info 06.27.06

Buildings & Architecture

"My ambition is always to realize theoretical projects that seem difficult at the time." That's a quote from Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-born architect, winner of the 2004 Pritzker Prize (the first woman to do so). There's an exhibit on now through October 25th at the Guggenheim, and you'll find it almost impossible not to be engaged and energized by the powerful imagination of Ms. Hadid.

This year's Pritzker Prize went to 77-year-old Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha…The AIA NY Design Award for architecture 2006 goes to Renzo Piano Building Workshop/Beyer Blinder Belle for the Morgan renovation. There's a complete list of winners here. Starting this Thursday (through 8/26), there's an exhibition of all the winning entries at the Center for Architecture, 532 LaGuardia [Bleecker/W. 3rd] 212.683.0023.

Sustainability, energy efficiency, and environmental responsibility are not concepts you might have associated with New York developers in the past, but that is certainly changing with the Conde Nast building, the new Hearst tower, and 7 WTC. You can get an overview of these new developments at the The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Pl. [1st Pl.] where "Green Towers For New York: From Visionary To Vernacular," will be open through August…But the most heartening proof should come with the 2008 debut of the Bank of America, 1 Bryant Park aka 6th Ave. [42nd/43rd]. BoA and the Durst Organization are planning what they say will be "the world's most environmentally responsible high-rise office building." You can only be cheered looking over the building's green features and environmental goals.

A sea change over at MoMA with the appointment of Barry Bergdoll as its new chief curator of architecture and design, replacing Terence Riley, who held the post for 14 years. But exactly what kind of sea change? To be continued…

The National Trust's current list of the 11 Most Endangered Places contained a somewhat surprising choice, at least at first glance: The WTC's Vesey St. staircase. But when you consider the Trust's argument, it surely seems to belong on the list: "When New York's World Trade Center was attacked, the Vesey Street Staircase offered a path to safety for many people. This haunting remnant, often called the Survivors' Staircase, is the only remaining above-ground fragment of the vanished Twin Towers." The Trust tells you how you can help save the staircase here.
Transportation Alternatives is releasing a new documentary film called Contested Streets that looks at NYC's traffic mess and what cities around the world are doing about their transportation needs. They're encouraging people to host screenings for friends, but you can also see a screening at Integral Yoga on July 1st. The trailer's here. We haven't seen the film yet, but the trailer is thoroughly compelling.

under the manhattan bridge

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