In an issue that has always been close to our hearts, we at SHoP Architects would like to comment on the issue of unpaid interns:

In our 17+ years of operation, SHoP Architects has NEVER once hired an unpaid intern, nor have we exchanged experience for school credit. Our mission now is as clear and simple as it was on day 1: we compensate our staff with a salary that allows them to live in NYC. We hire selectively – SHoP’s employees hail from all over the world and come from the top schools, bringing with them invaluable experience and ideas. We value our talented, diverse, and brilliant staff and are proud to compensate them justly for their work, often including visa sponsorships.

At SHoP, it’s much more than just paying our staff justly and fairly, we also provide and pay for full medical insurance benefits for all full-time employees. We believe in a healthy, happy, well-supported staff, and we are proud that we are able to provide them with the benefits they deserve. We take care of all the members of our family.

As leaders and innovators not only in the architecture world, but in New York City, we hope that our colleagues, peers –- everyone, will follow suit. Love your staff, pay it forward. Support the people that support you.

We encourage business owners, interns, and students to review this website for the Unpaid Intern Legal Class Action Lawsuit in NYC. http://www.unpaidinternslawsuit.com/

On April 22nd, Bill Sharples had the opportunity sit in on a round table discussion entitled “WBYA 2.0, Who Builds Your Architecture? Part 2: Sustainability and Sustaining Human Life. The focal topic, ethics in architecture, is one that is woven tightly into our office culture and we are excited to share and expand upon the discussion that Bill participated in.

To provide you with a brief synopsis, one of the troubling issues that is currently haunting the architecture (and global) community  is that there are areas of the world where slavery is still considered a means of labor. Though this may seem like an outdated term of biblical proportion, it is indeed a serious issue that has permeated the walls of the field of architecture. The round table discussion centering on this is meant to do a few things. First, to bring to light that these injustices are occurring, and occurring in what seems like a widespread manor. Second, to begin to qualify just why they are happening. The short answer to why this is happening is laced heavily with a lack of responsibility, and though it’s easy to point fingers and make accusations, SHoP is more interested in focusing in  on exactly where in the process this disconnect occurs.

Our model of design is inextricably linked with our model of production. What this means is that we are involved in all of the phases of project, that from the very first sketch to the last brick, SHoP is involved in the entire process. This symbiotic relationship allows for us to infuse our intrinsic values from the bottom up and from the top down, and through this cycle, we are able to oversee and involve ourselves in a much more encompassing and impactful way. For example, as we pursue more and more projects abroad, we make sure that our ideals seamlessly translate into our mission. As we move through the production process, we ask ourselves questions like, how do we utilize local labor? How do we engage the culture? How can we echo the surrounding culture and translate it into our projects?

A good example of this is reflected in our work in Konza. We are currently building a state of the art exhibition pavilion, the defining element of which is  a 4,000 square meter canopy that hovers over the structure. The purpose of this canopy is to be totally permeable – wind transparent as well as rain transparent while still providing shade from the sun. The canopy is an intricate piece of geometry, meaning more specifically that no two components are alike. The structure, cladding, etc all belong to the same family, but all the pieces are different. Since this is a complex product, the production of these panels is complex as well. Konza is not industrially evolved yet, so the manufacturing process becomes a bit more tricky. Cost rises and the issue of quality control is also raised. SHoP’s solution to this predicament is to engage the local work force and focus on creating a knowledge transfer between ourselves and the community we are building in. By involving local university students as well as enlisting the help of local fabricators and contractors, we are given the opportunity to teach them about our manufacturing process. Instead of outsourcing our labor, we are presented with the chance to involve and uplift the community as well as share with them new and innovative skills.

The act of creating architecture does not end when the drawing sets leave our office.  The men and women in the field who build our  buildings are an extension of our own workforce,  who execute, with their skill, care and knowledge, sometimes at the risk of their lives, what we have dreamed and planned and organized. As professionals, we have an ethic that governs the way we conduct our business and treat our employees.  We cannot then, look the other way, if that ethic is to be violated in the construction stage of our work.  Civilized communities cannot be built on the backs of slave labor.

