CHIPAKATA CHILDREN’S ACADEMY | 14+ FOUNDATION,  Zambia, Africa
2015-2017 | Susan T. Rodriguez with Frank Lupo, Randy Antonia Lott, Nat Oppenheimer, Fabian Bedolla, Hiroko Nakatani (Ennead Lab)

The Chipakata Children’s Academy is a new primary school in rural Zambia, located approximately 100 kilometers east of Lusaka, the country’s largest city.  The project establishes a sense of place and community for seven rural villages. The design for Chipakata Children’s Academy transforms the regional school typology to create a new paradigm that introduces open space between classrooms for collaborative activity and “raises the roof” to create second-floor open-air classrooms.  Responsive to the local climate, a continuous roof overhang shelters spaces on both levels from harsh solar gain during the summer months and provides cover during the rainy season.  Clerestory windows are integrated into all the classrooms to maximize daylight. The first phase of the project, which opened in January 2015, includes a classroom building, community pavilion, administrative office and teachers’ housing. Nearby, agricultural fields dedicated to generating food and income support the operation of the school and ensure long-term economic sustainability for the project. Local village residents were key participants throughout the development and construction process.  A community gathering space—a triangular shaped structure—provides shelter from the sun and rain and a flexible space for eating, gathering, and community celebrations. A gateway pavilion completed in late 2016 is the latest addition to the campus with another classroom building in construction.

Awards  AIA NY, Honor Award Winner, 2016; AIA New York State, Award of Merit, 2015; Architizer Award, 2015; SARA NY, Design Award, 2016

Photo Credit Gord Ray, Joseph Mizzi, Fabian Bedolla, Chosa Mweemba

ArchDaily article

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CHIPAKATA CHILDREN'S ACADEMY

Defining a sense of place and community for seven rural villages

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FIDDLEHEAD ISLAND| Penobscot Bay, ME
1993-2016 | Susan T. Rodriguez 

For the past 25 years, this seasonal island retreat 15 miles off the coast of Maine has been home to an evolving network of modular buildings.  The island, quarried in the late 19th century exposing a jagged coastline of granite, is located on an active waterfront thoroughfare. The overall design strategy is grounded in a long term sustainable response to the unique aspects of the site and the seasonal use of the land — engagement with the working waterfront, views of the summer sunsets and boat traffic, and the challenge of building on a remote island.  Inspired by two small cabins built in the 1950’s, the first phase of construction comprised a main and guest cabin connected by a raised wooden platform. Two additional structures—a barn with a sleeping loft and a new workshop—have been added as use of the island evolved.  Building upon the simple vocabulary of the original cabins, the new post and beam structures have shed roofs with cedar shingled cladding incorporating utilitarian detailing with large sliding shutters and industrial hardware.  All building materials were delivered to the site by barge at high tide. Each of the structures are striking both in the continuity seen from one building to the next as well as the singularity of each in response to the program and their location on island.   The off-the-grid island incorporates a rainwater collection and gray water system with exposed gutters and downspouts and relies on limited use of propane to power appliances and lighting.  A small generator pumps water and septic; a water tower, set at the island’s highpoint, pressurizes the system.

Awards Architectural Record House 1997

Photo Credit  Jeff Goldberg | Esto, Asher Lanier, Jamie Lowrey, Susan Rodriguez, Vinalhaven Historical Society Archive

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FIDDLEHEAD ISLAND

An off-the-grid island in mid-coast Maine

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INDIANA UNIVERSITY BICENTENNIAL CARILLON | Bloomington, IN
2019 | Susan T. Rodriguez in collaboration with Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, Dan Sesil and Pat Hopple (LERA)

Marking the intersection of Music, Landscape, History and Student Life, the design for the new Grand Carillon seeks to establish a symbol of the University’s Bicentennial, a new focal point on campus and place of gathering.  The structure will be designed to accommodate 65 bells weighing approximately 88,000 pounds.  Its new location at the heart of campus, set within the Arboretum, will recast the landscape as an outdoor concert hall with the Grand Carillon as its centerpiece.  The site lies at a crossroads of campus movement at the confluence of three existing campus pathways.  It will be transformed into a triangular shaped plaza with the carillon as it’s vertical focal point. The overall configuration of the carillon is defined by six limestone piers that form the primary structure of the tower.  A series of smaller vertical stone fins will complete the radial framework of the structure above. Horizontal steel rings will visually and structurally unify the tower and provide lateral bracing.  The overall ensemble will support the instrument – bass, treble bells and playing cabinet — suspended aloft.  A luminous beacon of light at the top will complete the composition. A circular stair will provide limited access to the instrument’s playing chamber.  The  new outdoor room created below the tower’s structure will be a “hotspot” accessible by students going to and from classes.

