Category Archives: AIA-NJ News

Latest News, What’s Up and What’s New in AIA-NJ

AIA Look Up Film Challenge

LookUp Film ScreenshotAmerican Institute of Architects (AIA) Look Up Film Challenge Winners Selected, Public Vote to Commence

CHICAGO, Oct. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The winners of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Look Up Film Challenge have been announced at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. A jury comprised of architects and media professionals selected three top prize winners and recognized seven additional films in themed categories. The public can view and vote on their favorite video to win the Public Choice Award here: Public voting will be open until November 1st.

Film Challenge Winners: Continue reading

NJ State Convention – 3 Weeks Away


AIANJ State Convention 

Register Now on the convention web page to not miss a single keynote or tour.

Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th.
Hanover Marriott

More information and online Registration:

A change is being made to the Friday night event –

The Friday night dinner has been changed to a Reception similar to year’s past.  For those who register for a full two day package or Friday only get the reception included.  If you would like to attend just the Reception with none of the other sessions or keynotes, it will cost $50.00 a la carte, and includes two drinks and hors d’oeuvres.   Announcement of Design Award winners will happen at reception.

If you have already registered for the dinner, you will be receiving an email soon with information about refunds.

This years Convention also hosting a Student Design Competition, entry deadline October 16th.  Find out more online.

Student Design Competition

Essex County’s Branch Brook Park holds a Cherry Blossom Festival every year. Design a stage pavilion to be used for festival activities such as jazz performances and theatre plays. Continue reading

CALL FOR SESSIONS – 2016 NJ History & Historic Preservation Conference

Help shape the 2016 Conference – Submit a Session Proposal!
Proposals are due by November 23, 2015
The NJ History & Historic Preservation Conference attracts a broad audience of professionals, historic site and museum managers, historic preservation commission members, and more. The conference planning committee seeks to balance its program by offering educational sessions that target the conference’s primary audiences.  Proposals that address topics of interest to more than one of the target audiences will be given preference by the selection committee.

for more Information:

NJ Canstruction Update

Two Canstruction events are happening in New Jersey this fall.  canstruction

AIA Newark & Suburban is hosting it’s annual Canstruction event to benefit the Community Food Bank of New Jersey at Livingston Mall starting this week.

Build day is Thursday, October 8th, and the structures will be on display until October 18th.    Stop by and see the creative build-outs the teams develop this year – Livingston Mall, Livingston NJ.

Find out more information – at

In South Jersey, the South Jersey Food Bank just finished it’s first annual Canstruction Event at Cherry Hill Mall.  Three teams put their imaginations and architectural skills to the test in the inaugural competition.  Participants included GREYHAWK, a construction management and consulting firm; Lammey & Giorgio, an architectural and planning firm, and Adams Rehmann & Heggan (ARH), a consulting design firm.

The judging panel included representatives from Lockheed Martin, Rowan University’s College of Engineering, Home Depot, and AIA New Jersey (AIA-NJ).  A number of awards were presented at an Awards Ceremony this past Sunday, October 4th.

Greyhawk Construction CAN-Dole

Greyhawk Construction CAN-Dole

Lammey & Giorgio

Lammey & Giorgio
“The Wave”

Adams Rehmann & Heggan CAN-Do

Adams Rehmann & Heggan
CAN-Do “Wit”

Both events are sanctioned by Canstruction®, a non-profit organization that has helped hunger-relief organizations like FBSJ raise 30 million pounds of food through its innovative twist on conducting food drives.

Gruskin Group Takes Honors at AIA Newark & Suburban Competition

Gruskin Group™ Designs SPEEDVEGAS


Gruskin Group Takes Honors at AIA Newark & Suburban Competition for Design of Las Vegas’ Premier Driving Experience Venue

2015_SPEEDVEGAS_Gruskin Archi_Red Car 

Springfield, NJ, (October 5, 2015) — Gruskin Group has created an award-winning design for SPEEDVEGAS, an exhilarating, 100-acre supercar experience located minutes from the Las Vegas strip.  Scheduled for completion in early 2016, the 1.5-mile Formula One-inspired course includes 60 feet of rising elevation, banked corners and a half-mile straightaway.

According to Kenneth A. Gruskin, AIA, founder and principal of Gruskin Group, “The team designed the entire complex around creating the best possible driving experience for SPEEDVEGAS visitors.  It begins with the track, designed for drivers to experience exotic supercars in all their glory.  The track has a strong visual presence to the adjacent highway as well as from SPEEDVEGAS’ Welcome Center.  Drivers on South Las Vegas Boulevard and the I-15 can view the supercars swooping through the ‘S’ curve up a hill in a long banked curve, and see the exotics accelerating from the starting grid along the track’s merge lane.  This creates an exciting visual canvas of the SPEEDVEGAS experience.”

