As one of our oldest collaborators (20+ years), we’ve had no shortage of successful projects alongside Minno & Wasko Architects and Planners. Though we have designed many multifamily and mixed-use buildings together in northern New Jersey and the surrounding region, the series of expansive urban redevelopment projects in Harrison, New Jersey with Ironstate Properties stands out as one of our first and longest running multifamily partnerships. Since 2006, we’ve designed a total of 12 mid-rise buildings and various auxiliary structures – most of which occupy a full city block.
Section 4 of Harrison Urby, the latest and largest of these projects, is no exception. With five mid-rise residential buildings (ranging from five to seven stories) and a single-story café, there was a wide variety of structural systems required to ensure an efficient use of materials. While the taller buildings are exclusively light gage metal stud bearing wall systems, the five story structures are predominantly wood framed with a single story of light gage at the first floor. The two-story basketball court built inside one of the residential buildings created an interesting challenge, requiring a steel frame to support the three levels of units above and fit between the units on either side. The café structure rounds out another varied project with its glued laminated timber framing supporting a cross-laminated timber roof deck.
The neighborhood of The Nations on Nashville’s west side is home to the newly constructed The Union Apartments. As a self-proclaimed home for modern innovators, The Union embraces its place in the revitalized industrial region of the city, offering a variety of living space options over its 250+ apartment units to those new to the neighborhood. Working for the first time with Brock Hudgins Architects and multi-family developer Wood Partners, both based in Atlanta, we’ve since been proud to watch our partnership grow over three multi-family projects across Nashville in recent years.
The Union has a total of four wood-framed four-story apartment buildings settled around common outdoor spaces and a community pool. The front entrance serves as the main focal point of the project, where an unclad two-story steel frame skeleton protrudes out of the residential building to form a drive-under with an industrial feel. Not simply for show, the steel also extends over the full width of the front portion of the residential building, providing support for the upper levels of wood-framed units over the two-story clubhouse space below. The end result is a structure whose aesthetic reflects the nature of its setting, with its polished contemporary façade anchored by its industrial past.
Working on projects in all parts of the country brings the exciting opportunity to tackle the regional design challenges that come with them. Delivering on our commitment to “big-firm capacity with small-firm service” requires the experience and state licensure coverage to get the job done wherever the site may be. Since as early as 2013, working with The Architecture Studio has provided us the opportunity to design structures in multiple regions of the country, including: Ohio, Nebraska, Texas, and Colorado.
One of our more recent design collaborations, the AlfaCharlie Modern Apartments in Denver’s northeast sector, offers luxury apartment living across 5 independent four-story wood framed structures. Our designs provide tenants with a 2-story steel framed community space, private drive-under garages, and a variety of site structures for the outdoor amenity spaces. The regional twist for this project was accommodating the post-tensioned slab on grade supporting the wood framed superstructure, due to the expansive soils native to the Denver area.
Just a short walk from the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park, Bedford Arms is a 9-story apartment building completed a few years ago in Brooklyn, NY. Unlike most new multi-family projects which may provide a small percentage of affordable units to meet minimum municipal requirements, Bedford Arms was designed to offer 100% of its units as affordable housing for the surrounding community. Alongside architect John Schimenti, our multi-family team provided designs for mid-rise residential developer Engel Group as both the Engineer of Record and Designated Engineer for the light-gauge metal bearing wall system.
To help keep costs down, hollowcore concrete plank floors supported on light-gauge metal bearing walls were selected for the 8 residential levels as a less expensive alternative to a flat plate cast-in-place concrete system and helped streamline construction for the cramped urban site. While accounting for a partial basement with all the challenges of tight property line margins common to city projects, the foundation design required an intricate combination of eccentric footings, grade beams, and mat foundation slabs.
Luxor at Bala Cynwyd offers luxury apartments and first-class amenities in the Philadelphia region. True to their namesake, they aim to create a living experience typically found only at luxury resorts. Working with Westrum Development and the architects at Meyer Design, the building consists of a large 4-story wood framed structure on two levels of composite steel framing, which create space for over 160 units over full levels of amenity area and covered parking, not to mention courtyards, a pool deck, and front entrance balcony. With quick access to shopping and dining experiences the Philly Main Line is known for, it makes full use of its location, complete with sweeping views of the city skyline.
