Search results for "multi-family residential"

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Fogarty Finger
Five 27, Long Island City, New York.
Courtesy Fogarty Finger

It has been called, by people who know the firm at least, the biggest (or best, depending on who you ask) architecture practice in New York nobody’s ever heard about. Superlatives aside, in the decade-plus since it was founded, Fogarty Finger has produced a solid but unassuming body of clean, modernist built work in and around New York City. It has done so very much outside of the limelight.

“We’re a bit shy,” said firm co-founder Robert Finger. “We don’t like to talk about ourselves. We focus on the quality of the work and the client relationship.”

Chris Fogarty, the other founding partner, seconded that sentiment. “We haven’t done a lot of marketing,” he said. “All of our business has been word-of-mouth referrals. That’s been our business development plan.”

Fogarty and Finger met when working in the New York office of SOM, where they gained experience designing big projects, while growing disaffected with some of the inefficiencies that can occur in any large organization. “At SOM we got frustrated seeing so much of the design chopped out,” said Fogarty. “The buildings were often naively designed. There’s no reason to design a wild facade system just to lose it to value engineering. We try to do what’s affordable right from the start.”

Another thing they tired of at SOM was working through the night, which they decided they would never impose on their own employees. Starting in 2003 with only two employees—themselves—Fogarty Finger now numbers around 50. The firm’s Lower Manhattan studio is open and informal. Employees have easy access to the partners, are given responsibility quickly, and are not worked to the bone (they get four weeks of vacation as well as flextime!). As a result, Fogarty Finger claims it has never lost a client and has only seen two employees move on to competitors. “You have to make yourself appealing,” said Finger. “You’re only as good as your staff.”

The majority of Fogarty Finger’s projects to-date are multi-family residential buildings and corporate and commercial interiors, but the firm has ambitions to design larger, more complex projects. “I worked on a lot of skyscrapers while I was at SOM. I’d like to do an office tower here in New York City,” said Fogarty. “But in the U.S. everyone is so risk-adverse. They don’t want to hire you unless you’ve already done that type of work. You have to find some crazy client who’s willing to take a chance on you. Once you’ve done it, the phone will start ringing.”

Part of the fanfare or not, Fogarty Finger continues to grow. In fact, the firm has extra space on its floor into which it intends to expand, adding desks and architects. How big will it get? Who can say? “We’ll know when we get there,” said Finger. “Not so large that we lose our connection to the client and quality.”


 
 

Five 27
Long Island City, New York

Situated on a quiet historic residential street, this five-story condominium playfully reinterprets the traditional row house. A seemingly random window pattern breaks up a rough brown brick elevation. Each window is framed with brownstone sills and headers, adding to the depth of the facade.


 
 

1407 Broadway
New York City

Fogarty Finger repositioned this mid-century skyscraper for a new millennium clientele. Sweeping expanses of glass and a dynamic entry transform the building’s sidewalk presence. The architects completely reimagined the lobby in a crisp, minimalist vein.


 

The Marx
Astoria, New York

The Marx is a seven-story multifamily building with 33 units located in a quiet neighborhood of Queens. The outwardly simple square fenestrations of the facade contain a layer of architectural detail and shadow play created by angled metal panels and glazing variations.


 

Hilltop House
Nyack, New York

This 7,500-square-foot, five-bedroom home overlooks the Hudson River on a steeply sloping site. Clad in shingles, the interior is anchored by a large family room that opens onto the garden. Glass walls and a neutral material palette connect the interior and exterior.

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Who's Taxing Who?
Some of New York's most exclusive new addresses have benefited from tax breaks under 421-a.
Henning Klokkerasen / Flickr

The renewal of an arcane piece of housing policy with an esoteric name like 421-a seems like something that should fly pretty safely under the radar. But in New York City tenant advocates have taken to the streets to protest a 44-year-old property tax exemption program that they say is being used to subsidize luxury apartments for millionaires and billionaires. With the program up for renewal in the New York State Legislature this June, these advocates, along with some City Council members, are urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to push for its elimination. But developers are advocating for just the opposite, saying that 421-a is needed to keep the city building.

The 421-a tax exemption program was launched in 1971 to boost multi-family housing development in New York City by offering property tax abatements that could last up to 25 years. The program was subsequently tweaked to require developers building in highly desirable areas to set aside a certain amount of affordable units. In 2008, the program was updated again requiring that affordable housing in these high-demand areas was on-site. But as tenant advocates point out, these units are not required to be permanently affordable.


