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.”

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Update: True Colors Bronx

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After months of MTA review, BEST Squad reviews, and demolition sign offs, there is nothing that makes an architect happier than seeing concrete being poured in a freshly-dug hole. This week, footings were poured at True Colors Bronx. Since the building doesn’t have a cellar level and underpinning is not required, these footings extend only to match the level of the adjacent building’s footings. Our foundation walls will follow shortly and before you know it we will be lifting plank, or so we hope! Check back for updates.

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Photos used with permission of Artemis Development.

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.

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

Jun and Philip celebrate Anniversaries at ESKW/A

Looking back on June, we celebrated two staff anniversaries of two great architects in our office. The next year will surely be great as well!

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Jun Kumazawa Eight years have gone by very fast for Jun Kumazawa at ESKW/A, maybe because he has such a wide variety of projects under his belt. His work has varied in size and type; everything from Landmarked building preservations and renovations, a market-rate condo high rise building (Bergen Street), the design for a competition-winning housing RFP, as well as working on the new Ocean Wonders: Sharks! Exhibit at the NY Aquarium. Currently he’s the Project Architect for the new True Colors Bronx project and managing renovations at several properties for Project Renewal. All the while he managed to find time marry an artist, renovate his apartment, and train for and complete an Ironman race last year. Jun recently passed his Architect’s Registration Exam and is now a licensed architect. Congratulations, Jun!

d's portraits 007-edPhilip Jenkin – This month we celebrate Philip Jenkin’s 2nd anniversary at ESKW/A. Since his first summer internship with us while still at Pratt Institute, Philip has proven himself a highly skilled project manager and architect, adept at resolving complex construction issues. This past year he has managed construction on Bronx Blvd for Project Renewal where his design for the sculptural dormers is coming to life in a dynamic and exciting way; he developed construction documents on five moderate rehabilitation buildings for MAHNY in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights; he has worked with Andrew on various zoning and feasibility studies for Cherry Street, and with Kimberly on the loft renovation at 37 Walker just to name a few of his accomplishments. We are excited to see what the next year brings for Philip!