We are an architectural design firm based in NYC, founded in 1987.
We focus on design for the public, with an emphasis on cultural, educational and institutional projects.
We were at Weeksville Heritage Center with the Urban Green Council (USGBC-NY) last week to give a tour on the design process in relation to sustainability. Anita Romero Warren taught us so much about the history of the site, and how important landownership was to the original African-American settlers of Weeksville in terms of social equity (especially in relation to voting rights). It was a special treat to see the current exhibition curated by BRIC Arts, and to see the landscape in full autumnal colors.
We are delighted to announce our newest cultural project: The Africa Center. The Center is located on One Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York. CJA is the architect for this 70,000 square foot facility. The Africa Center will serve as a hub dedicated to policy, culture and business. The Center will include galleries, a 140-seat theater, event space, offices & meeting rooms, cafe & an outdoor terrace. www.theafricacenter.org
"The Africa Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, multidisciplinary institution, provides a gateway for engagement with contemporary Africa. The Center’s work is premised on the idea that this emerging market of one billion people, characterized by extraordinary diversity and complexity, is inescapably relevant to building a prosperous, secure, and desirable future. Minutes from the United Nations and located at One Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue adjoining Harlem in New York City, The Africa Center will operate locally and globally to transform our understanding of the world’s oldest continent, which also boasts its youngest population. Encompassing culture, policy, and business, The Africa Center promotes partnership, collaboration, dialogue and understanding between African artists, business leaders and civil society and their counterparts in the United States and beyond. The Africa Center will host visual, performing, and digital arts presentations; develop and disseminate innovative educational tools; convene focused, thoughtful peer-to-peer exchanges; and sponsor results-oriented policy research." (text from The Africa Center website)
Our latest project, a Pre-K in Gravesend Brooklyn, is undergoing construction.
We were inspired by the poem The Rose That Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur:
“Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's laws wrong,
it learned to walk without having feet.
Funny, it seems to by keeping it's dreams;
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else even cared.”
The Rose that grew from Concrete
A school renovation for Pre-K.
A community of children and teachers located across the street from an elevated train line and a sanitation industrial garbage dumping ground.
An opportunity to create for young bodies and minds.
A place of natural light.
A place of magic, serenity and fantasy.
A place for the young to imagine.
A place of rooms and meeting spaces scaled for intimacy with light and its ever changing patterns, delight, dark, soft, hard and shadows.
The forecourt - a garden in the concrete - begins the architectural sequence. A metaphor for the potential of all young bodies and minds.