One57, a luxury residential tower designed by Christian de Portzamparc.
David Sundberg / Esto
 
 

Over the decades since 421-a went into effect, a lot has changed in the New York City real estate world and those opposed to the program say it is no longer necessary to incentivize development in this way. They see 421-a as an unnecessary tax break for the wealthy that is cutting off funds for the city. According to the Independent Budget Office, in 2013 alone 421-a tax exemptions cost New York City $1.1 billion in lost tax revenue. Adding to the overall controversy is the fact that many units receiving these huge tax breaks are in some of New York’s most expensive buildings. This includes the Christian de Portzamparc–designed One57, which has become a reluctant poster child for the program.

In early February, the New York Times reported that the unknown buyer of a $100.5 million penthouse in the building would get a 95-percent tax cut this year— shaving $360,000 off their yearly property tax bill. The Times noted that the building was technically ineligible for the 421-a program because it did not have on-site affordable housing, but it was granted an exemption, along with four other high-end Manhattan towers, by state legislators. (The New York Post subsequently reported that United States Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating why the developers behind these extremely expensive buildings were granted tax breaks in the first place.)

New York City developers contend that residents in 421-a buildings will ultimately pay their fair share of taxes, and that the program is absolutely essential to achieving the mayor’s housing agenda. “Without this critical tax incentive, the city would see a sharp drop off in the production of new housing units, a further skewing of the residential market toward condominium rather than rental production, and an accelerated tightening of housing costs for renters and buyers alike,” said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, in a statement.

This type of argument does not hold water with housing advocates like Ilana Maier, program director for the Metropolitan Council on Housing, a tenants’ rights group. “We need to stop considering 421-a an affordable housing program,” she told AN. “We need to start calling it what it is: a tax subsidy for billionaires.”

 Maier said the idea that developers still need these subsidies is both “absurd” and “offensive” given the profits they are now able to earn from New York City real estate. Like many housing activists, Maier wants to see 421-a, “a horrible policy,” die out this June. Even if that does not happen, she is optimistic that Mayor de Blasio will champion reforms to the program that benefit lower-income New Yorkers. This could include expanding the area where developers must include on-site affordable housing and requiring new affordable units to permanently remain below market-rate.

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Architecture Billings Index bounces back to positive territory in February
It looks like the Architecture Billings Index is finally ready to start 2015. As AN reported last month, the ABI failed to impress in January, posting a 49.9, which technically puts the outlook in negative territory with 50 marking the cut off. That’s right, negative territory for the first time in ten months. Thanks ABI, happy New Year to you, too. But what a difference a month makes. The ABI appears to be returning to a happier place. In February the ABI moved up to 50.4—that’s not a huge jump, but it does cross the crucial 50 threshold that indicates growth. This good news, though, comes with its own bad news. Here goes: While the ABI ticked up, the new projects inquiry fell from 58.7 to 56.6. The Design Contracts Index was also recorded at exactly 50.0. By region, the South (52.5) and Midwest (50.2) were way out front while the Northeast (48.0) and West (46.7) stayed in negative territory. By sector institutional (52.2) and commercial / industrial (51.4) led the pack, followed by multi-family residential (48.9) and mixed practice (45.3). “The health of the institutional market has been the key factor for positive business conditions for the design and construction industry in recent months, and it is encouraging to see that sector remain on solid footing,” AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said in a statement. “However, we’re seeing some slowing in the other major construction sectors. Design billings for residential projects had its first negative month in over three years, and commercial design billings have seen only modest growth in recent years.”
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Merge Architects
Penn Street Lofts, Quincy, MA.
James Horner Photography

The Architecture League of New York has picked the winners of its annual Emerging Voices Awards. Each the year the League chooses eight practitioners from the United States, Canada, and Mexico through an invited, juried portfolio competition. This year's winners include three firms from Mexico. The rest are based on the East Coast of the U.S. The winners will be giving lectures about their work in New York City throughout the month of March.

Merge Architects

Boston, MA

In 2003, Elizabeth Whittaker founded a small architecture firm in Boston and named it Merge Architects to instill an importance of collaboration within her team. In the dozen years since, the five-person firm has completed a wide range of projects with that ethos in mind—from private homes and multi-family residences, to residential and restaurant interiors, to furniture and graphic design. A carwash is up next, said Whittaker.

