Monthly Archives: March 2011


For the first time, AIA New Jersey Committee on the Environment will be holding a COTE Top 10 Award competition recognizing outstanding built work in the area of sustainable design.

The Top Ten Green Projects program seeks to identify and recognize the benefits of a high performance, sustainable design approach; to educate the architectural community and the public at large on the increased value that sustainable design provides for developers, building owners and occupants; and to acknowledge architects as experts in the creation of energy conscious and environmentally responsible design solutions endeavoring to meet the Architecture 2030 goals.

April 11, 2011 — Registration opens
May 31, 2011 — Registration deadline and project submittal deadline

For more information and submission guidelines:

In Memoriam – Robert Giacomelli, AIA

Robert John Giacomelli passed away Saturday, March 19, 2011. He was 67.
Mr. Giacomelli was born in New York, N.Y., Nov. 8, 1943, raised in Philadelphia and resided for the past 36 years in Moorestown, N.J.

He was a graduate of Cardinal Dougherty (1961), Temple University (1964) and Kansas State University (1967).

Mr. Giacomelli was a registered architect and a member of numerous architectural organizations. He was a Sigma Phi Epsilon alumni, 32nd degree Mason and former secretary of EFASCE di Philadelphia Italian Cultural Society.
Robert was the beloved husband of Harriet (Gregorczyn) for 45 years; father of Darlene Walker (William) and Daniel (Kelly), Pipop to Jessica, Zachary, Jillian and Brandon. He also is survived by his brother, Lindi (Florence); niece, Dina; and nephews, Mark and Kurt. He was the son of the late Olindo and Elia Giacomelli.

Viewings were held at the Mount Laurel Home for Funerals, and the funeral liturgy at Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown. Interment will be at Lakeview Memorial Park, Cinnaminson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s name to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Drive, Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053.

As per AIA New Jersey policy, a donation is being made in Robert’s name to the: AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation, Robert Zaccone, AlA , 212 White Ave., Old Tappan, N.J. 07675

Elly Matzko Memorial

Join friends, students, faculty and alumni to celebrate the life of

Elly Matzko

Monday, March 21, 2011
5:45 PM

The Gallery
Weston Hall
College of Architecture and Design

Reuse and Recycling in NJ

Renovators find construction discards are in demand

By Kathleen Lynn
The Record
Staff Writer

Three AIA-NJ architects were highlighted in an article printed Sunday, March13, 2011, in the Record about recycling construction materials.   Read the article:

National Park Service Starts Architectural Drawing Competition

Sharpen your pencils, the National Park Service has a $1,000 prize at stake in a new competition for architectural artists who create drawings of historic buildings.

“Drawings from the hands of skilled craftsmen are valuable tools when it comes to the protection of America’s treasured historic structures,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “They are a permanent record of our nation’s built environment, created with the precision needed to restore or repair these places of our past. This competition will reinvigorate this specialty and encourage the development of the talents it requires.”

The Historic American Buildings Survey, called HABS, began in 1934. The National Park Service has been its only home. The architectural drawings, large format photographs and written histories HABS uses to document historic structures are housed at the Library of Congress and are available to the public online. More than 40,000 historic structures and sites have been documented.

The competition and its prize are named for Leicester B. Holland (1882-1952), the co-founder of the Historic American Building Survey program and head of the Fine Arts Division of the Library of Congress.

Catherine Lavoie leads the Historic American Buildings Survey today. “The Holland Prize is intended to increase awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of historic sites, structures, and landscapes throughout the United States while adding to our permanent collection. By requiring only a single sheet, the competition challenges the student or professional to capture the essence of the site through the presentation of key features that reflect its historic and its architectural, landscape architectural or engineering significance,” Lavoie said.

Drawings of historic buildings are a crucial component of architectural education. Lavoie said they provide opportunity for young architects to gain an understanding of the principles of design and construction and in addition to their use for restoration work, contribute to new design projects.

The competition will be administered by the National Park Service’s Heritage Documentation Programs. Entries of an historic building, site, or structure including engineering sites and historic landscapes must be prepared by an individual or individuals to standards established by HABS or its sister programs the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), or the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS).

In addition to the cash, the winning drawing will be published in Architectural Record magazine.

May 31 is the deadline for entry form submissions and June 30 is the deadline for submission of completed entries. To download the Holland Prize entry form, competition rules and recommendations visit:

The prize is supported by the Paul Rudolph Trust, Architectural Record, a magazine of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); and theCenter for Architecture, Design & Engineering in the Library of Congress, and the National Park Service.

The Holland prize joins the Peterson Prize in drawing competitions. Each year the HABS/HAER/HALS programs offer students employment and training opportunities. Please visit for student employment information and for information about the Peterson Prize.

And be sure to visit us on Facebook with professionals, friends, alumni, project sponsors, and others interested in our work of recording America’s architectural, engineering and landscape heritage through measured drawings, written historical reports and large-format photography.”

