In December, WSJ reporter Corinne Ramey visited Washington Square Park with Sarah Neilson of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and BKSK’s George Schieferdecker and Jennifer Preston. The subsequent piece, “Washington Square Park House Is No Ordinary Public Restroom,” highlighted both the project’s functionality and design excellence.
Since its opening in June 2014, the park house has received recognition from a variety of sources, including the annual Palladio Awards program and NYC’s City Council. This is due in part to its site-specific design, which is at once historically rooted and of its day. In the words of our collaborator George Vellonakis, Landscape Architect from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, “the geometry of the building is reflecting the park itself, and the pavilion is going back to what the parks of the past had. It mimics this in a very contemporary way.”
On February 8th, Julie Nelson will present at the NCGS 2016 Global Forum on Girls’ Education with Aubree Stephens, a Convent of the Sacred Heart Upper School Science Teacher and an existing collaborator of Julie’s. Their session, “Drafting the Future: Students and Architects Designing in Tandem,” will give participants an insider’s look at the “Introduction to Engineering” course at NYC’s all-female Convent of the Sacred Heart. This year, that course included hands-on learning with Julie, a key partner of the female-led team responsible for Sacred Heart’s new Athletics & Wellness Center.
By framing buildings (including school buildings) as teaching tools, educators can meaningfully expand the portfolio of approaches that they use in the classroom. Julie and Aubree’s session at the Global Forum will illustrate how education and architecture professionals can effectively collaborate in this process, thereby fostering interdisciplinary learning, integrating emerging technologies, and instilling a sense of global citizenship, all while keeping students engaged. For educators whose institutions are planning new buildings, this collaboration can also ensure that excitement about the investment continues beyond a building’s ribbon cutting. Participants will leave the session with clear ideas for hands-on design challenges that also demonstrate opportunities for women in the building industry, possibly even in a student’s own backyard.
The latest issue of Oculus includes a close look at 529 Broadway, by writer Sarah Goodyear. In her piece, Goodyear reveals how the site’s past inspired our team’s approach to the building design, which involved a combination of careful observation, design talent, new technologies, and (humorously) a pair of binoculars.
Greenbuild, a multi-day conference centered on sustainable design and construction, lived up to its promise in 2015. Three BKSK staff members share their top takeaways from the annual event.
For the third year in a row, BKSK’s Jennifer Preston and James Wilson will present at Living Future’s annual unConference, happening this coming May in Seattle.
The two will be joined by colleague Tristan Roberts of BuildingGreen for a participatory exploration of hygge, a Danish cultural tradition that “might have us looking not to the natural environment but inward—at human culture and at what makes us feel at home,” to quote a recent piece in BuildingGreen. James recently completed research on hygge as the George G. Booth Traveling Fellow, through the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. His investigations into socio-cultural influences on human health and wellness will directly inform the Living Future session, titled “Hygge: Designing Trust, Wellness and Stewardship.”
Jennifer and Tristan will also present a second session with colleague Andrea Love of Payette. Titled “To Transform Inertia, Design Behavior,” the session will inspire participants to uncover opportunities for building momentum within one’s own practice.
We look forward to seeing you there!
This Giving Tuesday, George Schieferdecker and the other partners and associates at BKSK ask you to join our push in making the Lambaye Learning Center a reality. Learn more about the project and our current fundraising goal by reading George’s letter, after the jump. Read more
Currently in construction, One Great Jones Alley will offer many unique amenities – including an unexpected main entrance down a NoHo alley. Laid in 1806 as part of a country road called “Cross Lane,” Great Jones Alley has served many New Yorkers in a variety of capacities. Soon, it will be repaved with Belgian block and enclosed with a Corten steel and mesh gate, further elevating residents’ sense of arrival. Renderings of this experience were revealed today in the New York Times, along with a few other views that are also available on the building’s website. Renderings were crafted by MARCH.
“History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction.” In his coverage of our recently kicked off project for the Center for Fiction, Interiors & Sources’ Christopher Curtland invokes Bill Watterson’s Calvin (of the famous series ‘Calvin and Hobbes’). Curtland continues by sharing that BKSK Architects will be providing another kind of “order and direction” for the Center for Fiction, an organization that is preparing to relocate from midtown Manhattan to the growing Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District.
More specifically, we will be leading the design and interior buildout of the Center’s new headquarters at 280 Ashland Place. The team looks forward to playing a key role in the Center’s evolution into a Brooklyn-based institution, using the headquarters’ design as a vehicle for building a richer community of fiction lovers.
Read the full article in Interiors & Sources here.
American School & University‘s annual architectural portfolio showcases design excellence for both primary and secondary educational institutions. The publication’s 2015 edition features Convent of the Sacred Heart’s Athletics and Wellness Center, with the project falling into the category of “Outstanding Design.”
Several aspects of the design contributed to this recognition. For example, neighborhood-appropriate materials and clever massing ensure that the programmatically dense building fits in with its Upper East Side block, while masonry-driven solidity and underlying classical proportions recall the existing buildings on the school’s historic campus. A host of sustainable design strategies, such as a solar hot water system and a pool dehumidification heat recovery system, contribute to thermal comfort while minimizing nonrenewable resource consumption. In addition, easy access to several of the sustainable systems open students’ eyes to sources of the building’s energy, allowing the LEED Gold registered facility to act as a teaching tool.
The recently completed 2 Lafayette Street is included in this month’s Interior Design magazine, an issue charmingly titled “New York’s finest.” The article showcases seven renovated and re-imagined floors in the historic city-owned building, which now serve as work space for the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the Department for the Aging (DFTA).
Through a design approach that embraced yet transcended the guidelines of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the Design Excellence program of the Department of Design and Construction (DDC), our team delivered a comfortable and community-centered workplace of exceptional quality. As Interior Design writes, “[t]he New York City Department of Design and Construction’s Design Excellence program continues to churn out, well, excellent projects.” We’re very happy to have partnered with DDC on this project, and applaud them (and Interior Design) for having so much DDC work included in this month’s issue.