Gruskin Group designed the master site plan and the 21,000-square-foot Welcome Center to evoke a motorsports character of track and racing facilities, while amplifying the intensity of getting up-close and personal with these exciting vehicles both on and off the track.  Among its key features:

  • The facility incorporates red, yellow, and silver – colors typically associated with racing/motorsports events – which stand out in contrast to the sand coloration of the surrounding terrain.
  • The Welcome Center has exposed structure and mechanical systems, along with a standing seam barrel roof, metal siding, stucco accent walls, industrial-style lighting, and stained concrete flooring to authentically mirror the lean and purposeful engineering aesthetic inherent in exotic cars.  The long exterior horizontal walls feature racing style graphics to enhance the overall visual appeal and excitement.  The facility’s elongated linear design emphasizes the horizontal nature of driving and the blur of traveling at “SPEED!”
  • A “Vegas-sized” sign tops off the Welcome Center and stretches nearly 100 feet.  It features internal and external back lighting to make the building “pop” in the dark desert evenings and provide a Vegas vibe.  The Welcome Center’s interior public spaces are designed to maximize the visceral connection to the track and cars.
  • To conserve energy, the various overhangs were designed to minimize solar heat gain and shade the windows, providing comfortable shaded seating on the exterior terraces.

Continue reading

IBC and IRC Code Seminars Registration Open

AIA 2016 Code Hdr

The second set of code seminars to highlight the changes of the transition from the 2009 IBC/IRC Codes to the 2015 IBC/IRC Codes is set for February 3rd and 4th, 2016.  Registration is open, the September sessions sold out quickly, seating for these sessions are limited, reserve your spot today.

Find out more information and Register online.


AIA 2016 CodeInfo

Hurricane Preparedness Refresher

Joaquin Path 093015


Although the exact track of Hurricane Joaquin remains uncertain, since New Jersey is within the potential track area, it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of the need for proper hurricane preparedness. Please take a few moments to review the information on the National Weather Service website, which can be found here.

Architects League: Architectural Tour of Turkey


AIA NJ members just returned from a tour of Turkey 9/10 thru 9/19/2015!

This an Architectural Tour of Turkey arranged by the Architects League of Northern NJ for AIA NJ members. The tour was pre-approved Continuing Education program for 27 LUs. The following is a highlight of the trip.

Day 1 – Istanbul, meet with architectural tour director on the Pierre Loti Hill view of the Golden Horn and embark on Bosphorus Cruise From the Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, new luxury villas In contrast with old Ottoman Houses and the Rumeli Fortress. Visit Egyptian Spice Market, that was built in the 17th century A.D. and also the Rustempasa Mosque with its beautiful Iznik tiles. The mosque was built in 1560 by the imperial architect Sinan for the son in law of the grand vizier of Suleyman the Magnificent.

Day 2 – Istanbul Architectural tour of “Sultan Ahmet Square”, the heart of the “Old City” from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled. Hagia Sophia, the Church of the Divine Wisdom, one of the greatest marvels of architecture, constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. Blue Mosque, facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue İznik tiles and unique with 6 minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. Hippodrome, center of sportive events (chariot races, athletics) and political activities of the old city. Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are the monuments decorating the Hippodrome.  Topkapı Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans exhibiting imperial treasury, sacred Islamic relics of Prophet Mohammed, kitchen, Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy section etc. Visit the Underground Cistern. 6 hours

Day 3 – Istanbul, architectural tour of the Kariye Museum (Chora Church) with its 14th century mosaics and frescoes with scenes from the Bible. The Istanbul’s Byzantine City Walls that were for the most part built during the 5th century by Emperor Theodosius and are 8 km long. Topkapi Gate takes its name from the time of Fatih (Mehmet). At the end of the walls on the Marmara Sea side of the city walls view the Castle of the Seven Towers. It was used as a prison during Byzantine and Ottoman times. Explore the “Selamlik” chambers of the 19th c. Dolmabahce Palace.

Day 4 – Visit of the historic Archaeological museum and Architectural walking tour in Istiklal Streetd for over 150 years has been the center of the nightlife of the city. During daylight, visit Armenian and Romaic churches, ancient districts, In the Byzantine period. It was in the Byzantine period that the area began to be called Galata and a fortress was built by Emperor Theodosius II. Galata was a Genoese colony from the 6th to 15th centuries.

