Our Philosophy of Design

To practice architecture in New York City is to participate in a great work in progress. In New York City, there are no new spaces; even a vacant lot has an established history and context. Practicing architecture in New York City is to embrace its layered, interwoven, and often conflicting histories of function, materials, craftsmanship, aesthetics and economy, which makes working here so challenging, and so rewarding.

To make architecture which responds to modern functional, aesthetic, and economic constraints, we begin with a study of the forces that have acted on the site over the course of its history. Each project begins with an exploration of the site: Understanding what has been built, when, and for whom. This entails understanding decisions about materials, methods of construction, mechanical systems and spatial organization at every scale -- from the selection of a doorknob to the relationship of the site to the city. By first considering the history of a place, its reinvention may become a celebration of its historic character, while adapting it to its new purpose.

In practice, this approach works to understand the needs and desires of the client, and translate those demands into discrete additions and subtractions from an existing form. The result is a new space, produced through the integration of the client’s needs and the current condition -- it is an uncompromising response to the client’s requirements, realized by understanding and working with the integrity of the urban condition.

This is not historicism. By understanding the current condition as the product of decisions made at different moments in time, based on evolving criteria, conventions of existing style may be overcome and something altogether new may be created.