Category Archives: Uncategorized

AIA NJ Leaders participate in the Municipal Land Use Law RE-FORUM Meeting on May 19,2017

Presentation of Compendium of Notes

from MLUL RE-FORUM Meeting on May 19, 2017 

to the West Orange Township Council

by Jerome Leslie Eben, FAIA, PP, [email protected]

 

The Hon. Joe Krakoviak, West Orange Township Council President recently invited AIA NJ Past President Jerome Eben, FAIA to speak on the Municipal Land Use Law Re-Forum. Organized by the NJ Chapter of the American Planning Association this past May, AIA NJ was one of many sponsors. Jerry talked about this extremely informative event and a follow up meeting in July that he attended with President Ben Lee, AIA.

Jerry explained to the Council, Hon. Robert Parisi, Mayor and about 75 members of the public that along with many of his colleagues, we have long known that the  zoning in this New Jersey is broken and has been for a very long time.  He explained that AIA-NJ had a decade ago, given thought to the problem, as well as a name, calling it:

 

“Zoning Ridiculousness”

 

Jerry spoke of the lack of intelligent planning throughout New Jersey’s 565 municipalities.  Highlighting that this is especially critical in areas along common border lines.   Despite the apparent fact that individual Master Plans declare that the so called intelligent planning exists between these communities, in truth it does not.
This is the consensus of the many professionals who have the chore of navigating the MLUL on behalf of their clients.  He explained that the costs both the clients and in turn (alphabetically) architects, attorneys, engineers, planners and sometimes many other consultants in appearing before municipal regulatory boards, is out of control.

In a very general way, what came out of the RE-FORUM meeting was the following important QUESTION:

How can we enhance and update the MLUL to reflect 21st century planning advancements, recognize the diversity of conditions across municipalities, create an efficient, value-driven review process, and ensure development and preservation outcomes that support shared statewide priorities of prosperity, environmental stewardship, affordability, mobility, public health & safety, quality places and sustainable design?

 

The meeting organizers recommended attendance by experienced practitioners, decision-makers and opinion leaders.  There were well over 150 participants to share their vision for how the MLUL could be updated to authorized the use of invocative planning tools in NJ communities. The goal would be to PREVENT internal inconsistencies between Master Plans, Zoning Ordinances and re-examination reports that in fact confound the for mentioned professionals, not to mention the public.

The Compendium of Notes from this program reflect the highlights from twenty-eight (28) Breakout Sessions.  Over fifty (50) pages of records have been placed on the association’s web page.  They reflect the general opinions from those who participated in these sessions.  

Click here to read the entire report.
Because of a time constraint, Jerry addressed only a few of the items, but he tells us they were those close to his long time push to get enforcement under control, make sure contents of the Master Plan include detailed points to review on the zoning ordinances and that it would be helpful to professionals appearing before these boards if the volunteer board members were better educated and prepared by visiting the proposed sites prior to their actual meeting.

 

He also mentioned that it is extremely important for Zoning Officers to be a trained in Planning and Zoning issues and State certified with followed up mandatory continuing education credits!  

 

Lastly, he spoke of the support of non-automobile mobility options………SAFE STREETS ARE A MUST and ordinances on paper need to be applied to all applicants with strict enforcement.

 

The Re-Forum committee meets again in September. Ben and Jerry will be present and promise their fellow members of AIA NJ a follow up to where hopefully this will lead all of us to the removal of Zoning Ridiculousness in our State.

 

NJIT CoAD heads back to school

Submitted by Anthony Schuman, Interim Dean, College of Architecture and Design at NJIT

njit back to school

Award-winning Schindler Competition student team from MIP Studio taught by Prof. Jesse Lecavalier  (r)

The College of Architecture and Design at NJIT is embarking on the critical phase of our Dean search process when candidates will be brought to campus for meetings with faculty, students and administration.  The transition in leadership comes at a pivital juncture for the College, which has renewed its faculty with three new hires in the past year and three junior faculty up for tenure this fall. The general thrust of the recent hires has been toward research – notably in digital fabrication, robotics, and materials science.  At the same time, the architecture faculty maintains its traditional strength in design and urbanism.  Students in our infrastructure planning options studio placed in the top six of 250 international entries in the bi-annual Schindler urban design competition, held this year in Sao Paolo.  A 4th year student won honorable mention in the ACSA / AISC Student Design Competition. Students in the School of Art + Design continue to distinguish themselves through competitions and invited exhibitions.