Day 5 – Cappadocia, visit to Devrent Valley where various types of fairy chimneys are abundant. Visit Pasabagi (Monk’s Valley) with multiple stems and caps, peculiar to this area. To Avanos which is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period. The red clay which is worked by local craftsmen comes from the residue in the Kizilirmak River, the longest river of Turkey. Then to Goreme Open Air Museum chapels and monasteries carved into the fairy chimneys from the 10th to the 13th centuries with frescos painted on the walls. Visit Uchisar Castle.

Day 6 – Cappadocia, start with a hot air balloon ride over the Cappadocia Valley, visit to Rose Valley, one of the most beautiful trekking valleys in Cappadocia, and explore the famous rock- cut churches by hiking through the valley. Rest in Cavusin, an old Greek village, known for its Christian houses and churches. Visit Ortahisar Castle, and visit Kaymakli Underground City where early Christians lived in fear and faith.

Day 7 – Cappadocia, to Ihlara Valley, created from the ashes of the volcanic Mt. Hasan. which is watered with Melendiz River by Belisirma, proceed to Selime with hollowed out citadel and churches where fairy chimneys rest on the steep hillside. Stop at Yaprakhisar village, visit to Derinkuyu Underground Village where dwellings with stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches and wineries were used as refuges for the Christian communities.

Day 8 – Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary Tour: A tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural center of the ancient world, and explore 2,000 year-old Marble streets, a theater, the Library of Celsius, a gymnasium and Hadrian’s Temple. Also a short drive to see St. Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John.

Day 9 Izmir – Discover Izmir with a visit of the Archaeological Museum, Walking tour through the ancient Agora, and the iconic clock tower at the Konack Square.

WORKING WITH THE MEDIA – Press Release Boilerplates

AIA-NJIn our year end review of the 2014 activities of the AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee, we asked you to stay tuned for tools that will help you make a splash in the press. Below is the fourth in a series of articles that will help you in that regard. With your help, we hope to be able to leverage our strength in numbers to help promote architects, architecture and AIA-NJ.

Our previous installments of Working with the Media discussed ways in which you, in a personal or professional context, can begin to build a bridge with the editorial staff of your local or regional publications. This included some strategies as to how to introduce yourself (and your expertise) to the outlet, along with a brief guide for writing an effective letter to the editor and a primer on packaging newsworthy projects into a formal press release that you can distribute to relevant media.

One component of most press releases is referred to as the “boilerplate,” because of its repeated usage in various announcements put out by the company or organization. A firm’s boilerplate is generally a brief overview of the company as a whole, which is approximately a paragraph in length and provides context about the company’s core competencies. Content-wise, it includes general company information, such as size and scope of the client base and service offerings, as well as any affiliations or accolades of note.

For demonstrative purposes, below is the boilerplate language that AIA-NJ uses on each press release it issues:

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the professional organization that helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its 300 plus local chapters represent 86,000 licensed architects and allied professionals. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architecture profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has 2,000 members in six local sections. For more information, please visit visit .

As the above example exhibits, a boilerplate should give a brief description of the organization and its relevant history, while also promoting the any notable accomplishments of its membership.

In your boilerplate, it’s also helpful to reference AIA-NJ to help contextualize your company for the reporter. Because most industry reporters in the region have a built-in familiarity with AIA-NJ, this description helps to codify the announcement with their prior coverage of architecture. See below for a potential example from a member firm:

[NAME] is a licensed architect and a member of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) with a focus on the design and implementation of sustainable residential and commercial buildings. With over 20 years experience in the region, [NAME] continues to uphold a commitment to meticulous, detail-driven design. For more information, visit our website at

Composing this sort of tailored, purposeful summary has a distinct value beyond press releases. Once completed, this brief company overview can also be used in other contexts, from the “About Us” section of your firm’s website to providing succinct descriptions to potential clients on the firm’s core competencies. The boilerplate language is also natural content for use on social media channels or marketing materials.

If you would like to read the previous articles in this series, please see the following links:

Building Relationships

Writing a Letter to the Editor

Composing a Press Release

Kyle Kirkpatrick
Account Supervisor
Beckerman PR Real Estate Team

Bruce D. Turner, AIA
Chair, AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee

Additional Dates AIANJ Code Seminar

AIANJ Code Seminar – Additional Sessions Dates

The scheduled seminars for the adopted 2015 International Building Codes and the 2014 National Electric Code are sold out for next week.  A second set of the seminars are in the process of being scheduled now.

Save the Dates:   February 3rd & 4th, 2016

Registration will be open soon, if you were unable to attend the September seminars please call AIANJ and we will put you on the reserve list to be one of the first to register for the February sessions,  Please call:  609-393-5690

AIA 2016 Code Seminar STD


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