Show Grid Guide
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

Green Good Design upload

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.

October 17, 2016

Award-winning Parks + Playgrounds

SARA National image upload

BKSK has a passion for implementing design excellence in public spaces, in particular parks and playgrounds. From the Kidpower! Playground and Preschool Garden for the New York Hall of Science, to a series of comfort stations across the NYC boroughs for the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, to the Minnewaska State Park Visitor’s Center, these projects are carefully designed with sensitivity to the visitors, site, community, and environment.

We are proud to announce that two such BKSK projects were among the honorees of the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) 2016 Celebration of Architecture and Design Program. Washington Square Park House received a Design Award of Excellence, and Battery PlayScape received a Design Award of Honor. Congratulations to the project teams!

May 23, 2016

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


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

January 4, 2016

The Wall Street Journal visits a BKSK-designed Park House


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.”

Read the full WSJ article here, and learn more about the project right here on our website.

July 31, 2015

Making news by making place in two New York parks and beyond

The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy’s Summer Solstice Sunset Soirée.

The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy’s Summer Solstice Sunset Soirée.

Earlier this summer, BKSK gathered with friends and fellow landscape enthusiasts to honor Stephen Byrns, the recipient of this year’s Place Maker Award from the Foundation for Landscape Studies. FLS is dedicated to fostering an active understanding of the importance of place in people’s lives, a notion that BKSK fully embraces. Read more

July 2, 2015

AIA New York State honors Park House with a design citation


BKSK’s design of the Washington Square Park House has been recognized for the second time this year! Specifically, the 2015 AIA New York State Design Awards Jury has honored the Park House with a Citation for Design.

The new structure houses NYC Parks Department offices, park maintenance systems, and public restrooms. Although it is an important addition to Washington Square Park, one of the project’s most valuable attributes is its inconspicuousness. Learn why by reading about the project here.

Congratulations again to the full Washington Square Park House team, and to the other winners of this year’s AIA New York State Design Awards!

June 26, 2015

Traditional Building profiles 2015′s Palladio award winners


The June issue of Clem Labine’s Traditional Building magazine includes a profile on each of the winners of this year’s Palladio Awards, the only national awards program honoring traditional design. You may remember that the BKSK-designed Washington Square Park House is one such winner. As a result, Traditional Building’s editor-in-chief Martha McDonald has profiled the building in a piece entitled “A Quiet Park House.”

The profile ends with some thoughts by our own George Schieferdecker: “I think of this building as contemporary as well as traditional. It is free and minimal in form, progressive in its sustainable features, but very distinctly rooted in traditional archetypes.”

Read the full article here. Learn more about the project here.

June 10, 2015

Washington Square Park House graces the cover of PRB


The Park House at Washington Square Park graces the cover of this month’s Parks & Rec Business magazine and serves as the key case study in the issue’s feature article, penned by BKSK’s Jennifer Preston. In the piece, Jennifer unpacks the many benefits of biophilic design approaches, specifically in the context of park structures.

“Through thoughtful facilities-planning, design, and maintenance, we can reestablish everyday access to the simple pleasures of nature: a natural breeze, a view of open sky, the cyclical metamorphosis of native plantings. In urban and suburban contexts, where the majority of human-made environments are far removed from the beneficial wilds of nature, a biophilic approach becomes a restorative one, for parks employees and the public alike,” Jennifer reminds us.

Learn more about the project here. Visit Parks & Rec Business online to read the full article, entitled “The Calming Effect Of A Building.”

April 22, 2015

Washington Square Park House wins Palladio Award


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!

March 2, 2015

BKSK presents at City Council’s Renewable Energy Conference


On February 27th, BKSK went before members of the New York City Council, at their invitation, to present design solutions that work toward a carbon-balanced future. Entitled the “Site Sourced and Stored Renewable Energy Conference,” the event was convened by the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection and featured leading voices from a wide cross-section of government agencies, building industries, and environmental advocates.

George Schieferdecker and Jennifer Preston were joined by Michael McGough of BuroHappold in presenting the recently completed Park House at Washington Square, a model for how civic buildings can support the city’s move toward carbon neutrality. A key energy-conscious approach taken with the Park House is ground source heat, part of the project’s site-specific blend of passive design and active sustainable technologies.

Click over to the BKSK Lab to see the presentation in full.