Every architecture festival has its own special character: Venice boasts big-name constellations with a global and often conceptual backdrop, Rotterdam prides itself on a no-nonsense research-heavy core, while the London Festival is city-wide and international, and is one of the most non-specialized audience-friendly celebrations.

See more of New York Architecture Week
Not unlike its peers, New York Architecture Week had its own style. The events rotated around the city’s chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and pragmatically documented a detailed and necessary snapshot of New York in this specific moment of its architectural history.
Context/Contrast, this year’s main show, launched with the Week’s inauguration and focuses on New York with an interesting twist. Exploring the coexistence of old and new, the show uses five of New York’s historic districts as case studies, in order to look deeper into the city’s inherent diversity and its future architectural landscape.
The show, curated by architectural historian Rachel Carley and brought to us in partnership with the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation, looks at Brooklyn Heights, Upper East Side, SoHo, South Street Seaport and Douglastown from 1967 to the present day.
To accompany the show, the AIA NY chapter hosted a series of lectures, awards - with Diller Scofidio + Renfro being the recipients of the AIA New York President’s Award – and its annual Heritage Ball, while a second exhibition entitled New York Now was creatively set up in a subway station (West 4th Street).
This offered a framework for even better understanding the city’s current architectural situation, presenting in a single show most of the city’s recently completed private and public projects by AIA members.
Finally the week-long celebration ended with the Open House New York weekend. Similar to the London event, this architectural celebration gives everybody the chance to have a peek at the best, most sought-after private interiors in town.
While there may be no direct link between other architectural bodies and Architecture Week, events to interest the architecture-minded visitor during October do not stop here. At the Trespa Design Centre in fashionable SoHo you can see Models of Concern: architectural models by Dutch designer Gilian Schrofer of Concern. Originally seen in Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum and now part of the Holland on the Hudson events series, the show underlines the ongoing Dutch/American relationship.
Also not to be missed: the Architecture League with DEGW design consultancy’s Toward the Sentient City exhibition; Storefront for Art and Architecture’s Digital Materiality display; and a linked nearby site-specific installation by Gramazio & Kohler, Architecture and Digital Fabrication and ETH Zurich featuring a robot building an elaborate brick wall.
This autumn also marks the first term for Cooper Union’s new Morphosis-designed building, while the still-fresh Highline project by Diller Scofidio + Renfro is considered by many one of the city’s most successful recent schemes.