Oculus - Fall 2016 - 47

last words LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ©Yusuke Suzuki From "Houses of Knowledge" to "Houses of Access" T hroughout this year, the AIA New York Chapter and Center for Architecture have been inspired by the theme "Authenticity and Innovation." Our efforts have focused on a series of curated projects that include this issue of Oculus, which is a complement to the exhibit in the main galleries. The spotlight is on buildings that have been adaptively reused, and by extension preserved, to accommodate functions that would have been unimaginable to the architects who built them decades ago. A building type not explored in the exhibit, however, is the library. A resurgence of interest has led to significant investments in library design projects, such as renovations to the main branch of the New York Public Library (NYPL) led by Francine Houben, Hon. FAIA, of the Dutch firm Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners as architect-of-record, and modifications to many other branches by other designers. Libraries are not simply being restored and preserved, they are being reimagined to respond to the needs of the communities they serve. This fall, we are also examining the changing role of libraries in an exhibit and symposium, and even in our own spaces, in an effort to again make the Chapter's book collection available to members. In a 2013 project by the Pew Research Center titled "Library Services in the Digital Age," authors Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie, and Kristen Purcell reported that many librarians see the role of a library, especially in the digital age, as a place to enable access to information, regardless of the format. "Public libraries should move away from being 'houses of knowledge' and move more towards being 'houses of access,'" said one librarian. Designers, in turn, are being asked to allocate often precious and scarce space to computers rather than to books. Many books are now being relocated to off-site facilities so that technology, offering more multi-channel access to knowledge, can be installed in place of stacks. The struggle between books and technology is also playing out in our personal spaces. As the son Authenticity + Innovation: Architecture Repurposed of an English literature professor, I grew up amid the spatial challenges presented by owning many books in a New York City apartment. If you had asked my late father if he really needed all five copies of James Joyce's Ulysses, he would have insisted, "Of course!" They each contained different notes and were read at different times in his life: one for his dissertation, another when he taught the book as an adjunct, and so on. Though these books contain the same words, in a pre-digital era they represented an archive of thoughts and research. These kinds of notes we now keep on our laptops or tablets. In both apartments and libraries, space is at a premium, so it is no longer necessary, practical, or even feasible to keep so many books on hand. To join the discussion about books, technology, space, and libraries, we invite you to the survey exhibit "Reading Room," featuring photographs of NYPL branches by Elizabeth Falicella, currently on view at the Center. The images help us understand how libraries have been designed and used, and how architects update them to serve current needs. On October 29, amidst the photographs, a symposium on library design and the roles libraries play in civic life will be explored by librarians, architects, journalists, and scholars. And finally, the AIANY library will be relocated to the Training Center on the lower level of the Center. This room will essentially become a multifunctional médiathèque, taking on many characteristics of the new libraries we've been exploring. Books will line the southern wall. Laptops will replace the large desktop computers currently occupying the space (which will be stored and used for classes and training, as needed). A table will be installed for member meetings, reading, and research. As this space is at a premium, too, we look forward to creating our own multifunctional library - or, rather, a "house of access" - at the Center for Architecture. Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director AIA New York Chapter and Center for Architecture Fall 2016 Oculus 47

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2016

First Words Letter from the President
Letter from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: Authenticity and Innovation
Civic Purpose Repurposed: Brooklyn
Civic Purpose Repurposed: Bronx
A Study in Contrasts
WeLive on Wall Street
A Preservation Paradox
Industrial Strength
Innovation Rooted in History
In Print
97-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Fall 2016 - cover1
Oculus - Fall 2016 - cover2
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 3
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 4
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 5
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 6
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 7
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 8
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 9
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 10
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 11
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 12
Oculus - Fall 2016 - First Words Letter from the President
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 14
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Letter from the Editor
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 16
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 17
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Center for Architecture
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 19
Oculus - Fall 2016 - One Block Over
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 21
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 22
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 23
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 24
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Opener: Authenticity and Innovation
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Civic Purpose Repurposed: Brooklyn
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 27
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Civic Purpose Repurposed: Bronx
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 29
Oculus - Fall 2016 - A Study in Contrasts
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 31
Oculus - Fall 2016 - WeLive on Wall Street
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 33
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 34
Oculus - Fall 2016 - A Preservation Paradox
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 36
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 37
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Industrial Strength
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 39
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 40
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 41
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Innovation Rooted in History
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 43
Oculus - Fall 2016 - In Print
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 97-Year Watch
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 46
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Last Words
Oculus - Fall 2016 - Index to Advertisers
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 49
Oculus - Fall 2016 - 50
Oculus - Fall 2016 - cover3
Oculus - Fall 2016 - cover4
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