The AIA College of Fellows Awards 2007 Latrobe Prize for “On the Water,
A Model for the Future: A Study of New York and New Jersey Upper Bay”
research project

Princeton university professor, Guy Nordenson to serve as principal

For Immediate Release

  Contact: Scott Frank
  [email protected]

Washington, D.C., March 12, 2007 — The American Institute of Architects
(AIA) College of Fellows has awarded its 2007 Latrobe Prize of $100,000
for the proposal, “On the Water, A Model for the Future: A Study of New
York and New Jersey Upper Bay”. The study focuses on New York City’s
harbor but can be a model for any waterfront area. College of Fellows
Chancellor Frank Lucas, FAIA, presented the award to principal
investigator Guy Nordenson, professor, structural engineering, Princeton
University School of Architecture and founder of Guy Nordenson and
Associates, New York.

The other recipients of the Latrobe Prize were Stan Allan, Catherine
Seavitt, AIA, and James Smith, Princeton University; Michael Tantala,
Tantala Associates; and Adam Yarinsky and Stephen Cassell, Architecture
Research Office.

The grant, named for architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, is awarded
biennially by the AIA College of Fellows for research leading to
significant advances in the architectural profession. The “On the Water”
research project presents ideas for future waterfront development along
the New York and New Jersey Upper Bay, such as parks, while also
addressing precautions, such as flooding caused by rising sea levels.

“The appeal of the project to the College of Fellows is the same as its
appeal to the team, which is a chance to bring architects, engineers,
and others together to think about the possibility of using the
challenges associated with climate change as a way to rethink the
character of the waterfront, in particular the New York Upper Bay, but
also by extension other similar regions around the country,” said Guy

Latrobe Award jury Chair, Daniel Friedman, FAIA said, “Professor Guy
Nordenson and his expert team propose to reconceptualize the
relationship between infrastructure and ecology in the 21st century
waterfront city. Global warming and climate change provide a sobering
backdrop for this ambitious analysis of urban systems.”

According to the proposal, there is an opportunity to recognize the bay
as a water-bound “Central Park,” a “common ground that can be a meeting
place and cross roads on the water” through greening the land parallel
to the water with parks, increasing water-based transit such as ferries,
and continuing to develop waterfront residential and commercial
building. For many waterfront areas lining the bay, post-industrial
damage and transportation hubs have prevented development. The “Central
Park” concept proposes a “waterfront reflecting the interplay of the
built and natural environment.”

But to conceive this concept, rising sea levels caused by global
warming, changes in precipitation, and increasing storms need to be
addressed. The weather phenomena, plus global pollutants, will affect
the shorelines’ soil, water, vegetation, and wildlife, all in turn
affecting future design decisions for livability and recreation.

The plan will address:
• Study the urban ecology of the harbor and its waterways, which
includes edges, coastlines, watersheds, geological composition, and
tidal variation
• Propose new public transportation infrastructural corridors linking
the waterfronts of New York and New Jersey, e.g., water taxis
• Investigate the urban consequences of possible global warming-induced
flooding scenarios

AIA College of Fellows Chancellor Frank Lucas, FAIA, stated, “The
College is truly excited about Guy Nordenson’s winning proposal, ‘On the
Water,’ and its potential for major contributions to our urban environs
and our waterfront cities. This is exactly the quality of scholarly
research envisioned by The College of Fellows in the Latrobe Prize.”

About The American Institute of Architects
For 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have
worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable,
healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members
have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better
design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and
communities make their visions real.




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