All of Merge’s work is born from collaboration, not just between Merge’s in-house designers, but also within Boston’s larger pool of fabricators, engineers, and artists. Take the firm’s recently completed Marginal Street Lofts, which if not necessarily “marginal” is certainly gritty, thanks to its location adjacent to an active shipyard.

To incorporate that urban condition into the project, Merge worked with Boston Forging & Welding to create a cable mesh facade for the structure’s exterior, which was hand-sewn onto the building over a three–week period. The facade has yellow, aperture-like openings for each of the building’s nine units. These openings are placed at guardrail height, making them the perfect place to rest a drink, joked Whittaker. In the springtime, ivy will grow up the mesh facade, creating a vertical garden.

 
Lightwell, Waltham, MA.
 

To keep the project on budget and within zoning requirements, Merge stacked the building’s condos horizontally, like interlocked tubes. Doing so also met the developer’s demand to give each unit a water view.

It is this cost friendly design approach that Merge used at Penn Street Lofts, a building in Quincy, Massachusetts, that was built for just $100 a square foot. By similarly reorganizing the building’s interior, Merge could spend more of its energy and budget on creating an interesting piece of architecture. For Penn Street that meant cladding the building in red cedar clapboard siding and giving it recessed balconies framed with bright green panels.

 
MIT Beaver Works, Cambridge, MA (left). Marginal Street Lofts, Boston (right).
 

Since its inception, Merge has also been using its talents for many interiors and smaller scale installation projects around Massachusetts. In Waltham, Whittaker’s team gutted a century–old warehouse to create a modern and airy orthodontist office. The firm achieves this with “Lightwell,” an 18-foot-tall translucent wall that brings light into the office and acts as an architectural divider between the sterile labs and treatment chairs.

And in 2013, Merge collaborated with the MIT School of Engineering to pack design elements into just about every square inch of the MIT Beaver Works, a flexible research facility in Cambridge. The industrial space is brought to life with splashes of yellow, custom-fabricated wood and felt pendant lights, and built-in plywood seating. At the center of it all is a crooked plywood pod with interior benches for small meetings.

As for what’s next for Merge Architects, the firm is getting to work on more multi-family projects around Boston, and is even in discussions about a “neighborhood renovation” in China.

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Architecture Billings Index starts 2015 in negative territory
The month of January is supposed to be the time of year when we put our best foot forward and onto a treadmill. “New Year, New Me,” we tell ourselves as we pretend to train for that marathon and convince ourselves that fruit is somehow an appropriate substitute for dessert. (It's not and you know that.) With all of this in mind, we expected some best-foot-forward kind of numbers from the January Architecture Billings Index (ABI). But, no folks, it turns out that the ABI not only lost momentum from last year, it plunged into negative territory. Well, to be fair, it didn’t really plunge into negative territory so much as it dipped a toe into it, posting a score of 49.9, down from 52.7 in December. Since any score above a 50 indicates an increase in billings, 49.9 is not the end of the world. By region, the South (54.8), West (49.3), and Midwest (50.8) all kept things positive, but the Northeast only managed a 46.0. Something similar played out by sector, with three of the four categories posting gains. Multi-family residential (51.4), institutional (53.0), and commercial/industrial (50.9), were all above 50, but then mixed practice went and ruined everything with a 46.9. The new projects inquiry index also had a sluggish start to the year, posting a 58.7 in January, down from 59.1 in December. The design contracts index meanwhile was recorded at 51.3. All things considered, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker remained calm. “This easing in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market over the past nine months,” he said in a statement. “Likely some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions in January. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”
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Best Of Design Awards
Courtesy Enclos

On December 12, in New York City, seven jurors convened to evaluate and discuss more than 200 projects submitted to AN's second annual Best Of Design Awards.

The jury included Thomas Balsley, of Thomas Balsley Associates; Winka Dubbeldam, of ARCHI-TECTONICS; Kenneth Drucker, of HOK; Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects; Craig Schwitter, of Buro Happold; Annabelle Selldorf, of Selldorf Architects; and Erik Tietz, of Tietz-Baccon.

This year, the jury reviewed projects submitted in nine categories, including Best Landscape, Best Fabrication Project, Best Single Family House, Best Multi-Family Residential, Best Residential Interior, Best Non-Residential Interior, Best Facade, Best Student Built Work, and Building of the Year.