Administratively, efforts are underway this fall to create new display areas for student work within the school and to strengthen relations with the school’s alumni through an expanded Dean’s Council. The role of the latter will be to promote better communication among the alumni of the College and to enlist their support in recruiting and fund-raising efforts. Our lecture series this fall, co-sponsored as in past years by AIA NJ, will feature a talk and gallery installation by local artist Willie Cole. We hope you will join us for this special event. Look for details later this year in the AIA NJ Newsletter. 

Raymond F. Wells, AIA, 1928-2017

He lived by the motto, “Service above Self”

AIA NJ is sorry to share the news that Raymond F. Wells, AIA has passed away on August 27, 2017.  We share his obituary with you here. If you were a colleague of Ray’s, we invite you to comment on this post with a memory.

Please consider making a donation to the AIA NJ Scholarship Foundation in the name of Raymond F. Wells, AIA, so that his contribution to architecture can live on through you.

 

AIA NJ takes action to protect New Jersey from New Executive Order that exposes Government Infrastructure to Flood Risk

red_eagleOn Tuesday, August 15, President Trump issued a new executive order that rolls back Obama-era protections put in place to ensure that government-funded infrastructure projects in flood prone areas would be less exposed to flooding and the effects of climate change. Read more on this executive order here.

Illya Azaroff, AIA Regional Recovery Work Group, and a resiliency expert on AIA National’s Strategic Council says, “In the northeast alone 20% of the US GDP is accounted for from the Boston-Washington corridor or megalopolis. In that same 2% of US land area 48.6 million people reside and it is all connected by a tangled web of infrastructure that is very vulnerable to immediate shocks and stresses. Since Super Storm Sandy the way forward in not only this region but around the country has progressed toward comprehensive resilient building measures that account for risks of today and those predicted in the future. To reverse Obama era directives that aim to design for climate change across political and state boundaries is to say the least a short sighted failure of leadership. I believe the health safety and welfare of the public is at greater risk without these measures in place. ”

Here in New Jersey, we still hear residents speak of the effect of Sandy on our communities, the days before compared to the way things are now.  While the Obama regulations created a new landscape for many on the Jersey Shore, those changes brought a sense of security to people, allowing them to stay in their communities rather than relocating to higher ground. Will that now be ripped out from under our neighbors?

New Jersey’s environmental groups respond to the new executive order. See comments here.

AIA NJ is not in support of the new executive order. It goes against our core values:

  • We stand for a sustainable future
  • We stand for protecting communities from the impact of climate change

President Elect Verity Frizzell, AIA says, “Yes, there is some additional cost to raising projects another 2 or 3 feet, but it is nothing compared to the cost of rebuilding after a flood.  It shouldn’t cause any delays in permitting, at all, unless the original plans weren’t drawn to the higher standard and had to be re-drawn.  It is another example of our President’s shortsightedness and operating without full knowledge of the consequences of his decisions.”

AIA NJ President, Ben Lee, AIA has issued a plan of action that is already underway, with AIA NJ representatives scheduling Summer Recess meetings with our Congressmen and Senators,  and discussions with State Legislators being planned. Our Committee on the Environment is advising on the recommended plan for our state.

 

 

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

On August 14, 2017, a terrific article on the East Point Lighthouse was published in The Daily Journal. Despite the extensive coverage, the architect, AIA NJ Member and Chair of the AIA NJ Historic Resources Committee, Michael Calafati, AIA, was left out of the article.

Read the article by clicking here.

CANstruction at Prudential CenterUpon noticing this, New Jersey Regional Representative to the AIA Strategic Council, Bruce Turner, AIA, sent along a letter to The Daily Journal reminding them of the important role of the architect and recommending an edit to the on line version of the article and a suggestion to always credit the architect when writing about any building.

In a matter of minutes, the The Daily Journal Content Specialist responded to Bruce that the editor was being advised of Bruce’s comments, and AIA National’s Media Relations Sr. Manager, Matt Tinder, sent along his accolades to Bruce for the letter being “perfect – polite, balanced, clear, and direct” and offering his support should the editor not respond.

But Bruce did not need to take Mr. Tinder up on his offer because the very next morning, The Daily Journal featured our Regional Representative’s letter…Read Bruce’s letter here.

What a great moment for Michael Calafati, AIA and architecture!

A special thank you to Bruce D. Turner, AIA for being ever vigilant and a message to all AIA members to be on the lookout for more ways to support our profession and our colleagues in a similar fashion.

Be the Voice of AIA and your profession!

