Press Releases

July 9, 2012

"The Harlem Edge" to feature new ideas for reconnecting a historic New York neighborhood with its waterfront

NEW YORK, New York, July 6, 2012 – The AIA New York Chapter’s Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA), is proud to announce the opening on Thursday, July 12, of its fifth biennial international ideas competition exhibition The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections. The exhibition showcases winners and selected entrants of the 2012 ENYA Biennial Design Ideas Competition, which aims to widen the scope of architectural discourse through challenging New York City-based design problems.

“As architects and designers, we help determine the built environment around us by responding thoughtfully to the challenges we face,” said Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, 2012 AIA New York Chapter President. “The Harlem Edge competition and exhibition models those challenges for emerging professionals and advances the assertion that design matters.” The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections is presented as part of Future Now, the 2012 AIA New York Chapter Presidential Theme.

Following previous waterfront sites that included Groen Hoek, Southpoint on Roosevelt Island, the South Street Seaport, and the High Bridge Crossing of the Harlem River, the 2012 competition focuses on the redevelopment of the West 135th Street marine transfer station, which establishes a link from the Hudson River to the West Harlem community.

Out of 98 entries from 16 countries, 4 prize winners, 5 honorable mentions, and 14 additional juror selections will be shown at the Center for Architecture and published in a competition catalog. Schematic models and a commissioned video about the competition, site, and community round out the "waterfront lounge" installed in the HLW Gallery. The ENYA Prize - the competition’s highest honor - was awarded to “Sym'bio'pia” by Ting Chin, AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C, and Yan Wang, AIA, LEED BD+C, of Linearscape Architecture, New York, NY.

ENYA will also host a symposium at the Center for Architecture on 7/14 to highlight the winning entries’ designs and possibilities for the site’s and neighborhood’s future development.

The Competition
Emerging professionals with less than ten years of experience, including university level students, had the opportunity to creatively consider the possibilities for a multi-modal transit hub and a food and nutrition education facility. The competition's client is Nourishing USA, a New York City-based not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that strives to achieve "nutrition for all." The site was chosen because of its opportunity to engage the local Harlem community with the waterfront, as well as its resonance with recent efforts by New York City to reclaim its waterfront for non-industrial use. Opened in 1954, DSNY’s West 135th Street marine transfer station processed a daily average of 1,000 tons of waste. The station was permanently decommissioned in 2001 because of health concerns over local air quality. The abandoned E-shaped steel building and four timber piers have subsequently deteriorated; the building is currently deemed unsafe for occupancy.

The Harlem Edge, along with the Department of City Planning's “Vision 2020: A Comprehensive Waterfront Action Plan for New York City,” seeks to increase public access to the city’s waterfront through smart design interventions. Working with Nourishing USA as a programmatic sponsor, the competition brief included both interior and outdoor spaces to anticipate programmatic developments in a growing urban agriculture movement, along with the requirements to physically connect to the adjacent residential community. Entrants were challenged to re-imagine the presently inactive site in light of four criteria: public access to the city waterfront; means by which urban agriculture can be introduced into the community; creative programming and its ability to stimulate economic activity; and sustainability.

The distinguished panel of jurors, who selected the competition’s winners from 98 entries on February 22, 2012, were: Emily Abruzzo, AIA, LEED AP, Partner, Abruzzo Bodziak Architects LLC, and a winner of 2012 New Practices New York; Meta Brunzema, LEED AP, Principal, Meta Brunzema Architect PC; Dr. Dickson D. Despommier, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University; Louise Harpman, Assoc. AIA, Clinical Associate Professor, Architecture, Urban Design, Sustainability, NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study; Michael Marrella, AICP, Director of Waterfront and Open Space Planning, New York City Department of City Planning; Jesse Reiser, AIA, F.A.A.R, Principal, Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture PC; and Keith VanDerSys, Principal, PEG office of landscape + architecture, and winner of the 2010 ENYA Prize.

Selected Winning Projects
ENYA Prize, $5000: Sym'bio'pia
Ting Chin, AIA, NCARB, LEED BD+C, and Yan Wang, AIA, LEED BD+C, Linearscape Architecture, New York, NY, USA

2nd Prize, $2500: The Hudson Exchange
Eliza Higgins, Cyrus Patell, Chris Starkey, and Andrea Vittadini, Brooklyn, NY, USA

3rd Prize, $1000: Harlem Harvest
Ryan Doyle, LEED AP, Guido Elgueta, and Tyler Caine, LEED AP, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Student Prize, $1000: Stairway to Harlem
Daniel Mowery, Student of Architecture, University of Virginia, USA

Honorable Mentions:
Continuum, by Nasiq Khan, LEED AP, and Scott Brandi, Bayside, NY, USA

Subaqueous Promenade, by Doyoung Oh, and Jaemin Ha, London, United Kingdom/Boston, MA, USA

New Marine Transfer Station, by Yashar Ghasemkhani, Arash Mesbah, and Pooneh Sadrimanesh,
New York, NY, USA

Land Over Water Agro-Pavilion, by Michael C. Kilroy, and Jonathan Sampson, Students of Landscape Architecture, University of New Mexico, USA

Greenhouse Transformer, by Dongwoo Yim, Assoc. AIA, and Rafael Luna, PRAUD, Boston, MA, USA

The Exhibition
The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections showcases jury-selected responses to a complex design brief, which charged entrants to explore the redevelopment of the decommissioned New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) marine waste transfer station located in the Hudson River at West 135th Street. Projects are shown though images and text. In addition, through the generous support of President Aliotta’s Future Now fund, the four top prize winners are represented by models and a "waterfront lounge" installed in the Center’s HLW Gallery. The lounge features an in-depth collection of books on waterfronts and a commissioned video that provide context for the competition, its chosen site, and the West Harlem neighborhood to which the site is linked.

