Category Archives: Members & the Community

Latest news and information on the various ways AIA-NJ Members are involved in their New Jersey communities beyond designing the built environment.

In Memoriam – Robert Ring AIA

Robert Joseph Ring, AIA, 66, of Livingston, N.J., and Toms River, N.J., passed away due to complications from surgery on Monday May 2, 2016, and was among his family members.
Bob graduated New York Institute of Technology and was the owner and proprietor of Robert J. Ring Associates, AIA PA of Florham Park, N.J. He was a member of AIA/Planner and the N.C.A.R.B. Bob loved the outdoors: he loved boating, skiing, and saltwater fishing.
Bob was predeceased by his wife, Gail Safko Ring; his parents, Catherine Sheridan Ring and Robert V. Ring; his brother, Peter Ring, and sister, Eileen Ring Templeton. He is survived by his daughter, Danielle D. Ring Witham and her husband, Eric; his granddaughter, Lenore Witham; his brother Timothy and his wife, Colleen Ring; his sister-in-law, Donna Ring, and brother- in-law, John and his wife, Lorraine Safko. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, two great-grandnieces and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Happy Sun Heart Foundation, 46 Springfield Dr., Howell, N.J. 07731.

Originally published in Star-Ledger See more

 

To see Obituary click here.

AIA-NJA Note From AIA-NJ:

AIA New Jersey is very saddened by this loss to our architecture community in New Jersey.   In keeping with our policy of promoting architecture and mentoring our future professionals, AIA New Jersey will be making a donation in Robert’s name to the AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation.

If you would also like to make a donation in his name to the Scholarship Foundation, please send donations to:
AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation
c/o Jeanne Perantoni, AlA
1011 US Highway 22, Suite 203
Bridgewater, NJ  08807

USGBC-NJ 13th Annual Golf Outing

My Favorite Place – The Hidden Garden

AIA-NJThe following article was featured as a Letter to the Editor in the Time of Trenton and can be found online at NJ.com

Written as part of the My Favorite Places Series:

 

National Architecture Week is being celebrated April 10 – 16. The week is designed to increase the public’s attention of architecture’s role as a force for positive change in our communities. This article, one of a series of “My Favorite Places” pieces, shares an architect’s unique perspective on a local place, focusing on both the location’s design and the broader impact that the design has on the lives of those it touches.

I call it the hidden garden.

Nestled in the center of the Princeton University campus, there is a garden behind one of the university’s oldest buildings, Prospect House. Currently, this building functions as a private dining club for the university’s faculty and staff, but it previously housed past university presidents. When Woodrow Wilson presided over the school, his wife fenced in the garden and laid out the flower garden we see today, which is actually shaped like the university’s seal. A combination of tulip trees, an American beech and annual plants and flowers make up the design.

The garden is ‘hidden’ in the sense that the Prospect House obscures its view from the rest of the campus. The garden is set at grade with the basement level of Prospect House while the building is set on a bunker. A later renovation of the basement provides a full glass front stepping out to the garden. Sitting in the casual dining room at basement level gives off the feeling of an outdoor experience while sitting inside.

To the other side, the garden is surrounded by tall, manicured evergreens planted in a half circle to create a visual barrier from the rest of the campus to the east. During Wilson’s time at Prospect House, “students began to take shortcuts across the lawns and garden,” which made this measure necessary.

Now that it’s a place that can be enjoyed by the public, I visit the garden rather frequently, especially in the summer. With its history and seclusion, I find it to be an ideal retreat, as the space provides fragrant flowers, the soft sounds of the central fountain, leisurely walking paths and calming views within the garden and the house.

Both the house and gardens are excellent pieces of landscape design, architecture and planning, which can, once again, be enjoyed by all.

Megan Pritts, Assoc AIA

Princeton

Presidents Message – The AIA World Gets Smaller Everyday…

JAM_headshotOne of my goals this year is to meet with several firms across the state to discuss with them their involvement with AIA, the value of AIA to their firms, and to hear the good, the bad and the ugly.  This month I met with Stephen Schoch AIA, Managing Principal of Kitchen & Associates Services, Inc. in Collingswood.  Kitchen & Associates currently has 80 architects, engineers, planners and interior designers, and was founded in 1971 by Benjamin Kitchen AIA.  Stephen and I had not met one another before and we had no problem with diving into many issues.  As we discussed things, Stephen mentioned that he grew up in Hackensack and I said so did my wife.  Well Stephen and my wife grew up three houses from one another and it was one of those, “what are the chances of that” moments!  That just made the conversation even easier.

