PS 101 - The Verrazano School, Brooklyn, NY

The new addition provides PS101K with a unified identity made of old and new parts. The annex nestles between the existing L-shaped school building and a large play yard. A single-story student dining room completes the U-shape formed by the new and old structures. A large outdoor play area occupies the balance of the site, separated from adjacent residential properties to the south by a high fence.

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The addition’s modulated façade responds to the residential character of the neighborhood while providing a new entry and identity for the school. The new façade reinterprets various design elements of the existing school building in a modern configuration. A red brick was selected to complement the existing material palette. Lighter cast stone elements highlight new entrances of the addition and recall decorative limestone features of the existing building.

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At four stories, the addition will match the height of the existing school. In response to the low-rise residential scale of the neighborhood, the addition’s massing is interrupted by setbacks and material variation. The entry from the sidewalk consists of a building inset “carved” from the first floor volume. This “carving” back provides space for a welcoming entry plaza that incorporates wheelchair accessibility and weather protection. The new entry sequence invites access to a generous lobby, and shared public assembly spaces such as the student dining and the existing auditorium beyond.

455 Central Park West, New York, NY

This mixed-use, 100-unit condominium located at 455 Central Park West combines a new 27-story tower with the adaptive reuse of a historically significant landmark. Designed by Charles Coolidge Haight and built by John Jacob Astor in 1884, 455 Central Park West is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was originally built as the first cancer hospital in America, later converted to a nursing home and eventually vacated in the early 1970s.

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Public-Private Partnerships in Architecture and Design

As we enter a new year, we find ourselves looking back on some of the more unique opportunities we have been a part of and the impact they have had on the city. PKSB has a long history of serving both public and private sector clients. More and more, we have seen in our work and in developments throughout New York, that public-private partnerships are becoming increasingly viable paths toward achieving much-needed improvements for the public good. These joint efforts have resulted in the construction public educational facilities, preservation of historic buildings on public land, public housing development, health care, and transportation and infrastructure improvements.

Since 1994, PKSB has been involved with a number of these successful collaborations. We had fun looking back on a few projects and hope you do too!

Primary and Intermediate School 89M

Battery Park City Authority and New York City Board of Education, New York, New York

Van Nest Academy

Civic Builders and New York City School Construction Authority, Bronx, New York

210 Joralemon Street

United American Land and New York City Economic Development Corporation, Brooklyn, New York

Triple Bridges

Community Board 4, Private Lighting Artist, Leni Schwendinger and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Burning Man's 2018 Temple

Burning Man, a summer festival located in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, is something of an architectural bonanza. Each year, dozens of artistic displays and sculptural forms are erected in Black Rock City, the temporary metropolis that hosts the festival. Temples in the past have included a wide range of designs, from pagoda-inspired structures to Wicker Man-eqsue towers.


Galaxia, designed by architect Arthur Mamou-Mani a professor at the University of Westminster and the owner of the fabrication laboratory Fab.Pub, has been selected to serve as Burning Man 2018’s main temple. The temple will be constructed of twenty spiraling timber trusses, crowned with a 3-D-printed mandala. A series of alcoves are formed between the timber trusses, allowing spaces of congregation for attendees.

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New Map lets you search every NYC landmark

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) launched an enhanced version of its popular interactive landmarks map.


Now, Discover NYC Landmarks also features 141 historic districts (containing almost 34,000 historic buildings). Users can access detailed information, including PDFs of each item’s designation report.


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Michelangelo Divine Draftsman & Designer at The Met Fifth Avenue

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564), a towering genius in the history of Western art, is the subject of this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. During his long life, Michelangelo was celebrated for the excellence of his disegno, the power of drawing and invention that provided the foundation for all the arts. For his mastery of drawing, design, sculpture, painting, and architecture, he was called Il Divino ("the divine one") by his contemporaries. His powerful imagery and dazzling technical virtuosity transported viewers and imbued all of his works with a staggering force that continues to enthrall us today.

At The Met Fifth Avenue: November 13, 2017 - February 12, 2018

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Columbia University School of Journalism, New York, NY

Recognizing the ascendancy of electronic communication, video broadcasting and computer-produced print, Columbia called on PKSB to convert its journalism building into The Center for New Media, the first such building of its kind. Conceived as a combination of flexible spaces gathered around a central hub, the school engages outstanding scholars who frequently win the Pulitzer Prize.

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Behind the McKim, Mead and White façade, the interior was radically reconfigured to accommodate emerging information technology systems and their space requirements. In order to facilitate an uninterrupted flow of information within the solid structure, the circulatory systems and technological networks determined the internal layout and its divisions. The architecture captures the movement of information by partially disclosing the cables and wiring contained within it. Using CAD technology, PKSB created diagrams that were layered over the open floor plans to generate a series of models towards a final design.