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INDIANA UNIVERSITY BICENTENNIAL CARILLON

A monumental instrument at the heart of campus

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HEIMBOLD VISUAL ARTS CENTER AT SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE  | Bronxville, NY | 60,000 GSF
2004| Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

The  Heimbold Visual Arts Center establishes a dynamic inter-disciplinary center for the visual arts at Sarah Lawrence College.  The building provides a flexible framework of spaces for an intensive and creative community by unifying spaces for the arts into one building to foster dialogue between students and teachers of different disciplines. Dedicated studios for individual disciplines, as well as shared spaces for inter-disciplinary collaboration, technology, teaching and critiques are accommodated within the building.  Sited to promote movement through the building and views into the arts, the design incorporates pre-existing campus pathways connecting the historic campus to newer residential and athletic buildings to the west.  A stepped, grass-covered rooftop terrace extends the building into the campus landscape.  This reduces the overall scale of the building, while forming a new south facing outdoor gathering space.  A series of garage doors open up to studios, critique space and a café to visually and programmatically blur the distinction between interior and exterior.

LEED Certified

Awards AIA NYC, Design Honor Award, Educational Facility, 2008;  AIA NYC, Design Merit Award, Sustainability, 2008;  AIA National COTE, Top Ten Green Buildings, 2005;  AIA New York State, Award for Excellence in Design, 2005; AIA Westchester / Mid-Hudson, First Honor Award, and Sustainable Design Award, 2005

Photo Credit Richard Barnes, Susan Rodriguez

 

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HEIMBOLD VISUAL ARTS CENTER AT SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE

Creating a flexible framework for the arts

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GATEWAY CENTER, SUNY / WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE | Valhalla, NY | 70,000 GSF
2010 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

The Gateway Center at Westchester Community College is emblematic of the College’s commitment to providing a more accessible education for local residents and an American college experience for the many recent immigrants to the area. Sited to frame the natural beauty of the campus landscape, the Gateway Center is a threshold to the College and an initial expression of campus identity. The building’s Gateway Pavilion is the compositional focal point and the main public entry for visitors to the building and the campus overall.  Integrated into the sloping topography of the site, entries open out to the landscape and the campus on two levels.  The Center’s  program includes shared gathering and assembly spaces, lecture hall, general-use classrooms, technology laboratories, fashion studio and a resource center to support the international students’ transition to American culture. The building and site are unified to form a sustainable daylit environment.  Locally quarried stone references the historic buildings on campus, with glass and zinc a more transparent and lightweight counterpoint to the stone.  In the northern wing, offices and classrooms are cantilevered over a glass-enclosed base. The monumental volume of the central atrium  is a column-free space formed by a modular system of structural steel frames (“lobster pots”) clad with an aluminum and glass curtainwall. The brise-soleil structure on the south-facing façade allows for uninterrupted views of the campus while optimizing natural daylight and limiting glare within the building.

LEED Gold

Awards The Chicago Atheneum: The American Architecture Award 2012; SARA / National Design Award, 2011; AIA Westchester / Hudson Valley, High Honor Award, 2011; AIA NYC, Merit Award, 2011; AISC, National Design Award 2011; SARA NY, Award of Excellence, 2011

Photo Credit Jeff Goldberg | Esto, Aislinn Weidele, Susan Rodriguez

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GATEWAY CENTER, SUNY / WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Defining a gateway to education and opportunity

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ELIZABETH A. SACKLER CENTER FOR FEMINIST ART| Brooklyn, NY | 8,500 GSF
2007 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

