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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.
January 20, 2017

Green Good Design in Washington Square Park

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Washington Square Park House has received a 2017 Green Good Design Award from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.  The international awards program is aimed to recognize visionary designs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning projects, product, packaging, and graphic design that work toward a healthier global environment. For more information on the program and to view this year’s winners, visit chi-athenaeum.org or europeanarch.eu.

November 23, 2016

Park House receives 2016 AIANY COTE Award

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BKSK is both humbled and honored to have  been selected as a recipient of a 2016 AIANY COTE Merit Award for our LEED Platinum Washington Square Park House. The New York Chapter of AIA’s Committee on the Environment established its award program in 2014, seeking to reward design excellence and innovation that achieves socially and environmentally responsible design. The program is based on a rigorous set of qualitative and quantitative criteria – from community engagement, to human comfort & wellness, to specific sustainability metrics for water, energy, and materials.

Click here to learn more about the the AIANY COTE Awards and this year’s winners.

View our award-winning Washington Square Park House portfolio here.

October 10, 2016

Architecture as Advocacy: A tour of QBG’s Visitor & Administration Center

QBG_Water image v2The Queens Botanical Garden Visitor & Administration Center will be featured as part of this weekend’s Open House New York. The first publicly-funded building in the city to achieve LEED Platinum certification, this 16,000 sf center is a built extension of the Garden’s mission: to demonstrate environmental stewardship while celebrating the cultural connections between people and plants.

“BKSK Architects used wit and seduction to advocate green architecture, rather than just demonstrate it. It will be a must-see among aficionados of green buildings. But by any definition, it is a terrific gift to the Queens community and all of New York City.” Scott Stefan, Queens Botanical Garden

 

October 15th at 12pm and 1:30 pm. Advance registration is required.  http://bit.ly/2dG9ZXY

October 7, 2016

Reflections on BKSK’s Inaugural Research Fellowship

Fellowship_01The BKSK fellowship program invited an inquisitive, engaged and ambitious student from NYC’s City College to examine the fundamentals of how the built environment impacts the human condition. The goal of the fellowship is to offer a true sense of what it means to work in an architectural office environment and how visionary research can translate into practice.

Of several applicants, Katherine Serrano was selected to join our team and further investigate a topic of interest that was framed with two requirements; that it include environmentally responsible design at the urban scale. Included below is a portion of her submission outlining her research framework:

An inquiry into biophilic design in an urban context is pressing, as it requires theorizing the concept at the intersection of nature, technology, and culture. In undertaking my study, I will identify what biophilic design patterns are most beneficial in urban settings, while developing my own interpretation of the meaning of biophilic design, as it relates to the urban realm. My main objective is to develop a booklet to convey my findings based on the following questions that I will research and answer during the period of the fellowship: Read more

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.

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

December 11, 2015

Eight takeaways from Greenbuild 2015

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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.

It’s essential to move past good intentions.
While it is admirable to start with your heart in the right place, it is important to use that sentiment as motivation for achieving meaningful impact. By moving beyond intention, we can uncover surprising opportunities and create more successful designs. For example, in a session titled “The Science of Circadian Lighting,” we learned about a design team that was deeply committed to bringing the best quality daylight to their client. Fortunately, through measurements, they were able to identify that the site’s north-facing windows would facilitate more appropriate daylighting levels than the south-facing ones, which were often shaded due to glare. (For a broader illustration of this idea, look no further than the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s delightful brochure on Dick & Rick.) Read more