Letter from AIA Regarding Tragedy in Japan

Concerned Colleagues:

The devastated lives and communities of northern Japan are foremost on our minds. This unfortunate disaster cries out for a swift response to help alleviate the suffering and salvage the remaining fabric of families, friends, and loved ones.

We encourage you to do what you can as a generous contributor to organizations best able to provide the immediate assistance the Japanese people need in the aftermath of destruction. Please review the list of organizations included with this message.

Also, as a profession, we know that once the humanitarian relief efforts are stabilized, the next phase of rebuilding begins. The AIA is forming a Disaster Assistance Task Force that will coordinate our profession’s contribution moving forward and we are in contact with our colleagues at AIA Japan and the Japan Institute of Architects to offer, not only our condolences, but our profession’s technical and professional expertise when the initiative begins focusing on rebuilding.

There will be much work to be accomplished after the debris is cleared to recover and rebuild institutions, communities, neighborhoods, and families. You can rest assured that the AIA will be there to help the Japanese people reclaim their lives and build confidence in their future.

Now, in this immediate time of need, we urge you to take action today by reviewing the ways in which you can make a difference. See below for ways to help.

Clark D. Manus, FAIA

Robert Ivy, FAIA
Executive Vice President/CEO

Donate to Architecture for Humanity
By Mail:
Architecture for Humanity
848 Folsom Street
Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94107-1173

American Red Cross
Salvation Army
World Vision
Mobile Donations (Verizon Wireless)
Google Crisis Response
Catholic Relief Services
Samaritan’s Purse


Cornerstone Architectural Group Anticipates LEED Silver for Monumental Project

Construction has commenced on the new world headquarters for SHI International Corporation. SHI will immediately occupy one-half of the significantly renovated 5-story office building in Somerset, NJ, representing over 220,000 square feet of floor area.

The Cornerstone design team is extremely honored to report that they have again been commissioned by SHI leadership to serve as the Architect of Record for this monumental Central NJ project. Cornerstone designed the present headquarters in 2007, which has now been outgrown by SHI.
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All luxury apartment buildings are not created equal — and it’s not just tenants who may not get what they want. The owners miss out, too.

Bottom Line: Invest internally with professionals who guide the collaborative effort with architects and designers from within – Roseland’s formula for success.
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Message from the AIA-NJ Regional Director

By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIA NJ Regional Director ’11-‘13

Several years ago there was a public relations campaign delivered by the then Governor of New Jersey, Hon. Thomas Kean that went like this, “New Jersey and YOU………….Perfect Together!”  The purpose of the campaign was to stimulate the State’s tourist economy by inviting people from all over the country to the Garden State, which in the governor’s plan would in-turn stimulate the entire economy.  I believe that while a little bit corny, and maybe because it was, the State found success in the campaign and our overall economy did in fact improve.

Well times are different now and our government’s sustainability and future growth depends upon its ability to change and adapt to the current environment in which it finds itself.  No one understands this better than the national leadership at AIA and that we all have had to learn to do more with less.  Annually they provide the nearly 700 AIA leaders that come to the Grassroots Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, a Blueprint to take to “Capitol Hill on Government Day.  AIA Section and AIANJ leaders have recently returned from this always invigorating gathering.  I am sure that they will be presenting and you will be seeing this Blueprint displayed at a local section meeting soon, if not already presented.

The Blueprint is a beautiful rendering of important points on how Congress can help get our townships, villages, boroughs and cities back to work through the campaign of “Rebuild and Renew: The AIA’s Plan for Rebuilding Main Street.”  The sub title under this banner is “When architects work, the nation builds.”  There can be no truer words!

Over the past 35 years I have served first on the Main Street Development Corp. and more recently and continue to serve on the West Orange Downtown Alliance.   There have been some successes to “bring the nearly three mile corridor “back from the brink”, and in the process I coined the phrase “as Main Street goes…………so will West Orange!”  The phrase could be used for any of our home communities.  I like to view the phrase in a positive light of the glass half empty, but slowly being filled to the top.  The filling includes renovated store fronts, coordinated signage and a way finding system, to/from well lighted and landscaped municipal parking.  I am convinced that when completed, this will bring citizens back in my case to a historic downtown, where three of the founders of AIA left legacies of their work.