The Elizabeth A. Sackler Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary as the permanent home for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Judy Chicago’s “The Dinner Party” is the centerpiece of the overall installation. Set within a triangular gallery that forms the heart of the Center, the design reinforces the scale and geometry of the piece, in contrast to the rectangular volume of the Museum. The design is conceived of as a series of distinct yet interconnected experiences through which one moves in a carefully choreographed sequence. This sequence draws visitors through concentric layers — the perimeter walls of the original nineteenth-century building, the enveloping zone of changing exhibition galleries and the inner sanctum of “The Dinner Party” gallery – to participate with the artwork notable for elevating “female achievement in Western history to a heroic scale traditionally reserved for men.”  Lined with large tablets of glass, the gallery infinitely reflects the artwork and heightens one’s perception of the piece. This strategy intentionally challenges the ‘white box’ gallery paradigm with an architecture that actively engages the art with the distinct purpose of deepening the visitor’s appreciation of and connection to it. The Center also includes changing exhibit galleries, a study area and presentation space to promote dialogue and exchange.

Awards SARA National Design Award, Interiors 2009; Beverly Willis Foundation Award,2015, AIA NY, Award of Merit,Interiors, 2009, AIA New York State, Citation for Design Excellence, 2009

Photo Credit Richard Barnes, Aislinn Weidele

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ELIZABETH A. SACKLER CENTER FOR FEMINIST ART, BROOKLYN MUSEUM

Feminist art, theory, and activism at the Brooklyn Museum

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MASS ART, DESIGN AND MEDIA CENTER | Boston, MA | 72,000 GSF
2016 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner at Ennead Architects

Mass Art’s new Design and Media Center establishes a new identity and threshold for the College along Boston’s “Avenue of the Arts”. The Center is a window into the vibrant art and design community of the College located at the critical intersection of campus and downtown Boston. The design weaves old and new together through the transformation of a historic brick gymnasium into a renewed, glass enclosed, monumental volume that encapsulates Mass Art’s spirit of design and the college’s goals for the future. The Center is a state-of-the-art flexible network of studios, galleries, and shared technical spaces designed to support Mass Art’s inter-disciplinary curricular goals and to foster an environment of collaboration.Reinforcing the school’s long history of independence and innovation, the Center creates a distinct and visible new front door to campus on Huntington Avenue. A new public plaza extending from the Center blurs the distinction between interior and exterior space while the exhibition hall acts as the nucleus of the building, unifying and connecting the new Center to the surrounding campus and city.

LEED Silver

Awards Chicago Athenaeum Award for American Architecture, 2017; Boston Society of Architects Design Award, 2016;  SARA NY Design Award, 2017

Photo Credit Richard Barnes, Matthew Melrose | LERA, Peter Vanderwarker, Don Weinreich | Ennead Architects

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MASSACHUSETTS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, DESIGN AND MEDIA CENTER

Revealing the arts on Boston's 'Avenue of the Arts'

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SCHERMERHORN HOUSE | Brooklyn, NY | 98,000 GSF
2009 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner at Ennead Architects

Schermerhorn House defines a new paradigm for supportive housing in New York City. Developed by Common Ground Community with co-sponsor The Actor’s Fund, the building provides “supportive housing” for single adults transitioning out of homelessness, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and low-income community residents. Comprised of 189 micro-units, the building creates a community environment that furthers Common Ground’s goal of building safe, affordable, attractive and sustainable housing. The site is positioned directly above subway tunnels, necessitating an innovative cantilever system that can be seen in the four steel tresses in the base of the building. To lighten the load on the tresses, the upper floors and façade were made using lighter materials than the traditional brick typically used in affordable housing complexes. A combination of glass and metal on the façade allows for a luminous, dignified, and visually prominent building overlooking downtown Brooklyn. Formally and spatially, the building experiments with modularity. Five translucent channel-glass tower elements reflect the spatial ordering of the interior. The building’s units consist of 180 identical studio apartments and 9 suites organized around a central hallway.

