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RICSSummit of the Americas Toronto 2014
May 4-6, 2014
RICS Summit of the Americas 2014 is for any real estate professional looking to draw from timely, in-depth market knowledge that will be shared by local and international experts in the land, property and construction sectors. The summit will provide an excellent opportunity to connect with top professionals from around the world and engage in educational seminars and premier discussion forums. 

Sonoma Living: Home Tours
May 10, 2014
AIA San Francisco and AIA Redwood Empire are excited to announce Sonoma Living: Home Tours, a new home tours program for 2014. Sonoma Living will showcase a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods, and residences—all from the architect's point of view. The program provides design enthusiasts and the general public with an inside look into the world of distinctive residences in Sonoma county. Tour participants have the opportunity to see some of the area's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover design solutions that inspire unique Sonoma living.


Design for Social Impact
May 25–August 3, 2014
Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) presents Design for Social Impact, an original exhibition offering a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs use design to solve the problems of the 21st century. 

 

Competitions

Deadline: April 25
Call for Entries (Student Awards) 
ASLA 

Deadline: June 1 
AIA|LA 2014 Design Awards Program Registration 
AIA|LA

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

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Hidden
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Thursday
Oct172013

Workbook: Celebrating the New Year All 365 Days

Guests at the new Novotel in Manhattan walk through a lobby that evokes the New Years celebrations nearby. Image courtesy Gregory Goode/Stonehill & Taylor. How to make a splash in Manhattan? It’s a question that has vexed more than a few. For Novotel, the hotelier well known to travelers throughout Europe and Asia, it was especially important. The company wanted to make a big impression with their new Times Square flagship—and to capture the spirit and uniqueness of the location—without leaning on tired interpretations, so that was one of the key questions posed to four architecture firms competing for the commission.

The winning concept came from the firm of Stonehill & Taylor, but not before some serious digging into the history of the area. “We had six or seven ideas that we started to explore,” says Mike Suomi, a principal at the firm. “Some were interesting; some were weird.” (In the latter category was the legacy of the lobster halls that dotted the neighborhood, which featured waitstaff dressed in lobster costumes.) In the end, though, says Suomi, “We kept going back to the idea that Time Square has become the premier location to observe the passage of the New Year in the Western world. No hotel or restaurant there has that as its primary concept.” 

Elements of the New Year and the passage of time find its way throughout the hotel, inspired by Suomi and his team’s deep exploration of the occasion’s meaning across cultures. The most visible moment, though, and possibly the most directly related to its location, occurs as guests first enter the hotel. You see, the hotel is not far from the where the ball drops—the event ultimately responsible for the crowds each December 31. 

“Guests are coming in from the end of a long journey,” Suomi explains. “It’s jarring, there’s sensory overload then they enter the street lobby that’s relatively small and spend at most 10 minutes there. We wanted it to be a different environment from what they’ve experienced and to be intimate, as opposed to the chaos outside. “We wanted them to be able to decompress and change their attitude and mood before they came to main lobby upstairs—we wanted them to feel reborn.”

The space guests enter is Suomi and his team’s deconstructed New Year’s ball. “It’s very dark, and all you see is this unfolded ball.” Adding to the experience, Suomi choreographed LED light effects that are constantly changing. Depending on the moment someone is in the space, the experience will be different. So, at the top of the hour, there’s a take on the New Year’s countdown and enough other moments that the typical guest will only see a specific event once. There’s even an aural component—a remixed version of Auld Lang Syne that registers as a familiar, though difficult to place, tune in this particular context. 

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