“Working by calculation, engineers employ geometrical forms, satisfying our eyes by their geometry…their work is on the direct line of good art,” Le Corbusier described the engineer’s aesthetic. This kind of engineering expressionism is employed to interesting ends by Ennead Architects at the Engineering Education and Research Center (EERC) at the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering. The building features a dramatic glass-enclosed atrium that connects disciplines on a monumental staircase and provides sightlines into working laboratories, arranged like a page of comic book panels. A glass ceiling spans the 80-foot-wide space, and two towers on either side contain multidisciplinary research labs and electrical and computer engineering research spaces, respectively. The unification of disciplines in the atrium is expressed through a series of expressive parts: A truss-like bridge, a bespoke waterjet-cut spiral staircase, and slanted columns below the mezzanine level all show off the aesthetic of an engineer rather than one seamless whole. This honesty is a direct appeal to the students and engineering community who will inevitably congregate in the atrium.
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James Stewart Polshek has won the 2018 AIA Gold Medal and Minneapolis's Snow Kreilich Architects has received the 2018 AIA Architecture Firm Award. The Gold Medal recognizes an individual or pair of architects whose work has influenced the profession. A former dean of Columbia GSAPP and founding partner of James Stewart Polshek Architect (now Ennead Architects), he led the restoration of Carnegie Hall in 1987, as well as the design of the Newseum/Freedom Forum Headquarters, completed in 2008, and the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, pictured at top. Snow Kreilich Architects earned this year's AIA Architecture Firm Award, the top award the organization gives to practices in the United States. Known for its work in and around the Twin Cities, the firm is perhaps best known for designing humanistic ports of entry for the U.S. Department of Customs and Border Protection in Maine and Minnesota. "This is an architecture of use and convenience, permanence, and beauty, deeply rooted to its place, and constructed of materials choreographed in an emotive way, with poetic qualities that move us deeply,” architect Marlon Blackwell said in a letter supporting the firm's award nomination. "Their body of work is distinguished by a restrained formal elegance and a refined minimal tectonic sensibility while avoiding the nostalgic and technological excesses of our discipline. Indeed, they see architecture as a material practice and a cultural act born of a sensual pragmatism." Snow Kreilich and Polshek, the 74th recipient of the medal, will be fêted at the 2018 AIA Conference on Architecture in New York City. Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams and San Francisco–based Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects took home honors in their respective categories last year.
2017 Best of Design Awards for Building of the Year – Southwest: Arizona State University Beus Center for Law and Society Architect: Ennead Architects Location: Phoenix, Arizona The Beus Center for Law and Society (BCLS), the new home to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, reimagines the traditional law school as a public building. Located at the heart of ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, the design embodies the law school’s transformative pedagogical approach to legal education, which stems from a deeply rooted commitment to educating students and citizens on the importance of the law in shaping society. The building’s permeable courtyard massing, with a north-south pedestrian slice through its social core, invites all into the heart of the institution, exposing the public to its three grand double-height communal spaces: the Great Hall, the Law Library and the Law Courtyard. The purposefully blurred line between public and private creates a unique urban environment aimed at encouraging vibrant connections between the College of Law, the network of downtown legal professionals, and the larger Phoenix community. “The Beus Center appears solid and grounded while expressing a lightness and translucency through its innovative facade treatment and bold structural moves. Simultaneously, it acts as an icon for the city and a beacon that welcomes the community inside.” —Nathaniel Stanton, Principal, Craft Engineer Studio (Juror)
This story is part of a monthlong series of guests posts by AIA New York that feature Archtober Building of the Day tours. See the full 2017 schedule here. Yesterday’s Archtober group was treated to an in-depth exploration of the new Staten Island Courthouse in St. George, with a number of tour guides led by Susan Rodriguez, FAIA, Partner at Ennead Architects, and Chris Halloran, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate at Ennead Architects. We were lucky enough to also have representatives from court planning consultants RicciGreene Associates and structural engineers LERA to share their insights, as well as a number of court employees who showed us around and provided fascinating takes on the building’s use. The project was intended to unify the New York State Supreme Civil and Criminal Courts for Staten Island, as well as the lower Criminal Courts and offices for various other agencies, such as the Richmond County District Attorney and the NYPD. It is, accordingly, an extremely complex program, especially given the security requirements of a criminal courthouse. With defendants, attorneys, witnesses, members of the jury, judges, family members, reporters, and the general public needing to access the courtroom, each one of these groups has to have a clearly choreographed path through the space of the courthouse. Programmatic complexity is only one aspect of the Courthouse’s design. The site’s urban context forces it to be a major player in city-making. To the east, the courthouse faces toward the St. George waterfront, where it is visible from the Staten Island Ferry. It is also situated to the north of