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.

Designing Actively

Spring is here, and as we emerge from our winter hiding places, a lot of us are turning our attention to cultivating a more active lifestyle.

In light of that shift in attitude, it felt very appropriate to attend and participate in the AIANY’s 10th annual Fit City. The event provided a full day’s worth of presentations and panel discussions with architects, planners, designers, developers, government officials, community advocates, and public health professionals, all centered around one common goal:

How can we work together to create a built environment that keeps us healthy?

ESKW/A was happy to share our experience designing the New Settlement Community Campus (with Dattner Architects), which has recently been honored with an Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design.  Kimberly Murphy took part in the panel on Designing for Health in Affordable Housing to discuss how the Community Campus has been a life-changing boon for the residents of a largely low-income neighborhood of the Bronx.

Later that day, Amanda Sengstacken and Melissa Rouse of ESKW/A joined Kimberly along with Bill Stein and David Levine from Dattner Architects to accept the award which was hosted at the Steelcase showroom in Columbus Circle. Other honored projects were presented and the event was a great opportunity to visit with colleagues doing good work across the country. We enjoyed visiting with fellow panelist Bill Sabattini of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini Architects whose Casitas de Colores creates a community in downtown Albuquerque, NM, with an abundance of active living opportunities. We agree with Bill; active design isn’t rocket science, it’s just good practice.

We also appreciated the planning and design work that went into SWA Group’s Guthrie Green project in Tulsa, OK. We can relate to principal Elizabeth Shreeve’s appreciation for working with clients whose mission is truly inspired.

We thank Carol, Jack, and Megan from SHF and New Settlement for envisioning and now facilitating NSCC whose life post-occupancy is exceeding all expectations.  A good time was had by all, and we look forward to future active design opportunities.

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.

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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Designing Actively

ESKW/A is very proud to see our collaborative project with Dattner Architects, the New Settlement Community Center, featured on the Center for Active Design’s website as a case study of architecture designed with the intention of actively engaging its occupants both physically and intellectually.

Check out the feature here!

Also, we encourage you to follow NSCC on Facebook to see how fully they use the center and school for their many community programs including swimming, yoga, dance, and more.

NSCC in the News: Updated

New Settlement Community Campus (NSCC) opens its doors to its students this week, and is already gaining attention from the neighborhood. New York Daily News highlights the benefits the school and community center will bring to the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx.

A ‘New Settlement’ comes to the Bronx: $100 million complex with schools and community center open

UPDATE:

Mayor Bloomberg visited  yesterday for the student’s first day of the school year – and the NSCC’s first day ever. The event was documented by:

The New York Times Blog:

At a New School, a Math Lesson From the Mayor

NY1:

City Students Begin First Day Of New School Year

CBS:

NYC Students Head Back to School

and The Epoch Times:

Back at School, New York Students Embrace Fresh Start

Good luck this coming year, Inaugural Class of 2016!

The Auditorium at New Settlement

By Kimberly Murphy

New Settlement Community Campus in the Bronx will open its doors in September. A major boon for its students is the recently completed Auditorium. Able to accommodate 350 persons, the Auditorium will host events such as assemblies, school plays, and dance performances for both the school and community populations. The unexpected sculpted ceiling and natural wood finishes make the new Auditorium an exciting venue for its future inhabitants to play, explore, and learn.

Spotlight on NSCC’s Public Art

By Kimberly Murphy

Construction at New Settlement Community Campus progresses steadily toward the planned opening in September. With so many of the special elements of the building nearly finished, it is hard to select one area to highlight; however, the Public Art installation is one of my personal favorites.

The Public Art commissioned by NYC DOE through Public Art for Public Schools from Artist W Scott Trimble is integrated into the architecture of the building both physically and metaphorically. The building houses two schools: a PS and IS/HS, each with separate entrances and Lobbies but with a shared entry plaza. This division and connection is illustrated by Trimble’s design. Brightly colored intertwining paths generated at the entry plaza lead into each lobby. The yellow and blue paths, signature colors for the IS/HS, lead into the IS/HS Lobby; and the red and green paths, signature colors for the PS, lead into the PS Lobby.

Artist drawings of the Entry plaza design and the paths into the IS/HS and PS Lobbies

The artist’s design celebrates the vibrant activity of the school lobby and entry by dynamically transforming two dimensional paths into three dimensional objects. The school as a community benefits from carefully planned co-mingling of the various populations at key locations such as the entry plaza.

Left: IS/HS Lobby. Right: PS Lobby

The interior paths are created with water-jet cut terrazzo tiles by Wausau Tiles.

Once inside, the paths (which are a metaphor for exploration and learning) twist and turn and will transform into three dimensional benches and will then disperse to lead toward the classroom spaces.

The exterior paths are created with Lithocrete colored paving. The photos show the process of the Lithocrete colored bands being laid out, poured, recycled glass aggregate being set, and the final sealer being applied.

Completed Installation of the entry plaza artwork

The work was commissioned by Public Art for Public Schools and will be part of the collection of the NYCDOE.

Many thanks to W. Scott Trimble, Todd Hawkins of PAPS