Also included is a section on “studioENYA,” a partnership between the Center for Architecture Foundation and ENYA. In September 2011, studioENYA opened the Harlem Edge competition as a design exercise to students from the High School of Art and Design, the Brooklyn Technical High School, the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction, and the City College High School of Math, Science and Engineering.

The most promising schemes selected by a joint ENYA-Center for Architecture Foundation jury will be on display.

Finally, a partnership with the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentor program provided three mentoring teams with the competition brief. Working within the mentoring groups supported by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, Gensler, and Dattner Architects, 45 students were able to participate in the design competition. Images and text documenting this partnership are included in the exhibit.

AIANY promotes the next generation of design leaders, starting today
"In today’s uncertain times, we must envision the future of our industry and the health of our building environment by addressing its most profound challenges, now," said Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, 2012 AIA New York Chapter President and Chief Operating Officer and Principal of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects. "We will determine our own future by how thoughtfully we respond to those challenges."

"As part of Future Now," continued Aliotta, "which I have chosen as the 2012 AIANY Presidential Theme, the ENYA Ideas Competition and related New Practices Competition will show us new directions in the design profession. The competitions and their related exhibitions and programs are the centerpieces of 2012, continuing the Chapter’s focus on innovative technologies and sustainability."

While AIA New York, with close to 5,000 members, is the oldest and largest chapter of an 80,000 member national organization, its commitment to support and promote young and emerging talent is expressed through this fifth iteration of the ENYA Biennial Design Ideas Competition.

July 12, 2012 – October 31, 2012
Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York City
The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections exhibition presents superlative entries to the latest design ideas competition developed by the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA). Following previous waterfront sites that included Groen Hoek, Southpoint on Roosevelt Island, the South Street Seaport, and the High Bridge Crossing of the Harlem River, the 2012 competition focuses on the redevelopment of the West 135th Street marine transfer station, which establishes a link from the water to the surrounding community. Exhibition design by Manuel Miranda.

Media are invited to attend a press preview at 5pm before the opening reception (7-9pm) on Thursday, July 12 at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia, New York City. Interviews with President Joseph Aliotta, can be arranged. Write or call 212-358-6114 to RSVP or set up an interview.

The exhibition opening for The Harlem Edge will be held Thursday, July 12, from 7-9pm at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, New York City. Free and open to the public.

The Harlem Edge Symposium
Saturday, July 14, 12-5pm
The afternoon will include presentations by winning and selected competition entrants, Nourishing USA (the competition's client), ENYA Competition Committee members, representatives from the Harlem community, The Harlem Edge jurors, and other distinguished professionals involved in waterfront development.

The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections is organized by the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) and presented as part of Future Now, the 2012 AIA New York Presidential Theme.

Special thanks to the Sponsors of The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections:


King Displays has been producing visual solutions for the New York creative community for over 70 years. Using a mix of traditional techniques and the latest in digital innovation, King Displays offers a wide array of imaging and fabrication services. Located in mid-town, King Displays works closely with design and print professionals to produce unique visual and environmental displays, providing clients with superior access to products and services. In addition to being Broadway’s premier graphics company, King Displays produces visual displays and signage for a diverse list of clients.

TIETZ-BACCON – an office for design and digital fabrication based in New York City – was established in 2007 with the aim of realizing bespoke solutions for a broad spectrum of clients. Equipped with diverse skills and a passion for making, the office approaches every project with ambitious innovation and detailed rigor. TIETZ-BACCON strives for the exceptional, through creative and experimental uses of technology, materiality, and craft. Incorporating these ideals from the initial design concept – through prototyping – through final production, TIETZ-BACCON helps clients generate responsible, informed and unique results at any scale.


The Harlem Edge | Cultivating Connections is presented as part of Future Now, the 2012 AIA New York Chapter Presidential Theme and made possible through the generous support of:


Beyer Blinder Belle
Forest City Ratner Companies
Mancini Duffy|TSC
New York City School Construction Authority
Perkins Eastman
STV Group, Inc.
Thornton Tomasetti 


The Harlem Edge Symposium
Saturday, July 14th, 12-5pm

Guided Exhibition Tour
Tuesday, July 24th, 6-7:30pm

Design Trust for Public Space Potluck Picnic at the West Harlem Piers Park
Saturday, August 11, 2-5pm

openhousenewyork® walking tour of The Harlem Edge Site
Saturday, October 6th, and Sunday, October 7th, 1pm and 3pm

Design Competitions Panel
Thursday, October 11th, 6-8pm

Closing Party
Wednesday, October 31st, 6-8pm

About the AIA New York Chapter
AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, with almost 5,000 architects, allied professionals, students and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development, and towards these aims, AIANY runs the Center for Architecture, a storefront exhibition space in Greenwich Village, sponsors public programs, publishes a magazine, and works with its charitable affiliate, the Center for Architecture Foundation, to provide scholarship and educational opportunities. For more information on AIANY, please visit

About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is a destination for all interested in the built environment. It is home to the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation, vibrant nonprofit organizations that provide resources to both the public and building industry professionals. Through exhibitions, programs, and special events, the Center aims to improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment, foster exchange between the design, construction, and real estate communities, and encourage collaborations across the city and globe. As the city’s leading cultural institution focusing on architecture, the Center drives positive change through the power of design. For more information, please visit

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