Memorial Green, the former site of a quarantine station for immigrants, designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects; across the green are Borough Hall, the New York Public Library, and the Staten Island Theater. To the west is a residential neighborhood. The south of the courthouse faces a parking garage, built as part of the project, since the courthouse site used to be a municipal parking lot. Moreover, the site dictated long east and west façades and short north and south ends. On the outside, then, the building had to be a transitional zone from arrival to community, from civic to private. The design, accordingly, pushes the public spaces toward the east and the more restricted ones to the west, with courtrooms making up the core. Our tour started on the fifth floor, which houses the judges’ chambers. There, we took in the view from the judges’ lobby to Manhattan on the northeast and out the Verrazano Narrows on the southeast. The second, third and fourth floors are very similar in plan, housing courtrooms, hearing rooms, holding cells for prisoners on the criminal end, robing rooms, and jury deliberation rooms. In the courtrooms, the designers described the complicated process of designing such an important space. Once the preliminary design was made, a full-scale mockup was built, and every judge sat behind the bench to make sure that they could see the faces of witnesses, defendants, and attorneys. This led to adjustments in the lighting so that eye contact could be established. At the same time, while the judge must be able to see everyone, the design needed to ensure the privacy of the documents available to judges and attorneys. The ground floor, which houses the jury assembly room and other receiving functions, extends beyond the rest of the building. Our tour guides led us to the ground floor's green roof, from where we could admire the façade rising above us; a remarkably smooth glass façade on floors two through four and four copper towers – the building’s visual signature – which house the fifth floor and mechanical services. At the end of the tour, we viewed the jury assembly room – eerily large when empty, but filled every day with 200 potential jurors – and, on the lower level, the arraignment courtroom. The courtrooms have a subtle blue and orange color scheme, echoing the colors of New York State and the Staten Island Ferry’s graphic identity. By the end of the tour, we had come to appreciate the subtle interweaving of spaces that allows for the success of this complex building. Join us tomorrow at the Lenfest Center for the Arts!
Brought to you with support fromThe Sandra Day O'Connor Law School, at Arizona State University (ASU), is a new six-story, 260,000-square-foot state-of-the-art law school, designed by New York-based Ennead Architects in collaboration with Jones Studio. The architecture of the building is inspired by the school’s progressive legal scholarship and outreach to the community through services like a public interest law clinic and the nation’s first not-for-profit teaching law firm. Ennead Architects say the Phoenix-based school is designed to act as an institutional agent of change dedicated to educating students and citizens on the importance of the law in shaping civil society. In response to this initiative, the building design encourages vibrant connections between ASU, the College of Law, and the local downtown Phoenix community. A north-south “slice” through the courtyard massing creates an inviting and active public space with a pedestrian pathway that brings individuals directly into the central core of the law school, exposing them to the main lobby and three double-height spaces located at the heart of the building. Here, an expansive bi-folding glass door at the front of the school's Great Hall blurs the line between indoor and outdoor space, providing flexibility while offering a unique civic space to the downtown Phoenix community. Brian Masuda, associate partner at Ennead Architects, said this massing strategy paired environmental responsiveness with the desire to expose the core functions of the building to the public. The courtyard allows views into the building while self-shading large glazed areas of the facade. Sustainability was a key design driver throughout the process. A "hard-shell," which the design team considered a "protective skin" that performs as a shading device, wraps all of the exterior surfaces of the building. Ennead collaborated with Buro Happold to develop an articulated facade of Arizona sandstone with aluminum and glass windows. Masuda said internal programming and solar orientation prompted undulation in the window openings of the facade: "The aesthetic was driven by the program and environmental analysis. We wanted to make the stone facade modulate and calibrate in a way that when the windows got wider, fin elements got deeper." The facade is unitized and factory assembled, both to assure quality and to achieve a higher standard of thermal performance. The decision to work with a unitized system also helped with an aggressive one-year design and documentation schedule, said Masuda: "A unitized prefab facade system came into play because of the efficiency of the construction." Heavily insulated walls and roof also contribute to the efficiency of the shell. Mechanically, the building incorporates energy-efficient technologies, including chilled beams and under-floor displacement cooling. The project team said that because of the integration of these passive systems, they relied more heavily on the performance of the building envelope. "Hot spots" discovered through energy modeling were managed by the fine tuning of glazing types, the specification of high solar heat gain coefficients, and fritting in specific areas of the facade. The building is expected to reduce energy consumption by 37% compared to a baseline building, per ASHRAE 90.1-2007. Desert-adaptive planting and water features activate the landscape, helping to minimize on-site irrigation demands. The building taps into a campus-wide system of tracking energy usage, which is publicly accessible online through ASU’s “campus metabolism” website.