With my involvement at AIANJ, I know several K&A employees who are involved in local AIANJ Sections and the AIANJ Board of Directors, and have been for years.  This involvement comes with the all to important employer support and I wanted to take the time to applaud Stephen for his dedication to AIANJ and the profession.  We all need to take a page from the K&A playbook when it comes to this dedication, as K&A just supported 14 of its employees joining AIA by paying for their membership so that they could take advantage of going to the AIA Convention in Philadelphia for free with the new membership offer from AIA!  This effort goes hand in hand with the recent challenge from Russell Davidson FAIA, AIA President, where he announced that his firm is closing down the office for two days so that their employees can attend the Convention and take advantage of all that it has to offer.  These are great examples for all employers to consider.

Another topic that we discussed is the AIA Large Firm Roundtable.  The LFRT is comprised of chief executives from more than 60 large firms, the mission is to further the special and unique interests, both national and international, of large firms by working with and through the AIA.  Don’t worry small firms, there is also an AIA Small Firm Roundtable, which has recently been renamed to the Small Firm Exchange (SFX) and has a similar mission for small firms.  AIANJ is represented on the SFX but is not represented on the LFRT.  It is important that AIANJ is represented at both levels, as our membership is represented by both small and large firms.  In order for AIANJ to be a leader at the LFRT, it is paramount that we first start here on our home turf by resurrecting the AIANJ LFRT. If you are an executive of a NJ large firm and are interested in joining this committee, please contact me.  I will be reaching out too many of you to join this committee and will host a meeting to get the ball rolling.

Sometime over the next month, take the time to meet with one of your peers, enjoy a meal to discuss the profession and how to get connected with AIA, and you never know, your worlds may be closer than you think.  Hope to see you in Philadelphia!

Sincerely,

Justin_sig

 

 

Justin A. Mihalik, AIA

Phantastic Philadelphia

KSS Welcomes You To Philadelphia

A guide to the city for all, personally experienced and hand-crafted by your fun- and food-loving friends at KSS Architects

In town for the AIA Convention and digging deep into research for down-time activities? A newcomer looking to explore more Philly spots?

Look no further! Gather inspiration from locals of our favorite spots to munch, mingle, meander, and muse. Check out our list, exclusively compiled by our Philadelphia staff, categorized and curated for visitors of all interests.

We’ve organized our entries by overarching category, with each entry containing a link to further reading and brief WHY statement:

  1. FABULOUS SPOTS, unique Philly flair
  2. COFFEE SHOPS and CAFÉS, to get your [caffeine] buzz on
  3. MEALS, breakfast to dinner, and everything in between
  4. DESSERT, sweet, sweet delights
  5. DRINKS, to get your [other] buzz on
  6. PARTY SCENE, for those who partake in loud crowds and vigorous movement
  7. AWESOME SHOPS, cozy corners and cool collectibles
  8. ARTS & MUSEUMS, renowned international wonders
  9. GETTING OUT AND AWAY [bonus suggestion!]

Read more and Dive right on in!

Queen of Angels: When a Church Dies

I am looking for artists working in all kinds of mediums to participate in a fall 2016 exhibit that focuses attention on the soon-to-be-demolished Queen of Angels church in Newark, NJ.   The church and attached school are historic landmarks; built in the 1800’s by German immigrants, home to Newark’s first African American RC congregation, was at the epicenter of the ’67 rebellion and was used by Martin Luther King Jr. to deliver a speech 2 weeks before he was assassinated.   The archdiocese somehow got permission to demolish these historic structures and plans to sell the vacant land to developers.   I will be giving tours (as possible) and collecting artifacts that artists can use in their artwork.   I will post pictures for those who are interested.

