The weather is getting cooler, leaves are starting to change color and September is about to come to a close, all of which adds up to one thing: the start of Archtober (www.archtober.org). If you know what that is, then you’re probably as excited as I am. For those of you not already in the know, Archtober is a month-long festival of architecture exhibitions, programs and activities, held throughout October, here in New York City. It returns for its fourth consecutive year in 2014 with 31 days of celebrations by more than 31 organizations.
This recent, widespread focus on design is a step in the right direction. New York City is home to some of the most architecturally significant buildings in the world and sharing them not only with those of us in the industry, but with the general public, shows the shift in awareness of the importance of architecture and how it shapes neighborhoods. Archtober’s series of tours, lectures, films and exhibitions highlight the role design has played in transforming our everyday lives and in creating a rich landscape for those who live, work and play in the city.
If you head to Archtober’s website, you’ll be able to view each day’s event calendar, which is filled with multiple daily activities — walking tours, seminars from the American Institute of Architects – New York (AIANY), movie showings and more. You’ll also be able to see what the “Building of the Day” is, which is the contemporary or iconic structure that will be spotlighted with an on-site tour led by the building’s architect. There are some stand-out buildings and developments on this list — The Public Theater at Astor Place, which kicks off the series; the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center; and the Tavern on the Green Rehabilitation. However, the one with the most meaning for me personally is Sunday, October 12th’s “Building of the Day”: The Pavilion at Brookfield Place.
Why do I feel so much passion for The Pavilion at Brookfield Place and the work that Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has done there? Besides my firm serving as executive architect on the project, my ties to it are greater. I’ve watched, up close and personal, the area transform from a disjointed group of buildings left behind from the September 11th terrorist attacks, which created a sad disconnect between the World Trade Center and World Financial Center, into a symbolic sign of rebirth and renewal. As anyone who reads this column regularly knows, I’m in awe of what The Pavilion has become. It’s now a commercial building that suits a variety of tenants, as well as a shopping and dining go-to destination.
If you have the time, I hope you take a moment to enjoy the site tour of The Pavilion, or one of the other incredible buildings being honored during Archtober. It’s a perfect chance to pause and appreciate the beauty of fine architecture here in New York City. Happy Archtober!