Awards AIA National Housing Award, 2011; AIA New York State Design Award of Merit; AIA Tri-State Design Awards, Honor Award, Beverly Willis Foundation Award, 2015;  SARA National, Award of Honor, 2012; Boston Society of Architects, John M. Clancy Ward for Socially Responsible Housing, 2011; SARA New York, Award of Excellence, 2011; Supportive Housing Network of New York, Outstanding Residence of the Year, 2011; AIA New York, Housing Design Award Citation, 2005

Photo Credit David Sundberg | Esto, Albert Vecera | Esto, Susan Rodriguez

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THE SCHERMERHORN

Micro-units cantilevered over the subway—A new model for supportive housing

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THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN, PFIZER RESEARCH LABORATORY | Bronx, NY  | 28,000 GSF
2006 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

Situated within the scientific precinct of the 250-acre New York Botanical Garden, the Pfizer Research Laboratory is the fourth in a series of projects for the International Plants Science Program. The new laboratory is a hybrid space accommodating state-of-the-art scientific research facilities and a graduate studies program. The design of the building is inspired by a desire to bridge the disparate realities of the life of a botanical researcher: fieldwork in remote locations around the world and extensive research in the laboratory.  A freestanding building at the northern edge of the Garden, the laboratory marks a transition in the landscape from the developed area of campus to sloped woodland and the Twin Lakes. The entry, a double-height volume, creates a space that extends interior to exterior. A cantilevered terrace overlook, accessed directly from the lobby, provides an opportunity to engage with the surrounding landscape. Organizationally, the new laboratory fosters interaction among scientists, graduate students and technical staff.  The first floor houses the conference room, graduate student spaces, storage areas, laboratory support and mechanical equipment spaces. The second floor, the building’s primary level, houses laboratories, offices and student study spaces. A sky-lit corridor provides the primary circulation through the building. Flexible laboratory modules with views overlooking the landscape are visually open to the corridor. The new building establishes an inspirational research environment for scientists and students alike, encouraging collaboration and dialogue.

Awards Beverly Willis Foundation Award 2015

Photo Credit Jeff Goldberg | Esto, Aislinn Weidele

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NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN, PFIZER PLANT RESEARCH LABORATORY

Scientific research in the garden

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WESTMORELAND MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART | Greensburg, PA | 69,300 GSF
2015 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

Located on a hilltop overlooking the city of Greens­burg, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art is an architecturally dynamic building marrying old and new with a cantilever addition that stands as a striking counterpoint to the original neo-Georgian structure. The design strengthens and renews institutional identity and the museum experience while extending its legacy into the future. The transformation of the building reinforces the importance of the arts and the Museum’s vital role in the community and the region. The project also encompasses a new landscape and sculpture garden extending the Museum beyond its walls to forge stronger connections to the city and the surrounding neighborhood. The expanded building frames the landscape while providing a transparent backdrop linking interior and exterior and revealing the activity within. Perpendicular to the cantilevered addition, a new south façade frames the original brick building. This new layer is defined by a plane of pre-cast concrete to match the original limestone of the building and a two-story colonnade of slender paired columns along its entire length. Three new vertical glass openings in the original brick envelope have been created to mark the entry. At the western end of the building, an angled pre-cast plane frames a commissioned sculpture by Tim Prentice, forming a focal point as one approaches the building from downtown along Main Street.  A simple palette of materials and textures – precast concrete, zinc, brick and glass – unifies the expansion with the existing building.  Sustainability is integral to the project, with state-of-the-art mechanical systems incorporated throughout, along with enhanced daylighting and views, local­ly-sourced materials and a substantial reduction of exterior hardscape with the creation of the sculp­ture garden. Use of native and adaptive plantings eliminates the need for irrigation.

