New Research Studios on Climate Change and Water Management at Tulane’s School of Architecture


Tulane’s School of Architecture announced a series of multi-year Research Studios earlier this month that will debut in the fall of 2019, each designed to address environmental issues and climate change.

Former PKSB Associate, Kentaro Tsubaki, AIA who now is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academics at Tulane School of Architecture will cover the following Research Studio. Resilience Reinforced: Architectural precast concrete systems addressing the regional water infrastructure challenges.

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The Private Lives of Public Schools

A recent article written by Susanne Schindler on Urban Omnibus (A Publication of the Architectural League of New York) questions - When it comes to building schools, a little-known entity with radical roots has had an outsize effect on the city’s skyline. How can the Educational Construction Fund adapt an experimental ethos to changing times?

The article highlights two of PKSBs projects: the Keith Plaza and Kelly Tower in the Bronx and PS/IS 89 on (Warren Street) which are included in the (Educational Construction Fund) ECF matrix of images.

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The auditorium at PS 205 Fiorello LaGuardia, part of the Keith Plaza & Kelly Tower development.

The auditorium at PS 205 Fiorello LaGuardia, part of the Keith Plaza & Kelly Tower development.

Keith Plaza & Kelly Tower.

Keith Plaza & Kelly Tower.

PS/IS 89, 201 Warren Street, Manhattan. Completed 1998

PS/IS 89, 201 Warren Street, Manhattan. Completed 1998

Additionally, two schools are currently in the works with the New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA). PS 101 K, The Verrazano School in Brooklyn currently in construction scheduled to be completed this fall and PS 340 X is in the works, completion to be expected in 2021.

PS 101 K. The Verrazano School. To be completed in Fall 2019

PS 101 K. The Verrazano School. To be completed in Fall 2019

PS 101 K. The Verrazano School. To be completed in Fall 2019

PS 101 K. The Verrazano School. To be completed in Fall 2019

Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland

Glenstone is a contemporary modern art museum located in Potomac, Maryland. This 230 acre museum offers guests an intimate experience with the art, architecture and landscape. The original Gallery designed by Charles Gwathmey of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects was open to the public in 2006. Glenstone underwent a major expansion of its museum and landscape to accommodate a larger portion of its art collection to the public. The 2018 expansion added 50,000 square feet of gallery space in a 204,000 square foot museum structure called "The Pavilions", which was designed by American architect Thomas Phifer of Thomas Phifer and Partners.


The expansion also added 130 acres of land, with the museum buildings located toward the center of the 230 acre property. The landscape, designed by Adam Greenspan and Peter Walker of PWP Landscape Architecture incorporates woodlands, bridges, walking paths and wildflower meadows. The design included the planting of more than 6,000 trees of 55 native species. The Water Court is planted with water lilies, irises and rushes, creating a vibrant landscape that changes throughout the seasons.

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Everson Museum of Art by IM Pei in Syracuse, New York

The Building

By Frank Sherman (The American Institute of Architects)

I.M. Pei designed the Everson Museum of Art to be a grand sculptural object sitting in a plaza, surrounded by the forms of the modern city. He rejected the traditional notion that a museum needed to be a monumental container for art and decided it ought to be a sculptural work of art itself. This allowed him to design a building that could be experienced as sculpture.We experience sculpture in three dimensions by moving around it. Sculpture is meant to be seen from multiple viewpoints over a period of time. I.M. Pei wants us to see his building from multiple viewpoints, to move around it, and to discover its forms and spaces. He wants us to discover how to enter the building and be delighted by the spaces we find.

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Phillips Exeter Academy Library by Louis Kahn, Exeter, New Hampshire

In 1965 Louis I. Kahn was commissioned by the Phillips Exeter Academy to design a library for the school. The Academy had been planning the new library for fifteen years but were consistently disappointed with the designs that the hired architects and committee were proposing.

The beauty in the architecture of the first floor, however, is what gave the Exeter Library its fame. This main floor reaches 70 feet in height and soaks in natural light from a clerestory at the top of this space and from large expanses of glass on the north and west sides. From this 50 foot square space visitors can spot metal bookstacks and readers seven levels above through large holes punctured perfectly into the walls, almost touching at the corners where the walls square off.

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The Mansfield Hotel, New York, NY



On West 44th Street, in the midst of New York City’s most prestigious clubs and fabled hotels, PKSB transformed turn-of-the-century residential bachelor apartments into a modern hotel. The building’s innovative revival belies the cost constraints of commercial building and the site restrictions pertaining to a mid-block renovation.



The firm updated antique design elements to give the historic hotel a contemporary feel. Simple gestures and unexpected materials provided the key to the design. Existing details such as mahogany balconies, marble floors, a cast-iron staircase, coffered ceilings, and decorative plasterwork in the lobby were uncovered and restored. Custom-designed furniture and fixtures provided a refined yet romantic appeal. New bookcases transform a lounge alcove into a library and gallery for etchings. In the morning, breakfast is served as a buffet in the lounge adjoining the entry lobby and, in the evening, the same room is converted into a space for piano and harp recitals.


The guest suites feature custom-designed furniture including sleigh beds fabricated from iron and wire mesh. Individually-designed, etched glass panels separate sitting rooms from the bedrooms. Polished, ebonized wood floors add elegance and a sense of spaciousness to the intimate suites.



Good Design in Affordable Housing

The New York City Public Design Commission has released a report urging good design in affordable housing. To read more on this story visit:

Arbor House, 770 East 166th Street, Bronx, New York, 10456

Arbor House, 770 East 166th Street, Bronx, New York, 10456

Navy Green, 130 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Navy Green, 130 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Creston Avenue Residence, 2388 Creston Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468

Creston Avenue Residence, 2388 Creston Avenue, Bronx, NY 10468

Frost Street Apartments, 59 Frost Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11211

Frost Street Apartments, 59 Frost Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11211

The Schermerhorn, 160 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

The Schermerhorn, 160 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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

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.


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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Design Proposal Renderings for Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains NY

Like so many congregations in recent years, Kol Ami has begun an effort to adapt their current facility to accommodate 21st century worship practices. PKSB entered a design competition to renovate the existing 280 seat sanctuary. 

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The goal of the design is to maximize and augment the architectural character of the original and to provide a sanctuary that is unique to Kol Ami. Inspired by the Miskan (Tabernacle) as described in Exodus, the proposed ceiling is a tent-like structure that floats freely in the double-height space. Its shape highlights the ark which is housed within its own shrine, a Kodesh Hakodashim (the Holy of Holies). 

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To accommodate a diversity of services and varying numbers of participants, flexible seating and a movable reading table is proposed. A new window design emphasizes the verticality of the space and allows for the incorporation of existing stained glass elements and yahrzeit memorial plaques.

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