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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.
May 22, 2015

A home without energy bills? It’s not as crazy as it seems.

211 East 13th Street NYC BKSK architects

Just ask our own Sustainable Design Director, Jennifer Preston, who recently shared her insights on the future of New York City’s multifamily residential market with The Observer.  In her words, “the concept of not paying an energy bill is not that crazy. And I wish people asked for it, because we could do it.”

The article also highlight’s The Jefferson, our most recently completed multifamily project, which boasts a blue roof and a centrifugal action stormwater sediment separator. The project is on track to receive LEED Gold certification and is expected to earn all available stormwater credits, a rare accomplishment for an urban building.

The full article can be accessed online here. To speak with Jennifer about the future of sustainable living, or other topics in which she is an expert, please contact Gisela Garrett at ggarrett@bksk.com.

May 15, 2015

Julie Nelson weighs in on the physical space of communities

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In Recreation Management’s May issue, writer Rick Dandes describes the latest trends in multipurpose community center design, with several insights from our own Julie Nelson. “Given the variety of fitness opportunities available in most communities, recreation centers must not only support athletic activity, but must also be nurturing, invigorating and restorative,” she offers.

In the piece, Julie references our work for the Sephardic Community Center as well as Convent of the Sacred Heart’s recently completed Athletics & Wellness Center. The article is available both online and in print.

To speak with Julie about this topic, or many others in which she is an expert, please contact Gisela Garrett at ggarrett@bksk.com.

May 13, 2015

BKSK’s first Living Future Accredited Professional

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Join us in congratulating Jennifer Preston, our Sustainable Design Director, and the firm’s first recipient of Living Future accreditation!

To paraphrase the International Living Future Institute, this honor recognizes Jennifer’s holistic framing of sustainability and her understanding of how to lead a transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.

We are proud to work with Jennifer, and we are grateful for her expertise, perspective, and ongoing advocacy for a more sustainable future.

May 11, 2015

Voting is live through May 22nd for BKSK’s two SXSW proposals

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Yep, you read that correctly! Our firm has two exciting opportunities to present at this year’s SXSW Eco conference, which facilitates connection and collaboration amongst business leaders, investors, innovators, and designers, so that together we can create a better world.

To get to the conference, we need your help. BKSK’s two proposed workshops – “Designing the Exquisite from Natural Inspiration” and “Creative Ethnography in Design” – each offer space for reflection about today’s architecture, our cities, and our minds. If you agree that that’s the kind of programming that should be included at SXSW Eco, we hope you’ll take a few moments to vote for both workshops using the SXSW PanelPicker. Polls close on Friday, May 22nd.

We hope to see you in Austin this October.

May 8, 2015

Arbor Hills featured in Metal Architecture’s May issue

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In an article entitled “Steel screens clad retail complex,” Metal Architecture’s May issue features the Arbor Hills Retail Center located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The 94,000 square foot retail center provides a mix of shops, locally-owned restaurants, and offices in a progressively-designed, pedestrian-focused setting. Opened in August 2013, the center is envisioned as a holistic complex with distinctive “precincts” designed at the scale of the shopper, a departure from the expected formula for retail architecture.

The project’s material palette comprises steel, textured brick, wood, and glass, which were selected to convey a sense of craft and details. Key architectural elements include screens, arcades, and discrete storefronts, which together create a dynamic environment that transforms from day to night, from richly detailed surfaces to dramatically backlit scrims. Inspired by Albert Kahn-designed Ford factories, the screens and their steel support structures recall the idea of a colonnade, accentuated by simple masonry volumes just beyond.

Learn more about the project here.

April 29, 2015

Reflecting back on our Living Future(s)

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By listening, we approach a more living future. Image by Louise Docker

As is frequently the case at the annual Living Future unConference, we arrived with the directive to present (and to educate) but ended up learning more than we could have imagined ourselves. In particular, the BKSK LAB found that their workshop, “Community, Culture and Place: Empathy + Mindful Design in Practice,” provided a meaningful space to reflect on our own processes for communication, collaboration, and the overall process of design. Read more

April 22, 2015

Washington Square Park House wins Palladio Award

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BKSK’s design for the Washington Square Park House is this year’s winner of the Palladio Award for New Design and Construction less than 30,000 sf in size. Co-produced by Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines, the Palladio Awards program is named in honor of Andrea Palladio, the Renaissance architect who created modern architecture for his time while drawing on past models for inspiration.

The 3,100 sf park house is a deceptively modest building nestled in one of New York City’s most lively public spaces. Learn more about this project’s quiet power – both literally and figuratively – here.

Congratulations to the full Washington Square Park House team, and to the other winners of 2015′s Palladio Awards!

April 16, 2015

Stephen Byrns to be awarded the Place Maker Award

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On May 13, 2015, the Foundation for Landscape Studies will host their annual Spring Benefit Luncheon, at which point they will present Stephen Byrns with their prestigious Place Maker Award.

Among Stephen’s many contributions to the creation and preservation of place is his leadership in restoring Untermyer Gardens, a landscape that was once hailed in the press as “America’s Most Spectacular Garden.” Since founding the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy in 2010, Stephen has been working with a team that includes horticultural advisor Marco Polo Stufano and head gardener Timothy Tilghman to restore the Gardens.

Learn more about the fascinating history of Untermyer Gardens by visiting the conservancy’s website, and get a sense for the landscape by looking through our photo album on Facebook.

April 10, 2015

Grafting a vertical expansion onto a Landmark infamous for graft

A rendered view of BKSK's proposed transformation of Tammany Hall, which was approved by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in March 2015.

A rendered view of BKSK’s proposed transformation of Tammany Hall, which was approved by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in March 2015.

The unassuming hipped roof of the former Tammany Hall headquarters on Union Square will soon turn to glass and grow taller with an unconventional shell-like dome, as approved recently—unanimously—by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. BKSK conceived this expansion to be deeply respectful, and expect it to be applauded by many as both reverent and intriguing. As a preservation approach, it is designed to yield unexpected insight about the building’s hidden history. We acknowledge that some members of the preservation community have reservations about the changes proposed and we are keeping the dialogue with them open. That the Commission approved an addition as visible as this to an individual Landmark is special and rare. Read more

April 9, 2015

Jamie Perez to speak at annual NY11+ exhibition

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The interiors group of BKSK is delighted to be represented by Jamie Perez at this year’s Annual Interior Design Student Exhibition, a program of New York Eleven Plus that promotes education and professional development within the interior design profession. The exhibition will be held in Lapicida’s New York showroom, located in the D&D Building, and it will run from April 22-28, 2015.

Jamie will be speaking on a panel about professional practice at the exhibition’s opening reception, on April 22nd. Those who wish to attend the reception must RSVP by April 20th by emailing rsvp@ny11plus.org.