LEED Silver

Awards The Chicago Atheneum, The American Architecture Award 2016; SARA NY, Design Award, 2016

Photo Credit Aislinn Weidele, Roy Engelbrecht

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WESTMORELAND MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Transforming the arts on Main Street

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VERMONT COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS, CROWLEY FACULTY CENTER | Montpelier VT | 3,780 GSF
2016| Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

The Vermont College of Fine Arts provides a unique and innovative educational structure, offering a low-residency Masters Program in a wide range of Arts related disciplines, including creative writing, film, children’s book writing, visual arts and musical composition.  Transforming an historic college campus to reveal a vibrant community for the arts and to accommodate the cyclical residency of students and faculty in an intensive and immersive academic environment inspired the design team’s process for the master planning effort.  The Crowley Center is the first new building developed under the master plan, flanking the historic College Hall and College Green and strategically located between two houses previously converted to faculty residences. The Center provides additional bedrooms for the low-residency model, with a shared common space to foster creative interchange and a sense of community. In keeping with the scale and character of the surrounding residential neighborhood on Montpelier’s College Hill precinct, the new two-story structure is clad in white clapboard, while striking a modern counterpoint to the historic context.  The transparency of the common space on the first level heightens opportunities for collaboration and interaction with the broader college community. A modular expression of the residential units are expressed in the articulation of the structure above.

Photo Credit Gary Hall, Susan Rodriguez, Megan Riley

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VERMONT COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS, CROWLEY FACULTY CENTER

Transforming the campus for the arts

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PRESCOTT FARM ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER  | Laconia, NH | 2,600 GSF
2005| Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects ( formerly Polshek Partnership)

Sited on the edge of the wooded landscape adjacent to an historic farm house and barn complex, the crisp geometric form of the Environmental Center at Prescott Farm provides for much needed year-round space for environmental education and community gathering. The Center was sited with the intention of broadening engagement with the uncultivated woodland landscape and creating a threshold to the network of trails on the property.  Two single pitched roof structures linked by an enclosed breezeway  supplement the active farm buildings with year-round conditioned space for teaching, learning and staff offices. Integrated into the sloping topography of the site the design of the Center provides ample interior space while maintaining a modest footprint.  The primary structure opens up to the afternoon sun while taking advantage of views of the mountains in the distance. The Center is equipped with a science laboratory, a flexible meeting and gathering space with the smaller wing serving as an open office for the environmental education team.  An array of photovotiac panels sited just below the Center power the building.

 

Photo Credits Aislinn Weidele, Susan Rodriguez

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PRESCOTT FARM ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

Environmental education engaging nature

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LYCEE FRANCAIS DE NEW YORK ADDITION | New York, NY | 17,000 GSF
2016| Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner at Ennead Architects

The new wing at the Lycée Français de New York, positioned prominently on York Avenue, creates a more public face to the school on the avenue and a new point of access into the main facility from the City.  The addition is strategically connected to the main building providing important new spaces for teaching and learning. In addition to new classrooms, administrative offices and study areas, a double height media lab — a state-of-the-art broadcast studio — forms the intersection between the two buildings and equips the school for its role as a center for cultural exchange. The design supports a renewed focus on the importance of sustainability and community incorporating energy efficient systems, a rooftop wind turbine and the use of recycled channel glass providing daylight throughout with views back to the city from the top floor.

Awards SARA | NY Design Award 2018

Photo Credit Richard Barnes, Don Weinreich, Susan Rodriguez

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LYCEE FRANCAIS DE NEW YORK II

Establishing a new identity on the avenue

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LYCEE FRANCAIS DE NEW YORK| New York, NY | 158,000 GSF
 2003-2017 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership)

The  Lycée Francais de New York realizes a vision for a new international, multicultural school that fulfills the needs of a unique curriculum and the school’s more than 1,000 students.  Intended to convey the rigor and order of the school’s French pedagogy, the design is inspired by the school’s unique history in New York City, the memory of the six original Beaux Arts buildings that had defined its previous home, and the rhythms, forms and materials of the New York City’s dense Cartesian landscape.  Spatial variety, rational planning principles and sectional organization, attention to proportion, façade syncopation, expressed structure and materials are unified in a dynamic framework. Located on a  through-block site between 75th and 76th streets on the Upper East side of Manhattan, the school is made up of two buildings connected by a three-story base –one above and two below-grade.  A central courtyard acts as the “coeur” of the Lycée, creating the opportunity to define a true French cultural center and a landscaped focal point. Two distinct faces to the city, north and south, reflects upon the inherent duality of French and American culture and the solar orientation of he building.  The north façades are characterized by translucent channel glass systems, which capitalize on natural and reflected light. The south sides are pre-cast concrete reminiscent of the limestone facades of the school’s original buildings. Internally, shared school-wide program spaces such as libraries, cafeteria, auditorium and gymnasiums unify the school at the three lower levels. Above ground, the southern structure is designated as the secondary school while the northern structure is the maternelle and primary school.  The rooftops of both structures are used for recreation and outside gathering.

