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Archtober opening doors to New York’s greatest spaces

The sixth-annual Archtober, New York’s month-long, citywide architecture and design festival is hitting its stride, and there’s nearly three weeks still to go.

Yesterday saw the Great Architectural Bake-Off at Gallery 151 in Chelsea, , and a sold-out Building of the Day tour of the Department of Sanitation’s new garage and salt shed – designed by Dattner and WXY – -just a little further downtown in Soho.

This weekend  (October 28-30) will see an Archtober first when Pumpkitecture! gets underway at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place in Greenwich Village.

20 New York City-based firms will live-carve extraordinary gourd-based structures to compete for the coveted Pritzker Pumpkin.

Tour The Battery on Saturday.
Tour The Battery on Saturday.

There is also a panel at the Guggenheim: “The Consequence of Design” with Jessica Helfand moderating a discussion of “the heritage of the design profession and its eventual legacy within the ecological, social, and service spheres.” Design critic Ralph Caplan, graphic designer Milton Glaser, and architect Beverly Willis will take part from 6-8 p.m. at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Also at the Guggenheim on October 29 (and every Saturday in Archtober) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get Sketching invties participants to get inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and record their perspective through drawing.

The “Building of the Day” tour, a perennial Archtober favorite, will take place on Friday (Oct. 28) at the Hudson Yards and other weekend events include visits to the Gould Memorial Library at Bronx Community College,  Japan Society, Midtown Manhattan, and The Battery.

After 22 years, the redesign of The Battery, one of the city’s most historic and dramatic public spaces, is more than 90 percent complete. Quennell Rothschild & Partners was part of the team leading The Battery’s transformation from an asphalt-intensive Moses-era park into a verdant oasis worthy of its history and role as global destination.

Gould memorial Library

The park’s major gathering space, The Battery Oval, opened this summer.  A two-acre lawn shaded by mature trees, the Oval can accommodate up to 10,000 people. Also complete is the restoration and relocation of ten of the 23 monuments representing our nation’s explorers, defenders, and inventors. Previously scattered haphazardly around the park, these monuments have been moved to positions of dignified prominence along The Battery’s perimeter.

The bi-directional, dedicated bikeway, is flanked with colorful plantings by Piet Oudolf; cyclists also benefit from an upgraded comfort station. Sustainable features include the reduction of impervious areas and new paths that minimize risk to the 250 old trees. These improvements join The Battery’s existing attractions — breathtaking harbor views, the lush Bosque Gardens, SeaGlass Carousel, and Battery Urban Farm.

Plan ahead and get tickets in advance by visiting, or  stop by the Center for Architecture and meet up with friends at softLab and Pentagram’s Archtober Lounge (pictured top) to peruse guides and program information in a cave-like installation of polyhedral walls and ceilings.


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