In some categories the jury selected a winner and honorable mentions, in others just winners, and in one, Single Family House, they selected a tie between two winners.

Building of the Year   Best Facade   Best Single-Family House
 
Best Landscape   Best Fabrication Project   Best Student-Built Project
 
Best Multi-Family Residential
  Best Residential Interior
  Best Non-Residential Interior
 

 

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Student Built Work
Mark Mulligan, Harvard GSD

On December 12, in New York City, seven jurors convened to evaluate and discuss more than 200 projects submitted to AN's second annual Best Of Design Awards.

The jury included Thomas Balsley, of Thomas Balsley Associates; Winka Dubbeldam, of ARCHI-TECTONICS; Kenneth Drucker, of HOK; Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects; Craig Schwitter, of Buro Happold; Annabelle Selldorf, of Selldorf Architects; and Erik Tietz, of Tietz-Baccon.

This year, the jury reviewed projects submitted in nine categories, including Best Landscape, Best Fabrication Project, Best Single Family House, Best Multi-Family Residential, Best Residential Interior, Best Non-Residential Interior, Best Facade, Best Student Built Work, and Building of the Year.

In some categories the jury selected a winner and honorable mentions, in others just winners, and in one, Single Family House, they selected a tie between two winners. Over the coming days we will be posting all of the jury’s selections.

Best Of: Student Built Work

Horizon House
Hokkaido, Japan
Harvard University Graduate School of Design

“I want these GSD students to build me a house.”—Craig Schwitter

Horizon House is located on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido near the town of Taiki-cho. It was conceived as a process for embracing local and seasonal qualities of place.

 
 

The project addresses the concept of “retreat in nature” by framing a seasonal dialogue between inhabitant and environment. The house incorporates locally harvested and salvaged wood, instead of high embodied-energy materials, such as concrete.

Inside, a continuous band of windows provides a 360-degree view to the landscape. The activities of the user shape the indoor thermal comfort envelope through radiant and ground storage systems powered by the combustion of local forest by-products.


Courtesy University of Kansas
 

Best Of: Student Built Work:  Honorable Mention 

The Armitage Pavilion, KU Field Station
Lawrence, Kansas
University of Kansas, Dirt Works Studio

This project is a structure for an education center at the KU Field Station, a system of public nature trails just out side of Lawrence maintained by the University of Kansas.

 
 

Designed and built in phases by third year architecture students at KU, the Armitage Pavilion is a 19-by-25-foot timber canopy supported on five rammed-earth walls that shades two raised timber decks, one a speaking platform, the other a place for visitors and staff to watch the sunset. The ribbon pattern of the earthen walls is inspired by waving prairie grass and local soil formations.

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Facade
Courtesy Enclos

On December 12, in New York City, seven jurors convened to evaluate and discuss more than 200 projects submitted to AN's second annual Best Of Design Awards.

The jury included Thomas Balsley, of Thomas Balsley Associates; Winka Dubbeldam, of ARCHI-TECTONICS; Kenneth Drucker, of HOK; Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects; Craig Schwitter, of Buro Happold; Annabelle Selldorf, of Selldorf Architects; and Erik Tietz, of Tietz-Baccon.

This year, the jury reviewed projects submitted in nine categories, including Best Landscape, Best Fabrication Project, Best Single Family House, Best Multi-Family Residential, Best Residential Interior, Best Non-Residential Interior, Best Facade, Best Student Built Work, and Building of the Year.

In some categories the jury selected a winner and honorable mentions, in others just winners, and in one, Single Family House, they selected a tie between two winners.

Best Of: Facade

Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Columbia University
New York, New York
Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Enclos

“It sets the tone for the future redevelopment of all of Manhattanville in terms of quality of craft and execution and crispness. The fact that you can do a building that conforms to the energy requirements of New York City with that much transparency is a technical feat.”—Kenneth Drucker

The Jerome L. Greene Science Center is the first building at Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus to break ground. The U.S. Green Building Council selected the campus expansion project for its LEED Neighborhood Design pilot program.

 
 

The program aims to “integrate the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building for neighborhood design.” The 10-story building seeks to accomplish this in part through its facade design. The building envelope consists primarily of transparent floor-to-ceiling glass walls, including high-performance structural facades, double-skin walls, and a series of metal and glass canopies and vestibules.

