Over the years, AG+Co has built a reputation as architects with the unique ability to recognize and preserve the special character of landmark buildings. This affinity for aesthetic considerations in historic works of architecture has brought us repeat business from our valued clients, as well as great satisfaction and pride.It is with genuine pleasure that we present to you, here in our third newsletter,
two case studies that illustrate some of our work with New York City landmarked buildings .
With best wishes,
Michele Boddewyn AIA, LEED A.P.
Maximizing Tenant Space in a Beaux Arts Milestone
In 2011, Riverside Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine was seeking larger and better facilities in which to serve the West Side group’s growing base of patients. To meet its immediate and long-term needs, the group required a highly efficient, custom-designed space.
A fine opportunity and a substantial architectural challenge presented itself: a Beaux Arts landmark building on Columbus Circle, in the heart of Manhattan. With stunning Vermont marble and delicately carved ornamentation throughout, its elegant bull-nose curve rounds the corner of 58th Street —– just steps away from such famous medical facilities as Roosevelt Hospital, and many subway lines.
At 1790 Broadway, Riverside Orthopaedics would be joining a roster of tenants that includes numerous other leading medical practices, along with many large and prominent businesses. Like those tenants, Riverside sought to enjoy fully the combination of pre-war elegance, sweeping views of Central Park, an impeccably run facility, and the prestige and convenience of one of the world’s great crossroads.
The challenge was to maximize this landmark’s interior space, with all of its idiosyncrasies, and transform it into a dynamic and user-friendly setting. That made AG+Co the architect of choice.
With a long and successful record of build-outs in landmark structures, and with a depth of experience in designing healthcare facilities, AG+Co set out to transform non-rectangular areas into a smoothly-flowing set of pathways and workplaces, through which patients and staff could move and interact fluidly.
AG+Co carved out 18 examination rooms, interspersed with offices. With myriad windows and fine views to work with, the design team provided each patient space with abundant natural light, and merged smaller spaces together to make each environment feel larger and more cheerful.
Riverside Orthopaedics plans to move into its new home in summer 2012.
The Starrett-Lehigh Building
Windows of Opportunity for an Industrial Landmark
Occupying the entire city block bounded by West 26th and 27th Streets and by 11th and 12th Avenues in Manhattan, the 19-story Starrett-Lehigh Building of 1931 rises above its West Side waterfront neighbors like a gargantuan Art Deco wedding cake. Sweeping lines —– created by ribbons of windows that contrast with horizontal bands of brick —– are accentuated by the building’s curved corners.
Blending aesthetic appeal and functional features revolutionary in the 1930s, the 1.8 million square-foot Starrett-Lehigh was declared an architectural resource in 1988 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
That designation has held both challenge and opportunity for AG+Co. Our firm has recently been commissioned by the building’s new owners, RXR Realty LLC, to find ways to modify and improve the building. AG+Co has had a long-term involvement with the Starrett-Lehigh, designing upgrades as early as 1998.
With an enviable record in the renovation of landmark buildings, and throughout our relationship with former owner, 601 West Associates, LLC, AG+Co has repeatedly satisfied the requirements of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. This was especially true in the case of the addition of balcony doors and louvers to the building’s façade, and other such work as new designs for the public areas of the building, the conversion of the freight-truck elevator shafts, and other improvements to the building’s infrastructure.
Originally a busy warehouse and manufacturing center, with railroad tracks streaming right into the bottom floor, the Starrett-Lehigh has become a magnet for dynamic businesses that emphasize the creative arts, new media, and interactive digital technologies.
Each floor of the Starrett is still equipped with passenger, freight, and truck elevators. As a result, not only can such tenants as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. drive to the office, but they can also park within whistling distance of their workstations.
Meet Senior CAD Architect Christopher Dewalt
Chris Dewalt was a physics major. He had the temperament for a physics career, or so he told himself throughout high school and freshman year. Then his interests began to change. He was feeling the need to do something more creative and expressive, yet competitive, too.
Fortunately for AG+Co, it didn’t take long for Christopher to figure it out. It dawned on him that the answer was architecture —– the art of it, the science, and the business, too.
Chris is highly athletic and competitive. Besides running marathons, he also enjoys racing cars and hiking. “Sports is a natural metaphor for business,” Chris points out. “There are so many parallels: winning by small margins, setting goals and achieving targets, establishing long- and short-term strategies for success. No wonder so many top sports figures go on to succeed later in the world of business.”
Striving for success is always uppermost in Chris’ mind as he tackles projects of wide-ranging scale and scope for AG+Co clients: surveys, schematic design and contract documents, interior projects for retail, medical office, commercial and educational tenants, to mention a few. He’s especially skilled in conversions (office spaces to condominiums, among others) and in infrastructure upgrades (new elevator projects, for example).
“Concentration is another important habit sports reinforces,” Chris reflects. “I find it helps me listen intently to what our clients want, to really hear and understand, so I can translate their wishes into original and highly satisfying solutions.”
ALAN GAYNOR + CO
434 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10013
AG+Co understands that
your needs evolve steadily, and we make certain we can adapt to them. By continually educating ourselves about
the latest trends and changes, we can hit the ground running to integrate new, value-added features to our work and
to your spaces. We’re continually finding fresh
and different ways to meet
the challenges you face.
At all times, we keep your objectives, budgets and timelines uppermost in our minds.
In the accompanying case studies, you’ll read about two notable AG+Co clients, one new and the other who has maintained a working relationship with us for many years. We are most grateful
to them and to all of our clients for rewarding our dedication with their loyalty.
“Michele and Alan have been indispensable to us as our landmarked property has evolved over the last decade.”