NEW YORK CITY REIMAGINED

City officials and developers have long imagined a dazzling future for the airspace over the gritty, 26-acre West Side Rail Yard, near Pennsylvania Station in Midtown Manhattan. A plan to transform the site into a mixed-use area with glass towers and pockets of green space is finally gaining traction.  Click Here for the rest of the story

Image courtesy Whitney Museum/RPBW

Like every Manhattan resident, the Whitney Museum has long griped about the need for more space. After years of failed proposals to expand its Marcel Breuer-designed home on the Upper East Side, the museum’s board voted in 2010 to build an entirely new facility, by Renzo Piano, in the Meatpacking District. Groundbreaking occurred in May, with an opening planned for 2015.  Click here for the rest of the story.

The Cooper Union School of Architecture, New York City, USA

The Cooper Union School of Architecture, New York City, USA

The Cooper Union School of Architecture, New York City, USA

Photo of the Day – August 8, 2010

AIA West Jersey 2010 Photo Competition – Photo Entry #3

This image was captured in Spring 2010 when I visited Cooper Union for a symposium on Cuban Architecture.  I had so much fun photographing this building by Morphosis in between and after the seminars.  Although I have many interesting photographs of this dynamic building this one is one of my favorites because it really captures the essence of the metal curtainwall skin.  Note the letters that are bent to create positive-negative spaces.  the designers carried this theme inside the building as well.  I still have alot of editing to do, but here are a few more images of this wonderful and inspiring building.

I hope you like this photograph as much as I do.

Frank

___________________________________________________________

Copyright © 2010 Frank Cunha III.
Frank Cunha III – Architect & Visual Artist
Registered Architect, NJ, NY, PA, CT, DE
PO Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
E-mail: fc3arch @me.com
Tel: 973.970.3551
Fax: 973.718.4641

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Soul City, New York City, USA


Soul City, New York City, USA

Soul City, New York City, USA

AIA West Jersey 2010 Photo Competition – Photo Entry #2

This photograph was taken earlier this year and entered in an “Art in Architecture” design competition.  For more information please check out this website dedicated to Soul City.

In this photograph the city is reduced to a black and white image slightly tilted perhaps describing one’s disposition or agitation.  From across the river the City seems peaceful, especially when viewed as a black and white image.

I hope you like this photograph as much as I do.

Frank

___________________________________________________________

Copyright © 2010 Frank Cunha III.
Frank Cunha III – Architect & Visual Artist
Registered Architect, NJ, NY, PA, CT, DE
PO Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
E-mail: fc3arch @me.com
Tel: 973.970.3551
Fax: 973.718.4641

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University Architect @FrankCunhaIII Leads Architectural Walking Tour of @MontclairStateU’s Campus for Architect Guests, @AIANJ AIA Newark Suburban #AIA #University #Architect

On May 18th, AIA Newark Suburban held a campus walking tour of Montclair State University led by fellow member, Architect Frank Cunha III, AIA.  The tour addressed the history of the campus and the way it has been designed and constructed to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of the occupants of the buildings and grounds.

Building on a distinguished history dating back to 1908, Montclair State University is a leading institution of higher education in New Jersey.  Designated a Research Doctoral University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the University’s 11 colleges and schools serve more than 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students with more than 300 doctoral, master’s and baccalaureate programs. Situated on a beautiful, 252-acre suburban campus just 12 miles from New York City, Montclair State delivers the instructional and research resources of a large public university in a supportive, sophisticated and diverse academic environment. University Facilities currently manages 70 buildings and approximately 5 million gross square feet of space on our campus. More information available: https://www.montclair.edu/about-montclair

Frank Cunha III, AIA, University Architect, has been with the University Facilities team since 2007.  Since graduating from the New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture in 1998, he has obtained licenses to practice architecture in 9 states.  Frank is currently completing his Masters in Business Administration at Montclair State University and expects to graduate in May 2019.

Frank is passionate about strategic planning, architectural design and constructing of complex projects in a challenging and ever-changing environment.  He considers the environment, energy, and the health and wellness of the occupants during all phases of the project while addressing the programming needs to ensure the stakeholder’s program requirements are met and align with the organization’s mission, vision and values.

