The New York Chapter of the AIA has given its Medal of Honor, its highest award, to Deborah Berke. The award was given at the Chapter’s annual honors and awards luncheon. In addition, the Rockefeller Arts Center received a Merit Award for its design. Partner Maitland Jones accepted the award on behalf of the firm. We are grateful for this recognition from our peers. Congratulations to all the other honorees.
The New York Times profiled Titus Kaphar, an artist, activist, and co-founder of NXTHVN, a new arts and community incubator that we are designing in New Haven, Connecticut. NXTHVN provides studio space and fabrication facilities for resident artists and fellows. A mentorship program brings in youth from the community to learn from the artists and provides paid internships. Our building knits two abandoned former factory buildings together with a new addition, signaling renewed investment in the Dixwell neighborhood. “What I’m suggesting is that there is space for excellence and quality in our community — and I think we deserve it,” Kaphar said. Read more about the story here.
On Thursday, March 28, Senior Principal Stephen Brockman will participate in the panel “The Tale of Two Asylums: The Fall of Greystone and the Rise of the Richardson Olmsted Campus” at Parsons. Stephen will describe the process of turning a sprawling architectural monument by H.H. Richardson into a new boutique hotel, destination restaurant, and a conference center, while respecting the building’s complex history and the integrity of its design. Parsons School of Constructed Environments Dean Robert Kirkbride and architecture critic Paul Goldberger will also participate. Event information is here.
WNYC, one of the nation’s leading public radio stations, interviewed feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Pamela Shifman, executive director of the NOVO Foundation, and Miyhosi Benton of the Women & Justice Project about The Women’s Building, a new global hub for the women’s and girls’ rights movement. Steinhem told host Brian Lehrer, “This is the most unmitigated good news I’ve been able to think about or talk about in years—to turn a women’s prison into a Women’s Building.” We are proud to be designing this project and we believe deeply in the mission of The Women’s Building. Listen to the full segment here.
CityLab, the urbanism publication of The Atlantic, interviewed Deborah about working in mid-sized cities across the country and how architecture can help revitalize downtowns and strengthen a sense of place. Writer Mark Byrnes looks at the 21c Museum Hotels, the Richardson Olmsted Campus, the Cummins Indy Distribution Headquarters and how buildings impact communities more broadly. “Doing meaningful projects in mid-sized cities, where you really feel that saving an old building or doing an infill project to make a street feel whole again, to change a downtown and restore its vibrancy, is really rewarding,” Deborah said. Read the entire interview here.
Currently on view in our Flatiron studio, NXTHVN: Founders and Fellow features the work of Titus Kaphar, Jonathan Brand, and Jaclyn Conley. Kaphar and Brand are co-founders of NXTHVN, a new arts and community incubator currently in construction in New Haven, which provides space and resources to emerging artists like Conley. “In their own ways, the socially conscious artistic practices of Kaphar, Brand, and Conley explore the potential of media and materiality as a tool to unpack, communicate, and reimagine the past, present and future of society,” according to their artist statement. As the architects of the NXTHVN project, we are proud to share the work of these artists. NXTHVN: Founders and Fellow is on view by appointment though March 20. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The High Street Residence Hall at Dickinson College, which opened last fall, has received LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council. The building earned 93 points, well above the 80 points needed for Platinum-level certification, the highest standard of LEED. A variety of passive and active sustainability strategies contributed to the score. More importantly, however, the building embodies Dickinson’s ambitious green goals, which include eliminating all carbon emissions. Read more about the High Street Residence Hall here.
The Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia received an Architecture Merit award from AIA New York. The project renovated and expanded a 1968 arts building by I.M. Pei with new studios, workshops, and multipurpose spaces, and a new entrance. The building features a cantilevered dance studio with a monumental window wall, which allows the space to act as a beacon at night and makes the arts visible on campus. During the awards symposium, juror Brigette Shim called the project “thoughtful” and “well-resolved.” Congratulations to all our fellow winners! See the full list here.
We’ve added a selection of new residential projects to our website, including apartments, townhouses, and a modern guest house. In Manhattan, we recently completed a townhouse on the Upper East Side, an apartment for a couple with an extensive collection of Asian art, and a contemporary downtown apartment. We’re currently working on a guest house in New Canaan that draws on the tradition of modernism in the area and a new construction townhouse on the Upper East Side that is designed for family life and entertaining. Check out our residential work here.
New York Times columnist Alison Arieff surveyed gender equality in the profession in her piece, “Where Are All the Female Architects?” The column noted that women make up only 20 percent of licensed architects and 17 percent of partners and principals. “Every single woman architect I know would, I think, say the same thing,” Deborah Berke said. “‘I want to be a good architect who has a meaningful impact. I don’t want to be known for being a good woman architect.’ Architecture needs to look like the world it serves — and that’s everybody.” Deborah Berke Partners is a women owned firm, with an equal number of men and women, including in our firm’s leadership. We believe our diversity strengthens our practice. Read Arieff’s column here.
Ronald O. Perelman and his daughter Debra G. Perelman announced that the Perelman Family Foundation is making the lead gift to build a new residential college at Princeton. We were selected by the University to design two new residential colleges, each of which will provide an inclusive environment for 500 students to live, learn, dine, study, and socialize. The Perelmans’ generosity will allow the first of those colleges—to be named Perelman College—to proceed, advancing Princeton’s mission to expand and further diversify its undergraduate population. The project is led by Partners Deborah Berke and Maitland Jones, Principals Noah Biklen and Arthi Krishnamoorthy, and Associate Aaron Plewke. Read more here.
Last week, we were proud to host the AIA NY Women in Architecture committee for a presentation, discussion, office tour, and reception. Principals Rhoda Kennedy and Arthi Krishnamoorthy presented recent projects and demonstrated how collaboration and a diversity of perspective strengthens our practice. During the office tours and reception, members of our staff enjoyed meeting new colleagues and discussing how we can build a more inclusive profession. Thanks to everyone who attended!