Awards: Beverly Willis Foundation Award, 2015; Upper East Side Historic District, Best New building, 2004; National School Boards Association Citation, 2008;

Photo Credit Richard Barnes, Jeff Goldberg | Esto, Aislinn Weidele

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LYCEE FRANCAIS DE NEW YORK

A French school in New York City

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When I would see Frank at the Paramount in Manhattan, the streets were so crowded with people hoping to get in to his shows that it looked like New Year's Eve in Times Square, every day.

FRANK SINATRA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS | Astoria , NY | 185,000 GSF
2009 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

The new Frank Sinatra School of the Arts creates a powerful architectural identity for this 1,000-student public high school for the visual and performing arts. The design celebrates the school’s arts curriculum and connects visually, programmatically and spatially with the surrounding community. The transparency of the building’s primary façade reveals the studio and rehearsal spaces within and draws the city into the building at the first two levels. A multistory skylit atrium cuts through the building to illuminate interior spaces and highlight the oval form of the concert hall at the center of the building. The five-story structure culminates in a rooftop landscaped courtyard for gatherings and outdoor performances. The building, which includes three theaters, studios and rehearsal spaces, galleries, a media center, gymnasium, library, cafeteria and general classrooms, occupies a full block on 35th Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets in Astoria, Queens. The site’s primary urban face is directly across the street from historic Kaufman Astoria Studios and the Museum of the Moving Image. The new school enlivens the street and reinforces the neighborhood’s connection to its cultural and civic buildings.

Awards   The Chicago Atheneum: The American Architecture Award 2010; AIA NYC, Merit Award 2012; AIA New York State, Excellence in Design Award, 2010; SARA NY Design Award, 2010; SARA National Design Award, 2011; Beverly Willis Foundation Award, 2015

Photo Credit Jeff Goldberg | Esto

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FRANK SINATRA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Celebrating public arts education

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GLOBAL AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES BUILDING, INDIANA UNIVERSITY| Bloomington, IN | 175,000 GSF
2015 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects  

The new Global and International Studies Building at Indiana University defines an important cultural and academic crossroads at the center of campus. The building houses the new School of Global and International Studies and many of the programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Compositionally, two wings respond to the unique geometry of the site dictated by the orthogonal grid of the campus context to the east and the curvilinear geometry of the arboretum and former stadium to the west. A three-story glass-enclosed volume unifies the building to frame a new terraced landscape, an extension of the public gathering space within. The design provides flexible spaces for teaching and learning that extend beyond the classroom to foster collaboration and inter-disciplinary education.  On the exterior, locally quarried limestone continues campus tradition while vibrant colored stones from around the world make visual reference to the study of global cultures. This rich variety of materials and textures culminates in the interior with a three-story wall of international stones in the central atrium.

LEED Silver

Photo Credit  Jeff Goldberg | Esto, Aislinn Weidele

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GLOBAL AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES BUILDING , INDIANA UNIVERSITY

A cultural crossroads on campus

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BARD GRADUATE CENTER | New York, NY 34,000 GSF
1998-2010 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

The renovation and expansion of two residential buildings in Manhattan’s Upper West Side Historic District creates a state-of-the-art academic facility for the Bard Graduate Center. The project connects two early-twentieth-century townhouses on West 86th street to form a modern academic complex, expanding the public face of the institution. The overall scope of the project included the comprehensive renovation and expansion of both structures and the restoration of the historic brick and limestone façades to their original condition. In keeping with the curricular objectives of the Center, the design transforms a domestically-scaled environment into an academic setting while retaining the intimacy of the original buildings. The two-phase effort, begun in 1998, was initiated with the renovation of the western building. The strategic location of the vertical circulation core in the first phase enabled the second phase expansion into the adjacent building to be used exclusively for program. Behind the 1905 façades, the buildings were stripped to their structural frame and expanded vertically and horizontally to create an environment expressive of the intellectual and programmatic goals of the institution. Primary spaces include a new lobby and reception area, two lecture halls, library and digital imaging center, classrooms and seminar spaces, student and faculty lounges and administrative and faculty offices.