With the assistance of his design and construction teams, Frank has been responsible for many projects of various size and scope around campus. Some project highlights include: Student Recreation Center, Center for Environmental Life Sciences, Cali School of Music, School of Nursing, the Center for Computing and Information Science, Sinatra Hall, School of Business, Schmitt Hall and historic renovation and addition to College Hall, to name a few.

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,

FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


New Center for Environmental Life Sciences

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My Role: Project Manager – Involved in the project from concept design through construction.

Owner: Montclair State University

Architect: The SLAM Collaborative

Contractor: Terminal Construction

About the Project:

The new “Center for Environmental & Life Sciences” (CELS) project will include construction of 107,500 gross square feet of new academic and research space and associated site development on the site of McEachern Hall, located along the eastern ridgeline of MSU’s upper campus.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The Architect for this project is S/L/A/M Architects & Engineers P.C. The building was designed to achieve LEED Silver Enhanced Commissioning Certification based on the latest version of LEED New Construction.  Enhanced Commissioning is one of the LEED points to be achieved.

The new CELS facility is a four-story Spanish-Mission style building (with a mechanical penthouse) with a gross area of 107,500 SF with roughly 58,000 SF of teaching laboratories, research laboratories, classrooms and office space.

The building superstructure is comprised of steel framing on concrete footings and foundations. The exterior finishes include the University’s signature white stucco and clay tile roof.

A 2-Story atrium consists of three over-sized arched windows opens to a new patio facing the east-ridge with views of New York City. There is an East-facing green roof located on the third level.

 

Building Program:

The CELS program identifies approximately 57,000 Net Square Feet of new space and is organized into four specific functional space categories:

Office:  departmental hub, private offices for all FT faculty offices, open offices for graduate students, adjuncts, visiting professors and technical staff.

Instructional:  departmental and CSAM assigned teaching labs, classrooms and support (i.e. prep / storage).

Research:  shared and dedicated research space, including both traditional “wet” and dry labs, to support computational and equipment-intensive activities.

Other:  includes common spaces such as multipurpose rooms, lobbies, lounges and support.

The CELS building will be focused on trans-disciplinary research.  Key components of the proposed CELS program include:

  • Trans-disciplinary research lab group suites (accommodating as many as 148 faculty and students)
  • 6 core research labs, accommodating as many as 44 faculty and students
  • 150-seat lecture hall
  • Earth & Environmental Studies Department
  • 4 institutes & centers office suites (+ 1 lab group)
  • College of Science and Mathematics Dean’s Suite
  • Lounges and study/breakout areas for students
  • Vivarium research laboratories

Planning/Design Objectives:

  • Create a new identity for the Sciences thru the building and landscape design (Formation of a Science Quad).
  • Consolidate the Sciences and promote better adjacencies.
  • Utilize program density to create a building with activity and a sense of place for the sciences.
  • Design the building to compliment the campus context with the Quad to the west and the distant views to the east.
  • Reinforce with campus mission-style architecture.
  • Design to LEED certification level of Silver.
  • Design to accommodate trans-disciplinary research thru flexible/adaptable lab configurations.
  • Plan to allow for future expansion of the Sciences with a possible connection to the existing buildings.

 

 


New Research Facility, Montclair State University

CELS Montclair_2011

Slide07 Slide12

My Role: Senior Project Manager for the Owner during the Programming, Design, Bidding/Procurement & Construction Phases of the Project

Owner: Montclair State University

Architect: SLAM

Contractor: T.B.D.

Construction Manger: T.B.D.

About the Project:

The new Center for Environmental & Life Sciences (CELS) project will include construction of 100,000 (plus mechanical penthouse) gross square feet of new academic and research space and associated site development on the site of McEachern Hall, located along the eastern ridgeline of MSU’s upper campus.

The CELS program identifies approximately 57,000 Net Square Feet of new space and is organized into four specific functional space categories:

Office:  departmental hub, private offices for all FT faculty offices, open offices for graduate students, adjuncts, visiting professors and technical staff.

