Brooklyn Botanic Garden Entry Building, Arch, and Steinberg Visitor Center 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn WEISS/MANFREDI, Architecture Research Office With blue skies overhead and abundant sunshine, it was the perfect day to funnel from Brooklyn's clamorous urban streetscape into the transportative, protected landscapes of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. On this double-header Building of Day tour, Archtober-ites explored the threshold from the city grid into the meandering, arboreal pathways at the garden, as experienced in two new entrance pavilions designed by WEISS/MANFREDI and ARO. The tour began at the northern entrance of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where WEISS/MANFREDI’s Steinberg Visitor Center pulls visitors in off of the busy Washington Avenue. Bound on one end by a gently curving glass wall that suggests the S-shape of the building, WEISS/MANFREDI’s visitor center at once announces itself as an architectural presence on the street, but also diminishes its imposition on the landscape in deference to the gardens that lay behind it. Guides Paul Duston-Munoz and Evelyn Rosado from WEISS/MANFREDI described this delicate balance between presence and deference that dictated the siting and form of the visitor center. The building, which houses a ticket counter, visitor information services, gift shop, offices, and an event space, is clad in a glass curtain wall with an exterior glass trellis. As you walk through the space, natural light falls in a rhythmic pattern through the trellis, echoing the experience of light filtering through an arbor of trees. The architects conceived of an S-shape for the building, emulating the existing meandering pathways of the gardens and allowing for a separation between the public entry portal in front and the event space in back. The event space—the largest two-walled room in New York—is encased by the trellised-glass curtain wall on one end, overlooking the Japanese Garden, opposite a wood-paneled wall, partially constructed from the three Gingko trees that had to be removed from the site. The S-shape of the building also means that the entire structure would not be visible from any one vantage point, so as not to overwhelm the garden setting. Atop the visitor center, a green roof planted with tall, flowering grasses in varying heights and shades of green provides a harmonious bridge between the architectural threshold and the verdant landscape beyond. On the southern end of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, ARO designed a new ticketing and bathroom facility to reactivate an underutilized access point to the gardens. Kai Pedersen of ARO, explained how the siting of the new pavilion was meant to act as both a barrier between the noisy intersection just beyond the garden, and as a welcoming invitation to the community to enter the gardens. The slender brick building topped with a geometric zinc roof and a cantilevered awning is in dialogue with a historic Beaux-Arts archway entrance designed by McKim, Mead, & White from the 1920s, which ARO is in the process of restoring. ARO’s new entrance building has bold architectural elements, while maintaining deference to both the botanic setting and the historic context. The new building uses brick patterning inspired by McKim, Mead, & White’s arch. Pedersen described the infrared film inserted into the layered glass that partially visible to the human eye, but clearly visible to birds, intended to protect avian visitors to the gardens. The two new entryways to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden provided seamless transitions between the urban context and the calming respite of the diverse flora housed in the gardens. Alex Tell is the committee's coordinator for the AIANY | Center for Architecture.
Posts tagged with "AIANY":
Housing shortages are not just an issue in New York City or even America’s hyper-developed urban centers. It's an issue in every large city in the world. Of course, for the wealthy there are plenty of options. The shortages affect the poor—and in many cities, the middle class. These critical issues and the architect's responsibility to help alleviate this crisis is the focus of "Shelter: On Housing," a panel discussion hosted by the Global Dialogues Committee of the AIANY on Wednesday, October 7th from 6:00 to 8:00pm. At the event, I will be a panelist along with Aliye Celik (president of the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization), Mimi Hoang of nARCHITECTS, and Jill Learner from Kohn Pedersen Fox. I plan to present housing from Vienna and the Austrian process of selecting projects based on their architectural qualities. This free event will take place at the beautiful Vitra showroom, 29 Ninth Avenue in New York.
