Oculus - Summer 2013 - (Page 15)

first words ©Mary Beth Edelman Photography LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT Aspiring to Great Design e had a packed house as we celebrated design excellence at AIANY’s annual Design Awards Luncheon in April. I was grateful to see such an outpouring of support for the profession and for the Center for Architecture. Nine hundred people were there for the honorees, the work itself, and the numerous professionals engaged in the business, art, and craft of creating great buildings. Guests included important government representatives, policymakers with whom we share both the legacy and the future of the built environment. The AIANY Design Awards competition is the toughest in the country, vying with the AIA National awards process. We received more than 400 submissions, from which 42 amazing projects were recognized. And in keeping with the theme for the year, Global City/Global Practice, more than 25% of the projects were international. This issue of Oculus, deftly put together by Editor-inChief Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon ASLA, and Contributing Editors Linda G. Miller and Richard Staub, is dedicated to the presentation of these award-winning projects. W Why are these awards so important, so desirable? Awards serve many purposes. No one designs a building specifically to win an award, but it is very gratifying to win one and be recognized by one’s peers. Acknowledging these achievements focuses the discussion on design and the importance of design excellence. Great design challenges us to think out of the box, solve problems with innovative ideas, achieve great technical advances, and contribute to the environment with beauty and distinction. To firms both large and small, the AIANY Design Awards represent a chance to be widely recognized for an outstanding accomplishment – for fledgling firms to “get on the map,” and for established firms to burnish their reputations for innovation, quality, and relevance. And clients love to see their projects win awards, to receive a public affirmation of buildings that represent their own aspirations, judgment, and hard work. Signature design undeniably adds value. 2013 AIANY Design Awards Awards are also important in representing our profession’s body of work in a given year – a snapshot in time. They are part of a distinct legacy of buildings that mark our society and its aspirations: The Woolworth Building, Seagram Building, and MoMA, for example. With design awards, we recognize a society that values longevity – the expectation that these buildings will be here for many years, their quality setting the bar for future generations. We hope the projects will be a source of pride and pleasure for those who use and encounter them on a daily basis. As we ponder the fate of the American Folk Art Museum, completed in 2001 and winning the top honors of our profession, one can only hope that MoMA and other building owners will not be quick to discard important achievements for expedient solutions. We cannot keep everything; many notable architects have had buildings demolished in their lifetimes. But one must consider: What is being lost? Is it of irreplaceable value? Can it be integrated and repurposed in a new way? Why is its destruction necessary to the future of the institution or client at hand? The AIA can play a role in fostering that dialogue. Often we take a stand on an issue, advancing a controversial project that represents a larger, important principle; sometimes we participate in determining what should be saved. Recently we offered testimony regarding Louis Kahn’s FDR Memorial and CookFox’s proposal for a site at the edge of SoHo; we will also do so for the proposed East Midtown Zoning and for other issues yet unknown. As with our awards program, we will continue to focus on quality design. As I present the views of our Chapter, I see more and more that our opinion matters, that our voice is sought out and respected by others in the community. Architecture and design excellence are at the heart of our global competitiveness and of a resilient New York. Jill N. Lerner, FAIA 2013 President, AIA New York Chapter Summer 2013 Oculus 15 http://www.naylornetwork.com/arc-nxt/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Summer 2013

First Words Letter from the President
Center for Architecture
Urban Design
Rhetorically Speaking
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Summer 2013