Instructional:  departmental and CSAM assigned teaching labs, classrooms and support (i.e. prep / storage).

Research:  shared and dedicated research space, including both traditional “wet” and dry labs, to support computational and equipment-intensive activities.

Other:  includes common spaces such as multipurpose rooms, lobbies, lounges and support.

The CELS building will be focused on trans-disciplinary research.  Key components of the proposed CELS program include:

  • 7 trans-disciplinary research lab group suites (accommodating as many as 148 faculty and students)
  • 6 core research labs, accommodating as many as 44 faculty and students
  • 150-seat lecture hall
  • Earth & Environmental Studies Department
  • 4 institutes & centers office suites (+ 1 lab group)
  • College of Science and Mathematics Dean’s Suite
  • Lounges and study/breakout areas for students

Planning/Design Objectives:

  • Create a new identity for the Sciences thru the building and landscape design (Formation of a Science Quad).
  • Consolidate the Sciences and promote better adjacencies.
  • Utilize program density to create a building with activity and a sense of place for the sciences.
  • Design the building to compliment the campus context with the Quad to the west and the distant views to the east (New York City skyline).
  • Reinforce with campus mission-style architecture.
  • Design to LEED certification level of Silver.
  • Design to accommodate trans-disciplinary research thru flexible/adaptable lab configurations.
  • Plan to allow for future expansion of the Sciences with a possible connection to the existing Buildings.

Also Check Out:

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Parachute Pavilion (Coney Island, New York) Designed by @FC3ARCHITECT

Site

The Parachute Pavilion is located on the boardwalk edge of the former Steeplechase Park site adjacent to “Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower” (a 262-foot-high Parachute Jump, which is a New York City designated landmark since 1989) and KeySpan Park. The pavilion encompasses the entire 7,800 SF footprint.

Program

The Parachute Pavilion boosts a two-story indoor/ outdoor Restaurant, kitchen, bar, and restrooms accessible from the existing boardwalk. On the lower level is a Multi-use Exhibition/Event Space (a flexible and revenue producing space for private and public exhibits and events) and four offices (for city agencies or local advocacy groups). The store sells Coney Island and Parachute Jump souvenirs, surfing gear, and fishing supplies.

Concept

The form from which this building was developed was inspired by all things American – apple pie, baseball, hotdogs on the boardwalk, the (feeling of) Fourth of July, and Rock-and-Roll. After visiting the site, a 4-minute 14-second video using the still images of the trip was produced. The moving images were accompanied by Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-spangled Banner” (August 17, 1969 recording), which affected the transitions from image-to-image (because a moving photo editing filter was used). The still images from the video were used to create figure-grounds, which were explored using a series photo editing filtering techniques.

The final diagram was placed on the given site to respect the historic Parachute Jump. The building opens itself to “create” and “frame” views much like the “filtering process” used to develop the building form. The occupants of the pavilion will sense the presence (and omnipresence) of the jump structure while flowing through the “filtering” spaces as shadows dance on the floors through the 3-dimensional light wells, from the upper level down to the lower level. Materials and finishes tie new with old.  Outside and inside are blurred and intertwined by elegant glass walls.

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We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post.  We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Sweet Fix “FM Radio” Releases New Video

SWEET FIX @ Highline Ballroom in New York City

CLICK HERE    to see the Official Press Release

Want More Sweet Fix? Click Here


New York, New York

New York, New York, a helluva town. The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down. The people ride in a hole in the groun’. New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!!


Cool Concrete Home in Jersey City

Building an asymmetrically shaped house from an unusual material was the green thing to do for Jersey City man

By Janet Leonardi

When one thinks of building an eco-friendly home, Jersey City might not immediately come to mind as a place to do it.

With nearly a quarter-million residents packed into a dense 15 square miles, all things green there would seem to be at a premium.

But architects and Jersey City residents Richard Garber and Nicole Robertson of GRO Architects in New York rose to the challenge of designing and overseeing the construction of a single-family house that’s a true testament to both innovative design and eco-friendly technology.