On September 17th, New York artists, architects, and designers gathered in lower Manhattan to celebrate the newly anointed South Street Seaport Culture District. Conceived by The Howard Hughes Corporation (the Seaport's primary developer), exhibitions by the AIANY's Center for Architecture, the Guggenheim, No Longer Empty, and Eyebeam, among others, created programming in spaces damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The installations were complemented by live music, and food by Smorgasburg. James Sanders (of JS + A Studio) curated the event. Often maligned by New Yorkers for its tourist sensibilities, The Howard Hughes Corporation counters this perception by positioning the Seaport as a "cultural incubator," a destination for the arts that draws on the area's singular role in the city's economic and maritime history. At 181 Front Street, AIANY curated Sea Level: Five Boroughs at Water's Edge. The exhibition featured Elizabeth Fellicela's panoramic photographs taken on the riverfronts, inlets, and coastlines of New York City. Select images are paired with essays by urbanist and author Robert Sullivan. AIGA/NY curated an exhibition at 192 Front Street that focuses on the iterative nature of design across disciplines. No Longer Empty, a public art organization that curates temporary, site-specific installations in vacant spaces, commissioned Teresa Diehl: Breathing Waters, an immersive installation that draws on the Seaport's location near the confluence of the East and Hudson rivers. Visitors meander through curtains of water droplets fashioned from clear resin, lulled into a meditative state by the projections and sounds meant to simulate submergence. The South Street Culture District is part of The Howard Hughes Corporation's larger development vision for the area. The developers will invest approximately $1.5 billion to build up the South Street Seaport, and adjacent Pier 17, for residential and commercial use. Plans have met with fierce opposition from community groups and preservationists who claim the proposed developments are out of scale with the neighborhood. The events and exhibitions may not mollify opponents of the redevelopment, but they do provide a valuable public platform for the art and architecture in lower Manhattan. Programming at the Seaport runs through December 31st, 2015.
Architects, preservationists come out in force against bill that would change historic preservation in New York City
New York City Council members Peter A. Koo and David Greenfield introduced a bill in April 2015 that would radically alter the way the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) considers sites for historic preservation. That measure, Intro 775, was debated yesterday in an epic public hearing that lasted more than six hours. Intro 775 is a proposed City Council measure to eliminate the LPC's backlog of sites under consideration by instituting time limits on how long a site can stay up for landmark consideration. The bill would impose one-year time limits on individual sites up for landmark status and two year time limits on proposed historic districts. All items that the LPC fails to reach an agreement on would not be eligible for reconsideration for five years. If the bill is passed, the LPC would have 18 months to review their calendar and decide on the status of the 95 items. If the review is not complete in 18 months, these items would be permanently deleted from the calendar. Currently, there are 95 sites under consideration by the LPC (map). Of those sites, 85 percent have been on the LPC's calendar for more than twenty years. The LPC actively solicits public input on how to clear the backlog. Area preservationists and architects overwhelmingly oppose the measure. New York City's five AIA chapters issued a joint statement on the bill: "LPC plays an essential role in ensuring the quality and character of our physical city. The bill, as written, will compromise our City’s seminal Landmarks Law that so greatly contributes to the uniqueness of our urban realm, gives definition to communities, and increases the value of real estate." Other opponents of the bill claim that putting a time cap on the review process would discourage the nomination of controversial or complicated sites. Meenakshi Srinivasan, the LPC's chair, also opposes Intro 775, but is open to internal rules (in lieu of a city law) to expedite the review of sites. After six hours of intense discussion, the Committee on Land Use delayed the proposal until its next meeting on September 25th.
We saw your editorial on design organizations (“Design Organizations Need to Meet the Street”) and were thrilled to see the positive things you had to say about the Center for Architecture. After repositioning the Center as a 501(c)3, we are more committed than ever to public outreach and really promoting the idea that design matters to a general audience. We’re very proud of our storefront and we’re happy to hear you are too. Camila Schaulsohn AIA New York Chapter Center for Architecture
The AIA and Center for Architecture has just named David Burney former commissioner of New York City’s Department of Design & Construction and currently Pratt Institute professor as interim executive director of the AIA New York replacing Rick Bell. The AIA and its current President Tomas Rossant issued the following statement:
David Burney’s vast experience leading City agencies and his legacy of improving the quality of public projects in New York will be an invaluable asset to AIANY as we work with the current administration on issues concerning creating affordable housing and reducing carbon emissions, among others. David is a tremendous design professional and we’re excited to have him onboard in this capacity.The release also included a statement from the departed Rick Bell:
The fourteen years at AIANY have been a wonderful part of my life, but it is now time to move on to undertake new opportunities. I am proud to have helped create the Center for Architecture which has grown into a meeting place and community center for all in the design professions, and which brings in architectural enthusiasts from around the world. I express my thanks and admiration for all of the hardworking staff and for the inspirational boards both past and present who have allowed me the privilege of being at this remarkable place.
Rick Bell who has led the New York chapter of the AIA to period of tremendous growth since it moved into their storefront on LaGuardia Place has resigned. The AIANY and Center for Architecture Executive Director Rick Bell have issued the following statement: “Rick Bell [has] offered, and the organization’s Board of Directors has accepted, his immediate resignation. An interim Executive Director will be named next week and a search to find a new Executive Director will also begin at that time."
