An Apartment combination / renovation
Upper West Side, New York City
In collaboration with Kasia Atkinson
This was a project for a New York power couple with opposite but complimentary aesthetics - he a worldwide traveling, antique-collecting newspaperman; she a curator at a prominent modern art gallery. The juxtaposition of the historic artifacts collected on his travels and a very contemporary sensibility became the driving design force behind the new spaces.
The project combined a two-bedroom apartment in a pre-war building with a vacant studio next door. We enlarged the studio kitchen as the primary cook space, and softened the other kitchen into an antique-holding wine bar. The details were crafted to carefully display specifically chosen pieces of art work - an apartment curated as a museum.
The Quaker Friends Meeting House reception hall
Construction to begin Autumn 2017
Occupying a delightfully pastoral corner of DuPont Circle, The Quaker Friends campus is an urban respite. Through a larger campus renovation, the Friends wanted to enhance the ability of all to enjoy their peaceful setting by renovating a 'church basement' into an elegant hall, opening to a lush enclosed courtyard, and versatile enough to be enjoyed by patrons of all needs.
Lillu the Tiny House
2014-present (in construction)
What's the use of a homeless home... A complex conundrum; the first question asked becomes a necessary revelation. Why build at all, if not on particular land? Is "home" specific land + specific structure? Home is where the heart is?
My heart is on the moon. And on the sea. And amidst wildflowers. And next door to you.
follow Lillu's construction progress at www.lilluhouse.com/blog
Spring 2016 - present (in progress)
A renovation / pop up addition in progress. In addition to enclosing the rear balconies, the owner dreamed of a roof-top addition, but not one to compete with the infamous DC pop-ups that have caused the city to rewrite zoning code. Rather, the pop-up would be respectful of the neighborhood while capitalizing on city views to the rear.
A well-being center offering a path to wholeness
opening 2017 (in construction)
The design of this center is meant to act as a support network to benefit the purpose of the work done here. The environment is consciously created toward uplifting and renewing through material, light, sound, and space. It is designed to support communal gathering as well as personal reflection.
Architecture for Humanity New York Chapter project team:
Client: Broadway Community Incorporated
Appending words such as "sustainable" and "green" to a project often brings praise as if merely being environmentally sound is sufficiently responsible. Large projects may have the benefits of a budget for expensive materials and sexy marketing, but the definition of green should also encompass thinking about the greater implications of our actions in the world.
Located in Morningside Heights, a neighborhood in Manhattan, Broadway Community Incorporated (BCI) is a non-profit organization serving the city's homeless population. Art therapy, job training, and a nightly women's shelter are only some of their programs. BCI aims not only to provide meals or a bed, but to build a community, assistance for individuals to rebuild their lives, and educate the public about poverty and disenfranchisement.
Faced with growing demands for their services, BCI needed a plan to fulfill programmmatic elements while also reimagining their space in the basement of a church. As members of the New York chapter of Architecture for Humanity, we worked for several years in after-hours and weekends on a design to enhance a space that many consider a home.
BCI considers environmental care as a consistent part of their mission and this project. As a volunteer-run project with no budget, the team worked exhaustively to secure donations from compatible companies, and to source local and re-used materials to the greatest extent possible.
IIHS (Indian Institute of Urban Settlements) Research Project
This project is situated between two themes of the city: the ease of mobility around the eastern waterfront of Mumbai, and the density of derelict or defunct industrial use and informal housing along the railroad tracks. The train lines in their current usage do a terrific job dispersing people, but this network is utilized in one dimension only. This proposal is to merge the mobility network with the blighted spaces that occur alongside them, thereby parasitically feeding off an existing network in order to create a new one. The IIHS-mandated program, including a proposed public health program, is then inserted into these blighted areas, weaving the interstitial city within the larger urban fabric.
This urban housing research project proposes to reconnect the city to the sea - the port to the center, by pulling the major artery of Via Cavour through rather than allowing it to split and be dominated by the highway racing past. The proposal allows for partial restoration of the castle and the preservation of the historic muslim quarter remains on the site, ensconced in a new gateway piazza space and buildings that on one hand cap the urban garden trail leading toward the port, and on the other welcome foreign influence to come back into Palermo. It is a welcoming center and urban kiosk. The redirected artery will then lead its way to the edge of the constructed city, which will be turned over to the public in the form of an additional urban garden, serving again to function the city.
The other portion of the site is made up of housing that fits itself back into the city. It re-densifies the edge and creates urban blocks in an area that is situated to provide the best faces towards the sea and toward the city.
The architectural design project focused on the meeting of these two elements - the urban public project and the urban housing fabric. Originally conceived as a pinwheel of function, as a public meeting private pivot, it has evolved into a multi-use space - acting upon elements that exist within the site already (the soccer/football field that exists next to the music school), the renaissance church, and providing a new variety of uses like ground floor restaurant and retail spaces that then spill into the courtyard to disseminate the line between inside-outside.