Hour Apartment House

ESKW/A recently had the pleasure of documenting one of our newly completed projects, Hour Apartment House III, in Astoria, NY, with photographer David Sundberg of Esto Photography.

HAH III provides supportive housing exclusively for formerly incarcerated mothers and their children.  The property is one of 7 housing properties owned and operated by Hour Children Inc., an organization dedicated to providing comprehensive help for the women and their families to build new lives together post-incarceration.  We are pleased with the results of working with a strong team, and thank David for once again capturing such lovely photos.

Schools & Community; a Presentation at the AIA

Kimberly Murphy at AIA

The presenters

 

On December 10th, the AIANY Architecture for Education Committee sponsored an event moderated by Mark Thaler, Educational Practice Leader of Gensler.  The evening showcased two school projects in the NYC area that represent successful symbioses with their communities, “Community Schools: Process, Program, and Promise.”

ESKW/A was proud to take part in the presentation: our own Kimberly Murphy, along with Dattner Architects‘ Jeffrey Dugan and New Settlement Apartments‘ Jack Doyle, discussed the collaborative creative process and subsequent success of the New Settlement Community Campus.

Vincent Lee, Associate Partner of Rogers Partners, presented The Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School, for which he collaborated closely with Annette C. Anderson, Assistant Dean for Community Schools at Johns Hopkins University.  Their inspiring project, a school in Baltimore that faced the unique design challenge of building within a historic area that was rapidly being rebuilt, made for an interesting comparison with NSCC.  Rogers Partners and the community’s successful solutions for the unusual school program and challenging site provided us with much food for thought.

Quote Jeff Dugan

The event delivered a rich discussion on a topic we value highly; the importance of architect + community collaboration.

Jeffrey Dugan and Kimberly Murphy answered questions about the unusual creative process, in which the teams swapped schemes midway through the design scheme phase:

Jeff:
“We think the building came out unlike one that we would have designed alone, so in some sense when you think about community, collaboration really is part of a community action.”

Kimberly:
“I can be honest with you, as an architect I was nervous to do that — give it away, and let someone else break it? That was really difficult. But it made us realize that (the design) was a group process, and it definitely came out better in the end than it would have been if just one person had worked on it. I think it was a real growth moment.”

Jack Doyle quoteThough located in areas of their respective cities that can be subject to vandalism, both projects have remained unmarred.  Vincent and Jack attributed that fact to an appreciation for the buildings and their role in the community.

Jack:

“I think if you were to go around the neighborhood by the school you’d see a lot of graffiti, but in the 2.5 years the building has been built, there has been no graffiti. We also have a lot of glass, and one thing that’s not uncommon nowadays in NYC is to use etching acid to graffiti glass … and there have been no incidents of that. I think that people in the community recognize that this building acknowledges and respects their children for what they are and what they should have. It’s a gift, it’s what every child should have.”

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A Visit to True Colors

Recently a few members of our office took advantage of an opportunity to visit one of our projects currently under construction, True Colors Housing in the Bronx.  Project Architect Kimberly Murphy took us through the building’s shell and answered the group’s questions on everything from fireproofing at bathtubs to the tricks of maintaining continuous insulation.  We then capped off the visit by heading to the rooftop to admire the 360 view.

Happy Thanksgiving from ESKW/A!

ESKW/A was happy to put down our pens and wrench away from our workstations for a few minutes yesterday to enjoy a delicious and festive home cooked meal.  Our annual pot luck was a scrumptious hit, and we joyfully patted each other on the back for being fabulous cooks as well as talented architects.  It’s important to be well-rounded, and we’re all feeling significantly ’rounder’ indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Say Cheese, BxC

ESKW/A recently enjoyed the opportunity to team up with architectural photographer Peter Kubilus to capture an exciting – a.k.a. typical – day at Bronx Community Charter School.  The school staff and the kids themselves were incredibly helpful and photogenic, making for a fun and energetic day.

ESKW/A is immensely proud of this project and delighted to see it in action — we invite you to check out Peter’s professional shots on our website, as well as our own snapshots from the day and some more of Peter’s below.