Found object sculpture, collage, furniture design, installation art, drawing, painting, poetry, photography, video and performance art that deals with the themes of church, school, civil rights, gentrification, historic preservation and related topics will be considered for inclusion in this exhibit.   The point of the exhibit is to shine a light on the church’s history & demise and give second life to artifacts found on the site.   Previous “ar+chaeology” exhibits have focused on the old Newark Jail, Westinghouse, the Pabst Brewery, Newark theaters and Downtown Newark.   I haven’t produced an exhibit like this for 5 years and am very excited to take this one on to help Newark celebrate its 350th anniversary this year.   A location and exact date for the exhibit has not been set but a deadline for submissions will be approximately end of July.   Additional requirements, guidelines and timetable will be released in the coming weeks.

-Matthew Gosser
Director, CoAD Gallery, Newark and Dolphin Gallery, Paterson
[email protected]

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NJ Architectural Firm Positions Available

The following positions are available, qualified candidates please inquire directly to the firm below:

Project Architect

Northern NJ Architectural firm has immediate opening for a Project Manager position.
Min. 5 years experience in Multi Family and Commercial projects in NY, NJ & CT.
License required. NYC Experience preferred.
Successful candidate must be self motivated, able to work independently and/or as part of a team.
Proficiency in AutoCAD, Revit and Microsoft Office is required.
Forward resume and salary requirements for consideration.

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Draftsman/Junior Architect

Northern NJ Architectural firm has immediate opening for a Drafting Position.
Min. 5 years experience in Multi Family and Commercial projects.
Successful candidate must be self motivated, able to work independently and/or as part of a team.
Proficiency in AutoCAD, Revit and Microsoft Office is required.
Forward resume and salary requirements for consideration.

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Marco A. Neves, AIA, NCARB
Neves Architecture & Design, LLC
582 Kearny Avenue, 2nd Floor
Kearny, New Jersey 07032
Tel. 201.246.7979
Fax. 201.246.0235
E-Mail: [email protected]

Remembering Malcolm Wells, FAIA

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As part of The Wetlands Institute’s 2016 Winter Lecture Series, AIA South Jersey President Bruce D. Turner, AIA was recently part of a retrospective and panel discussion at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ. The topic of the presentation was The Legacy of Malcolm Wells, FAIA: The Father of Gentle Architecture. The bulk of the presentation was made by professor and planner Rev. Wayne Conrad. Rev. Conrad was a friend and colleague of Mr. Wells and spoke both personally and professionally about his relationship with “Mac”. He specifically focussed on Mr. Wells’ early life and career, his office in Cherry Hill, his churches in Moorestown and Cherry Hill, and his earth-sheltered architecture in general, including Wells’ home in Cape Cod. Rev. Conrad further reflected on how Wells’ work was inspired by the beauty of nature, and a need for a more sustainable world.

Mr. Turner’s portion of the discussion aimed to put Mr. Wells’ work in the context of the overall architectural profession at the time Mr. Wells was working as well as the professional environment we experience today. That included observations about codes and regulations, standards of practice, legal and liability concerns, LEED, sustainability, energy efficiency, the 2030 Challenge and Cradle-to-Cradle ideologies. He also sought to draw parallels for the audience with architects and architecture which they might be familiar, or recently observed in the media, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Fay Jones, Bjarke Ingels, and Alejandro Aravena.

A third member of the panel was Rev. Bob Williams. Rev. Williams reflected on his personal liturgical experience ministering from Wells’ St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Cherry Hill. This also included observations about the use of light, the use of natural materials, and the sense of proportion and scale present in these buildings.

For more information about Malcolm Wells, FAIA, please visit his website here. For more information about the Wetlands Institute and other programs and activities they offer, please visit the Wetlands Institute website here.

The Legacy of Malcolm Wells, FAIA: The Father of Gentle Architecture

MalcolmWellsHeadShotAs part of The Wetlands Institute’s 2016 Winter Lecture Series, the Wetlands Institute will present a retrospect on the legacy of the award winning architect, Malcolm Wells, FAIA. The program will be held at The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, NJ on March 18th, 2016 at 6:00PM. The presentation will be given by professor and planner, Reverend Wayne Conrad, as he reflects on how Malcolm’s work was inspired by the beauty of nature, and a need for a more sustainable world. This program will also be presented in cooperation with the members of The South Jersey Section of the American Institute of Architects and the group Between the Times.

