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Participate in Archtober 2014 as the architect of a Building of the Day!

Archtober 2014 is coming! Archtober is soliciting nominations for projects to be included in the month-long festival of architecture in New York City. Each day in October 2014, we will feature a Building of the Day, which will be published in the Archtober blog, appear in the series calendar, and have one lunchtime tour.

The Building of the Day tours series is the centerpiece of the month-long festival of Architecture in New York City. With the goal of making exemplary architecture and the work of architects more understandable and available to the general public, the lunchtime tours generate international publicity and provide a platform for engagement in important issues in the New York City built environment.

Please complete the submission form and send one photo (with credit). The building can be located in any of the five boroughs of New York City and does not need to be a recently completed project. The building must be publicly accessible and available for a lunchtime public tour in October 2014. The building should be nominated by the architect, who is responsible for clearing the copyrights of the images submitted. The deadline for the first round is April 30th, 2014.

Please email submissions to archtober@aiany.org with the subject line “Building of the Day Submission.”
 

Archtober 2013 Thank You

November 1, 2013

Dear Archtober Participants:

The third is definitely the charm. We had a fantastic thirty one days of architecture in the real world, architecture that you could move through, see, touch and totally experience, interpreted by those who know it best, the designers and residents who create or live within its walls.

Each year we have taken on more participants, have more programs, more exhibitions, and we try to go a bit further in the curated content, but are blessed, that Archtober, unlike February, has the same number of days each year. It’s a bit of a marathon, from the early kick-off parties, through the meat of the month with so many programs each day, to the round up with the calendar.

We thank you all very much for helping us make this our best year ever, and look forward to seeing you all again as we think about how to make architecture every day, a part of all of your lives.

Looking forward to next year,

Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA
Archtober Festival Director
Managing Director, AIA New York Chapter

View the Archtober 2013 Lounge round-up.

Archtober in the Media
ArchDaily
Archinect 
The Architect’s Newspaper 
Architectural Digest 
Architectural Record 
Architizer 
Artinfo
New York Post
The New York Times
Travel + Leisure
The Wall Street Journal
World Architecture News 

Archtober Building of the Day #31 Sean Kelly Gallery

Archtober Building of the Day #31
Sean Kelly Gallery
475 Tenth Avenue
Toshiko Mori Architect


© Center for Architecture

Well it certainly wasn’t spooky or ooky, this beautifully illuminated Toshiko Mori-designed, 22,000-square-foot, ground-floor gallery on 10th Avenue. Architects will know the building since it is the home of 1100 Architect, Richard Meier and Partners, and many others over the years. The building was built in 1914 as a printing factory for McGraw Hill. It’s solid and spacious: a blank canvas open to interpretation.


© Center for Architecture

Great high ceilings and muscular column spacing make up for the challenged location, which is quite difficult to get to – a long walk west from the last stops at 34th Street. I know – I worked in that building for a while, when food options were limited to the cuisine offered by the BP Station across Tenth Avenue. Now, no need to dodge traffic – there’s a new cute café next door). All the more reason to be happy to see such a splendid addition to the streetscape that is capitalizing on the future. Hudson Yards will be a neighbor, and the third phase of the High Line will be shooting folks ever farther north in their wanderings for top art. Though with more gas stations and flat-tire repair shops, it’s not quite Chelsea – yet.


Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, 2012. Photographer Michael Moran/OTTO. In Main Gallery: Antony Gormley, Shore, 2012

The space is top notch. Practical and minimalist without seeming cold and dry, the natural concrete floors are original and splendid. The street- front windows grade from clear to translucent to fully masked – making a good place for a title texts. Two moments made a strong architectural impression: The passage from the entrance into the major gallery was a gracious reveal of the seminal works of Callum Innes, on view until 12.07.13; a veritable chocolate box of other galleries, all with excellent lighting, include a more intimate space on the lower level, displaying the work of James Casebere…rooms filled with flooding – holy Sandy, Batman, and we’re in the basement, too!


Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, 2012. Photographer Michael Moran/OTTO. In Offices: Works by Antony Gormley and Laurent Grasso. Far right: Antony Gormley, Plot, 2012

The back-of-house was interesting, practically minimal, too. We saw preparatory and loading areas – just about everything other than the boiler room. A very thorough and well-organizaed tour led by Hye- Young Chung, project architect for the gallery. When we wended our way through the gleaming offices, each a gallery in its own right, we came upon a secret treasury: a 6,000+ volume library with rosewood shelves, and the eponymous gallery owner working on new texts. We were warmly welcomed, and at least for a moment, initiated into the empyrean of the art world.

Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober:  Architecture and Design Month NYC.  She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell.  After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson,  held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater.  ckracauer@aiany.org

Archtober Building of the Day #30 Queens Central Library, Children's Library Discovery Center

Archtober Building of the Day #30
Queens Central Library, Children's Library Discovery Center
89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Queens
1100 Architect


© Eliza McLellan / Center for Architecture

With the renovation of approximately three-fourths of its 63 buildings, and a fully-automated check-out system, the Queens Library system is an experiment in constructing the libraries of the future. The Helen M. Marshall Children’s Library Discovery Center, designed by 1100 Architect, is no exception.


© Eliza McLellan / Center for Architecture

According to Juergen Riehm, FAIA, BDA, principal at 1100 Architect, design began in 2007, a few years after the opening of OMA’s uber-influential Seattle Central Library. Inspired by the forward-looking approach, 1100 Architect created a proposal built around adaptability and flexibility. Currently standing three stories tall, the building was constructed to allow an additional seven stories. Furniture and stacks are moveable, meaning environments can be modified to accommodate changes in collections and technological innovations.


© Laura Elbogen/ Center for Architecture

The building’s high-performance skin improves its green standing and provides variegated views in and out. At night, the exterior emanates a “beautiful glow,” exclaimed Frank Genese, AIA, vice president of Capital and Facilities Management for Queens Library. The building becomes a beacon for the community.


© Laura Elbogen / Center for Architecture

The Discovery Center even follows Active Design Guidelines – a bright, monumental staircase dominates the central space!


© Eliza McLellan / Center for Architecture

The building is designed with the future in mind and for future generations. Bright colors and durable furniture ensure that the Discovery Center is kid-friendly. Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, in charge of graphic design for the project, also created whimsical way-finders, allowing children to move around the space intuitively. A hybrid of a library and science museum, phenomena-based science exhibitions are nested between stacks, giving the space an exploratory feel.

Genese was an incredibly gracious host, offering us library cards, encouraging us to visit the Queens Library website (currently going through a revamping, like much of the library system), and showing us around the Central Library’s adult and teen spaces. He also pointed out that the Discovery Center was named after the current Queens Borough President due to her commitment to libraries, reminding us of the power of elected officials to help institutions provide for the present and beyond.

 Camila Schaulsohn is Communications Coordinator and Editor-in-Chief of e-Oculus. She was born and raised in Santiago, Chile.  

Archtober Building of the Day #28 Judd Foundation

Archtober Building of the Day #28
Judd Foundation
101 Spring Street
Architecture Research Office


© Benjamin Kracauer / Center for Architecture

I’m sure that there was more clutter when Donald Judd and his wives and children were there. Although, it seemed like the art was where it was then, and the kids squirreled away into nooks and crannies, cozy little lofts, and other assorted child scaled spaces. I hope they were short – it almost seemed like they didn’t want them to grow up.


Mauricio Alejo - Judd Foundation Archives, Image © Judd Foundation

From the inside it felt like a ship floating down Mercer Street. All those big, beautiful double-hung windows, and the glass soooo clean – and fake old, too! That’s what happens when you die and a foundation takes over to assure the perpetual availability of your legacy – you can see it without going in. Just like in the 1970s, when scruffy punks would look in through the dirty windows, to see if Judd was working. SoHo was different then: it was serious dirty, full of great graffiti, important artists, oil dripping from old machines, and galleries. Boo-hoo – there’s no mourning the development of this gritty past into its glitzy present. This is progress. But I had a moment. My architect husband Benjamin was there too. He too spoke of this building during the 70’s with the tour group recalling Claes Oldenberg dumpster diving in 1979 about a block away from Judd’s building “and it’s still a vivid memory” Benjamin says.