Awards AIA/NYC, Citation: Adaptive Re-use/ Historical Preservation, 2001

Photo Credits Jeff Goldberg | Esto, Aislinn Weidele

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THE BARD GRADUATE CENTER

Home to the Decorative Arts, Design History and Material Culture

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MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT MUSEUM AND RESEARCH CENTER| Mashantucket, CT | 320,000 GSF
2000 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects ( formerly Polshek Partnership)

The design of the building creates a powerful three-dimensional identity that celebrates the history of the Mashantucket Pequot nation.  Inspired by the ecological and archeological value of the site and the tribe’s historic dependence on both inland agricultural and aquatic zones, the building provides a visual, spatial and textural link to the cultural heritage of the Pequot tribe.  The circular plan of the original Mystic Fort, site of the 1637 massacre, is a symbol for the Mashantucket Pequot nation and informs the overall  geometry of the building.  This facility contains a permanent exhibit , a temporary gallery, a 150,000-volume library, children’s library, archeology laboratory, auditorium, collections storage, herbarium and botany laboratory.  The Center’s three principal program elements: the circular Gathering Space, the heart of the facility; the Museum, situated below the undulating roof terrace; and the Research Center, the organizational and programmatic spine of the building define the primary elements of the building. The building in punctuated by a 200-foot-tall tower to the east which marks the entry, identifies the facility from a distance and provides views of the entire reservation.

Awards  AIA National Honor Award, Architecture, 2000; AIA Connecticut, Award of Honor, 2000; The Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award, 1998; AIA New England Design Awards, Award of Merit; AIA/New York State, Award of Merit, 1999

Photo Credits  Jeff Goldberg | Esto

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MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT MUSEUM AND RESEARCH CENTER

Celebrating Mashantucket Pequot culture in a historical landscape

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NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN, GARAGE AND INTERMODAL FACILITY | Bronx, NY  | 300,000 GSF
2012 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

This new facility is strategically located next to a busy commuter railroad line and in close proximity to a new entry gate to the New York Botanical Garden. Siting this new garage and intermodal transportation facility outside the Garden walls preserves valuable landscape and extends the Garden into the community, transforming a decaying industrial site. The building’s distinctive exterior façade creates a “vertical garden” on all four sides of the building. A series of monumental forked elements, symbolic of a simple branch structure, envelops the building to form an overall enclosure and vertical trellised landscape, adding texture and greenery to the dense urban environment. Interstices between the forked elements are covered with a wire trellis, planted with a variety of flowering vines.  Punctuated by glass circulation towers at each corner, the building glows at night.  The materials of the garage – precast concrete and channel glass and a metal trellis infill – visually link the design of the new facility to buildings within the Garden proper.  The eight-story, precast concrete garage is designed to accommodate 825 vehicles.   The facility has been designed as LEED Silver-equivalent.

Awards Beverly Willis Foundation Award, 2015; Concrete Industry Board, Award of Merit, 2012

Photo Credit Jeff Goldberg | Esto, Aislinn Weidele, Susan Rodriguez

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NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN GARAGE AND INTERMODAL FACILITY

Extending the Garden into the City

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STATEN ISLAND COURTHOUSE | Staten Island, NY |184,000 GSF
2015 | Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects

On a hilltop site overlooking New York Harbor, the Staten Island Courthouse projects a civic identity and a distinctly twenty-first-century vision of our judicial system. Four copper-clad “towers of justice” are a beacon and a commanding presence on the St. George skyline. Housing the New York State Supreme Civil and Criminal Courts, lower Criminal Court and related agencies, the facility fulfills the modern programmatic requirements of the Court while respecting the site’s historical significance and the material character and scale of the surrounding residential neighborhood. Archeological investigation into the history of the property as a 19th-century quarantine hospital uncovered a burial ground at the northern end of the site. This has been commemorated with the creation of a Memorial Green – a new civic landscape framed by the Courthouse, Borough Hall, the New York Public Library and the Staten Island Theater. The new courthouse provides two distinct faces to the City, responding to the dual contexts of harbor and community. The primary public areas of the building, including the lobby and jury assembly spaces, face east toward the harbor. The building offers striking views of the Memorial Green, New York Harbor and the Verrazano Narrows. The building’s western façade is a denser composition of precast, copper and glass in response to the afternoon light. The opacity provides privacy for jury deliberation rooms and judges’ robing rooms, adjoining the courtrooms within. The ordering of the four towers responds to the rigorous organization of the courts within. The towers are set back from the transparent glass curtain wall, providing a connecting corridor for public circulation, allowing natural light into the building’s public spaces and offering views of the harbor beyond.

Awards  Design Commission of the City of New York, Special Recognition Award, 2009; North American Copper in Architecture Award, 2017

Photo Credit Jeff Goldberg | Esto, Stefen Turner, Aislinn Weidele

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STATEN ISLAND COURTHOUSE

Transforming an urban void

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VINALHAVEN VETERAN’S MEMORIAL | Vinalhaven, ME
2018 | Susan T. Rodriguez with Jarrett Pelletier (Ennead Lab)

Located on an island in the Penobscot Bay, 15 miles off the coast of Maine,  the new Memorial honors veterans from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Flag to Flag–the Memorial forms a new beginning and end to the annual parades that move up the hill and back. Throughout the year it will serve as a place of recognition, memory and reflection. Made of locally quarried stone and built by community leaders and volunteers, the Memorial forms an arc centered about an historic flagpole, relocated on the site to mark the compositional focus and geometrical center of the space. Eighteen tablets of granite radiate from the center, as do the lists of names engraved on each tablet. The new Memorial extends the Island’s legacy of honoring Veterans who have served our Nation and creates a new community gathering space along Main Street.

Photo Credits Susan Rodriguez, Jamie Lowrey, Vinalhaven Historical Society Archives,  American Legion Hall 18 Archives

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VINALHAVEN VETERANS MEMORIAL

A place of recognition, memory and reflection for an island community

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SMITH COLLEGE, BROWN FINE ARTS CENTER  | Northampton, MA | 165,000 GSF
2003| Susan T. Rodriguez as Design Partner, Ennead Architects ( formerly Polshek Partnership)

The Brown Fine Arts Center celebrates and visually redefines the arts at Smith College and creates an elegant new campus gateway.  The design transforms the original ensemble of 1970s buildings for the Museum of Art, the Art Department and the Art Library into one expanded and reconfigured center. In the state-of-the-art facility, an enclosed forty-foot-high skylit atrium replaces what was once a wind-swept exterior courtyard. This new interior volume unites the three primary programmatic components of the buildings and creates a place for interchange among students, faculty, museum staff and visitors.  The renovation stripped the original complex down to its steel girders and then rebuilt it entirely, ultimately expanding the facility by 38,000 gross square feet. The new Center includes galleries, studios, library reading rooms, imaging center, stacks, a 120-seat auditorium, art storage facilities, café, museum store and classrooms.  The design takes cues in form and material from the architectural context of Northampton.  The building’s primary materials – brick, zinc, glass and metal – reinforce connections to the texture and quality of the surrounding historic context. The design depends on a dynamic visual balance between the transparency and reflectivity of glass and the opacity of brick.  Articulated planar brick walls in combination with large expanses of glass shaded by an aluminum sunscreen define the overall mass of the building. Selected to match College Hall, the brick is laid in a rich variety of textural patterns and envelopes the entire building.  Linear recesses and projections animate the wall surface. A vertical zinc stair tower marks each entry, punctuating the arrival sequence..

Awards AIA New England, Honor Award, 2003, Brick in Architecture Award, 2003; Northampton Historic Commission Preservation Award for Excellence the Built Environment, 2003

Photo Credits Jeff Goldberg | Esto, John Lowery, Susan Rodriguez

 

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SMITH COLLEGE, BROWN FINE ARTS CENTER

Transforming a campus arts center

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