The project’s double-skin wall was designed to mitigate noise caused by an elevated train located just 60 feet from the building as well as to provide the performance targets necessary to meet the rating system’s tight energy usage requirements.


Courtesy Arup / Grimshaw
 

Best Of: Facade: Honorable Mention

Sky Reflector-Net, Fulton Center
New York, New York
Arup, Grimshaw, James Carpenter Design Associates

Sky Reflector-Net is an integrated artwork for the Fulton Center transit hub in Lower Manhattan. It shapes the interior of the building’s atrium with a double-curved tensioned cable net clad with perforated metal panels.

 
 

Light enters the atrium through an oculus and is then reflected into the subterranean levels of the underlying subway lines, providing these spaces with a glimpse of natural light. The two-way cable net supports 952 unique triangular and rhomboid shaped panels in 17 rows that cover 8,424 square feet of surface area.

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The Architecture Billings Index ends 2014 in positive territory
Back in November, we told you how Taylor Swift’s hit song “Shake It off” perfectly summed up how we should feel about the Architecture Billings Index’s disappointing showing from the month before. Sure, the ABI’s momentum had slowed to 55.2 in October, but since any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings, we could just shake off any negativity. Now with 2014 gone, how did the Index shape up through the end of the year? To the numerous naysayers who wrote in saying we couldn't fit another Taylor Swift reference into our coverage of architecture billings data, watch this: As you may already know, we dropped the ball in December and did not post the freshest ABI data, creating what the superstar would call a “Blank Space.” Are we taking this Taylor Swift connection too far? Probably, so let’s move right to the numbers because we have a lot of catching up to do. In December, the ABI was recorded at 52.2, that's up from the 50.9 in November. The project inquiry index, unfortunately, did not have as good of a time—dropping from 58.8 to 58.2. But that dip was nothing compared to the design contracts index which fell from 54.9 to 49.9. By region, the Southwest and West performed best posting 56.8 and 52.9, respectively. The Midwest just managed to stay in positive territory at 50.8 while the Northeast slipped below the line to 45.5. And by sector, it was multi-family residential (55.7) followed by institutional (52.5) and then commercial / industrial (51.2). Meanwhile, mixed-practice was all the way down at 45.8. “Business conditions continue to be the strongest at architecture firms in the South and the Western regions,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, in a statement. “Particularly encouraging is the continued solid upturn in design activity at institutional firms, since public sector facilities were the last nonresidential building project type to recover from the downturn.” Overall, 2014 was a good year for the ABI with 10 out of 12 months showing increasing demand for design services. It was also a very good year for Taylor Swift.
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Multi-Family Residential
Richard Barnes / Courtesy of Alloy

On December 12, in New York City, seven jurors convened to evaluate and discuss more than 200 projects submitted to AN's second annual Best Of Design Awards.

The jury included Thomas Balsley, of Thomas Balsley Associates; Winka Dubbeldam, of ARCHI-TECTONICS; Kenneth Drucker, of HOK; Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects; Craig Schwitter, of Buro Happold; Annabelle Selldorf, of Selldorf Architects; and Erik Tietz, of Tietz-Baccon.

This year, the jury reviewed projects submitted in nine categories, including Best Landscape, Best Fabrication Project, Best Single Family House, Best Multi-Family Residential, Best Residential Interior, Best Non-Residential Interior, Best Facade, Best Student Built Work, and Building of the Year.

In some categories the jury selected a winner and honorable mentions, in others just winners, and in one, Single Family House, they selected a tie between two winners. Over the coming days we will be posting all of the jury’s selections.

 

Best Of: Multi-Family Residential

185 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, New York
Alloy

“I like the juxtaposition of the historic facades with the hint that something is happening internally, and the contrast of the punched openings on the historic facades and the transparency of the courtyard is great. It will be a surprise when you come into each of these units.”—Kenneth Drucker

   
 

Acting as both architect and developer, Alloy acquired 185 Plymouth Street in 2012 to convert it to residential apartments. The original building, built in 1900 as a stable for Arbuckle Brothers, was a 200-foot-deep, thru-block building. The deep floor plates were not ideal for residential living.

 

Using the site constraints as an opportunity in a process of subtraction, Alloy carved a courtyard through the center of the building, bringing light and air to the middle of the lot. The excavated volume was reorganized on top of the resulting two buildings as contemporary penthouse additions.

