Highlights of 2015

It’s been a busy year for us at Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects! We broke ground on several projects, renovated our office, received some awards, completed a few projects, and gained two new team members.

In short, it seems like an appropriate time for a highlight reel of 2015.

Hour Apartment House III Won a Silver Brick In Architecture Award

ESKW/A’s second project for Hour Children, Hour Apartment House III, was completed in 2014 and was well-received by the Brick Industry Association this year. It was gratifying for the project team, headed up by Fialka, to see their attention to brick detailing garner this recognition.

4380 Bronx Boulevard also received a Boston Society of Architects Award and a Silver Medal of Honor from the Society of American Registered Architects, while New Settlement Community Campus collected an Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design.

True Colors Bronx Opened Its Doors

With much celebration, especially from True Colors’ exuberant patron Cyndi Lauper, our second project for West End Residences was completed in September. The 7-story supportive housing building offers 30 efficiency apartments to formerly homeless LGBT youths. Read more here.

ESKW/A Took a Field Trip to the Aquarium

Following the topping out ceremony earlier this year, ESKW/A toured the WCS’s Ocean Wonders: Sharks! at the NY Aquarium construction site and enjoyed one of the last summer days by the ocean in Coney Island. Project team Cary, Carlos, Martin, Michael, and Fialka gave a detailed behind the scenes look at the project. ESKW/A are Architects of Record for the new Sharks! exhibition building, which is anticipated to open in 2017.

1066-1070 Myrtle Avenue, 1561 Walton Avenue, and 233 Landing Road Broke Ground

Much of our staff was also busy this past fall celebrating exciting developments in several other large projects, as these three new buildings kicked into the construction phase. Be sure to check back on the blog and our website this year as we continue to post progress photos.

We Revamped Our Office, and Welcomed Carlos and Andrea

After more than 10 years in our space at 100 Lafayette, and with a growing number of employees to seat, the ESKW/A offices recently underwent a transformation.

We opened up the space by removing the low partitions dividing our stations, and installed a continuous work surface.  The new U-shaped desktops with shared side tables allow for easier collaboration — not to mention increased elbow and breathing room.

Partners Randy Wood and Andrew Knox have always preferred spacial equality in the workplace and an open office design to foster sharing of information.  Our open plan has proven itself over the past decade as a bright and airy use of our high-ceilinged corner suite, maximizing the natural light from our windows looking out on Chinatown and NYC.

ESKW/A also grew by 2 persons this year. We were happy to welcome Carlos and Andrea to the team! Carlos is working on Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, and Andrea is managing our Site 7 project for Clinton Housing Development Company and is part of the team working a new school addition for the NYCSCA.

Kudos for 4380 Bronx Blvd and New Settlement Community Campus

We are very pleased to announce two new awards:

4380 Bronx Blvd., our renovation of a warehouse into a men’s shelter for Project Renewal, has been awarded a Silver Medal of Honor from the Society Of American Registered Architects.

And New Settlement Community Campus has been named an Excellence Winner by the Center for Active Design.

The 2015 Center for Active Design Awards have already garnered media attention, with articles from the Architect’s Newspaper Blog, and Fast Company.

The Boston Society of Architects Award: 4380 Bronx Blvd

We are very happy to announce that 4380 Bronx Boulevard has received a Housing Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects.  This marks the 4th prize we’ve had the honor of receiving from the BSA, following the John C. Clancy Award for Socially Responsible Housing for Intervale Green and Louis Nine House, a Housing Design Award for True Colors Residence in 2012, and an Educational Facility Design Citation for New Settlement Community Campus in 2013.

ESKW/A is especially proud of this shelter, the design of which was headed up by Philip Jenkin, Kelly Kurlbaum, and Tatjana Sofkoska, with partner Andrew Knox.  The team was able to find creative ways to flood the renovated manufacturing facility with natural light, creating a bright and airy environment.

From the jury: “Through careful material selection, the designers have created a space that is extremely hardy but avoids the drab, heavy feel of many shelters. This is a very smart, restrained project with an admirable concept.”

Awards Season!

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Not to toot our own horn too loudly, but we’re proud to announce that recent ESKW/A projects have been honored with awards! New Settlement Community Campus, submitted with Dattner Architects, received an Excelsior Award, a new program from AIA New York State honoring outstanding Public Architecture.  Our men’s homeless shelter for Project Renewal at 4380 Bronx Boulevard was recently completed and received a Boston Society of Architects Housing Design Award.

We wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our favorite detail photos of each project which don’t often get promoted. Thank you to AIA New York State and Boston Society of Architects for recognizing our projects.

New Settlement Community Campus

4380 Bronx Boulevard

 

Make Them Visible

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The New York City Rescue Mission, now and then, from http://www.nycrescue.org. 

The New York City Rescue Mission provides both short- and long-term support services for the city’s homeless, from housing, to food, to counseling. Through their new campaign “Make them Visible,” the Mission focuses on exposing how most of us see homeless people on the street. The project was featured on Huffington Post.

The production dressed up people in ragged garb and placed them on a sidewalk, knowing that relatives or spouses would pass. Every person they secretly taped walked right on by; in the most startling instance, a man looked his wife of 34 years. She was wrapped in blankets and had costume makeup on, but she was certainly recognizable. You might want to have a tissue handy when you watch the reactions of the passers-by when they realize that they overlooked their loved ones.

The aim of this social experiment seeks to “put a face to homelessness,” and urges us all to not dehumanize people we pass on the street. The Mission’s website also offers portraits of homeless individuals: George likes rock music; Stanley has a secret recipe for lasagna; and Sean watches history shows. Through these tidbits, the Mission hopes to recast our expectations and stereotypes of people who have no home.

EKSW/A is proud to play a part to help our city’s underserved populations. 4380 Bronx Blvd provides 109 beds to homeless men in the Bronx; True Colors Residence in Harlem permanently houses formerly homeless LGBT youth, and we are currently working to build another such facility in the Bronx.

The NYC Rescue Mission is located on the same block as our office, and we salute the good work they do every day.

homeless shelter

 

From Left: 4380 Bronx Blvd. (two images), True Colors Residence, True Colors Residence:  Bronx. 

Settling in at 4380 Bronx Boulevard

We are very pleased that the staff and residents at 4380 Bronx Boulevard, a men’s homeless shelter in the Bronx, are enjoying their building. Project Renewal’s recent blog post gives a tour of their new facility and a sense of the variety of spaces that serve the different needs of the residents: the dorm rooms, the showers, the lobby, and support spaces. (And scroll to the comments!) This former manufacturing building has been transformed with dramatic skylight openings  – required to provide legal light and air but are sculpted in a modern way – that give the dorms a bright, airy feel. We feel that the simple, thoughtful details along with careful floor and finish selection sets the stage for what a shelter can be.

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Reflecting on 2012

Happy New Year from all of us at Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects!

As we wrap up 2012, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the year that was. We have many things to be proud of: we launched this blog, completed some amazing projects, commenced construction on some exciting projects, and on a more personal note celebrated Whitney’s retirement, Janine’s move to Boston, and Tatjana’s departure to be with her new baby. All in all, we feel 2012 was a banner year and can’t wait to top it in 2013. Here are some highlights:

JANUARY: ESKW/A launches our Blog

Last year we announced our re-launched website and the ESKW/A blog – a new adventure that has proved to be a solid showcase for details of our projects as well as a way to connect with our architectural community in New York City. Claire’s popular post An Afternoon with Judith Edelman explored the rich history of our firm. We have enjoyed highlighting our work in the office, and recently featured Grace and Daughtry’s efforts at St. Lucy’s Housing. Kimberly continued to act as managing editor even as she welcomed her second child, Luke, into the world. We invite you to follow the ESKW/A blog by clicking the “follow” button at the top of the page.

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FEBRUARY: Whitney Retires

If you’ve called the office in the past year, you’ve noticed a change: Whitney Merritt, our office manager for the past 40 years, has retired. She is no longer here to greet you with her trademark, “EDELMAN SULTAN”. We miss her dearly, thank her for her many years of dedication to the office, and wish her an amazing retirement in South Carolina with her grandsons. Meanwhile, we were pleased to welcome Lauretta da Cruz – the sister of our wonderful comptroller Lucille – as our new office manager.

MARCH: Team works on Prospect Plaza III RFP

PP-tileAndrew, Francisco, Grace, and Claire worked deep in collaboration with Settlement Housing Fund and Briarwood on the Prospect Plaza III RFP for the New York City Housing Authority. The office came together in numerous charrettes, seeking a design solution for this site undergoing revitalization in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

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APRIL: 4380 Bronx Boulevard commences construction + Tatjana leaves

Andrew and Philip are working on an exciting building for Project Renewal. 4380 Bronx Boulevard was formerly used as a manufacturing facility, but is now being converted into a men’s homeless shelter with 108 beds. The design features five torqued skylights which fill the upper floor dormitory space with light and air. The shelter is on track to open this May.

