April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018, New York, NY – The Center for Architecture, in partnership with AIA New York, is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Arnold W. Brunner Grant for Architectural Research:

  • Beatriz del Cueto, FAIA, from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, for “An American Design and Construction Firm in Cuba at the end of the 19th century: Purdy & Henderson”
  • Wanda Liebermann, from Oakland Park, FL, for “Right to the River: A Critical Geography of the New River in Broward County, Florida”
  • Joel Sanders, AIA, from New York, NY, for “Stalled!: Social Equity & Public Restrooms”

The Center for Architecture awarded each Brunner recipient a record amount of $15,000, marking a significant increase from previous years – in 2017, a total of $15,000 was split between two awardees. This year, the Center for Architecture and AIANY will award multiple scholarships and grants equaling $250,000, more than doubling the amount distributed in previous years.

“With this increase in funds, we will be able to award more applicants larger and higher impact grants than before,” said Benjamin Prosky, Assoc. AIA, AIANY and Center for Architecture Executive Director. “We are thrilled to offer more opportunities for architectural students and practicing architects to further their research and study.”

2018 Brunner Recipients

Beatriz del Cueto, FAIA, “An American Design and Construction Firm in Cuba at the end of the 19th century: Purdy & Henderson”
Beatriz del Cueto is a licensed conservation architect, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, Fellow of the James Marston Fitch Foundation, and the Henry Klumb Award recipient for 2012. She is principal and partner of Pantel, del Cueto & Associates, founded in Puerto Rico in 1990 to provide consultation in matters related to the built patrimony and topics such as history, archaeology, and traditional architecture. She holds a Master of Arts in Architecture with a concentration in Historic Preservation, and a Bachelor of Design, both from the University of Florida at Gainesville. Del Cueto has been a participant and lecturer at the Preservation Institute: Nantucket and was awarded postgraduate studies at the UNESCO Architectural Conservation Program of the International Center for the Study and the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, Italy.

The goal of del Cueto’s project, “An American Design and Construction Firm in Cuba at the end of the 19th century: Purdy & Henderson,” will be to better understand the degree of success of North American construction means and methods brought to Cuba at the turn of the twentieth century, as found in the Cuban projects of Purdy & Henderson. Del Cueto will research historical documents pertaining to Purdy & Henderson structures from 1900 through the 1950s, as well as the original buildings in Cuba, most of which have survived. Del Cueto will also document the particularities of Purdy & Henderson’s designs and building technologies and discuss why and how these buildings have survived, sometimes with a lack of maintenance for more than 50 years, without major repairs. Ultimately, del Cueto’s project will provide insights and a blueprint of successful international collaboration in the building field between North and Latin America.

Wanda Liebermann, “Right to the River: A Critical Geography of the New River in Broward County, Florida”
Wanda Liebermann is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Florida Atlantic University. She was trained as an architect at the University of California at Berkeley (M.Arch) and practiced architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area for a dozen years, focusing on commercial, multi-family, and custom residential projects. In 2013, she received a Doctorate of Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, with a Minor Field in Science and Technology Studies. Drawing on her multidisciplinary background, her research focuses on theories and practices of architecture and urbanism in the context of the politics of disability rights and identity in the US and European Union.

Liebermann’s project, “Right to the River: A Critical Geography of the New River in Broward County, Florida,” will explore how individuals have shaped the urban life and landscape of Broward County’s riverfront. Liebermann will begin her study by conducting a series of original critical mappings to disclose material and political conditions. A primary goal of Liebermann’s project is to create longitudinal visual documentation of the physical alterations to the New River as it has been reimagined as a device of hydrological control and real estate. Further mappings will investigate water quality, private property vs. public access to the river, housing patterns, real estate value, income, and regional forms of official segregation and its traces today. She will then piece together narratives of the river through interviews with individuals with professional and local knowledge, with a particular interest in the nexus of race and class in spatial ordering. Through juxtaposition and synthesis of scientific data, observational analysis, and ethnographic research, the project aims to disclose a previously untold cultural geography of the river. Liebermann will produce articles for publication, discussing planning and design opportunities at the river’s edge as indicated by the research.

