This project involved the careful restoration of an 1890’s townhouse facade, with repointing, structural reinforcement, new structural lintels, cornice refurbishment, roof scape waterproofing and a new storefront system that retained the character of the building and neighborhood but kept modern conveniences of insulation and materials.
This project we’re working on is large enough to break into two articles, the first dealing with the parking facilities. When designing for a large multi-story apartment building, one must provide for parking. There is an option of using off-site parking but essentially one needs to own the property and that property must be within a reasonable distance to your building. That said, like on this project, the parking must be incorporated into the basement space.
This is where good architects stand out in my opinion, in that if the structure is right, and aligns with the apartment units above, there is a substantial savings in the avoidance of transfer beams. This is our approach to help lessen the financial burden of providing a parking garage yet do so in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the apartment units on the upper floors, or the retail space.
A followup on the Apartment Themes is our Bathroom Themes, together and combined in different ways creates an apartment building, condo or co-op that provides each tenant with a special and unique place they can call home.
We’re putting the final touches on a 40 unit residential project in Brooklyn. It is pretty special in that the project keeps part of an old theater facade and uses it to announce the retail component of the project, through awnings and little local vendors which can casually set up their wares below the awnings. The extra traffic and attention will be a boost for the anchor tenant who has a commanding view of this important residential corner.
This project is split into 3 articles, released the 8th of September, the 10th and the 12th.
Come on in and we’ll show you around…
Architecture is fundamentally connected to humans. That which is not connected is not architecture.
To understand function and how it influences the way something looks, one need only look at the human machine, and in this article the eyelashes and eyebrows. While the conclusions here are based on observation they hold within them a fundamental logic which is hard to deny.
A followup on the SimpleTwig article ‘Time, Not Distance, Determines Development of Cities‘ we need to take a moment to review the existing density of New York City, as an example to show that people reside in the area that physically puts them closer to where they work, in this case Manhattan. While this is probably obvious to most, one can not assume everyone understands the organic growth of cities.
While it would be nice for everyone to live and fit in Manhattan, or for that matter in a location that has a view of it’s beautiful skyline, it isn’t always possible given the cost of property, and, the lack of availability of housing stock. This means, with an ever growing population, alternatives must be addressed.
entranceHandicap Access Attitude: We believe that every space should be accessible by everyone, and that an architectural concept should not be
Regarding the small business owner, entrepreneur or building owner, there are things that seem simple to do but often I witness them not being implemented by people. What many don’t realize is if you make a mistake in the design of your space you will loose money.
An important issue for many cities dealing with circumstances initiated by others in the past, like a blighted looking city filled with parking lot scars, etc. From my experience I’ve witnessed many cities do the wrong thing in order to encourage development. The point of this post is, if you do something, it could have a negative impact on your city, so make sure you do the right thing. Continue reading “Helping Cities Grow: What to do.”
Hastened by the rapid growth of humans on this earth, our needs far outpace our ability to think rationally about what is required by us and what is required by our earth. It must be understood that we can not just allow our cities to bleed out and merge with other urban areas indefinitely for a multitude of reasons, the loss of nature, the total inefficiency in first building and then maintaining such a beast, and the probable lack of quality housing which itself needs maintaining.
So if we set goals, perhaps we can address the real issues facing our society.
1) To build in such a way to allow infrastructure to be easily maintained, first by limiting how much infrastructure we build by building it ‘more efficient.’
2) To provide housing that in it’s core can be refurbished without extra effort, to ensure it’s bones serve future generations.
3) To preserve nature, both on the outskirts of urban areas but to incorporate it into those areas.
4) To build housing that serves all the needs of humans, of privacy versus public, of closed versus open, of fully functional while relaxing, interconnected while remaining unique an special in it’s place.
5) To create infrastructure that has built in a highly efficient transportation system for all things, goods, people, utilities, in such a way that they inherently can ensure weather and the elements that normally cause decay, and to do so in a way to encourage identity rather than ubiquitousness.
6) To reinforce hierarchy within our urban environments, to encourage pride and identity of one’s place, in order to help with it’s maintenance.
7) To create vehicular systems that allow quick transportation of all individuals without the need of individual vehicles, but to also offer the infrastructure to support vehicles that can be securely storage from criminal activity and weather, to help ‘ween off’ individuals from their dependency.
8) By removing vehicles from the street scape, to encourage nature scapes within all communities, to fully integrate nature and the urban environment in such a way that reinforces safety and beauty.
While there is always the danger of creating a ‘utopian idea’ that is doomed for failure, the notion that we shouldn’t think about how we plan for the future is pure folly and has obvious ramifications, like heavy taxes to afford maintenance of the monster, air and environmental pollution, horrible neighborhoods and housing, dangerous streets due to overcrowding of vehicles, etc. There is a way to take what we know about urban living and infuse this with new concepts that both respect the human individual, the environment and the mechanism that is the city to create a balance that is truly functional and beautiful. Why wouldn’t us humans try to achieve exactly this?
In future posts, I will break this down with examples for each item, to begin to establish in concrete terms what it means to use efficiency to create a better more affordable world.