Micro-MBA in Architecture

The Business of Architecture Certificate Program
AIA West Jersey, in partnership with Temple University’s Fox School of Business and the Department of Architecture at Temple University, is pleased to announce the creation of a two-part sequence of courses: an Architecture-focused business essentials professional certificate and an Architecture specific Micro-MBA executive program.
This multi-tiered program kicks off with two certificate programs to help prepare Architects and Construction Professionals with limited or no business training to enter the Micro-MBA executive program in late 2018. The Business of Architecture Basic Certificate will be offered Sept. – Oct. 2017 and The Business of Architecture Advanced Certificate will be offered Jan. – Feb. 2018. Each of the certificate programs will be five weeks in duration and provide background training to help ensure the candidates’ success. Classes will be taught by a combination of Temple University Professors and licensed AIA Architects at the Temple Center City Campus.
Registration for the Business of Architecture Basic Certificate is now open! Details on this exciting program are outlined in the attached.

AIA NJ Responds to the New York Times

On Sunday, July 8th, AIA NJ Historical Preservation Committee Chair, Michael Calafati, AIA, LEED AP, read NYT writer Allison Arieff’s opinion piece on Corporate Campuses.  It included a comparison between Apple’s campus by Foster in Cupertino, CA and the Eero Saarinen-designed Bell Labs campus in Holmdel, NJ.

Given AIA-NJ’s role in the preservation and reuse of Bell Labs, a letter was sent to the Times to highlight AIA-NJ’s role and to draw additional contrast.
We share the letter here…
Dear NY Times,
The Sunday Review on July 8, 2017 made reference to Bells Labs in Holmdel, NJ designed by Eero Saarinen just prior to his death in 1960 (One Thing Silicon Valley Can’t Seem to Fix). While Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA has an eye-opening form and an enviable pedigree in its association with Norman Foster, a comparison to Bell Labs, or many other ex-urban corporate facilities of the mid 20th century, merits a much deeper look.  Bell Labs was the product of more naïve times when the US was unchallenged in the realm of technology and innovation and the pitfalls of rapid suburban development were not widely recognized.  In their move to consolidate much of the R&D capacity in one location, Bell (like many other large corporations) turned to Saarinen for a new building type.  In so doing, Saarinen pioneered features we take for granted today with a distinct Bell twist – such as open plans with space for offices and laboratories, the first large scale use of a mirrored glass façade to reflect the surrounding environment (love it or hate it – it took root with this building) and an emphasis on shared and open circulation spaces that fostered professional collaboration.  Professional collaborators within its walls included Nobel laureates and resulted in advances that made touch tone dialing, fax transmissions and the cellular telephones possible. 
Recognizing Bell Labs’ iconic importance and wanting to avoid reuse scenarios that included demolition, AIA-NJ and its regional preservation partners Preservation NJ and Docomomo-NY/TriState lead the battle to awaken the public’s awareness of Bell Lab’s significance to architecture and technology.  Today, thanks to the advance work of architects and preservations, Bell Works is taking shape and its redevelopment to accommodate multiple uses follows the course first charted by the Charrette co-organized by AIA-NJ nine years ago.
Ben Lee, AIA, President 
AIA-New Jersey

AIA NJ Annual Meeting

red_eagle

AIA Annual Meeting

Bylaws revisions to be voted on

All AIA New Jersey Members are encouraged to attend the organization’s Annual Meeting.

Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Time: 6:00 pm
Location:  Galloping Hill Golf Course, 3 Golf Drive, Kenilworth, NJ 07033

Please RSVP to Lori Lee at [email protected] by Thursday, August 31st.

For more details on the proposed Bylaws revisions which we will be voting on, please click here.
To read the report of the Governance Task Force, click here.

Though not required for attendance, responding will assist in planning purposes.

AIA NJ officers participate in Sussex County Technical School Final Jury

On May 4, 2017 AIA NJ President, Ben Lee, AIA, Immediate Past President, Justin Mihalik, AIA and NJIT Associate Dean for Academics, John Cays, along with a Sussex County Board Member were invited to serve as design jury for the Senior Projects at Sussex County Technical School.

school

Two project teams made their presentations:

One for conversion of a barn into a residence. They completed site & zoning research. The building design was based on taking advantage of the views. They produced a computer 3D image as well as a scale model.

The second project was to convert a school bus to an eco-friendly mobile home for travel and demonstration of eco-friendly design components and built-in furniture and furnishings.

Both teams showed dedication and tremendous effort and investment. Some of the seniors plan to pursuit architectural education.

AIA Newark and Suburban Dauphin Furniture Factory Tour on July 13

All are welcome to join AIA Newark and Suburban on July 13th for a tour of the Dauphin Furniture Factory. Click here to register for this free CEU event.

http://aians.org/meetinginfo.php?id=26&ts=1499267606