Richard Olcott/Ennead Architects completes bird-friendly “Integrated Science Commons” for Vassar College
A “bird-friendly” laboratory building that doubles as a bridge over a campus ravine is the centerpiece of a multi-building “science commons” that Richard Olcott/Ennead Architects has completed for Vassar College. Earlier this month, college leaders held a dedication ceremony for the $125 million project, which consists of four technologically advanced facilities for teaching and research at the liberal arts college, founded in 1861 and located in Poughkeepsie, New York. The “Integrated Science Commons,” as it is officially called, includes the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences, a gently curving, 82,000-square-foot structure that spans a ravine and stream called Fonteyn Kill, and three older buildings that have been renovated. The renovated buildings include the New England Building, Olmsted Hall of Biological Sciences, and the Sanders Physics Building. Together, the four buildings form a new campus precinct that’s intended to strengthen the college’s interdisciplinary approach to the sciences and help students and faculty keep up with the latest advances. “The completion of the Integrated Science Commons marks an exciting moment in the history of the sciences at Vassar, and will be a linchpin for the college as the sciences advance and evolve in the coming decades,” said college president Catharine Hill. “When the building designs were being developed, we…asked our faculty to anticipate changes in their fields and what they will mean for instruction and research. As a result, the facilities in the Integrated Science Commons are built to be flexible to needs that lie ahead.” At the center of Vassar’s 10-acre science precinct, the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences was designed to be a gathering spot for the campus as well as a teaching facility. By spanning a ravine where few ventured before, The Bridge provides the first accessible walking path at grade between the central campus and destinations to the south, such as the Skinner Hall of Music. Its atrium, with a café and ample seating, is a new Vassar destination. Its façade, clad in fiber cement and stone, was inspired by the wooded landscape and includes “bird-friendly” glass features designed to prevent birds from flying into it. “The Bridge for Laboratory Sciences is an experiential building,” said Ennead partner Richard Olcott, who led the design effort along with management partners Guy Maxwell and Timothy Hartung and project designer Kate Mann. “From the birch tree pattern of the building’s façade to the central corridor with panoramic views out to the natural landscape below, this is a true building in the trees. Its curvature withholds a full view of the entire building, prompting visitors to slowly experience each part of the building as it unfolds.” “As architects, we like to think about how people experience…our buildings,” Olcott said. “When you walk into a straight building and see a long passageway with a door at the end, there is no reveal, merely a sense of obligation. A sense of discovery is important to engage and propel you along on your journey. Walking through the curve of the Bridge, the ground suddenly falls out from below you and you are looking not towards the exit but out at treetops, experiencing the building as if you are in the trees.” “The curvilinear design also figuratively parallels the research that takes place daily in the Bridge,” said Mann, an associate partner with Ennead. “Every day there is a new discovery, a changing landscape, both inside and out.” With the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences, planners say, Vassar and Ennead (pronounced any-ad) have produced a facility that meets multiple goals. As the new home of the chemistry department, the Bridge makes possible experiments using state-of-the-art instrumentation for molecular structure determination, spectroscopy, chromatography and other specialized techniques. In the Bridge’s role as a multidisciplinary site, chemistry faculty and students share the new Earth and Environment Lab with colleagues from biology, environmental studies and earth science in a space designed to serve their common scientific needs. Similarly, the college’s longstanding interdisciplinary robotics research laboratory now has a permanent home in the Bridge. Administrators say it’s a first-of-its-kind collaboration at a liberal arts college, bringing together biology, cognitive science and computer science professors and students. Identifying the right site for this large structure was a key to advancing the college’s goal of promoting collaboration across scientific disciplines. At the same time, planners say, Vassar wanted the “footprint” of the building to fit in well with the scale of adjoining