Sharks! in the Press

We were excited to see that today’s NYTimes includes an article on the rebuilding of the New York Aquarium post-Sandy, and features the new Ocean Wonders: Sharks! building currently under construction.

As Architects of Record for the new building, we’ve blogged about this project’s development more than once, and it’s great to see it garnering some media attention.

While the sharks will of course be the star of the show, the exhibit will also showcase scenes of realistic shipwrecks, as well as immersive and interactive exhibits displaying a myriad of aquatic life. On the exterior, visitors will appreciate exhibits of a different sort, strolling along the curving ramp promenade from within the park up to the roof deck – offering views above adjacent exhibits, the Coney Island Boardwalk, and out to the Atlantic Ocean. The project is expected to open to the public in 2018.

Read the article here.

Rivington House

Last weekend, the Neighbors to Save Rivington House came together to present to the community stories from the building’s conversion and use as a nursing home for individuals with AIDS. Community members spoke of their personal experiences during Rivington House’s 20-year history.

ESKW/A partner Andrew Knox, a long-time neighbor to the building, attended the forum and spoke to the building’s characteristics and suitability as a nursing care facility.

The event was covered by The Lo-Down; the full article can be read here.

Progress at the Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse

Some of our longer-term fans may recall our excited post from 2 years back at the very beginning of our pool renovation project at the Thomas S. Murphy Clubhouse, in Flatbush, Brooklyn, for the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club.

ESKW/A and the Owner’s Representative LOM Properties brought a photographer on board to snap underwater photos of the kids from the club swimming to be featured in a large-scale tile mosaic mural in the pool room.  Annie Kountz, Project Architect, described her personal connection to the Boys & Girls Club, and we shared a fun video capture of the kids in action.  The project is now in construction, and the tile mosaic has arrived in annotated panels and is being laid out in preparation for installation later this week. We can’t wait for the kids to see the project, and for those who were part of the photoshoot to see themselves immortalized on the walls of their club.

Walton Rises

Last Fall we happily announced the start of construction on the new 60-unit affordable housing building going up in Mt. Eden, the Bronx, under a partnership between Settlement Housing Fund and The Briarwood Organization. 1561 Walton Avenue has progressed steadily ever since and is now more than halfway through plank installation — project team Daughtry, Kerry, and Andrew are very pleased to share a few shots of the progress below.

The building is visually broken up into 4 planes stepping back from the front property line, which will be further articulated with different shades of brick to create a 4-step gradient across the facade.

The project’s anticipated completion is Fall 2017.

1561 Walton Birds Eye

 

Movement and Architecture

by Martin Galindez

ZAHA_520 W 28TH ST_NY

520 W 28th Street, Zaha Hadid Architects

When we think about “movement” we are usually referencing the physical action of a building structure, construction details, façade systems, or any building material. As we know, movement itself can have many definitions depending on the parameters of our research. As Architects, we know it is not only based on the physical action of elements of a structure or space driven by external or internal forces, but can be given by the idea of its “expression.”

ZAHA_ROSENTHAL CENTER FOR ARTS_OHIO

The Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Ohio, Zaha Hadid Architects

Undoubtedly, Architect Dame Zaha Hadid is a great example to bring in as a discussion for this. Her firm in today’s design has expressed movement in many different ways, typologies and scales. Her multiple projects vary from dynamic interiors vs modular exteriors driven by site restrictions. Dynamic structures called “frozen movement” which can be thought of as elements prepared to take action at any time and gently play within the surrounding landscape. And not only has that – her furniture, painting, and fashion designs express liberty, creating her own language over time.

ZAHA_HEYDAY CENTER_REP OF AZERBAIJAN

The Heydar Aliyev Center, Azerbaijan, Zaha Hadid Architects

Essentially, movement can be given through the eye, mind, and imagination of forces to perceive this intention of freedom. On our end, being inspired by her language, it would be interesting to challenge ourselves bringing into consideration an “illusion of movement” hand in hand with time to our projects such as in research of tectonics, common spaces-lobbies, corridor materials and – why not? – lighting.

 

 

Happy Earth Day!

Slash A Earth Day

This Earth Day, we’re taking a moment to look back at one of our favorite eco-friendly projects, the Eco Restroom at the Bronx Zoo for the Wildlife Conservation Society. This was a very fun project, and the restrooms far exceeded their initial goal of providing an eco-friendly comfort station to actually become an exhibit and learning opportunity.

The weather is looking great this weekend – it’s a great time to go check out the Bronx Zoo, and learn a bit about sustainable water use while you’re there.

Photos by David Sundberg for Esto Photography

From the Field – Support of Excavations

Kimberly Murphy

As 2016 will be a year of heavy construction administration, we’ve taken the opportunity to learn from each other and share our experiences in a bi-weekly office forum. One recent topic that has emerged from a change in the DOB application approval process is Support Of Excavations (SOE).

battleSOE’s are a Department of Buildings application filed to describe the design, means, and methods for excavating the site in preparation for the new construction. In our experience prior to last year’s filings, the SOE had not been a requirement prior to approval of the New Building (NB) application, leaving this application in the hands of the General Contractor as part of the requirements in pulling the Construction Permit. Now that the DOB is requiring the SOE to be submitted along with the NB prior to approval, the architects have become involved in this process and the SOE design, which is prepared by a geotechnical or other structural consultant to the Architect or Owner, and becomes part of the Contract Documents. Essentially the SOE design becomes another trade consultant to coordinate whose design has impact on cost and schedule. Including the consultant earlier than later in the design process and coordinating with the Structural Engineer has been key. It’s critical that we understand the impact of the proposed SOE design, the proposed impact SOE ESKWon the adjacent properties, and the resultant costs.

The cost associated with the SOE work is significant, and as with any trade, there are several ways to skin the cat. The SOE design that goes out to Bid, could be subject to value engineering and is a way that submitting Bidders can propose to cut costs. This could mean revising the consultants’ design or even replacing the SOE application and superseding the design professional.

Even once the SOE and the NB are approved and the GC has permits in hand, there is no guarantee that things will sail smoothly. Due to unforeseen below-grade conditions, the SOE design is likely to change—possibly many times. As with all approved DOB applications, the SOE then needs to be amended to reflect the updated design.

We all know that getting out of the ground is more than half the construction battle, so being more familiar with the SOE process has become something worth talking about. Our internal office discussions have been crucial for furthering our knowledge.  Any thoughts or experience with SOE? Feel free to comment or contact us!

Happy digging!