Hurricane Sandy has brought home the responsibility that we share to make our region more resilient in the face of severe weather and more responsive to the threats posed by climate change.
What is certain is that we will need new policies, and new investments, to reduce our susceptibility to environmental disasters. Sandy led to the death of more than 70 people in the region and caused more than $50 billion in damage and economic losses. The storm also disrupted the daily lives and commutes of nearly all of the region’s 23 million residents. Whether or not these events are the result of human-caused global warming, it is clear that we need to do much more to lessen their toll.
Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath have awakened us to an uncomfortable reality: The country’s most populated area and its largest economic engine sits on a vulnerable coastline. Yet there are many measures that would help ease the impact of storm surges.
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) annually presents its MASterworks Awards to recognize outstanding works of architecture or urban design completed in the prior year. The jury for the 2012 awards is a notable list in its own right: it included architects Brandon Haw of Foster + Partners, Claire Weisz of WXY Architecture + Urban Design, and Adam Yarinsky from the Architecture Research Office; journalist Suzanne Stephens from Architectural Record; and the president of MAS, Vin Cipolla. This refreshingly diverse list of winners—a carousel pavilion by Jean Nouvel shares honors with a children’s library in Queens—looks back at an exciting post-recession year for architecture in New York.
Best New Building: New York by Gehry, Gehry & Partners
Courtesy Forest City Ratner.
The highest honor went to Gehry’s shimmering new residential tower at 8 Spruce Street in downtown Manhattan. The jury calls it “a striking symbol of Lower Manhattan’s resurgence,” and its undulating silver façade, standing out among its mid-rise neighbors, certainly makes a dramatic addition to the skyline. Karrie Jacobs wrote about the building in our June 2011 issue.
David O’Donnell is a local, historic preservationist hero in my book. He was head of a fledgling neighborhood preservation group I joined years ago. It seemed he was running six different committees at the time, a kind of start-up, serial entrepreneur …
Since its establishment in 1996, Design Workshop at Parsons The New School of Design has been providing pro bono architectural and construction services to nonprofit organizations, allowing their graduate architecture students to design and meet commun…