We can choose our projects to avoid that if possible.  We should not give our names, and our implicit stamp of approval, to practices we morally oppose.  Furthermore, we can actively seek out ways to change the model, to empower governments and their people with the knowledge and skills to overcome broken systems and extend our collaborative process and protective care to all of our partners who undertake with us to build our Architecture.

Find out more about the Round Table Discussions here.

See below for a rendering of the Konza Pavillion.

 

We are so thrilled to share with you that the AIANY has selected SHoP as one of 8 Architecture firms to receive their highest honor – an Honor Award for Architecture! A few years ago, we never would have guessed that the Barclays Center would have been as well received as it has been, and we are truly beyond words when we try to express our gratitude for the open arms which the community has accepted the Barclays Center.

We are also proud to have been selected alongside so many other outstanding and inspiring works of architecture, and aspire to keep producing work that advances, inspires, and captures the spirit of all those in the community it touches.

See here for all of the AIANY 2013 Award Winners.

 

You know, 2012 was a crazy year. With everything that went on, it was a challenge not only to become relevant in a sea of talent and ambition, but to remain so.

SC’s Jon Mallie not only did this, but he managed to make ENR’s (Engineering News Record) list of Top 25 Newsmakers! That’s pretty awesome stuff. With the Barclays Center under SC’s belt and B2 officially underway, you can certainly expect new and big things from SC in the future. Don’t forget to check back with us as we continue to share the exciting things SC will undoubtedly be bringing forth.

See below for more information on ENR’s Top 25 Newsmakers as well as a special image taken of the recipients of the honor at an awards luncheon hosted just for them!

 

Well, we didn’t win $250,000 towards our new space, but rest assured we are thrilled to have even been part of the Take the H.E.L.M process. Making it to the final 4 was such a feat for us and we’re really glad that the winner in our category – Booker - will be receiving the grant.

We have been in lower Manhattan for 10 years and consider this place our second home. We have seen it change and grow in many, many different ways in the last decade and so glad to witness more new and young businesses joining us in a place that we have flourished so much in ourselves. Perhaps Lower Manhattan is a secret good luck charm and moving here will be just the push they need to achieve new and uncharted success.

And if they need any recommendations for food – they should check out Dirty Bird on Chambers Street. We’re looking forward to running into you guys there!

Lastly, check out the video we made as part of our take the H.E.L.M submission. In just 90 seconds, we explain what SHoP’s all about. Check it out below!

I know what you’re thinking – it’s been a whole day since something exciting happened at SHoP and maybe we’re losing our edge. Well, good news,  on March 4th we participated in the groundbreaking ceremony at Hunters Point South.

Taken directly from the NYCEDC website:

“Hunter’s Point South is a proposed mixed-use, middle-income housing development situated on approximately 30 acres of prime waterfront property in Long Island City, Queens. Up to 5,000 housing units, 60 percent of which will be affordable to middle income families, are expected to be developed on the site.

Phipps Houses, Related Companies, and Monadnock Construction have been selected to complete Phase I construction of the project. This includes two mixed-use buildings of more than 900 housing units and roughly 20,000 square feet of new retail space. 100 percent of the housing in this phase will be for low, moderate and middle-income families. Other additions will include five acres of new waterfront parkland, a new school, new retail space, and parking. Phase I construction is expected to finish in 2014.

The new housing units are a part of Mayor Bloomberg’s $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years - the largest municipal affordable plan in the nation.”

SHoPpers Andrea Vittadini, Steven Garcia, and partner Bill Sharples were on hand for the ceremony. They snapped some pictures while they were there and we’re so pleased to share them with you. Who doesn’t love to see Mayor Bloomberg shoveling some dirt, am I right?

Pictures below!

 

For the past few weeks, we’ve had a small model kept stealthily under wraps in a little black box. The contents of this little black box have finally been released via renderings, and we are so very, very excited to announce that we, along with Two Trees Management Company, have revealed our plans for the redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Factory.

Perched on the waterfront in Brooklyn directly facing Manhattan, the Domino Sugar Factory has a rich history (which you can read more about here), and this project’s focus is to both renew and revitalize the area while still preserving and pay homage to the landmark that is so irreparably a part of the fabric of Brooklyn. The actual factory, though will be gutted because the interior is decrepit, will aesthetically be preserved, as will some of the machines and pieces of the original interior of the factory. These will be displayed in a public park (think Highline and Nelson A. Rockefeller at Battery City Park as one) that will sit right on the water. Count us in for summer picnics and canoe rides.