buildings and with its wetland location. Built like a bridge, the new structure rests on two 20-foot-tall concrete piers to span nearly 400 feet across the campus ravine. These piers support a pair of curving trusses at the topmost level. In turn, the two floors below are hung from six-inch steel pipes, creating a structure that is very lightweight and open for its size, thereby minimizing the building’s impact on the ground and preserve the natural landscape underneath. The building’s curved form meanders through the woods, integrated with the natural landscape. Its interior passageway provides panoramic views of the surrounding area, while creating a central corridor for student activity. According to the architects, it is meant to be a conduit, drawing students through it and providing an efficient route between the campus core and remote parking. It also provides multi-disciplinary laboratories and suites designed to foster collaboration between departments, researchers and students from different fields of study. “The Bridge Building invites movement, and in so doing reinforces the accessibility of the sciences to all of Vassar’s student body—a primary goal of the project,” Olcott said. Vassar and Ennead worked with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates to establish a landscape plan that will help rehabilitate the wetland ecosystem surrounding the Bridge, improve the water quality of the wetland’s stream, and provide a storm water management system for the site. Because the Fonteyn Kill wetland is a haven for numerous bird species and on an avian flight path, the architects incorporated façade features to minimize bird collisions, an idea championed by Maxwell. Among these features on the southeast façade is the first major application in the U.S. of Ornilux Mikado glass, with a patterned ultraviolet reflective coating that is visible to birds but remains virtually transparent to the human eye. Glass on the northwest façade also has an innovative coating and custom frit pattern designed by Ennead. Frits in glass are also a tool for modulating solar glare and heat gain within a building and are among the elements used to improve energy performance throughout the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences. The other buildings provide an additional 75,000 square feet of renovated space for teaching and research. Vassar faculty began discussions about the need to bring the college’s facilities more in line with its vigorous science curriculum more than a decade ago. Among the benefits of the Integrated Science Commons, planners say, is access for faculty and students to a new array of resources. Design decisions throughout the Integrated Science Commons, they say, broke down the old divide between the classroom and the lab and resulted in integrated scientific spaces where instruction, experimentation and discovery can be accomplished “fluidly.” New “wet” and “dry” labs are equipped for faculty-led research in such subjects as ultra-thin materials, behavior genetics and health psychology. Other labs are designed to serve the needs that intersect among multiple disciplines. Improvements also make possible more extensive use of advanced experimental equipment, such as Phytotron growth chambers and an X-ray source diffractometer. Another key outcome of the project is centralization of most of the locations for the Vassar science curriculum, which were previously scattered across the campus. The departments of biology, chemistry, cognitive science, computer science, physics, astronomy, and psychology as well as the biochemistry and the neuroscience and behavior programs, all reside now within the Integrated Science Commons. By bringing these departments and programs closer together, planners said, Vassar fosters greater collaboration among faculty and students. “These new and enhanced facilities ensure that Vassar students will continue to learn in a current and dynamic hands-on environment,” Hill said. “And they equip our outstanding faculty to teach and conduct research to the best of their abilities and to serve as the best possible mentors for our students.” Other Ennead design team members for the Integrated Science Commons included: project architects Todd Walbourn and Theresa O’Leary; Charmian Place for interiors and Kathleen Kulpa as technical director. Also on the design team were Christina Ciardullo, Edgar Jimenez, Hiroko Nakatani, Tom Offord, Yong Kyun Roh, Constance Vale, Hans Walter, and Desiree Wong. In designing the new science commons, the architects and college planners determined that one campus building from the early 1980s was “failing” and chose to demolish it. The Seeley G. Mudd Chemistry Building, a Postmodern structure by Perry Dean Rogers & Partners of Boston, was torn down earlier this year, and the land will be maintained as green space.