In April, we also said goodbye to Tatjana as she welcomed her second child Kalin into the world and took a break from being full-time architect to be full-time mom. Her work on projects such as 4380 Bronx Boulevard and True Colors Residences is greatly appreciated by the office, and we wish her much happiness and joy with her wonderful little boys.

MAY: The team designs Captain Post

For those who know the long history that many projects in the non-profit housing world have, you can appreciate our celebration of a project that has floated around the office for almost five years. Moses, Kimberly, and Randy picked up schematic design on Captain Post for Clinton Housing Development Company. The long-vacant historic factory building on 52nd Street will be fully renovated with a small addition and will provide twenty-two affordable housing units.

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JULY: BxC under construction

Kimberly and Jun welcomed the start of construction on the Bronx Community Charter School which is expanding into a 30,000 sq. feet within a new building on Webster Avenue. Working with LOM Properties and Joy Construction, the new school will host a variety of unconventional learning spaces including nooks for each grade level and “front porches” for each classroom. BxC is slated to open in 2013.

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AUGUST: St. Lucy’s Houses + True Colors Residence

Grace and Daughtry kicked off construction on the St. Lucy’s Houses in Harlem. Working with Phipps Houses and Notias Construction Inc., the construction commenced and has been moving along well towards completion in Fall 2013.

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True Colors Residence in West Harlem, provides permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless LGBT youth. We are proud to announce that the building won a housing design award from the Boston Society of Architects, as well as a design award from the Society of Registered Architects. We salute Randy, Tatjana, and Ari’s hard work on this groundbreaking project. We look forward to working with West End Residences on the next True Colors Residence in the Bronx in the new year.

2012DS29 New Settlement Community Campus, Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architets with Dattner Architects, Bronx NY

SEPTEMBER: NSCC opens

A collaboration with Dattner Architects, New Settlement Community Center in the Bronx is part school (housing a Primary School and an Intermediate / High School) and part Community Center. NSCC opened its doors just this past fall, and has already become deeply integrated into the community. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, various members from the Bronx and public officials, including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, praised the school as a beacon for a revitalizing area. ESKW shouts out to all staff who contributed to the success of this project, past and present, including Alyssa, Amber, and Kelly who contributed tremendously to the project.

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OCTOBER: Hour Apartment House III + Janine’s Goodbye

All new construction projects rightly celebrate when they get out of the ground, but Randy, Fialka and Grace had true cause for celebration when foundations and block walls of Hour Apartment House III, rose above the ground plane. The project for Hour Children is a residence in Queens that will provide permanent affordable housing for formerly incarcerated women together with their children.

We were sad to bid farewell to Janine Sutton who had been at the firm for over seven years. Some highlights of her work include Eco-Restroom, 6 Columbus, Phelps House, LaMattina Wildlife Ambassador Center at the Bronx Zoo, and ECHO Apartments. She has moved to Boston and currently works at EYP Architects. We wish her great happiness, success, and many return visits to ESKW/A.

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NOVEMBER: Thanksgiving + the Mary Spink Residences

Per our tradition, we broke work a little early the day before the holiday early to celebrate together and give thanks. Everyone contributed to the amazing spread (Lauretta’s cheesecake was a hit), but Jun failed on his promise to cook a turkey with a blow torch. In these still-tough economic times, we are grateful that we can continue to do meaningful work in the public sector while still growing our business.

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Andrew and Kerry were excited to have construction kick off on the Mary Spink Residence for the Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing, a supportive housing residence for mentally ill New Yorkers. The building will provide supportive housing and services for forty-six (46) residents.

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DECEMBER: Denton Green + the New York Aquarium

December saw the successful construction closing of Denton Green Houses, a facility for senior citizens in Nassau County, which is receiving a comprehensive renovation, new entrance drive, enlivened façade treatment, and new elevators. Daughtry led the ESKW/A team through the project and looks forward to starting the construction phase. Watch for updates.

Randy, Cary, Michael, and Jun are hard at work on preparing plans for the New York Aquarium Assessment. In the devastating aftermath of hurricane Sandy, one of the areas hardest hit was the coastline near Coney Island, and the team is preparing drawings for the Aquarium’s renovation. Of course, they are also working on new Sharks! Exhibit, opening in 2015.

That’s our brief look back at 2012. We wish you all the best this holiday season, and look forward to seeing you in 2013!