Garber, also an assistant professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture and Design in Newark, was commissioned in 2007 by Denis Carpenter to design a concrete home with a fixed budget of $250,000.

Click here for the rest of the article.  And also check out this story as well.

Asymmetrical Concrete Home

Do You Love Your Architect?

Copyright © 2010 Frank Cunha III.
Frank Cunha III – Architect & Visual Artist
Registered Architect, NJ, NY, PA, CT, DE
PO Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
E-mail: fc3arch @me.com
Tel: 973.970.3551
Fax: 973.718.4641

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City on the Gulf: Urban Experiment in Dubai

Image Courtesy of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture

City on the Gulf: Koolhaas Lays Out a Grand Urban Experiment in Dubai

By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF

It has been 12 years since the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaasunleashed his concept of “the generic city,” a sprawling metropolis of repetitive buildings centered on an airport and inhabited by a tribe of global nomads with few local loyalties. His argument was that in its profound sameness, the generic city was a more accurate reflection of contemporary urban reality than nostalgic visions of New York or Paris.

Now he may get a chance to create his own version.

Designed for one of the biggest developers in the United Arab Emirates, Nakheel, Mr. Koolhaas’s master plan for the proposed 1.5-billion-square-foot Waterfront City in Dubai would simulate the density of Manhattan on an artificial island just off the Persian Gulf. A mix of nondescript towers and occasional bold architectural statements, it would establish Dubai as a center of urban experimentation as well as one of the world’s fastest growing metropolises.

The mixed-use project, startling in scale, is a carefully considered critique not just of the generic city but of a potentially greater evil: the growing use of high-end architecture as a tool for self-promotion. To Mr. Koolhaas this strategy, which many architects refer to as the Bilbao syndrome, reduces cities to theme parks of architectural tchotchkes that mask an underlying homogeneity.

His strategy is not to reject either trend outright but to locate each one’s hidden, untapped potential, or as he puts it, “to find optimism in the inevitable.”

Click here for the rest of the story.

Do You Love Your Architect?

Copyright © 2010 Frank Cunha III.
Frank Cunha III – Architect & Visual Artist
Registered Architect, NJ, NY, PA, CT, DE
PO Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
E-mail: fc3arch @me.com
Tel: 973.970.3551
Fax: 973.718.4641

WebFC3 ArchitectureFC3 PhotographyBlogFacebookTwitterLinkedIn


Art in Architecture – Celebration of “Soul City”

Art in Architecture Exhibit Info

My Submission click here.


An Excellent Reading Experience – The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson

About “The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America” by Eric Larson

Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson’s spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men–the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World’s Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

“As absorbing a piece of popular history as one will ever hope to find.” —San Francisco Chronicle






A view of the Ferris Wheel, the star attraction of the 1893 World’s Fair. George W. Ferris invented the wheel specifically for the fair as an answer to France’s Eiffel Tower. The wheel was a wondrous feat of engineering: supported by two 140-foot steel towers and connected by a 45-foot axle, it was the largest single piece of forged steel ever made at the time. With a diameter of 250 feet and thirty-six cars holding sixty riders each, the Ferris wheel carried 1,450,000 paying customers over the course of the fair. (Photographer: Waterman / Credit: Chicago Historical Society, used by permission.)











A woman stands on the balcony of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, overlooking the canal, the Machinery Building, and the Agriculture Building. The Machinery Building contained exhibits such as Whitney’s cotton gin and the world’s largest conveyor belt, as well as the fair’s power plant, which provided electricity for the entire fair. The Agriculture Building, designed by New York’s McKim, Mead & White, contained weather stations, animals, machines, tools, cigarette booths, a model of the Liberty Bell constructed with oranges, Canada’s 22,000-pound “Monster Cheese,” and the popular Schlitz Brewery booth. (Photographer: C.D. Arnold / Credit: Chicago Historical Society, used by permission.)










A view of the Court of Honor and the Statue of the Republic (also known as “Big Mary”). Created by sculptor David Chester French, the statue was a 65-foot figure atop a 40-foot base and depicted a woman covered in gold leaf holding an eagle, a globe, and a lance (symbolizing the republic of the United States). A replica of the original statue can be found today at the former site of the Administration Building, in Chicago’s Jackson Park. (Photographer: William Henry Jackson / Credit: Chicago Historical Society, used by permission.)



