September 29, 2012

GLORIOUS WEATHER COMBINED WITH A WONDERFUL AND INFORMATIVE DAY WAS HAD BY ALL.  If you missed it, sorry… register early next year!  here is a glimpse of what took place.

By: Laurence Parisi, AIA

Nearly 200 AIA-NJ Member Architects and students decended on the Asbury Park Boardwalk to attend another fabulous DESIGN DAY at the  JerseyShore……..Hosted by Chairman Stephen Carlidge, AIA and Co-Chairwoman Laura Slomka.

The event as schedule included three great speakers from prominent architectural firms, an exciting walking tour of the Asbury Park Boardwalk restoration and the Design Day Competition where  a total of 88 design boards submitted by AIA-NJ architects for the jurors to select the best designs. We enjoyed a meet and greet breakfast, lunch and an early evening  cocktail reception with great food and drinks.

Anselm Fusco, RA, who works with the Asbury Park Redevelopment Agency led architects on a walking tour of the Boardwalk. As we toured Mr. Fusco lectured on the critical points and restraints of the reconstruction of these essential ocean front buildings for the Asbury Park restoration.  A couple of the tour highlights were the Paramount Theater and the Asbury Park Convention Hall.

The first speaker was Willian Loose, AIA  a partner with the firm of Bohlin, Cywinski & Jackson.  Mr. Loose gave a tremendous talk about the residential work their firm does. Considering that the majority of the NJ firms attending the design conference do mostly residential work, he focused on their residential projects.  Walking us through several of their projects, He discussed their intense level of sensitivity and detail they embrace in their relations with their clients.  Reiterating the importance of the site selections and how they analyze all aspects of approach and orientation with the client. This was an emotional and heart felt talk, when discussing one client in particular Mr. Loose was actually choked up in his recollection of the sensitive nature between client and architect.  Something for us all to embrace and consider in our daily practice.

The second speaker was Charles Renfro partner with the firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro.  Their firm’s work centers on theatrical projects including the reformation of the Lincoln Center entrance and designs at the Highline Pavilion in lower Manhattan.  Renfro’s energized talk embellished the integration of the Theater the performing arts and architecture.   This was a supercharged and exciting approach to architecture.

The third and keynote speaker was Stephen Kieran, FAIA senior partner with the firm of Kieran Timberlake out of Philadelphia.   The interesting aspect of his lecture is the dynamic technical approach their firm takes toward sustainability.  They are actually doing in house research and development for building modeling systems toward achieving high levels of sustainable structures.   I spoke with Mr. Kieran after his talk and asked, “Is this a departure for you to be so technically involved, seemingly born and bred in a designers world.”  He replied “yes, I worked for Venturi a major design firm and my whole career has been design oriented.” This is new and exciting area for him and the firm as a whole. Certainly this was an inspiration for the architects of AIA-NJ.

The winners of the Design Awards announced at the conference included Marchetto, Higgins and Stieve, a Hoboken, N.J.; the Princeton, N.J. office of HDR, a global architecture, engineering, consulting and construction firm; Shore Point Architects, an architectural design firm based in Ocean Grove, N.J.; Studio Hillier, a Princeton, N.J.-based architecture, planning and design firm; Marina Rubina Architect, a sole proprietor based in Princeton, N.J.; Beyer, Blinder & Belle Architects & Planners, a New York City-based architectural firm specializing in historic preservation, urban design, planning and transportation, in conjunction with STV, a New York City-based architectural, engineering, planning environmental and construction management services firm; ikon.5 architects, a Princeton, N.J.-based architecture and design firm; and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  We will celebrate their honors and awards at our annual “Design Awards Dinner” in January 2013.  We look forward to seeing you there.

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