PRO-BONO: Architects Who Serve Humanity

In the next installment of Architectural Sessions, Maziar Behrooz will interview architects who volunteer their time toward charitable causes, featuring special guests Sharon Davis, the New York-based architect who, in collaboration with Women for Women, created the Women's Opportunity Center for female survivors of war in Kayonza, Rwanda and artist/philanthropist Jane Walentas who founded the non-profit organization Jane's Carousel, overseeing the restoration of the Brooklyn landmark and creation of its Jean Nouvel-designed pavilion. 

Women's Opportunity Center, Rwanda, Sharon Davis Design

Women's Opportunity Center, Rwanda, Sharon Davis Design

A Note on My First House

The first house I built in East Hampton was long before the words 'sustainability' or 'green' were in our common vernacular. In fact with less than a handful of exceptions every house or building on the East End of Long Island was designed in a variation, often deformation, of the 'Shingle Style' [click this to read about the Shingle Style]. Modernism on the East End, while vibrant, experimental and profoundly captivating in the 60s and 70s, was hardly to be seen in the 90s. Developers, homeowners, realtors, with a unified front, wanted everything shingled. It was in this environment that I opened the office in East Hampton and began from the start to re-envision how a house could be designed or built.

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Architectural Sessions II: Quiet Architecture w/ Thomas Phifer & Gabriel Smith

In the second installment of AIA Peconic’s Architectural Sessions at the Parrish, host Maziar Behrooz is joined by Thomas Phifer, principal of Thomas Phifer and Partners, and Gabriel Smith, partner, for a conversation about the firm’s singular approach to architecture.

"We're into very quiet architecture," says Thomas Phifer. With forms that aim for permanence and simplicity, their buildings articulate an intense precision in both craft and concept. A singular vision is examined and expressed with clarity and deliberateness throughout their buildings, elevating every view, every space to an essential and timeless condition. In the firm’s current project, the expansion of the Glenstone Museum (anticipated to open in 2016), the changing patterns of nature play against the quiet permanence of forms.

This Session will examine how a practice like Phifer’s can maintain such focus and clarity of vision from a project’s conception to completion. What systems are in place to ensure that the in-house team can express a singular idea over time to the many parties and stakeholders involved in the creation of a building, and ultimately to the public at large?