When it comes designing for contextual relevance (and Landmarks love), BKSK is a firm favored by many developers. BKSK was founded back in 1985 when three Columbia architecture students decided they wanted to apply the progressive design principles they were seeing in their studies to the New York City landscape. Fast forward to nearly three decades later, and this trio has blossomed into a full-fledged, six-partner practice with a penchant for residential designs. One of BKSK’s current condo projects, One Vandam, is now on the rise and is getting plenty of attention for its slab on base design and syncopated glass and limestone facade. Though the design is much more modern than their previous works, One Vandam does pay homage to its dynamic locale. We recently caught up with one of BKSK’s partners, George Schieferdecker, to find out what inspired One Vandam’s design, to hear a bit about how New York has changed since BKSK first started its practice in the 80s, and to get the scoop on what’s up next for the studio.
One of the things that eventually becomes obvious to an American urban dweller residing in a European city is the lack of diversity. As a New Yorker in Rome, it’s particularly obvious. Rome is full of Romans, and Romans are, essentially, of similar stripe. There are inhabitants of this city from foreign lands and of different hues, but they are not Romans. They are Bangladeshi, Senegalese, Romanian, Albanian, and more. Anything but Roman. And that will never change. While the myriad of ethnic and racial backgrounds that comprise New York’s population might be a hyphenated-American something-or-other, we are all, for the most part, fellow New Yorkers. It’s a beautiful thing, a fact many residents proudly proclaim when they speak of what makes New York so special. Diversity informs nearly every aspect of New York’s identity, and it is not exclusive. But as I look from abroad at New York’s diversity, it clearly spreads far and wide, but how deep does it go? I don’t need to look any farther than myself for a quick study.
Architect Piet Boon may hail from the Netherlands, but his status as a NYC starchitect is on the rise. Piet, who started his career as a builder, has over the years turned his practice to architecture and interiors, and today is a top choice amongst developers who want more than just a glass tower, but a building that promotes well-being through great design (oh-so-very Dutch). Piet recently sat down with us for an interview where he discussed everything from the differences he sees in Dutch and American design sensibilities, to his high profile Huys Penthouses project (which is almost sold out), to his new Oosten development for Williamsburg, to his definitively international style, which to our surprise he refers to as “barefoot chic.”
INTERVIEW: NYC Architect Drew Lang Gives Us the Scoop on Hudson Woods, A Private Eco-Community in the Catskills, Sat, July 19, 2014
Move over Hamptons — there’s a new second-home hotbed for New Yorkers: the Catskills. The four-season destination has been growing in popularity over the past several years, but is now reaching new heights thanks to Drew Lang and Lang Architecture‘s forest getaway community Hudson Woods. Located in Kerhonkson, New York, just two hours from New York City, the 131-acre development will feature 26 sustainably designed, site-specific dwellings, each located on its own spacious lot. Buyers can personalize their homes with curated upgrades including a pool and pool house, outdoor kitchen, vegetable garden, fruit tree grove, treehouse, and solar power energy system, among other things.
Hudson Woods’ tagline is “where design meets nature,” and one look at the site makes this statement ring true. We sat down with Drew Lang to get an inside take on the project, and to learn more about the increasingly sought after Catskills community.
I didn’t come to Rome looking for love. I got plenty of the good stuff back at home in New York City. There is where most of my closest friends and family reside, along with my beloved wife, daughter and son. It also happens to be the city that is the love of my residential life. So, love in Rome was not on the itinerary. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum and beyond.
We might still be in the infatuation stage, but I got the big love for Roma right now, and that might not ever change, primarily because of the love it’s inspired in me.
Opening one restaurant is hard, but two in a month is a serious feat. But this is New York City, and restaurateurs Lisle Richards and Eric Marx were ready for a challenge. Between January and February of this year the duo opened up two of Manhattan’s hippest and most most talked about new haunts: The Monarch Room and The Wayfarer.
It’s hard not to become a jaded New Yorker when it comes to real estate. We’ve been duped by phony listing pictures, stood up at a random addresses by our brokers, and probably watched a little too much of the soap opera-like Million Dollar Listing. But it’s not all Photoshopped specs and inter-agency drama — something I quickly learned during my interview with Siim and Rudi Hanja, a father/son broker team at Brown Harris Stevens who are passionate about their careers, connection to downtown, and their relationship with each other.
Siim Hanja has been a SoHo and Tribeca resident for the past 40 years. He’s considered an expert on the downtown residential market, and much of his client base includes people involved with the arts. He raised his daughter and son Rudi in SoHo, a neighborhood he is still proud to call home. Rudi was first introduced to real estate when he was around ten years old, filing papers at a small, boutique brokerage that Siim owned. After graduating from Boston University, Rudi took a summer job with the sales and marketing team at 120 Greenwich Street, where he worked with the exclusive broker and closed the final 30% of sales in the condo building. He then went on to work at another major real estate firm in the city until he and Siim decided to begin working together at Brown Harris Stevens.
New Yorker Spotlight: Alina Cheung of Terracotta NY on How Her Investment Banking Past Inspired a Bowtie Business, Thu, July 3, 2014
As investment banking analysts at Credit Suisse, Alina Cheung and Yidi Xu spent their days surrounded by men in ties. Little did they know that these men, and their ties, would later inspire them to leave investment banking behind.
While crunching numbers and working on Excel spreadsheets, they found themselves thinking a lot about the prints on those ties. It was not long before Alina and Yidi realized they wanted the prints for themselves. And if they wanted them, they thought other women would too. With that thought, Terracotta New York, an accessories company, was born.
Have you ever seen an interesting building and wondered if it was old, new, or somewhere in between? If so, there’s a good chance you were looking at one of Morris Adjmi‘s creations. This is the brilliance of the architect–his buildings focus on the fundamentals of design, blending in with their historic surroundings, but still showcasing subtle, modern touches that make them unique.
While Adjmi’s contemporaries seem to be in a race to build the tallest, glassiest building in town, he has become the go-to architect for downtown developers thanks to his utilitarian- and industrial-influenced designs. After opening his own firm MA in 1997, Adjmi gained permanent notoriety with the Scholastic Building in SoHo, a 2001 project he collaborated on with Pritzker Prize winner Aldo Rossi. It was the first example of new construction in the SoHo Cast-Iron Historic District, and architecture Paul Goldberger said it was “a building that will teach generations of architects the proper way to respond to historic contexts.”
INTERVIEW: Resolution: 4 Architecture’s Joseph Tanney Talks Prefab Homes and Designing NYC Apartments, Fri, June 27, 2014
Since it was founded in 1994, Resolution: 4 Architecture (RE4A) has been a game-changing force in the world of building and design. Founders Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz were some of the first architects to embrace the idea of modular prefabricated homes, a concept that continues to grow in popularity for its cost0-efficiency, eco-friendly nature and versatility in design.
The RE4A team has worked on numerous projects, ranging from envy-inducing vacation retreats to space-efficient lofts to the headquarters for Equinox gym. While they have helped design and build spaces across the nation, the firm calls New York City — specifically, Chelsea — home and plenty of Big Apple sensibilities show up in their work, which is bold, yet functional. We recently spoke with Tanney about RE4A’s mission and upcoming work, plus his tips for creating a storage-friendly apartment.