Joshua White - Judd Foundation Archives, Image © Judd Foundation

Mercer Street is one of the SoHo streets with a great deal of intact cast iron. The Judd Foundation, SoHo Home and Studio has a corner prospect that takes full advantage of the diagonal downtown view to the southeast of facing hyperarticulated weave of metal firescaptes, columns, colonettes, dentils, roses, guttae, and every other possible exuberance from the catalog choices available to the buildier/architect Nicholas Whyte in the 1870. The flawless light this afternoon modeled every detail and glinted like a mirror off the glass. There was a lot of detail to look at from inside. So much clutter out the windows that it made sense to me to keep things smooth on the inside. Surely the spacial diagonal was the message of the master bedroom Flavin piece.


Joshua White - Judd Foundation Archives, Image © Judd Foundation, Flavin artwork © 2012 Stephen Flavin/(ARS), © Chamberlain artwork/(ARS), © Claes Oldenburg

Judd’s architect made use of a lot of those cast iron catalog details, and the restoration, happily kept as many as possible, says Robert Bates, AIA, a principal of Walter B. Melvin Architects, one of two architects who led the tour today. Bates handled the exterior; we heard about the laborious process of removal, numbering, and replicating the typical cast-iron decorative elements. We spent a few minutes admiring the elevation, the great windows, now with insulating units, although you wouldn’t know it. Fabulous paint job. The building looks new! And great.


© Benjamin Kracauer / Center for Architecture

Spiffy Adam Yarinsky, FAIA, of ARO (Architects Research Office) was the other architect on site. He ably coordinated an ARUP engineering team with the mandate to prove that the residential accretions of fire traps, unregulated mezzanines, wooden stairs, and open shaftways could be secretly made into a safe place for the public to visit. And all that work is hidden. A sprinkler system, smoke evacuation, ventilation…all so skillfully slipped into Judd’s loft in such a masterful way that the immediacy and spontaneity of the art is the focus, not any distractions from its new muscular mechanical systems.

The art is tops. Our guide, Leah Raintree, knew a lot more about the art than she was telling us. Apparently the Judd Foundation tour guides are artists. Great job for an artist, I’d say…to daily imbibe the elixir cocktail of Judd’s collection and his own work. It is an environment in another world of living, beyond the domestic to the sublime.

Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober:  Architecture and Design Month NYC.  She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell.  After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson,  held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater.  ckracauer@aiany.org

Archtober Building of the Day #27 510 Fifth Avenue Renovation and Adaptive Reuse

Archtober Building of the Day #27
510 Fifth Avenue Renovation and Adaptive Reuse
510 Fifth Avenue
Skidmore, Owings & Merill


© Eliza McLellan / Center for Architecture

I wonder if shoppers at Joe Fresh stop to look at ‘‘Golden Arbor,” Harry Bertoia’s 70-foot long copper, nickel, and brass sculpture that's behind the checkout counter on the second floor. The sculpture, along with a mobile, were designed specifically for 510 Fifth Avenue when it was designed in 1954 by SOM’s Gordon Bunshaft to house the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Bank building.


© Eliza McLellan / Center for Architecture

Vornado Reality, owners of the building that now houses Joe Fresh to the north and Elie Tahari to the south, with an interior glass transom between the two, negotiated with Chase Bank (“Manny Hanny” was subsequently absorbed by Chase) for the return of the two sculptures to the delight of Joe Fresh’s owners (who proudly have a small sign in front of the sculpture and a video showing what it took to reassemble the modernist masterpiece) as well as preservationists who mourned their disappearance as well as other insensitive modifications made to the building's interior during the years from when the exterior of the building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1997 to when the interior was designated fifteen years later.


© Eliza McLellan / Center for Architecture

At the Archtober Building of the Day tour, led by Frank Mahan AIA and Sam O’Meara AIA of SOM and, and James Bry RA, of Vornado Reality Trust, we saw the result of SOM's adaptive-reuse of the building. Bunshaft's steel frame with polished plate glass windows exterior is possibly more of a standout than it was when it was built - it's still a jewel box. By the time Vornado purchased the property and hired SOM for the renovations, the building's famous scissor escalators (in the Joe Fresh half of the building) were already demolished. So even though though the exterior wasn't changed, the view from outside in, definitely was. The bank's enormous vault, sited in the window and a symbol of both the building's and the bank's transparency, was dismantled, leaving just the door of the vault exposed to passers-by and it happens to make a great backdrop to display Tahari's clothes in the store windows.