The winners of the AIA New York's biennial design competition have been been announced. The Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) committee selected from 120 proposals submitted as a part of QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm, which was intended to drum up ideas that would contribute to the proposed re-purposing of an elevated railway in Queens. Entrants were tasked with designing a vertical gateway for the elevated viaduct portion of the 3.5 mile–long track currently under consideration for the High Line treatment. A jury consisting of Claire Weisz of WXY Architecture + Urban Design, Matthew Johnson of Diller Scofidio + Renfro and project manager of the High Line, and Margaret Newman from the New York Department of Transportation among others convened on January 18th to anoint Carrie Wibert the winner and recipient of the $5000 ENYA prize. Nikolay Martynov's Queens Bilboard finished second, followed by Song Deng's Make It! Grow It! Jessica Shomekaer won the Student Prize while Queens local Hyontek Yoon received honorable mention for Upside Down Bridge. These proposals, along with others submitted to the competition will go on display July 17th in an exhibition at the Center for Architecture that will be supplemented by a series of discussion panels. The exhibit should come on the heels of the completion of the ongoing feasibility study undertaken by WXY and dlandstudio Landscape Architecture & Architecture. The project is not without its detractors, with some locals clamoring for the re-activation of the track for rail transportation as a means of alleviating congestion in the borough. Advocates of the Queensway question the feasibility of such a move and also claim that the park would link communities, improve quality of life, and enable safer bike and foot traffic.
Take a ferry over to Governors Island in New York Harbor before September 22 and you'll stumble across a massive white cloud made up of thousands of reused milk jugs. Venture inside that cloud, and you'll be mesmerized by thousands more plastic soda bottles partially filled with blue liquid that creates an otherworldly gradient of filtered light overhead. The so-called Head in the Clouds pavilion, plopped in a grassy field on the island, is part of the annual FIGMENT festival, a celebration of arts and culture that brings a series of imaginative installations, including an unorthodox miniature golf course. In partnership with AIANY's Emerging New York Architect (ENYA) committee and the Structural Engineers Association of New York, the "City of Dreams" competition selects a pavilion designed by a young designer or practice to be built the following summer, and this year's shortlist has just been announced. Previous winners include 2010's Living Pavilion by Ann Ha, Burple Bup in 2011 by Bittertang, and this year's Head in the Clouds pavilion by Brooklyn-based Studio Klimoski Chang Architects. A winner will be selected by October 31, 2013. Dreamcatcher ManifoldArchitectureStudio (Brooklyn, NY) Project team: Kit von Dalwig, R.A., AIA; Philipp von Dalwig, Dipl. Ing., Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; Andreea Toca; Jane Chua From the Figment Project: "Dreamcatcher, a pavilion where imaginations are lifted, elevating your dreams, captures dreams at the idyllic meeting point of Governors Island, where people from all parts of New York can gather and encounter an experience unlike any other. We are proposing a simple, circular, lightweight structure that captures a changing collection of balloons. Why balloons? Because they’re joyful, uplifting and downright dreamy. Choose your shade, let your balloon go, and dream a little dream." Governor’s Cup CDR Studio (New York, NY) with Sustainable Engineering Services Project team: Lea H. Cloud, AIA, LEED AP BD + C; Jonathan Dreyfous, AIA, LEED AP; Victoria A. Rospond, AIA; Katya Zavyalova; Michael Baskett, AIA; Trevor Messinger; Tiffany Jin; and Yelena Rayster From the Figment Project: "The Governor’s Cup Pavilion hovers in a cluster of trees on the northern side of the Parade Ground. Recycled plastic cups, sourced and discarded throughout the city, are supported by zip-ties from overhead cables, forming a dense knitted structure unspooling from the branches. Strapping and turn-buckled cabling leave the trees unscathed. Crocheted repurposed cups infill areas between the undulated tape structure and branches, creating an airborne topography and shadow play. The configuration forms an outdoor room, shimmering in the sun and echoing with breeze-driven sound. The Greenpoint non-profit Arts@Renaissance will claim the Pavilion for their courtyard gallery space." MÖBI water tower pavilion STUDIO V Architecture (New York, NY) with FTL Design Engineering Studio and Plaxall Project team: Jay Valgora, AIA; Nic Goldsmith, FAIA; Andrew Kirby; James Andrew Scott; Karen Zabarsky; Lucas Lind; Laurie Mendez; Zhongtian Lin; Dilpreet Gil; Natasha Amladi From the Figment Project: "Inspired by the infinite surfaces and curves of a Möbius strip, MÖBI water tower pavilion expresses the potential of adaptation, life cycle, and reuse of materials in the urban landscape. New York City’s ubiquitous and iconic water towers are transformed through STUDIO V’s design into a gathering space that celebrates Governors Island. Constructed from recycled redwood and cedar planks rescued from decommissioned water tanks, MÖBI offers a pre-fabricated, ecological construction process and multi-use environment that will afterwards be repurposed yet again—as wooden deck and furniture for our design for the LIC Biergarten. Much like Governors