SHoP has designed a total of 5 towers that will live on the waterfront, but what is exceptional about the proposed design is that amount of public and open space that the plan includes. The idea behind the design was to create unobtrusive buildings – we didn’t want to sabotage or monopolize the views of Manhattan. By slenderizing the buildings and building up (as opposed to across) as well as designing a building that you can see clear through (my personal favorite), the skyline remains intact for residents and visitors alike.

Plus, Two Trees insists that only small business will have retail space (so very Brooklyn of them) and will feature affordable housing, and will create a ton of jobs. So you can see why we’re so excited to be working on such a thoughtful, forward-thinking company.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated with information as we receive it, but know that we are committed to building something with Brooklyn’s history, people, and future in mind.

And don’t forget to check out the just-released renderings below!

The Barclays Center is featured in the Winter 2013 edition of Metals in Construction, a seasonally distributed magazine published by the Steel Institute of New York and the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York. We even made the cover!

 

While we realize this is quite the niche magazine, we think it’s nice to share because it highlights many aspects of the Barclays Center that are often not covered simply because of how specific the information can be. This article double-features (!) the Barclays Center and the text is split between the structure and the facade, making it that much easier to follow. It really showcases just how special and innovative this building is by breaking down the design and showcasing all of the individual parts that come together to make such an interesting and unique structure. And how smart will you seem to your friends when you get to say something like, “Hey did you guys know that there are 12,000 unique panels of pre-rusted steel arrayed around of the exterior of the Arena?”.

The answer is pretty smart.

So give these articles a read, we know you’ll be impressed by what you find out!

View the full Metals in Construction Winter 2013 Edition here

 

 

We here at SHoP are extremely pleased to announce that we are 1 of 20 finalists for the Take the H.E.L.M Competition. I know what you’re thinking – you’re so very excited for us – but what’s take the H.E.L.M? Are we going sailing? Are you invited? Is it too early for nautical stripes?

The Take the H.E.L.M Competition stands for Hire & Expand in Lower Manhattan. Taken directly from the H.E.L.M website, “The history of New York City is interwoven with the growth and development of Lower Manhattan. Here, merchants landed from abroad bringing with them wares to spur a new economy. Here, traders gathered beneath a cherry tree to swap goods – actions that would lead to the establishment of a stock market. More recently, $30 billion in infrastructure investment has attracted a new type of merchant – one that harnesses intellectual capital and creative ingenuity – and has brought thousands of new residents and businesses to Lower Manhattan.”

 

SHoP currently has a decade-long presence in Lower Manhattan and as we continue to grow and expand, we can’t imagine ourselves moving anywhere else. SHoP is Downtown Manhattan – from our projects to our culture – and we’re so glad that this contest is highlighting all sorts of different companies that are changing, building, and evolving such a historic piece of Manhattan.

 

To read more about the Take the H.E.L.M Competition as well as to find out more about each of the 20 finalists (us included!), please check out the link below.

 

http://www.takethehelmnyc.com/index.html

 


 

 

We are thrilled to announce that the recently completed Barclays Arena At Atlantic Yards has been selected as a Finalist in the Architizer A+ Awards for the Sports & Recreation Centers category. As a Finalist, our work is amongst a handful in the world for that category, and is competing for the two most sought-after awards: The Architizer A+ Jury Award and the Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award. We are honored and excited to be able to announce that we are being considered alongside so many other great and inspired pieces of architecture.

While the Architizer A+ Jury Award is out of our hands – the Popular Choice Award is based solely on votes. We would love for you to continue to show your support for us by casting a vote for the Barclays Center by clicking the link below, and then by selecting “vote” on the image of the Barclays Center. You will be prompted to login with either facebook, linkedin, twitter, or google. Once you login, your vote will be cast.

 

Vote here: http://awards.architizer.com/public/voting/?cid=29

 

Also, please continue to share this link with friends, family, and colleagues. Please note that voting ends on March 8th, so make sure you cast your vote before then!

We are so glad that you get to be a part of the voting fun, too!