A new curtain wall facade surrounds the interior courtyard, where landscaped bridges and gardens create a tranquil, hidden inner space. The brick and timber structure was thoughtfully restored to expose its historic character, while new elements were carefully inserted.


Courtesy Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects
 

Best Of: Multi-Family Residential: Honorable Mention

Cloverdale749
Los Angeles, California
Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

Located around the corner from LA’s Miracle Mile, this four-story, six-unit development maximizes its land use potential, fitting 10,500 square feet within the site’s zoning constraints. Interior and exterior spaces are blurred with outdoor circulation, private balconies, and a roof deck. Window, deck, and walkway placement take advantage of views of the Hollywood sign and downtown LA.

 
 

The building’s white metal skin plays with context and contrast, responding to its neutral stucco neighbors while also standing out as a decidedly contemporary expression.


Courtesy CetraRuddy
 

Best Of: Multi-Family Residential: Honorable Mention

One Madison
New York, New York
CetraRuddy

This 50-story residential tower in Manhattan’s Flatiron District takes its design cues from the Metabolist movement of the late 1960s and early 70s with modular plug-in “pods” that cantilever to the north and east of the main tower shaft, which gives residents 360-degree views of the city.

   
 

Earth-toned bronze glass on the tower shaft responds in a modern way to the neighborhood’s predominately masonry context, while the proportions and massing of the building create a dialog with neighboring MetLife tower.

The structural scheme of cruciform reinforced concrete shear walls moves the tower’s lateral bracing to the interior, leaving the perimeter open for views.

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Landscape & Fabrication
Jeff Goldberg

On December 12, in New York City, seven jurors convened to evaluate and discuss more than 200 projects submitted to AN's second annual Best Of Design Awards.

The jury included Thomas Balsley, of Thomas Balsley Associates; Winka Dubbeldam, of ARCHI-TECTONICS; Kenneth Drucker, of HOK; Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects; Craig Schwitter, of Buro Happold; Annabelle Selldorf, of Selldorf Architects; and Erik Tietz, of Tietz-Baccon.

This year, the jury reviewed projects submitted in nine categories, including Best Facade, Best Landscape, Best Single Family House, Best Multi-Family Residential, Best Residential Interior, Best Non-Residential Interior, Best Fabrication Project, Best Student Built Work, and Building of the Year.

In some categories the jury selected a winner and honorable mentions, in others just winners, and in one, Single Family House, they selected a tie between two winners. Over the coming days we will be posting all of the jury’s selections.

Best Of: Landscape

Clark Art Institute
Williamstown, Massachusetts
Reed Hilderbrand, Tadao Ando, Gensler

 

“I think it’s an extraordinary example of the possibilities of the integration of architecture and landscape and then nature beyond. The lines have been blurred wherever you go, wherever the eye travels. What is particularly impressive to me is the performative nature of the landscape. It seems to be something that was first and foremost on their minds as they were doing the site planning. It’s quite an impressive piece of landscape architecture.”—Thomas Balsley

 
Jeff Goldberg; Alex MacLean
 

The redesign of the Clark Art Institute’s 140-acre campus opened this summer following a 14-year collaboration to bring nature and art closer to everyday life. The design team worked to shape a publicly accessible landscape that unites diverse buildings and more fully situates the institution within the natural and cultural patterns of the Berkshires.

 
Millicent Harvey; Jeff Goldberg
 

New roads and two miles of walking trails expand access to underutilized landscape resources. The team reshaped meadows, protected streams, restored woodlands, and rebuilt the campus core, transforming parking lots into a tiered reflecting pool that unifies a new visitor education and exhibition center, the museum, and the research center.

Reflecting the Berkshire landscape beyond and functionally marrying site drainage, groundwater management, and gray water systems, the pools articulate a stewardship agenda that unites the cultural and natural resources of the Clark.


Patrick Winn; Scott Adams; Fernando Ortega
 

Best Of: Fabrication

The Gourd
San Antonio, Texas
Overland Partners

“It’s not just something to look at. The kids can use it and probably have fun and people looking at it from the outside are going to be intrigued by it. The panelization is intricate enough, but you get the understanding of how it comes together. You’re using the fabrication technique to illustrate the joy of the structure.”—Erik Tietz

 
 

Built for the San Antonio Botanical Gardens’ human-sized birdhouse competition, the Gourd offers a playful platform from which to contemplate the complex relationship between humans and the natural world.