Island, MÖBI is designed for continuous adaptation and interpretation to serve the NYC community." Urban Accordion afoam (New York, NY) Project team: Lina Bondarenko, Xiao Chen, Sunchung Min, Mario Mohan, Marvin Nardo, Michael Nartey, Wei-Yi Tseng, Tanawat Vichaiwatanapanich, Yaya Wang, Andrew Weigand, Wanjing Xiao, Ye Zhang From the Figment Project: "Our present city is overrun by private buildings, limiting access to public space. Urban Accordion is a microcosm of an alternate urban condition: a City of Dreams. Four fabric ‘blocks’ expand and contract, creating different levels of enclosure to suit a range of programming, while the space contained by the structures forms a larger communal area for events and chance encounters between the juxtaposed programs. Urban Accordionis a new urban condition: a flexible assembly for serendipity and public events that fluctuates to meet users’ demands." ArtCloud IKAR (Warsaw, Poland) Project team: Igor Bialorucki; Konrad Kedzierski; Anna Granacka; Rafal Boguszewski From the Figment Project: "The future of the city will be determined by a creative mix of technology and culture, and an even more creative reuse of materials. As cities are an amazingly rich source of materials the ArtCloud Pavilion reuses clapboards and transforms them to a free-form structure that is composed for 99% with modules. The system allows visitors to choose and personalize their own piece of ArtCloud. Modular architecture makes people more carefully consider issues of optimization and prefabrication, and saves time and energy during construction. Without a doubt ArtCloud is a direct path to wiser thinking about sustainable living."
Taking the podium at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City Representative Nydia M. Velázquez introduced new legislation, called the "Waterfront of Tomorrow Act," to protect and fortify New York City's 538-miles of coastline. The bill would instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with an in-depth plan to stimulate economic growth and job creation, update the ports, and implement flood protection measures. Sandwiched between Red Hook Container Terminal and One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a large residential development, the pier was an appropriate place for the Congresswoman to announce legislation that addresses the city's needs to bolster its shipping industry while also taking steps to mitigate flooding and ensure the resiliency and sustainability of its residential neighborhoods, parkland, and businesses. "I think the part [of the bill] that was the most exciting was about protecting New York City from future floods, and most importantly talked about hard and soft solutions. Different parts of NYC will need different solutions," said Rick Bell, Executive Director for AIA New York Chapter Center for Architecture. "This whole announcement talked about multifaceted approach." The bill is divided into four sections that propose flood protection and resiliency measures, a national freight policy, and "Green Port" designations and a grant program to promote the environmental sustainability of the shipping ports. The Army Corps of Engineers, in collaboration with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, will be charged with coming up with a strategy to protect the waterfront from severe weather patterns and rising tides, including tide gates, oyster reef restoration, and wetland restoration. "Whether it is commerce, recreation, transportation, or our local environment, New Yorkers' lives are inextricably linked to the water that surrounds us," Velázquez said at the announcement. "Investing in our ports, coasts and waterfronts can improve our City and local communities." The timing of this bill is up in the air, but it will likely enter the conversation in September when Congress returns from the August District Work Period to discuss new legislation aimed at enhancing the nation's waterways.
The planners of the AIA New York Chapter 2014 International Architecture and Design Summit have selected a pretty unusual conference venue: the Chateau of Versailles. Given the still sorry state of the economy, the choice left us scratching our head (under our powdered wig). Perhaps Rick Bell will point out the lessons in urban agriculture to be found in the Petit Trianon? Summit participants can display their work on easels in the Galeries Batailles, which will be handy if they want to do a little painting later en plein air. Apres tout, Giverny is less than an hour away by automobile, a bit longer by carriage though. Potential attendees are warned that the Plaza Anthénée will be closed for renovations. Sacrebleu!
This week, AN accompanied members of the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter and AIA New Jersey on a boat tour of the Passaic River to examine the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the city of Newark and to discuss recovery efforts ranging from design solutions for rebuilding to resiliency strategies. Newark, like other parts of the Tri-state area, was hit particularly hard by the super storm and will serve as a point of discussion at the Post-Sandy Regional Working Group's workshop on July 9th with urban planners, developers, stakeholders, and architects from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. This expedition along the Newark waterfront will help inform the larger conversation about resiliency that has been spearheaded by the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) and the AIANY’s Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR), which has culminated into the Post-Sandy Initiative.