Archtober! Architecture Short-Film Festival

THU, OCT 19, 2023
6:00 PM

This is a FREE event with RSVP

Flushing Town Hall no longer requires visitors or performers to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19; wearing a mask is optional but recommended. For more details, please visit 

Experience New York City’s Architecture and Design Month, the annual festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions taking place during the month of October. 

Design has the power to solve some of the biggest issues facing cities today. We believe these stories are among the most important stories we can tell. Flushing Town Hall, in partnership with AIA Queens and the Queens Foundation for Architecture, is proud to present: 

Archtober! Architecture Short-Film Festival: 

A Collage of AIA Film Challenge Experience 

Solving Climate Change, Affordable Housing, and DEI issues 

Every year, AIA holds a Film Challenge that amplifies the stories of architecture projects that are transforming communities through the power of design and collaboration. 

Bring your family and enjoy an evening of learning about the world being built around them in an exclusive screening of their best selections – films about regenerative architecture on indigenous land, affordable housing in New York City, and more!


6:00 Meet, Greet and Registration. 

6:20 Introduction 

Flushing Town Hall – Ellen Kodadek 

Queens Foundation for Architecture – Willy Zambrano, FAIA, President 

AIA Queens Chapter – Jacqueline Velez, AIA, President 

6:30 1st Film – Introduction 

Betances Residence, Bronx, NY

This film features Betances Residence, a new "Passive House" supportive residence for formerly homeless and low-income seniors in the Bronx, NY. The 152-unit building is the result of the collaborative efforts of Breaking Ground and COOKFOX Architects that both believe in sustainable design, creating permanence for people who have not had permanence before and that good design promotes well being. This film illustrates that it's possible to build high quality affordable housing that's good for the environment and how that helps the residents live better lives.  

Architect COOKFOX Architects. 

Author: Bilyana Dimitrova 


6:35 2nd Film – Introduction 

"The Heart of East Harlem"

This film highlights the back story of La Marqueta Plaza in East Harlem, affectionately known as La Placita. As part of a larger economic development plan La Placita, on Park Avenue between 115th and 116th Street is where East Harlem meets North Harlem.  Subject to many different plans over time, La Marqueta Plaza is presently exactly what the community needs post-pandemic. Since the decline of New York City during the 1970's upper Manhattan, Harlem and El Barrio were some of the areas most greatly impacted.  The Economic Development Corp, EDC, stepped in and provided initiatives to help small businesses get a good start. This provided economic revitalization giving rise to robust business training programs and the rebirth of La Placita!  The warmth of the Latino and Afro -Latino community cannot be stifled.  The Boricua/Afro-Boricua community brings so much vitality and connectivity to our city and La Placita is now equipped to be a safe haven for the incredible music, dance, food and art that comes with it.  The design team provided a new flexible stage with bleachers for comfortable seating as some New Yorkers and tourist rest and watch with intensity as others show-off their mastery of Salsa dancing. With new restrooms, a fit-out for a coffee shop and access to electrical power, food venders can bring their goods to sale to patrons.  With better lighting and safer more gradual steps, visitors can circulate easily as they enjoy Salsa Saturdays. La Placita is where neighbors, friends, family, aunties and cousins come together, catch up with each other and bond.  The love nurtured by the community at La Marqueta Plaza saves lives.  In El Barrio, La Placita is life and is the Heart of East Harlem! 

Architect Aaris Design Architects. 

Author: Nicole Hollant-Denis 


6:40 3rd Film – Introduction 

"Silo City"

Silo City by STUDIO V wins The Future Project of the Year at WAF, which celebrates the best of the world's architecture yet to be completed. Located in Buffalo, NY, Silo City is an impressive adaptive reuse of the largest collection of grain elevators in the world into a mixed-use arts and cultural complex.  

Architect Jay Valgora – Architect at Studio V 

Author: Jake Catalonotto 


6:45 4th Film – Introduction 

"Designed to Last: Blueprint for a Better Home"

Designed to Last: Blueprint for a Better Home is a short documentary film that tells the story of architect Illya Azaroff’s journey to rebuild a home for Breezy Point, New York, resident Diane Hellriegel. Severe damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 made her home uninhabitable. Learn more about this film and the 2019 AIA Film Challenge here:  

Architect Illya Azaroff 


6:50 – 7:05 Intermission – Panel Discussion 

Moderators Jackie and Willy 

Introduction: Illya Azaroff, FAIA, Nicole Hollant-Denis, AIA, Jay Valgora, FAIA,  


7:10 5th Film – Introduction 

"Tiny Victories 2.0 A Tale of Empathy"

"Tiny Victories 2.0. A Tale of Empathy" tells the story of Chioco Design's team journey when building a micro home for an individual who has struggled with chronic and sustained homelessness. How organizations like AIA Design Voice and Mobile Loaves & Fishes works timely to offer hope for the community. The word "empathy" serves as a prompt in the development, and execution, but mostly the idea of leaving behind preconceptions of what it is like to live without a home. 

Architect Chioco Design 

Author: Gustavo Bernal 


7:15 6th Film – Introduction 

"Flint Forward"

In the face of adversity, a public library in a community struggling with systemic socio-economic and social divides sought to transform, renew, revitalize, and reinvent its 1950s building into a modern and flexible beacon for learning and hope. 

The library was remade from the inside out, transforming to an equitable, confident, and aspirational place for the community.  While maintaining the original footprint of the building, the 94,000 square foot interior was reconfigured to include new openings between the first and second floors. Windows were added and replaced and exterior architectural fins, both new and those existing which were reclad, reflect the surrounding midcentury buildings that comprise the cultural campus on which the library sits. 

The improved floor plan increased efficiency by reclaiming 16,000 square feet of underutilized space, pulling staff offices away from the exterior walls and relocating these functions along with historic archives to the lower level. The new layout leverages expanses along exterior walls to create quiet reading areas and strategically placed meeting rooms of various sizes to create day-lit spaces that can accommodate formal meetings, community groups, and more intimate informal discussions. 

As the community continues to recover from a well-known water crisis, this library also integrates new outdoor program spaces, gardens, terraces, and water filtration systems to encourage and support healing. The once dark and dated regional reference library is now a flexible, community-focused, and light-filled space with improved wayfinding and visual connections throughout. 

Architect: OPN Architects 

Author: Alexander Michl 


7:20 7th Film – Introduction 

"A Dream Starts Here"

On the southern border of South Carolina lies a small, overlooked town of 1,800, a town that has been hopeful for change. Calhoun Falls is known as The City of Opportunity, but much of that opportunity has dried up. LaSean Tutt, founder of the nonprofit “Dreams with Open Arms,” and owner of one of the dilapidated downtown buildings, hopes that reimagining the space into a community center will catalyze change that radiates throughout the city. Calhoun Falls faces population decline and stunted economic opportunity, but has the charm of a small southern town and the allure of a scenic lake and state park. As architects, if we want to improve the cities in which we work, we must include the people in the design process; it’s the first step. Community activation comes before construction. LaSean joined with Hanbury and the Clemson School of Architecture to engage the community at large through multiple events including the first annual “Rock the Block.” The prospect, alone, of a community center was enough to fill the streets, encourage design dialogue, and forge momentum. How can we as architects and designers share tools with the community so they can visualize, communicate, and engage with the design process? Sometimes, small change is enough to bring people together. - a dream starts here.  

Architect: Clemson School of Architecture 

Author Jordan Gray 


7:25 – 7:30 Q&A & Closing remarks 

Questions about one of our shows? Contact us at or 718-463-7700 x 222 



Designing the Future for Kids: Family Day Architecture Workshops 

SUN, OCT 29, 2023