces were configured to be flexible, with expansive doors allowing the interior spaces to effectively double in size when opened to the exterior covered spaces. The center uses local juniper, metal siding, and durable concrete floors—materials that age well. Inspired by barns of the region, the nearly net-zero building emanates resilience and grit in a simple form. Project Manager and Owner: Oregon State Parks Landscape Architect: Walker Macy Structural Engineer: Lund Opsahl Solar Energy Consultant: Sunbridge Solar Construction: Tapani Honorable Mentions Project Name: Club de Niños y Niñas Designer: Centro de Colaboración Arquitectónica Project Name: RISD Student Center Designer: WORKac Editors' Picks Project Name: Santa Monica College Center for Media and Design & KCRW Media Center Designer: Clive Wilkinson Architects Project Name: Student Services Building, Cal Poly Pomona Designer: CO Architects