As rapid technological change is expected to continue, flexibility and adaptability were maximized. The World Room enables the introduction of an experimental curriculum where presentations, lectures, and conferences can be staged simultaneously using state-of-the-art equipment for research. Overall, the Center provides unrivaled facilities for students and faculty, and offers a progressive image for a school that remains at the head of its class.


Flatiron holiday installation provides festive respite from the city

If you’re craving holiday cheer in Manhattan, Brooklyn-based Future Expansion’s festive seasonal installation in the Flatiron is now open.


Urbanist nonprofit and installation co-sponsor Van Alen Institute unveiled the winning design in October, and it recently released images of Flatiron Reflection, the final design by winner Future Expansion, comprised of shimmering semi enclosure of metal tubes and sited across from the Flatiron building. The installation resembles a public pipe organ, with a white base that floats above the ground. Niches on the outside are meant for close huddles, while the interior allows for quieter contemplation of the busy 23rd Street intersection near Madison Square Park.


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Hudson Yards Vessel Sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick

Thomas Heatherwick’s $150 million Vessel sculpture has topped out only eight months after beginning construction. The freestanding staircase is set to anchor phase one of the Hudson Yards megaproject when it opens in 2019, when the five-acre public plaza where Vessel sits, opens to the public.

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Black Box II by Natalie Dionne Architecture, Montreal, Canada

Project Description FROM THE ARCHITECTS:

BLACK BOX II is the latest in a series of tiny additions impacting existing architecture in a big way. Conceived as a jewelry box, large openings blur the interior/exterior boundary, revealing its treasure of fine cabinetmaking work within through the playful use of complementary surface materials.


This semi-detached townhouse, made of red clay brick, is typical of Westmount and the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough of Montreal. Through the reconfiguration of outdated internal divisions and the grafting of two black volumes in juxtaposition, the pre-existing architecture is enhanced and transformed to better reflect the modern lifestyle and aspirations of its inhabitants. We are always striving to strike the right balance between new and old in order to create a coherent whole, preserving the authenticity of the existing details while affirming the contemporaneity of our interventions.


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The Seagram Building - Wine Museum, New York, NY

The Seagram Building, commissioned by Joseph E. Seagram & Sons and completed in 1958, is the only building in New York designed by Mies van der Rohe. A monument to 20th century architecture, it embodies the modern ideal of the tower in the plaza.


As the Seagram Building’s curator and architect-in-residence for over twenty years, PKSB was charged with maintaining the integrity of the building’s interior and exterior architecture. In addition to curating the building, PKSB designed new office floors and a variety of objects, furnishings and signage that reflect and complement the original interiors. On the Seagram Building’s fourth floor, PKSB designed a gallery space for the storage and display of the corporation’s prized wine collection. Used for tastings and small events, the Wine Museum was called “one of New York’s best small rooms” by Paul Goldberger, Architecture Critic for the New York Times.


The Street by Sanjay Puri Architects

Taking a cue from the old city streets of Mathura city in India where this project is located, this 800 room students’ hostel creates organic spaces.


Designed in 4 level high, 5 linear blocks, the built spaces snake across a wedge shaped site twisting and turning along their length. Sitting adjacent to repetitive hostel blocks on the east and west these new hostels within a large university campus create individual spaces within a discernible identity in each part of the layout.


Each hostel room has ventilation openings in the internal corridor facilitating cross ventilation. The linear buildings create small break out spaces at each bending point allowing natural light into the internal circulation spaces.


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Bahá’í Temple of South America

Toronto-based Hariri Pontarini Architects’ Bahá’í Temple of South America has won the 2017 Innovation in Architecture Award presented by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC).


Located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains outside Santiago, Chile, the domed building was designed and built using computer modeling, measuring, and fabrication software, as well as custom glass, all of which culminated in nine monumental veils that frame an open worship space for up to 600 visitors. Completed in 2016, the project took 14 years to realize.


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The Clinton School at 10 East 15th Street, New York, NY

The site for the new school is in a mid-block location adjacent to Union Square. It is comprised of an Intermediate and High School Organization within a single building. The confined urban site posed several challenges to the design approach. PKSB worked with the NYC School Construction Authority to adapt the school program to a high-rise configuration. Administrative offices are staggered throughout the building so that classrooms are not isolated on upper floors. The Intermediate School is located on the top two floors with access to their own roof top play area. This allows for a natural separation from the High School students and creates a unique identity within the larger context of the building.  

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Due to spatial constraints, the gym and auditorium are combined as one multipurpose space where retractable elements create performance and backstage areas. The library, which is directly off the lobby and adjacent to the street, is conceived as a media/learning center collecting several functions into one dynamic space. Department of Education design standards were reexamined to define the library as a vital social center for the school. 

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While not new to the lexicon of urban schools, this high rise model affords a new and unique interpretation of an educational facility.

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