Finding naturally competent soil on site is not always a given, particularly in regions which have seen industrial activity and urban development for centuries. Our team recommended installing a network of rigid inclusions to stiffen the existing soil and allow for the use of shallow foundations in lieu of deep foundations. Knowing what to expect when working with these systems has become an essential part of our expertise in multi-family design projects.
It was a pleasure working with Meyer Design and Westrum Development on Luxor Bala Cynwyd, the first of 6 planned Luxor apartment projects across our region.
With construction dating as far back as 1872, what was once the convent of the Episcopal Sisters of Saint Mary’s has been part of the history and heritage of Peekskill, NY for nearly 150 years. Built into the hillside overlooking the Hudson River, this century-old convent and chapel has been entirely restored in modern luxury as The Abbey Inn & Spa by Ginsburg Development Companies. While maintaining much of the timeless exterior, the reimagining of the interior for the luxurious suites, event spaces, and full-service spa has earned it the #3 rank on the “10 Best New Hotels” list by USA Today.
This project combined the inherent challenges of designing large, non-uniform spaces with working off existing (and dated) construction. Century-old wood framed floors were reinforced to support various new, non-stacking bearing walls needed to accommodate the ambitious new layout. Catching up on decades of structural code compliance while designing for new heavily loaded spaces required integrating new steel framing, sometimes supported on a combination of existing rubble masonry and fresh concrete piers tied into bedrock. Never knowing what the field team would uncover certainly kept us on our toes.
Our team enjoyed this unique adaptive reuse project with the team at Ginsburg, which was a big deviation from their typical “new construction” projects consisting of mid-rise and high-rise multi-family buildings.
The Selby in Westbury is an expansive 500,000+ square foot 5-story building over 2 levels of covered parking in the heart of Nassau County on Long Island. A combination of luxury apartments and hotel rooms share top-notch amenities in this unique mix of residential & commercial space. The Beechwood Organization is Long Island’s largest homebuilder and developer of sophisticated lifestyle communities.
In addition to the typical complexity associated with parking structures such as ramps and a recessed pool, the mixed-use nature of the superstructure presented its own challenges in accommodating the wide variety of hotel and apartment unit types and amenity spaces. Designing a structure which could allow for these spaces was facilitated by the increased capacity afforded by the light-gauge framing. As with many of our larger multifamily projects, having light-gauge bearing wall design firmly in our wheelhouse allows us to keep up with these taller and more ambitious structures where wood framing may not have been feasible.
Working alongside Ismael Leyva Architects of Manhattan for the first time, The Selby is just one of several large multifamily projects our team has designed for Beechwood in recent years. In addition to our expertise with both wood framed and light-gauge metal projects, they’ve grown to appreciate our practical designs and honest, straightforward communication.
Large multi-family structures in urban settings often present a unique set of challenges, including oblique footprints, varying entry elevations, and restrictive construction sequencing based on site access limitations. Our multi-family design team is well-versed to handle these types of challenges.
100 House at The Enclave, developed by BNE Real Estate Group, offers 4-stories of luxury residential units located just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan and a short walk from Hoboken Terminal, one of NYC’s major transportation hubs. The elevated concrete podium accommodates the parking level while supporting a variety of amenity spaces including an outdoor bar and grill station, indoor lounges, a theatre, and a bowling alley.
Accommodating utility services is often a complicating factor in the design of foundation systems and making room for the site’s storm water retention basin under the parking garage required some out-of-the-box planning. The reinforced slab for the lid of the basin was designed using Cupolex stay-in-place formwork to avoid accessibility issues with the removal of traditional formwork.
We value our long-term relationships with both BNE and Minno & Wasko, the Architect of Record. It’s always a thrill to see our work come to life, especially on these challenging urban initiatives.
We have been working with Woodmont Properties on a variety of multi-family projects for nearly 10 years. The Woodmont Bay Club in Bayonne, NJ, offers renters in the NYC / NJ metro area upscale lifestyle amenities in a beautiful setting. The 4-story wood-frame structure sits on a 685’ long cast in-place concrete transfer slab over a parking garage, with 4 courtyards on the transfer deck, a 2-story clubhouse on the 1st floor, a 2-story lounge on the 3rd floor, and a rooftop deck. Over 1/3 of the foundation and transfer slab footprint was constructed previously. We re-used the existing foundation walls and column footings where feasible, relocated the elevator and stairs in the existing section, and retrofitted the remaining foundation as required.