The Indiana University Art Museum has received a $15 million gift which will be used for the renovation of the museum’s current 1982 I.M. Pei building. The gift was bestowed by the Indianapolis-based philanthropists Sidney and Lois Eskenazi. In honor of their gift, the museum has been renamed the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Art Museum. The updates to the 34-year-old museum building, due to be completed in 2020, will be designed by the New York-based Ennead Architects and Indianapolis-based Browing Day Mullins Dierdorf. Along with the $15 million gift, the university will also be spending an additional $20 million on the project as part of their current gift-matching program. Along with the monetary gift, the Eskenazi’s have donated a nearly 100 works of their personal collection to the museum. The collection includes pieces by Miró, Picasso, Calder, Chigall, Dali and others. These pieces will be added to the museums already 45,000 piece collection, which ranges from ancient to modern art of a diverse range of cultures. The current I.M. Pei-designed museum is often cited as having no right angles. Though this is not accurate, the building is defined by two large triangular forms connected by a large triangular glass atrium.
Intrepid Archtober-ites ventured to the site of the 1964-65 World’s Fair to explore a monument of the Space Age. The New York Hall of Science, a 90-foot-high undulating vertical structure designed by Wallace K. Harrison, was meant to create the illusion of floating in deep space. Cobalt glass shards stud the 5,400 coffers in the rippling wall, filtering sunlight into the interior and bathing it in an intense, blue glow. Ennead Architects associate Theresa O’Leary gave a detailed account of the extensive renovations that were made in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the World’s Fair . Together with Building Conservation Associates, the firm carefully surveyed the entirety of the structure and made repairs to the water-damaged concrete and rusted rebar. Biogrowth and atmospheric soiling, accumulated over the years, were cleaned off. 50 glass panels were replaced. While the renovation of the building is complete, the exterior landscaping is still a work in progress. Due to a history of drainage issues, plans to recreate the original hexagonal pool were scrapped in favor of greenery. Ennead is also working on an outdoor classroom for the school groups that visit the museum. We’ve moved past the Space Race, but the freshly scrubbed Hall of Science stands as a proud testament to its time.
Heroic Food Farms in rural New York teams up with Ennead to provide micro-housing, mentorship, and jobs to displaced veterans
Shaken by war and existentially disoriented, most veterans struggle to reintegrate and find work. A nonprofit food farm on the outskirts of New York City is being eyeballed as a possible housing and training solution for displaced veterans. The masterplan by Ennead Architects and RAFT Landscape Architecture includes eight micro-housing units for individuals or couples. The homes, equipped with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette, will all be programmatically linked by a community building for living, dining and instruction. The housing units, which are positioned in relationship to one another, rest on piers to “sit lightly on the land” and are interconnected by raised decks. The architects declined to install a living room in order to encourage tenants to use the community building for leisure. Meanwhile, the existing farmhouse, hay loft, and barn will be renovated. "It's about striking a balance between creating privacy for the individual and fostering a sense of community with shared spaces that open out to the view," said Andrew Burdick, director of Ennead Lab, the architecture firm's public interest and pro-bono division. Sited on 19 acres in the hilly Hudson Valley, the shed-like dwellings are designed to meet Passivhaus standards of extremely low energy consumption. The configuration of the buildings – a quadrangle surrounded by residences with linked porches, takes after Thomas Jefferson’s academic village at the University of Virginia. Veterans will receive instruction and mentorship, as well as job placement at nearby farms during harvest peak season. On the Heroic Food Farm site, they will raise livestock and cultivate produce in the greenhouses. Though small in scale, Burdick hopes the food farm can become a prototype to help plug the gap in the U.S. labor market, whereby a simultaneous shortage of agricultural workers and high unemployment among veterans presents a promising opportunity to connect those dots. According to report by the Wall Street Journal, the shortage of farm workers reduces agricultural production by roughly 9.5 percent per year. Statistically, one possible cause is that 30 percent of farmers are over the age of 65, while less than 10 percent are below 35. Screenwriter Leora Barish, founder of Heroic Food Farms, told Architect Magazine: “We know that supportive housing is one of the keys to sustaining programs for returning veterans.” Currently, New York ranks among the top ten states with the highest veteran population and veteran unemployment rate.