After an initial presentation focusing on the architectural innovation and ecological sensitivity which characterized Well’s work, there will be responses provided by an architect, and ecologist, and a theologian, each familiar with Well’s work. The responders will be considering the renewed relevance of Malcolm’s early work.

Malcolm Wells was the designer of the iconic Wetlands Institute building. The Wetlands Institute, a nonprofit environmental organization, is located along the causeway into Stone Harbor, NJ. In fact, the Institute was a testing ground for many of the “gentle ideas” that were incorporated into subsequent projects. This was only after he had designed the 1964 RCA World’s Fair Pavilion.

Other notable structures of his design include his now famous underground office nestled at the edge of the Cooper River Parkway in Cherry Hill, the Law School Building at Rutgers Camden, the much admired (but also problematic) former Cherry Hill Library, three stunningly beautiful church sanctuaries, and his home office and art gallery on Cape Cod.Wells Building Drawing 1

At the time of his death, in 2009, the New York Times referred to Wells as the father of “gentle architecture”. In its obituary, the Philadelphia Inquirer related Wells reaction to the closing of the 1964 World’s Fair. “It was at this point that he abruptly changed course. With the realization that the pavilion would be torn down and that all his other buildings, along with their parking lots and concrete footprints had destroyed whatever had lived there before, he began to develop his theories of gentle architecture”. It was at this point that he resigned from RCA and set up his own shop.

The innovative features incorporated into Malcolm’s 1960’s and 70’s work included parking lots paved with oyster shells, the utilization of percolation troughs to return roof water runoff to the underground aquifer, interior gardens to create oxygen-rich air for breathing, the development of landscaped water retention lakes, the maximum utilization of south-facing windows to increase solar gain for heating and the incorporation of super insulated skylights for interior daylighting.

However, his best known, but most controversial, design feature was the practice of “earth sheltering” in which he waterproofed his gently sloping roofs by covering them with three to four feet of rich soil, and then planting them with native grasses and shrubs.

Wells Building 1William McDonough, FAIA, recipient of the first Presidential Award for Sustainable Development and one of the world’s most copied architect/planners in reflecting on Malcolm’s work suggested, “as a thinker, he was a hidden jewel. In the world of what has become known as green building, Malcolm Wells was seminal, actually inspirational, for some people including me. For a draftsman who started his career designing portable radios for RCA, Malcolm came a long way and now just beginning to recognize the importance of his journey”.

To make reservations for the presentation, please contact The Wetlands Institute at 609-368-1211. Cost of admission is $7 for Wetlands Institute members, $12 for nonmembers, and in the spirit of covered dish dinners, please bring an appetizer, entrée, salad or dessert to share with at least eight people. At time of RSVP, please notify the Wetland’s Institute front desk staff as to what dish you’ll be brining to the dinner. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Wetlands Institute at [email protected], or call them at 609-368-1211.

AIA South Jersey is a registered provider with the AIA Continuing Education System AIA/CES. This program is approved for (1) Learning Unit, which will be reported directly to the AIA/CES for AIA members.

GRAPHISOFT Student Design Competition

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GRAPHISOFT North America announces an exciting student design competition that challenges you to position Philadelphia’s rich history in front of the millions of tourists who visit it annually. The City of Brotherly Love hosts dozens of concerts, conventions, sporting events, and festivals – so the draw is there, but what the city lacks are temporary mobile visitor centers that can be brought to those venues and welcome event attendees.

In this national one-stage competition – all US-based architecture students (graduate or undergraduate) will be challenged to develop and design a mobile visitors’ center using shipping containers which could be constructed in various locations around the city of Philadelphia.

A total of $3,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners.

Click here for information on eligibility, how to register, submission deadlines and entry requirements. Or visit competition.graphisoftus.com

For additional information or questions about the competition, please contact Rita Hicks, GRAPHISOFT North America [email protected]

Brought to you by GRAPHISOFT North America, makers of ARCHICAD, and noted architectural and engineering firm, Kitchen & Associates, and proudly supported by AIA West Jersey, a section of AIA New Jersey.

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