Press Release brought to you by The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects

New Jersey Design Competitions on Display at AIA National Headquarters in Washington, D.C.



New Jersey Design Competitions on Display at AIA National Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Members of AIA-NJ Leadership to Present at National Convention

The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ), has announced that two of its design competitions – “Live the Box” and the Newark Visitor’s Center -- will be on display in the AIA national headquarters gallery through the AIA National Convention on May 17 to 19 in Washington, D.C.

Both competitions, which were sponsored by AIA-NJ’s Newark & Suburban section, were conceptual in nature, but were purposed with providing functional and buildable solutions for these prominent vacant properties. The competitions, both of which involved enhancements of the downtown of Newark, N.J., drew hundreds of submissions from around the world.

With thousands of architects in Washington, D.C., for the national convention, the display at AIA’s national headquarters will shine a national spotlight on the activities of AIA-NJ  and the issues of affordable housing and urban renewal highlighted by these competitions.

“We are extremely honored that AIA will be displaying the designs of the competition winners,” said Laurence E. Parisi, president of AIA-NJ. “These designs illustrate the  architect’s ability to transform vacant lots into imaginative communities in which they live, work and play. AIA Architects bring forward through advocacy the potential for change implementing creative and good design. We are very proud of our Newark Suburban Section of AIANJ for their initiative in creating the ‘Live the Box’ competition, good design has the power to transform.”

The “Live the Box” design competition, which took place in 2009, challenged innovative designers to “re-invent the box” by using shipping containers, which are abundant in the Port of Newark, making up a large part of the Port’s landscape, as both building blocks and primary design elements in a conceptual urban, multi-family, mixed-use project for Newark, N.J. The containers could be used in any configuration or quantity and in whole or in part.

The competition drew over 150 participants from 13 countries, including those from as far away as Turkey, South Korea and Romania and won a AIA Grassroots award in the “Component Outreach Communications: Outstanding Overall Program” category in 2010.

The Newark Visitor’s Center design competition, which took place in 2010, sought innovative, visionary and compelling designs for a conceptual Visitor’s Center in Newark, N.J., which is one of the few large cities in country without a visitor’s center. The competition called for structures that would be focused on enhancing the progress of future endeavors in Newark as well as celebrating its past.  Richard Meier, FAIA FRIBA, was the Honorary Chairperson of the jury.  Jury deliberations took place at New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture and jurists included practicing architects, academia, public representatives of Newark and a representative from SKANSKA, the major sponsor of the competition.

The Newark Visitors Center design competition drew nearly 200 entries by architects from 31 countries.  Currently representatives from AIA-NJ are actively working to get the winning design built.

In addition to the display of these two award winning design competitions, two leaders of AIA-NJ will be highlighting their personal expertise to the thousands of their colleagues who will be in attendance at the convention: 

David Del Vecchio, AIA, chairman of AIA-NJ’s Legislative and Government Affairs Committee and executive committee member of the AIA Small Firm Roundtable committee, will be participating on a panel that will examine techniques in small-firm marketing, as well as how to engage in new markets.

Joseph Simonetta, executive director of AIA-NJ and chairperson of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) Task Force, which educates and advocates for the broad countrywide adoption of the IgCC, will be presenting on the effects of the IgCC on architectural practice, including development, adoption and education.

The AIA headquarters gallery, at which the board submissions from the winners of the two design competitions will be on display, is located at 1735 New York Ave. NW.

About AIA and AIA New Jersey

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the professional organization that helps architects serve the public's needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. The organization, which was founded in 1857, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its 300 plus local chapters represent 86,000 licensed architects and associated professionals. AIA New Jersey, based in Trenton, is the local chapter of AIA. In 2000, it celebrated its 100th anniversary. AIA New Jersey has about 2,000 members in six regional sections. For more information, please visit

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05/16/2012 - 09:18


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