 

 

Overland Partners chose a shape inspired by the bottle gourd, first used in its hollowed-out form by Native Americans to attract Purple Martins as a nesting spot. The Gourd is built out of 70 plates of 12-gauge Corten steel wrapped around a robin’s egg blue internal octahedron structure, and perforated with more than 1,000 Ball Mason jars. Each steel plate, unique in shape and size, was fabricated using CNC laser cutting and assembled in house by the design team.

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Interiors
Montee Karp Residence in the Pacific Palisades by Tighe Architecture.
Trevor Tondro

On December 12, in New York City, seven jurors convened to evaluate and discuss more than 200 projects submitted to AN's second annual Best Of Design Awards.

The jury included Thomas Balsley, of Thomas Balsley Associates; Winka Dubbeldam, of ARCHI-TECTONICS; Kenneth Drucker, of HOK; Chris McVoy, of Steven Holl Architects; Craig Schwitter, of Buro Happold; Annabelle Selldorf, of Selldorf Architects; and Erik Tietz, of Tietz-Baccon.

This year, the jury reviewed projects submitted in nine categories, including Best Facade, Best Landscape, Best Single Family House, Best Multi-Family Residential, Best Residential Interior, Best Non-Residential Interior, Best Fabrication Project, Best Student Built Work, and Building of the Year.

In some categories the jury selected a winner and honorable mentions, in others just winners, and in one, Single Family House, they selected a tie between two winners. Over the coming days we will be posting all of the jury’s selections.

Best Of: Residential Interior

Montee Karp Residence
Pacific Palisades, California
Tighe Architecture

“I think there’s a very daring move here and it’s done with unapologetic consistency. It really starts to work. It’s more like an architecture inside. I don’t feel like it’s traditional interior design. It’s creating an environment, an interior environment—the stair, the front door, the facade slots, the ceiling slots—the whole thing starts to come together to create a game of light and transparency and patterns through light.”—Winka Dubbeldam

The Montee Karp Residence is an extensive remodeling of a mid-century post-and-beam house in the Castellammare neighborhood of Pacific Palisades. The minimal, gallery-like living space accommodates the client’s extensive contemporary art collection.

 
 

Display niches, lighting, and the configuration of the spaces enhance the experience of viewing the art. A steel stair with a custom laser cut pattern cantilevers out from the wall. Light from the skylight above filters through the stair and projects a dynamic texture of shadow and light throughout the interior.

A grand entry door marks the threshold into the relatively small house. The door is made of a 2-inch stainless steel tube frame. The 10-foot-high door is set on a hydraulic pivot and a concealed magnetic locking device. A slit window in one corner of the house frames a sweeping view of Santa Monica Bay.


Scott McDonald / Hedrich Blessing Photography
 

Best Of: Non-Residential Interior

OSU Postal Plaza Gallery
Stillwater, Oklahoma
Elliott + Associates

“It’s a palimpsest project. Not only are they exposing the building that’s there, but they cut deeper to show the bones underneath. So there are several layers of time from the construction of the building, the rawness of the building before it was finished, elements of the original building, and then new insertions. Through strategic cutting and revealing, you get this through subtraction.”—Chris McVoy

 
 

The Oklahoma State University Postal Plaza Gallery was established for the display and safe storage of art, as well as to serve as an educational tool for students and the residents of Stillwater and the state at large.

 
 

Elliott + Associates developed its design around the concept of turning the space inside out. The goal was to allow visitors to see how works of art are cared for, how an exhibit is organized and hung, and how the process of collection management plays out.

The architecture reflects this behind the scenes approach. The architects carved into the former post office building, leaving portions of its underlying structure exposed, maintaining certain existing architectural elements, and making unobtrusive additions.


Courtesy Olson Kundig Architects
 

Best Of: Non-Residential Interior: Honorable Mention

Microsoft Cybercrime Center
Redmond, Washington
Olson Kundig Architects

Olson Kundig Architects transformed an existing office space into a facility for global cyber crime fighting. Designed to serve Microsoft’s team of legal and technical experts, as well as visiting customers, academics, law enforcement, and industry partners, the project provides flexible workspace and establishes an environmental brand that interprets the work.

 
 

The architects organized a set of workrooms with around a central space with views to large landscaped gardens. Changeable degrees of transparency in the workrooms allow visitors to see digital forensics specialists at work without disturbing operations. The team also raised drop ceilings along the window wall to maximize daylight on the interior.