Master Planning

Master Planning

Loop-D-Loop Pavilion

Project Manager/Designer: Alex Zhitnik, RA, Tamar Kisilevitz

Completion Date: 2006

Location: Coney Island

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LOOP-D-LOOP pavilion serves as a springboard to further development in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn.Whether entering at grade or at the boardwalk level, visitors to this miniature oasis will be treated to the first drop of the cyclone. The rebirth of Coney Island is reflected in the journey into the sky from ground level.LOOP-D-LOOP pavilion embodies the freedom of spirit that Coney Island represented at the turn of the last century for inner city residents. The pavilion is a pedestrian attraction that can be walked through, therefore all surfaces serve as extensions of the already existing linear boardwalk and they are all accessible to pedestrians, as the site is gradually revealed through physical ascension.The building's spiraling motion, which is enhanced by children running through it, creates a theatre of interaction through its use alone. A race to the top of the building rewards the winner with an unobstructed view of the ocean, a seat from which to watch a game, a waiting area for a rider on the jump or a respite from a hectic day at the park.The most important fact to remember is that Coney Island has the power to temporarily transform anyone into a child again.

Surf Avenue

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: November 2006

Location: Coney Island

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Designed as a gated community, the 320,000 square foot "Ocean Dreams" provides the style of living that dreams are made of, in a context that is hard to come by in New York City. With a construction budget of $56 million, or $175 per square foot, it is situated directly along the Riegelmann Boardwalk, and comes as close as a private property can get to the beachfront.The design for such a large development, with 320 apartments ranging from 500 square foot studios to 1800 square foot three bedroom apartments, requires an understanding of not only multi family residential design but master planning for an entirely new community as well.The design takes advantage of contextual zoning to contribute vast open spaces for outdoor recreation, and to provide tenants and the public with friendly access to the boardwalk and beach.The wide range of apartment sizes, styles and prices accommodates everyone from singles to extended families, earning the term "something for everyone" as the slogan for the development. High ceilings, on-site parking for every unit, children's and adult swimming pools and two whirlpool spas are only some of the extras offered.Most units enjoy direct ocean views through an extended bay window, while units facing south have direct access to the boardwalk and beach. The ocean, with all its majesty, is also brought into the interiors via decorative glass in the lobby, bathrooms and kitchens, adding distinct character to the entire project.

Clarkson Avenue

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: March 2006

Location: Prospect Heights

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This relatively flat site encompasses the majority of a 4-acre city block in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn. It is in the vicinity of Prospect Park and a large concentration of hospitals and medical facilities. It is also within a high density residential zone, from which it stands apart due to its current designation as a manufacturing district.This large-scale housing project was approached on two levels: the first as an urban planning exercise and the second as an inventive design project for high-density, multi-family housing. It targets the possibilities of maintaining the residential nature of the area by adding approximately 300 housing units, thereby spurring commercial growth.The design goal is to minimize the impact that the bulk of such a large development has on a community and to achieve a dynamic sense, as though the buildings are passing through the site rather that imposed onto it. This effect is enhanced through the use of extensive grassed roofs, which look more like a large, multi-level green park rather than built masses. The configuration of the buildings responds to a study of light and shadow and offers a healthy lifestyle alternative through an abundance of natural light and air.The program includes 650,000 square feet contained within 11 levels. The key elements are three elongated, curved linear structures that interlock and rest upon a "green plinth" for the building's base, (which also includes commercial and community space). In addition, 600 parking spaces are distributed over two sub-grade levels.

Public Place

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: June 2006

Location: Carroll Gardens

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A variety of housing types creates the diversity necessary to convince the City of New York to divest itself of a land that was formerly owned by the Brooklyn Union Gas Company and was later converted into a public place.Planning a large civic project in a city as unique as New York requires the support of the Mayor, City Councilman, Assemblyman, Local Political Groups, the Community Board and the City Planning Commission.With much remediation and a now cleaned Gowanus Canal behind the site, a large tract of vacant land raised public interest, typically followed by concerns of overcrowding, street congestion, and a burden on municipal services in the immediate area.To diffuse this concern, the program embraces a variety of housing styles ranging from individual town-homes and small-scale three and four-family brownstone residences, through mid-rise loft residences along the perimeter of the site, near the elevated train tracks, to a seniors assisted-living building along the canal and a block of subsidized rental apartments. A block of market-rate condominiums completes the mix and helps to stabilize financing for the overall development.All these contribute to the diversity sought by those who participated in the development process.

Convention Center

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: March 2006

Location: Medellin-Colombia

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This design for a convention center is a key link in an ongoing cultural revitalization and development process. The design composition consists of two volumes placed parallel to each other, separated by "gardens of water" and a grand stair, which leads to the main auditorium, an ellipsoid which absorbs light during the day and radiates at night.The design is guided by the realization that a convention center must be a place for people to exchange knowledge and information, but also a place to congregate and interact with a maximum degree of flexibility, variety and stimulation.The planning includes a 3,500 seat auditorium, 14 smaller auditoriums, an I-Max movie theatre, classrooms, office spaces and public areas.The program called for a "great hall" with a large degree of flexibility. We took this to the extreme by designing a subdivision system of retractable partitions concealed in the ceiling, which can create up to 12 enclosures within this one space. These mini-auditoriums can be used all at once, and are each equipped with all required amenities.The main structural and finish material is poured in place concrete, along with glass and steel fenestration, travertine floors, wood ceilings and custom furniture.Water is implemented as a "living material", mirroring the buildings and life around them, a poetic notion of human existence.

Camp Wildwood

Project Manager/Designer: Robert M. Scarano jr.

Completion Date: January 2004

Location: Albany, New York

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Wildwood's master-plan for the design and construction of a summer camp for inner-city children in a quiet rural setting in upstate New York was a welcome departure from the standard work of our firm.With over twenty rolling acres, a stream and a lake, this picturesque setting makes for an ideal escape from the rigors of city life.The program consists of religious and gathering spaces, both out-door and indoor, dormitory accommodations, a cafeteria, dining room and sports facilities.Working with the site to create distinct zones, the design allows for the separation of uses while maintaining uniformity of places.Buildings designed for individual uses create a simple architectural statement that helps to unite the functions in a recognizable style and provide the sense of permanence sought by the institution.