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We Po-st. Coined by the scholar Edward de Bono, the word “po” is a way to signal during a brainstorming session that what is to follow is not nonsense but rather a provocative operation.
September 19, 2016

2 Lafayette honored for Active Design Excellence

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We are excited to announce that 2 Lafayette Street was selected as one of 12 projects worldwide to receive a 2016 Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design. The awards program recognizes research and design projects that promote healthy living through physical activity, mental health, and civic engagement.

The offices at 2 Lafayette Street house the formerly remote divisions of New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and Department for the Aging (DFTA). BKSK’s design breathes fresh air into 110,000 square feet across 7 floors of the historic city-owned Court Square Building, which now features dynamic connecting stairs, commanding city views in both individual and common spaces, bold graphics that celebrate each agency’s mission, and increased thermal, visual, and ergonomic comfort. Congratulations to our team and consultants for the great work, and to all of the other award winners.

For details the Center for Active Design Excellence awards, click here.

For more information and images of 2 Lafayette, click here.

September 8, 2016

Making the Grade

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Each year, ARCHITECT magazine ranks the top 50 firms in business, sustainability, and design, and this year BKSK is proud to announce that we have been ranked in the 2016 Top 50 Firms in Sustainability. This recognition exemplifies our professional commitment to design buildings that incorporate sustainable design strategies and aim to consume less energy. Congratulations to our team, and especially to the BKSK LAB for continually furthering our research and initiatives in sustainability.

Earlier this summer, BKSK was named to the Building Design + Construction Top 100 Firms, and ranked among the top firms for multi-family residential and green building design.

August 16, 2016

Olana Summerhouse…drawn out

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The Follies, Function & Form: Imagining Olana’s Summer House exhibit opened this past weekend at Olana, Frederic Church’s historic home in the Hudson Valley, featuring inventive, imaginative designs by 21 invited architects and landscape architects, including a scheme by BKSK partners Joan Krevlin and Harry Kendall.

The design challenge presented was intriguing. Though there is no documentary evidence or surviving remains of Church’s fabled “Summer House,” it is clearly labeled on the 1886 “Plan of Olana.” The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA-NY) asked each invited designer to conceptualize the mysterious structure in a single sheet of sketches. Left to their own imagination for the structure’s function and form, Joan and Harry worked with BKSK’s Wei Lee to create a deconstructed vision inspired both by the site’s history and its current use, manifested in an ink-and-watercolor multimedia collage. Read more

July 26, 2016

The beginning of the Ende era

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BKSK is entering into a new era of interior design, through the practiced eye of recently promoted Director of Interior Design, Gerry Ende.

Gerry [gair-ee] joined the BKSK team in 2011, bringing with him nearly 20 years of experience from other top NYC design firms. His portfolio features a wide breadth of inspired design across project types, scales, and styles, including institutional, high-end residential, multi-family, corporate, retail and healthcare. Gerry is known for creating sophisticated interiors that reflect the individuality of our clients’ needs. His vision for space and ability to craft aesthetically unique environments that speak to beauty, form and function will be the guiding principles through which we approach future work. Read more

June 24, 2016

(LEED)ing by Example: A conversation with Julie Nelson

Queens Botanical Garden, Visitor Center and Administration Building, Flushing, New York, BKSK ArchitectsUnder new legislation, New York City-owned buildings now have to meet some of the highest efficiency standards in the nation. On June 27, Julie Nelson moderated a panel discussing how the new regulations can help spur further innovation. Ahead of the panel, she gave her take on how the city’s move to lead by example will affect the design process.

Urban Green Council: Standards and requirements have been improving for some time now—how do the latest changes differ from previous ones in terms of how projects are run?

Julie Nelson: With each change of building performance requirements, our industry rethinks the design process and the way that clients, architects and engineers work together. I don’t think it is accidental that these code changes are happening at the same time that the integrated design process is being recognized with points in LEED v4 and in the WELL Building Standard. Engineers and architects will need a more robust working relationship with collaboration starting at the beginning of a project, a shared design process and a deeper emphasis on construction quality.

Read more

June 23, 2016

Celebrating on The Jefferson’s Blue Roof

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Two years after occupancy and shortly after receiving LEED gold certification, the team reunites on the blue roof of The Jefferson to celebrate the collaboration that made for such a successful project.

The LEED designation acknowledges the project’s accomplishments in areas focused on human and environmental health including: indoor air quality enhanced by building materials vetted for aesthetic value, durability and cost; and tough to achieve stormwater credits, through the implementation of a blue roof that helps to reduce overflow in the city’s drainage system. This is just one of many projects in BKSK’s portfolio to achieve recognition for its environmentally robust design approach. Learn more here.

A congratulations goes out to the entire project team who made this possible.

May 25, 2016

Living Future: Truth + Transparency

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Though presenting at the 2016 Living Future unConference for the third year in a row, this year’s involvement was anything but business as usual. This year, BKSK co-organized  events that sought to challenge the effectiveness of the conventional conference format.

A Willingness to Be Moved
As a way of kicking-off the conference and instigating a particular mode of presence in order to prepare ourselves for transformative thought, we collaborated with chef Matt Dillon and sommelier Marc Papineau to host a special gathering at their restaurant Upper Bar Ferdinand. Our goal was to offer our sustainable design peers an opportunity for close connection through the shared experience of a unique event. Led by Matt and Marc’s knowledge and experience of the local ecology and terroir, the participants together immersed themselves in the multi-sensory task of preparing a shared meal with locally grown and foraged ingredients and then pairing the resulting dishes with selections of locally produced wine. It was an opportunity to consider the parallel principles between the craft of cooking (providing nourishment) and the craft of building (providing shelter) – and it sparked a number of insights into the ways that food and design are central to what it means to be human. Read more

May 23, 2016

All that glitters is not gold…sometimes it’s platinum!

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BKSK is pleased to announce our three most recently LEED certified projects – two gold and one platinum! Certainly, we are very proud of our work. We also want to praise these project’s clients for their commitment to the environmental options that made sense for each building. Sustainable design, like any good design, is the result of productive partnerships and open, candid conversations.

We will continue to push for a firm-wide sense of innovation that integrates sustainability into the core of our designs. Our Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center was NYC’s first civic building to earn a LEED Platinum certification. Going forward, we intend to keep raising the bar.  Read more

May 4, 2016

Our neighbor, the Cathedral of St. Sava

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Since 1986, BKSK has shared the block on West 25th Street with the Cathedral of St. Sava. Its presence in our urban view has been a steady reminder of architectural traditions that we treasure and strive to honor. Even more than that, the church has been a quietly reassuring presence in our lives, including on the morning we witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center. An echo of the havoc wrought that day has come to our block and our church. From our fourth floor windows, we are now able to ponder the remains, and we can begin to hope for some form of a revival.

So, for those of us who now say to themselves, “Maybe I should have looked a little harder, or gone inside when the building was open, and perhaps been more aware of the work of Richard Upjohn,” here is some background on its history and recent past: Read more

March 17, 2016

New Residences in Greenwich Village Historic District

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The New York Times recently featured BKSK’s new full-floor residences currently under construction at 175 West 10th street. Located in the Greenwich Village Historic District at the intersection of Seventh Avenue South and West 10th Street, the building is a reflection and homage to the unique triangular site upon which it sits. Approved by the LPC in 2014, the design is intended to be new and contemporary, while simultaneously referential to the wonderful character and materials of the Village. BKSK designed the interior spaces as well – to view more of our interior department’s portfolio visit here.

Read the full New York Times article here.