New York AIA Awards 2007
Talk of the town for the past year has centered on the new Hearst Tower by Foster + Partners, designed in collaboration with associate architect Adamson Associates. A 42-story faceted glass tower rises out of a six-story art deco building commissioned by publisher William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s.
The new tower designed by Norman Foster is linked to the older building by a transparent skirt of glazing that floods the spaces below with natural light and, from the outside, gives an impression of separation between the two. Inside, a lobby occupies the entire floor plate and rises up through the six original floors.
The tower has a structurally efficient triangulated form that uses 20 percent less steel than a conventionally framed structure. It is constructed using 85 percent recycled steel and designed to consume 26 percent less energy than a comparable conventional highrise. It is expected to receive a LEED-Gold rating from the U.S. Green Buildings Council.
The Jane Street Residence, designed by Steven Harris Architects, is a 4,000-square-foot (370-square-meter) townhouse in New York's Greenwich Village Historic District. The townhouse's landmark status required the preservation and reconstruction of its 1858 Greek revival facade, while the interior underwent a radical transformation.
The building's interior organization was driven by its south-facing rear yard enclosed by blank 35-foot- (10.7-meter-) high walls. This unusual degree of privacy enabled the architect to completely glaze the rear facade, maximizing the visual connection between the main living spaces at the rear of the house and the back garden.
Another honor award for a residential project went to Della Valle Bernheimer for their work on modernizing 23 Beekman Place, which was originally built in 1978 as the penthouse apartment and office of prominent 20th-century architect Paul Rudolph. The place became an icon for his distinctive ideas about form, materials, and lifestyle. Rudolph himself maintained the apartment until his death in 1997, continually altering its design.
In 2004, Della Valle Bernheimer was asked by the new owner to restore and update the then-gutted apartment. Renovations after Rudolph's death had been unsympathetic to the original, and the most recent had been left unfinished. The architects took on the daunting task of creating what they call "the contemporary progeny of Rudolph's designs." They studied and reinterpreted his design principles and speculated about how Rudolph might have continued his experiments if he'd had modern innovations and the newest technology at his disposal.
A third residential honor award went to Dean/ Wolf Architects for the Operable Boundary Townhouse Garden, which they "excavated" from the lower level of an existing, traditional townhouse in Brooklyn Heights.
They removed the servant functions from the house at both the garden level and the parlor floor, giving those spaces "primary" status. They removed the traditional boundary between parlor and kitchen and opened up a two-story dining area, diminishing the 19th-century sense enclosure and connecting social space with the garden.
Far-flung New Yorkers
Additional honor awards, not illustrated here, went to Steven Holl Architects for the New Residence at the Swiss Embassy in Washington DC (with associate Ruessli Architekten AG) and for Higgins Hall Center Section at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute (with associate Rogers Marvel Architects). The latter is a contemporary glass connector for two historic buildings.
Weiss/ Manfredi received an honor award for the Olympic Sculpture Park located on Seattle's last undeveloped waterfront property — an industrial site sliced by train tracks and an arterial road. The design rises over the existing infrastructure to reconnect the urban core to the revitalized waterfront. An exhibition pavilion provides space for art, performances, and educational programming.
Two projects received honor awards for "Interiors of Interest to the Public Realm." Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was recognized for the U.S. Census Bureau Headquarters Interiors in Suitland, Maryland, and Sage and Coombe Architects, for the New York Public Library Fort Washington Branch Children's Room.
There were also two awards for unbuilt projects. Windshape, by nARCHITECTS, is an ephemeral structure commissioned in 2006 by the Savannah College of Art & Design as a gathering space for students and as a venue to host events in their Provence campus in Lacoste, France.
A new pavilion for the North Carolina Museum of Art by Thomas Phifer and Partners, with associate Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee Architects, is clad in satin-polished stainless steel panels to reflect the landscape and changing conditions of the sky. A rolling roof plane dotted by occuli echoes the pattern of surrounding hills.
The jurors for this year's competition, now in its 26th year, were: David Adjaye, Jeanne Gang, Dan Hanganu, Debra Lehman-Smith, Benjamin Gianni, Matthias Sauerbruch, Piero Sartogo, Massimiliano Fuksas, and Peter Waldman.
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