The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts has unveiled its Ennead Architects–designed expansion that it will build as part of a $650 million "Advancement Campaign." Along with $200 million for new facilities, the campaign allocates $350 toward its endowment, and $100 million to improve existing infrastructure on the museum's campus. Ennead's plan for PEM is based on original work created by Rick Mather, the celebrated architect who passed away in 2013. The expansion includes a new 40,000-square-foot, three-story wing for galleries that is slated to break ground in 2016 and open three years later. The museum is also constructing an 80,000-square-foot off-site building for the Collection Stewardship Center that is designed by Schwartz/Silver Architects and is also scheduled to open in 2019. "A design highlight of the expansion will be the renovation of the west facade of the museum’s founding structure, East India Marine Hall," said the museum in a statement. "This National Historic Landmark will be given renewed prominence with the creation of an adjacent two-story glass atrium that will offer fresh perspectives on this iconic building." PEM says it holds the "largest historic architecture collection among US art museums" noting that four of its 22 structures are National Historic Landmarks and another six are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A jury of architects, landscape architects, critics, educators, and planners has named the 35 winning projects of this year's AIA New York Chapter Design Awards. "Each winning project, granted either an 'Honor' or 'Merit' award, was chosen for its design quality, response to its context and community, program resolution, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique," the AIA said in a statement. "Submitted projects had to be completed by members of the AIA New York Chapter, architects/designers practicing in New York, or be New York projects designed by architects/designers based elsewhere." Take a look at the winning teams in the projects and urban design categories below. Honor Awards Ennead Architects Rethinking Refugee Communities
From the architects: "Can refugee settlements be a benefit to the host community rather than a burden? How can shared resources be employed to benefit both populations as well as foster a more sustainable solution? These questions arise when rethinking a new type of refugee settlement design process that fosters shared infrastructure, resources and economic exchange between incoming refugees and local residents. By creating spatial opportunities for the two populations to develop a beneficial relationship, refugee settlements can enrich the opportunities available to refugees creating more sustainable solutions during the refugees’ displacement."The Living Hy-Fi Queens, NY
From the architects: "Hy-Fi offers a captivating physical environment and a new paradigm for sustainable architecture. In 2014, we tested and refined a new low-energy building material, manufactured 10,000 compostable bricks, constructed a 13-meter-tall tower, hosted public cultural events for three months, disassembled the structure, composted the bricks, and returned the resulting soil to local community gardens. This successful experiment offers many possibilities for future construction."MERIT AWARDS BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group Project: Smithsonian Institution South Mall Campus Master Plan Location: Washington, DC CDR Studio Governor's Cup Pavilion New York, NY OBRA Architects Church in the Arctic Tana Bru, Norway raad The Lowline New York, NY
Archtober Building of the Day #1 The Public Theater at Astor Place 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY Ennead Architects Many "Building of the Day" tours demonstrate the vibrancy of New York City, as it manifests itself in public spaces, public buildings, and, today, in the Public Theater. Theater shows us who we are, and the Public Theater has presented a balanced mix of Shakespeare, classics, musicals, contemporary works, and experimental. The lobby is filled with words, and immediately my head is filled with quotes from the Bard: “What do you read, my lord,” and Hamlet replies: ”Words, words, words.” So we kick off with some good words about the public, the theater, and the splendid blend of history and aspiration that brings them all together. Ennead Associate Partner Stephen Cho, led the tour today, developing the history of this sturdy antebellum structure. Originally built in 1853 as the Astor Library, it grew until the 1895 consolidation with the Lenox and Tilden Libraries formed the New York Public Library. The original architect was Alexander Saeltzer, with additions by Thomas Stent. Abandoned by the NYPL in 1911, the structures were repurposed for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in 1920. The Astor Library became a residence, a half-way house, a kosher cafeteria, and an advocacy organization for the displaced Jews of the early 20th century. By 1965, the building had deteriorated considerably and faced certain demolition. One of the first successful “saves” of the newly-created Landmarks Preservation Commission, the city purchased the building, gave it landmark status and leased it to Joe Papp, who had already established his vision of promoting Shakespeare to the masses. Ada Louise Huxtable called it “the miracle on Lafayette Street.” Ennead began its involvement with the renovation of the lobby and public outdoor space. Taking cues from the historic building, a new stoop was added by gobbling up a lane of Lafayette Street. A glass canopy was also added. Paula Sher of Pentagram had a hand in some of the words, and artist Ben Rubin created The Shakespeare Machine as a site-specific light fixture with 37 LED screens that displays fragments of Shakespeare’s plays. This was a great project to kick off the month of architecture. It has everything – an august beginning as an institution for learning, a historic transformation reflecting the changing nature of the neighborhood, and its chapter as a hub of theaters exploring all those themes and more. Stay tuned for 30 more…tomorrow we tour 250 Bowery by Morris Adjmi Architects at high noon.