Fresh ideas about design
Last month I was in New York attending two back-to-back AIA Knowledge Committee study seminars. The first was a one-day whirlwind examination of the revitalization of the 42nd Street/Broadway area, organized by Strada partner Ed Shriver, founder of the AIA Retail and Entertainment Knowledge Committee. Lectures were held in the New Amsterdam Theater in what was the former “Men’s Smoking Room” [1, 2]. The theater, former home to the famed “Ziegfeld Follies,” had been completely restored by Disney to its 1920s-era appearance. There were tours of additional theaters in the area as well. The seminar ended with an evening production of Disney’s “Aladdin.”
The next day I started on a three-day study tour with lectures along the way with the AIA Design Committee. Institutional site visits included Steven Holl’s Campbell Sports Center at Columbia and Weiss Manfredi Architects’ Diana Center at Barnard College [photos 3, 4, 5, 6]. The much talked about and visited “High Line” was seen despite sporadic downpours and strong winds. New work at Lincoln Center was included in our tour as well as the World Trade Center developments. A highlight of this segment was a preview of the 9/11 Museum prior to opening to the public. [7, 8, 9].
In addition to the grueling pace of the AIA seminars, I managed to sneak in a few receptions held in honor of the publication of the definitive monograph on the work of Hildreth Meiere. Meiere was a significant architectural artist of the early to mid-20th century whose works can be found in Rockefeller Center and the state capitol building in Lincoln, Nebraska. The co-author of the monograph, Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, is a personal friend, so it was great timing for being in New York. The final photos show the “Red Room” where the opening reception was held for this monograph [photos 10, 11].
Top photo: North Delegates’ Lounge at the UN in New York City, recently renovated by Hella Jongerius and Rem Koolhaas.
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