AUTHOR: Niall Patrick Walsh
Archinect recently published a roundup featuring BKSK Architects and five of their distinctive New York City street fronts. Boston Valley has worked with BKSK before to rationalize and fabricate their façade designs, two of which appear in the article: the Gatehouse to One Madison, and 1 Great Jones Alley. BKSK was also a team participant at ACAW 2022, creating a prototype for a terra cotta brise soleil with photovoltaic function.
Below are excerpts from the article discussing the projects that Boston Valley manufactured for BKSK.
Gatehouse to One Madison
For their Gatehouse to One Madison, BKSK sought to convey a “sense of arriving home” for residents. The building’s five-story façade was inspired by the historically rich fabric of Madison Square at its surrounding streets, with staggered vertical fins made from custom-glazed terra cotta. In addition to screening the interior spaces, the screened facade was developed to add a sense of depth to the street front.
“The variegated hues of creamy glazing imbue warmth and distinction among its limestone-faced neighbors, moving and reflecting light in unique patterns throughout the day,” the team explains. “These details and others, such as the travertine forecourt that leads to the building’s custom bronze and glass entrance doors, were carefully conceived to appeal to the human senses and enhance the ceremony of coming home.”
1 Great Jones Alley / 688 Broadway
For their 12-story mixed-use residential development at 1 Great Jones Alley, BKSK once again incorporated a terra cotta screen to reflect the masonry and cast-iron traditions of the site’s history. To add a contemporary feel to the primary Broadway facade, the team designed an “unabashedly modern” asymmetrical form to the terra cotta fins over crisp glazing.
In contrast to the historical facade along Broadway, the building’s main residential entrance along Great Jones Alley employs naturally oxidizing Corten street along with a cobblestone driveway and green wall, creating an homage to the area’s past “industrial grittiness.” A harmony between the ornate and gritty continues inside the building through a material palette of stone, wood, ceramics, and glass.