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Design News - April 2003

High Line Design Competition


Friends of the High Line have launched a competition seeking visionary design proposals for the reuse of the High Line elevated rail structure that runs along Manhattan's Far West Side from 34th to just south of 14th Street.

The High Line was built in the 1930s to bring freight trains directly to the West Side docks. However, with Manhattan's port unused for commerce for decades, the High Line has long been abandoned. It's most southern section, in Greenwich Village, has been dismantled in recent years for residential development. Friends of the High Line would like to preserve what's left of the elevated railroad structure as a public open space. That goal has been endorsed by the Bloomberg administration's tentative plans for the redevelopment of the Far West Side.

The competition, which is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, is open to architects, landscape architects, horticulturalists, artists, engineers and all other interested persons. For registration forms and further information on the contest, go to www.thehighline.

org/competition/. Registrations must be received by April 25 and the entries themselves are due on May 16. Registration is $50 for individuals and teams, $300 for university architecture studios (up to 15 entries per studio).

"Friends of the High Line has always made design excellence one of its top priorities," said co-founder Robert Hammond. "It's not enough for the High Line to be preserved. It must become a beautiful, exciting and innovative public open space. … How many opportunities will the city have to design 1.5 mi. of Manhattan?"

The competition will culminate in a major exhibition at a high-profile Manhattan location in July.


Vollmer Designing New School

Vollmer Associates, a Pittsburgh-based architectural and engineering firm, has been selected by the Diocese of Greensburg, Pa. to design the Gaudium et Spes Center, a new educational complex to be located on 117 acres in Hempfield Township.

The Center will include three buildings: a 75,000-sq.-ft. school, an 8,300-sq.-ft. community center and a 7,000-sq.-ft. pastoral center. The school will be able to serve 540 students from kindergarten through the eighth grade. It will include 24 classrooms, a cafeteria that can double as an auditorium, a gym, a library and a chapel. The school will be designed to meet requirements for LEED certification (green building design). Funding of the project is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

The remaining 35 acres of the site will be developed as future needs are identified.


Sear-Brown Receives Two AIA Design Awards

Two recently completed design projects of Sear-Brown, the Rochester-based architectural and design firm with 14 office nationwide, have been selected to receive awards from the American Institute of Architects, Southern New York Chapter.

The first award was for a four-story, 64,000-sq.-ft. addition to the Corning Credit Union in Corning, N.Y. It features a one-story glass connecting link to the existing four-story building. The addition has a glass curtain wall skin to match the existing building, and the new building's angular design complements the architectural character of the older structure. The project manager was Jerry Serbonich.

The second project to be recognized by the AIA was the renovation of the chapel at St. Joseph's Hospital in Elmira, N.Y. The Sear-Brown design team, led by David Colp, moved the secluded, dark 35-year-old chapel to the light-filled main lobby of the hospital. The new, airy chapel has slate walls, new furniture, carpets and suspended banners along with a new altar and a suspended cross. An adjacent space was also renovated to accommodate a new sacristy.


DESIGNnewyork 2003

It's been a long time coming, but New York City finally has a comprehensive guide to design products, organizations and events.

DESIGNnewyork, just published in February by Design Paradigm, is an annual guide to virtually everything related to architecture, interior design, graphic design, product design and fashion in the Big Apple.

"New York is one of the most important design centers in the world. So much is going on that it's almost impossible to keep up with it all," said Steven Kroeter, the publisher and executive editor of the 678-page guide. "We provide one place to go to find design information, products and events."

DESIGNnewyork contains 1,400 entries in 29 categories. Each entry is cross-referenced relative to three basic questions: What? Where? When? So when leafing through the book, not only can the reader learn what's available but also where it is and/or when it's happening. The guide includes 15 detailed, full-color maps of Manhattan neighborhoods indicating points of design interest. It also contains a calendar of over 200 design-related events that will take place in New York City in 2003.

"We've created DESIGNnewyork to help expand awareness and appreciation of design," said Kroeter, who is an architect. "We think its publication is in line with Mayor (Michael) Bloomberg's goal of projecting New York as central to the world's culture and economy. It fills a real gap and helps make the incredible richness of New York's design community accessible to all."

The 2003 edition of DESIGNnewyork is itself beautifully designed. It is a Smythe sewn block with front and back flaps and double 4-color covers; the front cover has spot UV varnishing. Inside, the book contains four-color text on 95 gsm coated matt paper.

For more information or to order the guide go to: www.designnewyork.info.

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