Joel Sanders, AIA, “Stalled!: Social Equity & Public Restrooms”
Joel Sanders is the Principal of Joel Sanders Architect, as well as a Professor of Architecture at Yale University. Prior to joining the Yale faculty, he was the Director of the Graduate Program in Architecture at Parsons School of Design and an Assistant Professor at Princeton University. Sanders received both a B.A. and M.Arch from Columbia University. He frequently writes about the intersection of art and design and is the author of three books. An active member of the design community, he serves on committees and panels on behalf of the American Academy in Rome, MacDowell Colony, American Institute of Architects, Architectural League, and the GSA Peer Review. Sanders is also a co-chair of Van Alen Institute’s Program Leadership Council.

The goal of Sanders’ project, “Stalled!: Social Equity & Public Restrooms,” is to develop an open-access website that documents a two-year interdisciplinary design-research project dedicated to the creation of safe, sustainable, and inclusive public restrooms for all people, irrespective of age, gender, race, religion, and disability. The website will be comprised of two parts: the first will situate this issue within a broad historical, cultural, and political context; the second will use text, diagrams, and drawings to present guidelines for desegregated restroom prototypes that can be adopted by cultural institutions and municipalities and implemented in renovation and new construction projects. The website will disseminate this work for free to a wide audience.

About the Arnold W. Brunner Grant
The Arnold W. Brunner Grant is awarded to mid-career architects for advanced study in any area of architectural investigation that will effectively contribute to the knowledge, teaching, or practice of the art and science of architecture. Projects are judged based on their engagement with contemporary local and global architectural issues and the usefulness of the research’s end product.

The Arnold W. Brunner Grant was established in the 1950s by Brunner’s wife Emma B. Brunner. Arnold W. Brunner was a co-founder of the Architectural League of New York and designed numerous notable buildings, including the Congregation Shearith Israel, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Students’ Hall at Barnard College, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Previous Brunner Grant recipients include Stephanie Ryberg-Webster (2017), Seher Erdogan Ford (2017), Susannah Drake (2013), James Venturi (2007), Nathaniel Kahn (2000, 1997), Kent Kleinman (1996), Paul Byard (1993), Michael Sorkin (1988), and Suzanne Stephens (1987).

About Center for Architecture Grants and Scholarships
The Center for Architecture, in partnership with AIANY, awards scholarships and grant awards throughout the year, for architectural students, architectural student journals, and practicing architects. All grants are open to applicants nationwide.

2018 grants and scholarships are awarded by the 2018 Scholarship Committee: Matthew Clarke, Assoc. AIA, The Trust for Public Land; Bennett Fradkin, Fradkin & McAlpin Architects; Douglas Hocking, AIA, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; Eve Klein, Eve Klein Consulting; Tom Krizmanic, AIA, Gensler; Carol Loewenson, FAIA, Mitchell Giurgola Architects; Elizabeth O’Donnell, AIA, Cooper Union Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture; David Piscuskas, FAIA, LEED AP, 1100 Architect; Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, AIA, Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York; and Joseph Tortorella, PE, Silman.

To find out more about our upcoming deadlines, please visit: www.centerforarchitecture.org/scholarships-grants.

About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is the premier cultural venue for architecture and the built environment in New York City, informed by the complexity of the City’s urban fabric and in dialogue with the global community. The Center shares a home with the AIA New York Chapter and has the unique advantage of drawing upon the ideas and experiences of practicing architects to produce thought-provoking exhibitions, informative public programs, and quality design education experiences for K-12 students. It also leads New York City’s annual month-long architecture and design festival, Archtober. The Center for Architecture’s aim is to further public knowledge about New York City architecture and architects, foster exchange and collaboration among members of the design, development, building, scholarly, and policy sectors, and inspire new ideas about the role of design in communities by presenting contemporary and practical issues in architecture and urbanism to a general audience. www.centerforarchitecture.org