SculptureCenter and the carousel enclosure at the Staten Island Zoo will be featured in this year’s Archtober. Archtober (ärk’tōbər) is New York City’s Architecture and Design Month, the fifth annual month-long festival of architecture activities, programs and exhibitions taking place during the month of October. Through special tours, lectures and exhibitions, Archtober raises awareness of the important role of design in our city and to build a lasting civic and international recognition of the richness of New York’s built environment.

SculptureCenter Renovation and Expansion (pictured above)

Andrew Berman Architect designed a new entry building for ticketing and orientation, a bookshop, facilities and vertical circulation in their twentieth century industrial building.  This structure serves as the nexus between arrival and the galleries.  New space for exhibiting work was formed by bounding exterior space between the new and existing buildings.  The galleries in the vault space under the main hall were renovated to become accessible exhibit spaces.

Natural light and robust materials that speak to the existing building and industrial neighborhood were used to extend the distinct atmosphere of SculptureCenter.

Andrew D. Berman is the principal of Andrew Berman Architect PLLC, a New York based practice focused on the realization of unique and finely executed buildings and spaces that was founded in 1995 and has gained recognition through notable projects such as the AIA Center for Architecture, the Writing Studio, FDNY Engine Company 259 Firehouse, MoMA PS1 Entrance Building and Gallery Renovations, The National Opera Center, Stapleton Library and the SculptureCenter. Current projects include a renovation of the Lower East Side Ecology Center, a two-stage theater for the MCC Theater Company, several artists’ studios, as well as residential commissions.

Andrew D. Berman received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale College and a Master of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture in 1988 where he was awarded the Takenaka Komuten Traveling Fellowship in Osaka, Japan. In 2010, Andrew received the Emerging Voices Award given by the Architectural League of New York, and in 2014 was made a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Tour Guide: Andrew Berman, FAIA, Principal, Andrew Berman Architect

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Staten Island Zoo Carousel Enclosure

Situated in a park setting covered with mature trees, the Staten Island Zoo is a naturalistic, didactic oasis within a dense urban setting.  A new enclosure for a carousel is the first phase of Slade Architecture’s ongoing master plan for the Children’s Farmstead at the Staten Island Zoo. The challenge was to maximize the impact of the carousel on visitor experience while minimizing the physical impact of the new structure on the existing landscape. The final design is light in every sense: an almost transparent, light-filled gem in the park, sitting lightly on the land, exerting minimal impact on the site and environment.

The master plan analysis led to the location of the enclosure adjacent to the existing concession area, concentrating commercial activity in this one zone in order to protect the park-like perimeter.  The density of mature trees throughout the site presented an enormous dilemma. Though the selected site is the least invasive to existing trees, typical foundations would kill several adjacent mature oak trees.  Extensive investigation led to an innovative foundation system used for board walk structures. Metal pins driven through a diamond shaped pier resting at the surface mobilize the entire footprint of soil between the pins—thereby spreading the load across a large area without introducing large physical elements (like footings or piles) and without digging.

An ETFE membrane roof and movable glass walls with a custom ceramic frit graphic enclose the carousel providing a bright open interior and excellent visibility of the carousel. The materials and operable configuration help heat and cool the space by incorporating existing landscape elements: seasonal changes in the tree canopy provide shade in the summer and allow sunlight to heat the transparent structure in winter.

Tour Guides: James Slade, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP; Hayes Slade, AIA, IIDA, Cofounders and Principales, Slade Architecture

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