The latest news on New York architecture.

  • New Dimensions and Classic Charm: Adaptive Reuse in New York City

    New Dimensions and Classic Charm: Adaptive Reuse in New York City

    New York City is a place with a rich history, a buzzing atmosphere, and commanding architecture.  Natives and travelers alike regularly walk past sites of historic and aesthetic value unaware of the potential that lines the block. Adaptive reuse in New York City is a viable option for those who are looking to place a new function, and get new value from a building or site.  

    Adaptive reuse is the practice of refitting existing architecture to meet new needs. This form of urban revitalization is becoming more common due to the practical solutions it provides for many urban centers, but it has a long tradition with New York City.

    Infrastructure reflects the growth and change of a population.  New York City has always embodied this principle by adopting new purposes for old buildings, while recognizing the history of the site. The High Line, a park on Manhattan's West Side, started out as an industrial freight line and now functions as a unique, cultural attraction that provides a window to the past.  An old printing press in Brooklyn was recently transformed into a creative work space for freelancers.  Many former industrial production sites across the city now serve as apartments, department stores, and restaurants.  Many of these sites preserve certain unique architectural traits.  This provides a quality that brings together the new function of the site with the existing character.

    Adapting a new function for old buildings also cuts out several phases of the design and build process.  One of these is demolition.  This saves the architects and engineers from designing an entirely new building, and saves the client money.  It also creatively challenges the designers to meet the needs of the client, while utilizing the existing structure. 

    Adaptive reuse has many benefits which have helped shape the character of New York City for over two centuries.  This practice is becoming more common, and is inspiring creative solutions for the use of old architecture.  To learn more, contact us.

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  • Interior Architecture in Adaptive Reuse

    Interior Architecture in Adaptive Reuse

    When you think of architecture, city skylines probably come to mind - the exterior appearance of buildings is what people usually associate with an architect's work.  However, there is another side of the field: interior architecture

    Not to be confused with interior decorating, interior designers or architects design interior space that is bound by existing structures (walls, beams, doors) and equally restricted by human interaction (how people will use the space).  

    Interior architects need a working knowledge of a wide range of subjects:

    • Building code
    • Structural integrity
    • Ergonomics and spatial concepts
    • CAD drawing
    • Design history

    Interior architects work not only with home- or building-owners, but also with government agencies and builders.  In other words, interior architecture is design for living/working space in architectural rather than decorative terms. 

    There are two types of interior architecture, the initial design/usage plan and adaptive reuse, or the redesign of an existing space to serve a new purpose.  According to Wikipedia:

    Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. It can be regarded as a compromise between historic preservation and demolition.

    One example of our interior architecture work on an adaptive reuse project is 11 West 20th Street.  Built in 1901 as a store, we have been working on the exterior and interior renovations since 2007.  Our interior work has included renovating the third floor; repairing damaged masonry; and replacing the building’s historic windows with new thermally insulated windows.

    If you are in need of interior architecture services, contact us for a consultation.

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