From Publishers Weekly….



Not long after Jack the Ripper haunted the ill-lit streets of 1888 London, H.H. Holmes (born Herman Webster Mudgett) dispatched somewhere between 27 and 200 people, mostly single young women, in the churning new metropolis of Chicago; many of the murders occurred during (and exploited) the city’s finest moment, the World’s Fair of 1893. Larson’s breathtaking new history is a novelistic yet wholly factual account of the fair and the mass murderer who lurked within it. Bestselling author Larson (Isaac’s Storm) strikes a fine balance between the planning and execution of the vast fair and Holmes’s relentless, ghastly activities. The passages about Holmes are compelling and aptly claustrophobic; readers will be glad for the frequent escapes to the relative sanity of Holmes’s co-star, architect and fair overseer Daniel Hudson Burnham, who managed the thousands of workers and engineers who pulled the sprawling fair together 0n an astonishingly tight two-year schedule. A natural charlatan, Holmes exploited the inability of authorities to coordinate, creating a small commercial empire entirely on unpaid debts and constructing a personal cadaver-disposal system. This is, in effect, the nonfiction Alienist, or a sort of companion, which might be called Homicide, to Emile Durkheim’s Suicide. However, rather than anomie, Larson is most interested in industriousness and the new opportunities for mayhem afforded by the advent of widespread public anonymity. This book is everything popular history should be, meticulously recreating a rich, pre-automobile America on the cusp of modernity, in which the sale of “articulated” corpses was a semi-respectable trade and serial killers could go well-nigh unnoticed.


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Ask the Architect: What Are Some Questions College Administrators Should Ask Themselves Before They Start Planning for the Future? #Architect #UniversityArchitect #Ideas #Design #Planning

Sometimes Architects Design and Sometimes They Ask Questions – Here are 50 Questions for College Administrators to Consider as They Prepare to Plan For Their Future:

  1. As an institution what are we good at? What are we not so good at?
  2. Where do we want to go – What is our vision for where we are headed – academically and as a family of diverse individuals?
  3. How will people of all ages (continue to) learn in the future?
  4. How will students live, communicate, develop, work, play, share?
  5. What is the hierarchical structure of education (Provost, students, Student-Life; Administration vs Educators)?
  6. How can we address “Exclusivity Vs Inclusivity” within education (i.e., white, blue, green collars all working together)?
  7. What traditions do we want to keep?
  8. What traditions do we want to eliminate?
  9. How can we offer more value?  How can we offer more by spending less?
  10. How can we accelerate/decelerate the process – what needs to speed up and what needs to slow down?
  11. How can we attract more students from in-state and from out-of-state?
  12. How can we offer more online/hybrid and flip classroom learning?  What other educational methods should we explore?
  13. Who are our clients? Can we identify the student of the future (identity, celebrate, identity)?
  14. How can we establish a “network” of future business/professional relationships?
  15. How can we enable a positive transformation of self-awareness and development into early adulthood?
  16. The “College Experience,” what does this mean?  What will it mean in the future?
  17. How can we become more sustainable?  Are we creating a culture that values the planet?
  18. What are some sustainable strategies that we do well, what are some we need to work on?
  19. How can we utilize our spaces more efficiently during off-hours?
  20. How can we provide better connections to the outdoors, nightlife, theater, arts, dining, sports and other events?
  21. How can we offer more opportunities for community engagement?
  22. How can we consider the college campus as a living laboratory?
  23. What is the changing role of the professor/instructors?
  24. How can we form better interdisciplinary relationships from different colleges to inter-pollinate ideas with one another?
  25. How can we focus and capitalize on our strengths instead of our weakness?
  26. Is the “Tiny house” concept viable for student housing?
  27. Instead of student housing should we follow a “hotel” model?
  28. What does a student center of the future look like? What is a library of the future look like? 
  29. Can we create a new model for (higher) education so our students never stop learning/growing?
  30. Is it viable to transform from a singularly “degree” approach to a “tool box” approach where students gain the building blocks they need for that stage of their career?
  31. What are some public/private partnership opportunities?
  32. How can we promote health and wellness on our campus?
  33. How can we create a walkable campus for all our students and guests?
  34. How can we support our professors and researchers?
  35. How can we develop programs that engage the residents of the state?
  36. How can we develop a culture of caring and giving that shares the same positive values?
  37. How can we capitalize on our close relationship with local parks?
  38. How can we create a better connection with urban areas – Jersey City, Patterson, New York City, etc.?
  39. How can we become an “Innovation” district in our state?
  40. How can we start recruiting students at an earlier age?
  41. How can we better retain our students?
  42. How can we better support our students educational goals?
  43. How can we offer the best college experience for our students?
  44. How can our built facilities improve lives of the people we serve?
  45. How can our grounds improve lives of the people we serve?
  46. How can our people (bus drivers, gardeners, housekeepers, librarians, etc.) improve lives of the people we serve?
  47. How can we become an institution that others want to emulate?
  48. Is there a way that we can work with industry/business partners to leverage our role as an academic research facility?
  49. How can we make learning fun and enjoyable?
  50. How can we offer more meaning to people’s lives?