Not being just satisfied with presenting the Blueprint to Congressional aides, I took several copies to a recent West Orange Township Council Meeting. Presenting, one each to the five members of the council and one to the newly elected Mayor Robert Parisi, my goal was in talking about the plan; to convince these local government officials because they are on the front line facing diminishing revenues and tighter budgets, to do the following: They could, along with AIA architects lobby our federal representatives to work closer together with local officials to find ways to accomplish the goals laid out by this document:

1.    Unfreeze credit to help create jobs
2.    Remove regulatory burdens that hold small business back
3.    Jumpstart market for building retrofits as an engine of and for economic growth
4.    Pass a transportation bill to get our communities moving again

Not surprisingly, the AIA Main Street recovery plan and yours truly were well received by these local leaders and the press that was present for the meeting.  In fact the Hon. Councilman, Victor Cirilo stated, “We are all worried about the direction of the nation” and said that he would personally lobby our federal officials for the Blueprint as presented.  I know that he has a special connection to the Hon. Congressman William Pascarell, Jr. and I am certain that starting with just this one member of congress we may see some action sooner than later. In fact our AIA advocacy staff are setting up meetings with the Congressman’s staff and Past President Robert Cozzarelli, AIA and I will be seeing the Congressman here in NJ during the month of March as a continuing reminder to him that AIA architects are an important part of this recovery.

Therefore, I would ask each AIANJ member to take the AIA Blueprint and this positive campaign to your next local government meeting.  If nothing else, it will give you an opportunity to introduce yourself to the public at large, as most of these local government meetings are now televised on local access television.  Besides maybe like Councilman Cirilo, your members of local government will do the same and the remaining NJ delegation of federal leaders from both sides of the aisle will hear the cry and in fact move positive legislation in this regard.

Use the Blueprint to explain to your political leaders and the wider viewing public, these points about what we do for a living and can bring to the entire population of our wonderful State.  That as Architects are trained to see the BIG picture, that we can and do solve problems in a creative and innovative way, that we save construction dollars by maximizing building owners’ investments, that using an architect can save time, and above all that we design total environments, which are pleasing and functional for the people who will eventually use these spaces.

Like former Governor Kean’s campaign to stimulate the NJ tourist economy, your effort in this campaign may be the catalyst to start the “Rebuild and Renew” process and our economy statewide.

Thank you!

[email protected]

Message from AIA-NJ the President

Last month, our distinguished Regional Director, Jerry Eben, AIA, wrote a wonderful article for our newsletter where he discussed his personal optimism for a new generation of architects, our emerging professionals.  I recently had a similar experience.  During the week of February 21, 2011, I had the opportunity to spend a few evenings with architecture and design students from NJIT, my alma matter.

On Monday, February 21, 2011, I had the good fortune to say a few brief words at the Daniel Libeskind lecture.  AIA NJ, if you are not aware, sponsors the University’s College of Architecture and Design’s spring lecture series.  In preparing my remarks, I learned how our predecessors in the New Jersey Society of Architects were instrumental in establishing the State’s only public school for architecture.  In addition, the lecture was both interesting and informative as Mr. Libeskind discussed his storied career and recent work.  Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the speaker was the turnout.  Literally hundreds of students attended, it was standing room only.  Undoubtedly this is in part due to the influential work of Daniel Libeskind, but I believe there is something more, the next generation of architects whose hunger for knowledge and quest for experience will enable them to lead our profession in the future.

Similarly, I spoke to 80+ architecture and design students later in the week on portfolio design.  The event, sponsored jointly between NJIT’s career services department and local chapter of the AIAS, included two speakers, myself and David Martinez, branch manager for Napco Copy Graphics.  David discussed the techniques used to create portfolios while I discussed content and the perspective of what potential employers are looking for.  It was a wonderful event and we will be following up with the students next month to offer reviews and feedback of their current portfolios.

Now you may be wondering why I mention these events.  Architecture school is demanding, with a rigor that formulates the creative problem solvers we, as a profession, are today.    I ask each of you to remember the time you spent in College.  Remember your drive to succeed?  Can you recall the countless hours spent in studio searching for the perfect design?  Do you remember the optimism you had?  We were going to change the world for the better, right?
While there are signs of hope with the current economy, our legislators are forced to explore any and all ways to cut the costs of government and its programs.  Recent reports in various media outlets have the State investigating the use of stock plans or “cookie cutter” design for our children’s schools.  AIANJ is also anticipating future discussions on maintaining qualifications based selection for professionals.  AIANJ is working hard on your behalf to monitor these and all issues, however, we need your help.

I ask each of you to get involved.  AIANJ can use your expertise as we fight the good fight for architects who enjoy living and working here in New Jersey.  If you can’t volunteer for our organization, please get involved as a “citizen architect”.  Meet and talk with your local officials.  Explain to them the power of good design and how architects are uniquely trained to solve today’s complex challenges.  At a minimum, attend you local AIANJ section meeting, help us raise the dialogue on the issues we continue to face.

I often wonder what my “College-self” would think of me now.  Work, AIA, family, etc.  It’s a lot, I know.  Most nights, I enjoy a healthy game of chicken with my five-year-old daughter to see who can fall asleep last.  Like any good father, I let her win.  While it sometimes feels like I had more energy at 21 than I do now, it was invigorating to spend time amongst architecture students.  I ask each of you reinvigorate yourselves, stand up and be counted on to lead our profession during these trying times.  Thank you in advance for all of your efforts and I look forward to discussing these issues and any issues you would like to bring to our attention.