Oculus - Fall 2015 - (Page 13)
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Housing, the Big House,
the Little House,
and the Housekeeper
he Center for Architecture and AIA New York Chapter are
joined at the hip. Though they are two separate institutions
with different missions and separate boards, they somehow must
symbiotically nurture each other. There are times when AIANY's
advocacy, the Center's curatorial objectives, the research of our
committees, our editorial voice, and the political and social
zeitgeist of the moment align to focus us all on a task. We are in
one of those moments.
Mayor Bill de Blasio's goal to create an equitable and just city
is noble, and his spotlight on affordable housing appropriate.
AIANY fully supports his plan for delivering more housing to
more people of limited means to keep this city diverse and vibrant. We commend the Department of City Planning's new zoning resolutions for residential districts, having worked with the
department to make them less detrimental in contextual districts,
and because the resolutions propose a departure from car culture,
allow for more density, and compel architects to make buildings
that are much more harmonious with existing urban fabrics. The
revisions should bring us more housing, better buildings, and
more business for our membership. That's our advocacy.
Because the mayor has championed housing, so should we.
And thus you are holding in your hands the "Housing" issue of
Oculus. Herein we present brilliant ideas, insights, and projects to
expand the dialogue about how to provide housing that delivers
dignity, safety, and high design to all. That's our editorial input.
In October, the Center for Architecture, in conjunction
with the AIANY Housing Committee, will open the exhibition
"Designing Affordability," which showcases new housing typologies and innovations in affordable domestic environments from
around the world. It will open with a symposium on October 3,
with New York City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod
giving the keynote, followed by rigorous debate about the future
of housing. These are our curatorial objectives.
It seems we are in a potent moment of alignment, synchronicity, and impact, utilizing the combined resources of AIANY
and the Center for Architecture to raise consciousness and dis-
Home Game: Winning with Housing
course to improve our social and physical city. Let's keep doing
this - be a part of it.
As we zero in on housing, we are also focusing on our own
"big house," the Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place.
A $750,000 renovation is now complete. Designed by Andrew
Berman Architect, the renovation included a new terrazzo floor
throughout the galleries, a reworked Common Room with
state-of-the-art AV/IT and acoustical performance, and improvements in other corners of the facility. That's better housing
for our membership.
While the Center for Architecture was under construction,
we were still able to engage membership and the public, as we
have partnered with the Howard Hughes Corporation to take
a temporary "pop-up" gallery in the Seaport Cultural District.
Our "little house" at the seaport is being used for lectures and
exhibitions, and as our home base for programs supporting an
action-packed Archtober. In an adjacent space, the Center is
working with the Guggenheim Museum Foundation to bring an
innovative and interactive exhibit experience titled "Architecture
Effects: Azone," opening October 23, as part of our mission to
educate the public about the impact of architecture in their lives
and as a cultural force.
This fall our search for a new executive director, responsible
for the stewardship of the Center for Architecture and AIANY,
will heat up. The selected candidate will be the "housekeeper" of
our collective aspirations and ideals, and help to build membership, expand the Center for Architecture as a cultural institution,
impact government policy and legislation, prepare us for the
National AIA convention in NYC in 2018, and contemplate the
delivery of a new and expanded Center for Architecture some
time around 2025. As I have met with many candidates to discuss the position, I finish my pitch with a sincere proclamation
that it may be the very best culture job in NYC. If you think you
have what it takes to be the face of all architects to the city, apply
at our search firm's website: www.phillipsoppenheim.com.
See you at the Center!
Tomas J. Rossant, AIA
AIA New York Chapter
Fall 2015 Oculus
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2015
First Words Letter From the President
Letter From the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Affordability: Many Paths to a Solution
Housing for the 99%
An Active Market for Passive
Ahead of the Class
It Takes a Village
Support System, Modular Style
From Learning to Living
The DIY Approach to Housing
Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Fall 2015