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook


The @FelicianoCenter’s @MIXLabDesign Design Charrette for “B.E.L.A.” Summer High School Program Entailing the Redevelopment of a Significant Urban Historic Site #UrbanPlanning #Redevelopment #Business #Entrepreneur #Education #HighSchool #DesignThink #Innovation #NJEd @MontclairStateU

On July 9, 2019, in the capacity of University Architect at Montclair State University (and Alumni of the Feliciano School of Business). I had the privilege of participating in a design charrette with a local high school. The project consists of an urban redevelopment site with a precious historical building at the site. I was invited by the people who run the Montclair State University MIX Lab (Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship), an interdisciplinary hub for transformative innovation, and digitally mediated making.

M.I.X. stands for Making and Innovating for X, where X is the unknown, that which exceeds our grasp, the future, and the open-ended nature of creativity, good design and big problems. The co-directors of MIX Lab are Iain Kerr, associate professor of Innovation Design, and Jason Frasca, entrepreneurship instructor.

I graciously accepted Jason and Ian’s invitation to participate as a guest critic along with another fellow professional, Frank Gerard Godlewski of Fellsbridge Studio LLC, who specializes in historic preservation in the area where the redevelopment project is located.  The format for the design charrette, hosted by the MIX Lab for the high school program led by high school teacher, Kevin Richburg, included: (1) The students, in groups of 4-5, presented their concepts for the redevelopment of the site (there were 5 teams); (2) the guest critics gave suggestions and further thoughts on how to further explore and develop the student’s ideas; (3) the guest critics summed up their thoughts for all the students with key take-aways.  The following is a recap of what I learned from the students (in so far as what is the most significant to them) and the key take-aways I offered the students (in no particular order of importance) from my perspective as an Architect who has been involved in the planning, design and construction of projects over the past 20-years.

What the Student Teams Focused on as Key Ideas for their Projects:

  • Historic preservation of the existing building
  • Connecting with local community
  • Local and state pride
  • Affordability
  • Sustainability
  • Celebration of diversity and inclusion
  • Love of the arts
  • Focus on the user “experience”
  • Spaces for families to enjoy
  • Entertainment
  • Accessibility to quality food and goods
  • Mixing of “Bright and Bold” historic and modern elements
  • Transformative
  • “Modern” vibe

Proposed Amenities of the Re-Development Site:

  • Supermarkets (one group proposed a two-story whole sale supermarket)
  • Open-air markets (farmer markets, etc.)
  • Retail, restaurants, food trucks
  • Open space, a square or plaza
  • Parking for visitors (possible tunnel or bridge)
  • Parking at perimeter

Types of Buildings (Programmed Spaces)

