Architectural design for buildings that create more energy than they consume

Architectural design for buildings that create more energy than they consume

While the cost of incorporating this technology into a new house wouldn t significantly add to its price, Malkawi and his team are still developing the software to make it ready for the mass housing market.

As people become more concerned about their carbon footprint, many elements could become standard in architectural design.

What’s it like to start working for Focus?

Brett: We very much intentionally hire people who want to be lighting designers. We really don’t hire draft smiths and renderers. It’s very different – we’re basically training people from the moment they come in to eventually be a senior designer or a principal. In fact, we have a one-year long training program that’s very structured. We know what someone’s going to do on day one, what they’re going to learn on week one, month one, etc.

To bring light into the large, open space, Focus added five Solatubes when designing the office. These tubes then take light down into skylights.

How is the office organized?

Christine: There are five different studios. Every studio does a good mix of different project types. We try not to pigeon-hole anyone to doing a certain kind of thing. It’s that idea of always having something new and different to work on. You’re constantly flexing your creative muscles on these different project types and not getting bored doing the same thing over and over again. Each studio is comprised of one lead designer or senior designer and then a group of other project designers and junior designers who work with that person on a set of projects. Each studio has to projects on its list at different phases of design and construction.

Brett: The only studio that actually breaks from that mold is our high-end residential studio. It was sort of a struggle to switch back and forth between a commercial project and then switch your mindset to that residential world.

The kitchen also features a huge mood board for project planning.

Speaking of, what types of residential projects do Focus work on?

Brett: When we work with developers on large, residential buildings, we often do the lobby where people get that first impression.

Christine: We also do some more amenity spaces and sometimes the apartments, too.

From your experience, how would you say a developer or property owner decides to bring in lighting architects specifically versus just relying on the regular architecture?

Christine: I think a lot of that probably comes through the architect. They understand the level of design that they’re going for or the style of the space they’re going for and feel that they need a lighting consultant to partner with them to help bring that space to life.

Do you think that translates to the hospitality and retail projects as well?

Christine: In a restaurant, it’s similar, but I think there you have owners who are a little bit more savvy about how lighting affects the feeling. They’re looking more for a lighting specialist to really create that mood that they’re going for.

Do you work collaboratively with the other designers on a project?

Brett: That’s central to how we work. When they don’t, it’s not as much fun, frankly. We don’t feel the outcome is as good. When we get brought onto a project and have our first meeting with the interior designers, we’re asking questions that are not really about lighting. We’re asking questions like, “What feeling are you trying to create? What are you or the owner’s goals? Are we trying to transport the guests to another experience that’s not in a restaurant in New York City?”

What about when it came to designing your own offices… what was that like?

Brett: We had an architect and engineers and obviously contractors, but we were very involved in providing the interior design, especially the space planning and how big of spaces we needed. How are they in relation to one another? Who sits next to who? It forced us to think in a completely different way about how we work than what we were doing at the old office.

When you moved from the original office at st and Broadway, did you know you wanted to stay in Harlem?

Brett: Yes. Paul lives in the neighborhood. There was a draw for that. We looked at places downtown, but we couldn’t do what we’re doing here downtown. To get , square feet just wasn’t a feasible thing, especially with the double-height space. For a -person firm, it just wasn’t financially feasible. This seemed to be perfect on all fronts.

Different study components of the Times Square Ball. 

What was it like working on the Times Square Ball?

Christine: The first year we worked on it was New Year’s Eve turning into . It was the th anniversary. We redesigned it. Waterford provides all these beautiful crystals every year and it’s tied into the Macy’s branding for all of the ornaments they sell. With the lighting of the ball, it was just a core of colored light bulbs in the center. You couldn’t see any detail of the crystal. That was the challenge they brought to us, “How do we make this crystal really feel like crystal that sparkles?” We knew we needed to get more dimensionality on the ball.

Brett: We analyzed how people experience the Times Square ball; you basically have three audiences. We all watch it on TV. It looks like the ball is about feet away, but you’ve got the people in Times Square, stories, feet away. If you’re lucky enough to get to the top of One Times Square, you’re right there. You’re five feet away. You have to make it look good from all three vantage points.

Christine: We found that one of the keys was how light refracts with the crystal. You have to get the cutting on the back side of it because that’s really what’s catching the light. Then we had them back-cut it. But this messes up the pattern that they’re trying to sell. We did it front and back, so together it makes the pattern. Then we created mirrored chambers inside to create these really nicely-defined patterns.

The show starts at : PM. The ball is raised. Then every hour, there’s a unique show that plays. Each one has a name and a concept and a story. Then at midnight, there’s obviously the midnight show. It does six different shows each New Year’s Eve.

The final design!

It must have been amazing to see it up there in Times Square for the first time. 

Christine: It’s very exciting to go from being in school for theater design and then feeling like we’ve got the biggest show on Broadway ever in the history of the world. That first year, we went the day before, checked everything, triple checked everything. I still feel a little bit nervous every year at about : PM. I’m like, “Oh, god. Please, work.”

Would you say that’s your proudest moment to-date?

Christine: Yes, maybe that project or maybe Tavern on the Green. That’s such an iconic place. There’s so much history. To be involved in the renovation of that project really felt like an honor.

If you remember the old Tavern on the Green, it was all these huge trees just wrapped in Christmas lights. It was that iconic image that everyone can picture from old New York. When we redid it, they had to rip out all those trees because they were dead from having been wrapped in lights for years. We really challenged ourselves and said, “How can we create this idea of nature wrapped in light and create this sparkling, opulent feel that people associate with Tavern on the Green when we don’t have any of the stuff that they used to have?” We created this string light canopy over the courtyard, using tall poles and a tensioned aircraft cable system so we didn’t have to have a center pole and make it feel like a circus tent. It was just this canopy of light hovering over the courtyard There are tiny, crystal chandeliers hovering over the courtyard.

Brett: If I think about the project I was most proud of, it’s a park in Dallas called Klyde Warren Park. There’s a highway called Will Rogers Freeway that cuts through city. It actually goes subterranean and literally breaks apart two neighborhoods. So the city decided they were going to deck over the highway to create this land out of nothing.

When we first visited, we were there at : PM at night and the place was empty. People did not hang out in this area of town. Then, I was giving a talk in Dallas three years after it opened. It just so happened they took us to a restaurant right up against the park. First of all, there were no restaurants anywhere near there. That was a complete change. We’re sitting in the restaurant and looking out. It’s like : PM at night and the park is packed like families, little kids playing in the lit fountains. The fact that we lit this park in a way that can be enjoyed at night just completely transformed these two very separate and different neighborhoods. Lighting can make a big difference in people’s lives. It’s a simple one, but there you go. The place just becomes a gathering space for thousands of people every week.

The workshop is located in the basement.

Is there one very exciting project you’re working on now?

Brett: We’re doing the new design for the Waldorf Astoria now. There are actually two projects there. The original hotel is being split into a hotel and a multi-unit residential portion. We’re designing all the rooms, all the historic lobbies, and all of the amenity spaces for the hotel.

All photos taken by James and Karla Murray exclusively for sqft. Photos are not to be reproduced without written permission from sqft.

Source: togel online via pulsa


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