© Eliza McLellan / Center for Architecture

The building's ceilings have been updated since the 1950s, yet they are still so gloriously luminous, lit by fluorescent lights, separated by shiny metal bands that hide a ventilation system.  The white tiles, speckled with gray, were also replaced to echo the originals. I marveled at the way the orange, pink, blue, and green colored clothing really popped against the white interior and the light coming in from the northern facing windows, and as a contrast, Tahari's black and neutral colors so subdued in the same, albeit windowless situation. In either event, the building, as model, did an excellent job showcasing the two distinct types of clothes.

Linda Miller, a contributing editor to Oculus and eOculus, is a consultant for architects, designers, and arts organizations.

Archtober Building of the Day #26 Children's Museum of the Arts

Archtober Building of the Day #26
Children's Museum of the Arts
103 Charlton Street
WORK Architecture Company


© Emma Pattiz/ Center for Architecture

To those of us lacking in maternal instincts, institutions directed at children can be pretty terrifying. These places oftentimes share certain characteristics: rounded corners, bright plastic fixtures, the residual smell of vomit. This, however, is not the case with the Children’s Museum of the Arts, designed by Work Architecture Company (WORKac).


© Emma Pattiz/ Center for Architecture

While touches of color – predominantly green, purple, and orange – imbue the space with youthful energy, the central gallery has stark white walls and concrete floors, showcasing art that is attractive to children and adults alike. According to the museum’s deputy director, Lucy Ofiesh, the current show, “Tweet,” which features avian-inspired art work by artists including Charley Harper and Fred Tomaselli, is also meant to explore how the word’s meaning has changed – from the sound that a bird makes to a social media post.


© Emma Pattiz/ Center for Architecture

The surrounding art stations are functional and well-designed. With purple walls and subtle lighting, the “Clay Bar” at the end of the gallery space is particularly deceptive – it looks more like an espresso lounge than a place to get your hands dirty.


© Emma Pattiz/ Center for Architecture

According to Dan Wood, AIA, founding principal of WORKac, the spaces were designed around 3 S’s: Sinks, Storage, and Strollers, all of which were tackled creatively. For example, an octopus-like multi-faceted  “Sinkorator” anchors one of the larger studios.


© Emma Pattiz/ Center for Architecture

And although the focus is on the fine arts, WORKac didn’t skimp on the fun elements altogether. The museum includes a ball pond, which is accessible via a suspended, enclosed rope bridge.

You get the happy sounds of children playing without the feeling of being stuck in a Chuck E. Cheese. Like Patty LaBelle singing “How I miss my X” on Sesame Street, the Children’s Museum of the Arts can appeal to all. 

Camila Schaulsohn is Communications Manager and Editor-in-Chief of e-Oculus. She was born and raised in Santiago, Chile.

Archtober Building of the Day #25 The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92

Archtober Building of the Day #25
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92
63 Flushing Avenue at Carlton Avenue, Brooklyn
Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners and Workshop/APD LLC


© Laura Elbogen/ Center for Architecture

What came first, the anchor or the building? The imposing 23,000 pound steel artifact of US naval might greets visitors to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, seemingly hanging from the ceiling yet resting on the floor. There is not a clear-cut answer, as the anchor lies amid the history of the newly restored BLDG 92, and the new addition of the Center. Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners and workshop/apd jointly oversaw the restoration and addition to BLDG 92.  Matthew Berman, Principal, workshop/apd led the visit and described how the anchor dating from the 1965 USS Austin was donated and installed prior to the completion of the new modular assembled educational center and office building.


© Laura Elbogen/ Center for Architecture

The original BLDG 92 was built as the residence of the US Navy Commodore, located on what was then a large parade ground at the Navy Yard. Architect Thomas Ustick Walter was a founder of the American Institute of Architects in 1857, and designed BLDG 92 before going on to design the US Capitol dome.  We were delighted to stumble upon a picture of our founding father.


© Eliza McLellan/ Center for Architecture

Strategic punctures in this modern intervention abound. First, the exterior gate is a momentous break from the historic iron gate that circles the massive yards. This is the first time the yards has opened such a public entrance.


© Laura Elbogen/ Center for Architecture

The same punctures in the new gate can be seen in the new building’s exterior screen. The punched out openings emulate the proportions of brick in reference to the historic structure, allowing 50% of light in to the south facing façade. The openings cleverly reveal an image of the USS Brooklyn.Inside, cut outs in the brick façade of BLDG 92 make way for pathways between old and new exhibition, office and meeting spaces.

