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Building on its previous success, Archtober promises more this year

For the fifth year running, New York City will host a sprawling architecture and design festival for the entire month of October.

Organizers at the Center for Architecture and AIA New York Chapter announced that Archtober 2015 will feature a packed calendar of site tours, panels, and events beginning October 1 and ending October 31.

Dozens of organizations will once more join to celebrate the impact of urban planning, buildings, and interior design in the quintessential city for an architecture festival, New York.

Curated each year for the design-savvy and novices alike, this year’s Archtober theme is “Five Years, Five Boroughs,” in reference to the five geographical-municipal regions that make up New York City: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island.
2015’s celebration is also distinguished from previous years with the introduction of the Center for Architecture’s Archtober Hall, located at 181 Front Street in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport Culture District.

The new space will provide a second location for meet-ups and partner events, the first being the Archtober Lounge at the Center for Architecture at 536 LaGuardia Place in Greenwich Village.

This year’s schedule of 100-plus events and activities kicks off on October 1 with a tour of Rockefeller University’s Collaborative Research Center, the first of 31 “Building of the Day” lunchtime tours.

Opening day of Archtober also coincides with the opening of the Designing Affordability: Quicker, Smarter, More Efficient Housing Now exhibition at the Center for Architecture, an exploration of how designers, builders, planners, homeowners and tenants craft innovative ways to reduce housing costs.

A symposium related to the exhibition takes place October 3 at the Center for Architecture.

Other events scheduled for the first day of Archtober include a historical tour at the South Street Seaport Museum, a “Meet the Architects” event presented as part of Dwell on Design, and a viewing of the Living Pyramid, a grand-scale site-specific sculpture by Agnes Denes at the Socrates Sculpture Park, located on the Long Island City waterfront in Queens.

Archtober may be most famous for the ever-popular “Building of the Day” series of lunchtime architectural tours, featuring everything from historic landmarks to just-opened projects and many restored iconic buildings.

For each day of Archtober, a different site opens to festival-goers who book a spot for the tour. Tours are often led by the architects themselves, and participants learn insider information while enjoying VIP access.

The Whitney Museum
The Whitney Museum

Festival organizers have assembled 61 partners to contribute to programming for Archtober 2015.

“Our fifth annual festival will be our most memorable,” said Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, Managing Director of the Center for Architecture. “Our partner and sponsor organizations together embody a complete representation of the history and the future of architecture and design work in New York and beyond.”

Kracauer added, “Although we are the organizers, the credit for Archtober’s continued success belongs to our partners and sponsors. They originally conceived of the festival five years ago, and their generosity with time and resources is the driving force behind the success of every Archtober. We’re very grateful to them, and to the participants who display a collective passion for the built city.”

Participants can find out what’s on offer by visiting, but they can also visit Archtober Lounge — designed each year for the festival by Pentagram with a large-scale event calendar installation — and, beginning this year, at Archtober Hall down at the South Street Seaport.

Attendees and participants can visit either space during Archtober to make plans or meet fellow festival-goers.

Highlights of this year’s festival include:
• The Architecture & Design Film Festival at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas: the largest such film festival in the nation, showcasing more than 25 films, five panel discussions, book signings, and Q&A’s with designers and filmmakers;
• LEGO events for all ages – FamilyDay@theCenter: Everyone Builds with LEGO Bricks! and Bricks and Beverages: Professionals Play with LEGO Bricks;
• A luxury yacht tour by Classic Harbor Line of Staten Island’s Kill Van Kull and Freshkills Park waterways;
• A Building of the Day tour of the new Whitney Museum, designed by Renzo Piano and located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District;
• A tour of the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning, located in the South Bronx;
• A panel discussion with the 2015 National Design Award winners at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; and
• Åzone Terminal exhibition opening, organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and hosted at the Center for Architecture’s Seaport Culture District space.

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