  • Main historic building’s exterior appearance
  • Main historic building’s exterior appearance
  • Explore modernization of existing historic building interior to suite new uses
  • Mixed use buildings with green roofs and roof top patios
  • Modern, light and transparent
  • Restaurants and sports bars
  • Entertainment – bowling alley, arcade, movie theater
  • Arts – Museum showcasing tradition and innovation
  • Grocery stores
  • Food trucks
  • Retail
  • Technology/electronics-based retail
  • Main historic building’s exterior appearance
  • Explore modernization of existing historic building interior to suite new uses
  • Mixed use buildings with green roofs and roof top patios
  • Modern, light and transparent
  • Restaurants and sports bars
  • Entertainment – bowling alley, arcade, movie theater
  • Arts – Museum showcasing tradition and innovation
  • Grocery stores
  • Food trucks
  • Retail
  • Technology/electronics-based retail

Types of Exterior Spaces

  • Open spaces with green lawns and fountains
  • Places to reflect and remember
  • ·Field with stage and seating
  • Outdoor seating for restaurants
  • Areas to relax

Key Take-Aways & Ideas for Further Exploration:

  • Site plans – Delineate site elements separately from building elements (so easier to comprehend) using color or graphics (Example)
  • Floor plans – Delineate building areas/rooms with designated color so it is easier to understand program of spaces (i.e., circulation vs apartments vs retail vs support spaces, etc.) (Example)
  • Work together as a team – commemorate each other’s strengths but give everyone credit even those whose work may be behind the scenes
  • Focus on one main idea (let other ideas support the one main theme)
  • Context and Scale – Observe and learn from the surrounding community; apply those elements to the proposed project so that it complements the adjoining communities
  • Materials – Understand how the new materials can complement the historic ones (let the original historic building stand on its own and celebrate its historical significance)
  • Consider “big box” retail versus the Local “pop ups” (gentrification good and bad)
  • Parking/Transportation – As mass transportation has changed from ships to locomotives to buses and cars; look to the future as the world heads to autonomous vehicles (particularly China).  If parking is required think about how a parking lot or parking garage can be transformed in the future.  Example
  • Sustainability is important but do not forget to consider W.E.L.L. as well.  LEED/Sustainability concepts Resource 1 ; Resource 2 also check out the following link for ides about other program types for the redevelopment project Resource 3
  • Consider more technology in your projects, for instance: Smart CitiesAR/VR, and other innovate concepts, like: Immersive Experience and Virtual reality in theme park attractions. Also consider utilizing QR Codes as a teaching tool.
  • Consider developing a pedestrian mall by converting an existing street into a pedestrian friendly zone like they have done in Jersey City, NJ or Times Square, New York City, NY or Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas, NV, the taking cars, trucks and buses off the street and giving the spaces back to the pedestrians who can enjoy it (also it would make the entire site one big site instead of two separate parcels dived by thru traffic).
  • Lastly, and not least important, when considering injecting modern elements with historic architecture, it must be considered whether the original is to remain intact or be altered.  There are interesting examples of tasteful alterations, however, the older I get the less comfortable I am with injecting new with old for the sake of “shock” value (where as a student of architecture 20 years ago the concept was more appealing).  I reminded the students of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, and the ensuing debate that is going on whether or not the renovations/upgrades should be true to the original or whether the new design should be bold and innovating and perhaps less true to the original.  Whether the designers choose to go in one direction or another much thought should be given to preserving the historical elements of our precious structures because they are irreplaceable (think Grand Central Station in New York City, NY, which acted as a catalyst for the preservation movement).  Click here to read about the history of the Preservation Battle of Grand Central Station.

Overall, I was impressed by the talent and creativity of all the students and I was pleased with the quality of their presentations. I hope I was able to contribute in some small way to the success of their respective projects.  The high school student participants’ contributions to the build environment would be welcomed by the design and construction industry, since the students are willing to understand and develop their skills in the area of deep thought, innovation, design, construction and socio-economic concepts at an early age.  I gladly encouraged each and every one of them by letting them know that if they choose a career in architecture, engineering, real-estate development, construction or related field that they would certainly all be able to achieve their goals based on their willingness and eagerness to learn and present their visions and concepts.   I hope my involvement was as rewarding for the students as it was for me.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook