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A Tale of Two Designs

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Photos courtesy of Bromley Caldari Architects

Uptown and downtown. Mets and Yankees. The Times and “The Post.” New York is a city of opposites. Just ask NYC architecture firm Bromley Caldari, whose projects are as diverse as the city itself. Take its recent rehabilitation of the Standard Motor Products building in Long Island City, Queens. The firm transformed the dilapidated industrial complex into a thriving mixed-use space with a 40,000-square-foot rooftop farm—the largest in the world at the time it was built. Just over the bridge and through the park, the firm’s design of a sleek, stylish Manhattan penthouse shows a very different side of the city’s architecture. Principal Jerry Caldari, himself a native New Yorker, discusses designing spaces for a city of contrasts.

DB: New York is an incredibly diverse city. How does this influence your work?
Jerry Caldari: We do all kinds of projects on different scales. We aren’t in any one market. At the same time, we are big proponents of adaptive reuse projects. We’re part of a group that purchases these large-scale industrial buildings, improves the infrastructure and integrates sustainable systems, and then remodels the tenant spaces and leases them to local companies. The Standard Motor Products building was one of those projects.

This building had been an eyesore for many years. So we renovated it, updating the structure and public spaces, and adding sustainable elements like a rainwater-harvesting system. The building is now leased to a great roster of tenants, including The Jim Henson Company, The Franklin Mint, and Brooklyn Grange, which operates the urban farm on the roof. 

Pick up a copy of the Inspiration Issue of Design Bureau to see the full story in good old-fashioned print. 

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