The Unfinished Grid:
Speculations for Manhattan



The Unfinished Grid: Speculations for Manhattan
Amale Andraos, Mark Robbins, and Ken Smith, moderated by Gregory Wessner

Saturday, December 10, 2011
4:00 p.m.
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue

In conjunction with The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811–2011, the Architectural League organized an international Call for Ideas that invited architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and other design professionals to use the Manhattan street grid as a catalyst for thinking about the present and future of New York. Eight projects were selected from one hundred twenty submissions for an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. This panel discussion responds to issues and questions raised by the Call for Ideas.  What new possibilities for the grid still exist? What can we expect for the city’s future and how will it be shaped and reflected by the street grid? What kinds of ideas as bold and visionary as the 1811 Commissioners’ Plan might New York undertake?

Amale Andraos is co-founder and partner of  Work Architecture Company. Recent projects include the winning competition entry for a new cultural center on New Holland Island in Saint Petersburg, Russia;  a museum extension for the Blaffer Museum, Houston; a branch library for Kew Gardens Hills in Queens; and the first Edible Schoolyard New York City with chef Alice Waters. WORKac’s entry for the redesign of Hua Qiang Bei Road, was recently awarded first place in the international competition for the redesign of Shenzhen’s busiest shopping street.

Ken Smith is principal of Ken Smith Landscape Architect. His background and training is in landscape architecture and the fine arts. Recent projects include the East River ferry landings, New York City; a rooftop garden for the Museum of Modern Art; and a major urban park for El Toro Marine Base in Orange County, California.

Mark Robbins is the  Dean of Syracuse University School of Architecture. He was previously Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts and Curator for Architecture at the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Gregory Wessner is Special Projects Director for the Architectural League and the curator of The Unfinished Grid: Design Speculations for Manhattan. He was curator of League exhibitions The City We Imagined/The City We Made: New New York 2001-2010 and New New York: Fast Forward.

Co-sponsored by the Museum of the City of New York and the New York Public Library.

Tickets are $6 for League members and members of the museum; $8 for students and seniors; $12 for all others. Tickets include Museum admission. League members may register online at and enter code AL1210 upon checkout for discounted rate.  For more information or to reserve by phone, please call 917-492-3395.