The tour finished just in time for lunch at the top floor Ted & Honey cafe. The turkey sandwich was first rate. My colleagues recommend the hearty grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch combo – two thumbs up.

Laura Trimble Elbogen is the Director of Marketing at the AIANY/Center for Architecture. A native of Indianapolis, she moved to New York upon graduation from Princeton with a degree in art history (AB 2007). Previously she worked for Richard Meier & Partners. As an artist she draws and paints architectural scenes of daily life. She is part of the team initiating Archtober: Architecture and Design Month NYC. elbogen@aiany.org.

Archtober Building of the Day #24 United Nations Capital Master Plan

Archtober Building of the Day #24
United Nations Capital Master Plan
United Nations Headquarters, First Avenue at 42nd Street
HLW International, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, R.A. Heintges & Associates, Syska Hennessy Group, and Perkins + Will


© John Arbuckle/ Center for Architecture

On 10.24.13, a group of about 25 celebrated both Archtober and United Nations Day by touring portions of the UN Capital Master Plan, the ongoing refurbishment of the iconic UN Headquarters complex in Manhattan. United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations charter in 1945, so today is essentially the UN’s 68th birthday. Co-sponsored by AIANY and DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State, the sold-out program was led by Assistant Secretary-General Michael Adlerstein, FAIA, executive director, and Werner Schmidt, public information officer of the UN Capital Master Plan. Constructed between 1950-52, the UN Headquarters was originally designed by an international team of prominent architects led by Wallace K. Harrison. The final design scheme was most influenced by Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, with construction documents were entirely prepared by Harrison & Abramovitz. The UN Capital Master Plan is a major multi-year initiative to thoroughly update the complex, respecting its history while introducing contemporary systems, furthering sustainability, and assuring security.


© John Arbuckle/ Center for Architecture

Today’s tour largely focused on the three impressive Council Chambers within the Conference Building, which reopened in April after a three-year restoration. The Security Council, the Trusteeship Council, and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) chambers were initially given to the United Nations by Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, respectively, and designed by architects from those countries. They have all been carefully restored to remedy the ravages of time and respectfully altered as needed to meet programmatic requirements, which have evolved. In most cases, the original materials, furnishings, and fixtures have been preserved. We also visited the Security Council Consultations Chamber, which recently received a Russian makeover, the North Delegates Lounge featuring bold contemporary furnishings donated by the Netherlands, and the restrained Quiet Room, a gift of Germany.  


© John Arbuckle/ Center for Architecture

Denmark’s Trusteeship Council Chamber impressed me most. It is considered among the masterworks of Danish architect and furniture designer Finn Juhl, who was only 38 when he received the commission. Its most striking feature is a colorful, highly sculptural ceiling, which was taken down, restored, and reinstalled. As part of the project the Danish government sponsored a competition to design new desks and a new chair for the chamber, won by emerging Danish practice Salto & Sigsgaard.   


© John Arbuckle/ Center for Architecture

The tour concluded in the lobby of the Secretariat Building, where extensive renovations have now also been completed. The last major phase, the renovation of the General Assembly, began in June and is scheduled to conclude by September 2014, when the UN will begin its 69th session. Let’s hope we are invited back to see that when it is done!

John S. Arbuckle, Assoc. AIA is Co-Chair of the AIA Historic Buildings Committee, President of DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State and has recently established Arbuckle Architecture Tours, LLC.

Archtober Building of the Day #23 Lakeside Center at Prospect Park

Archtober Building of the Day #23
Lakeside Center at Prospect Park
171 East Drive, Brooklyn
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects


© Alex Garvin

Archtober enthusiasts expected rain but thankfully brought out our sunglasses for a behind-the-scenes look at today’s Building of the Day, a special Heritage Ball Honoree tour of Lakeside at Prospect Park. Honorees Tod Williams, FAIA, and Billie Tsien, AIA, co-founders of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, led the way with project architects Andy Kim and Elisa Testa. Read New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman’s review here.

Laura Trimble Elbogen is the Director of Marketing at the AIANY/Center for Architecture. A native of Indianapolis, she moved to New York upon graduation from Princeton with a degree in art history (AB 2007). Previously she worked for Richard Meier & Partners. As an artist she draws and paints architectural scenes of daily life. She is part of the team initiating Archtober: Architecture and Design Month NYC. elbogen@aiany.org.

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