The Jefferson [DRAFT]
Photo Credit : Jefferson01-02 - Raimund Koch Jefferson03-10 - Jon Wallen
In New York City’s bustling East Village, BKSK Architects designed a multi-family project that demonstrates a neighborly approach to development. The 115,000 square foot project is located at 211 East 13th Street, where the vaudeville-era Jefferson Theater stood prior to its demolition in 2000, and features market-rate apartments ranging from studios to three-bedroom penthouses.
The street presence of the Jefferson is enhanced by a carefully designed detailed façade, clever massing, and block-appropriate cornice lines. The façade’s light mottled silvery brick bolsters a prevalence of white and red masonry in the neighborhood and establishes a shared visual language between the project’s two northern-facing commercial facilities on 14th Street. These thoughtful gestures result in The Jefferson complementing the area’s 19th century architectural vernacular.
SK Development Group, Ironstate Development, and Canyon-Johnson
Client: SK Development Group, Ironstate Development, and Canyon-Johnson
Architect: BKSK Architects, LLP
Partner-in-charge: Todd Poisson AIA
Project Team: Cynthia Lordan (Project Manager), Gerry Ende (Interior Design Leader), Jennifer Preston LEED AP BD+C (Sustainable Design Leader), David Kubik LEED AP BD+C, David O’Neil AIA
Construction Management: CM & Associates
Interior Amenities Designer: Kara Mann Design
Landscape Design: Town and Gardens
Exterior Envelope Consultant: James Gainfort Consulting Architects
Lighting Design: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design
Acoustical Engineering: Lewis S. Goodfriend & Associates
Structural Engineer: GACE Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer: Glickman Engineering Associates
Energy Consultants: Steven Winter Associates
Approaching The Jefferson, astute visitors will notice its carefully detailed façade, clever massing, and block-appropriate cornice lines. The façade’s light mottled silvery brick bolsters a prevalence of white and red masonry in the neighborhood and establishes a shared visual language between the project’s two northern-facing commercial facilities on 14th Street with the residential building on 13th Street. Echoing the site’s former theatrical presence, this building’s center extends slightly out and above the rest of the block, creating a proscenium with a “play” of brick piers and varied window patterns within a painted steel frame. These thoughtful gestures result in The Jefferson complementing the area’s 19th century architectural vernacular while simultaneously offering a bold example of modern craft.
Inside, BKSK Architects’ thoughtful interior planning and design is evident in the seamless architectural quality of the apartments, particularly in the fully loaded kitchens, where the fridge and larger storage areas conform to each unit’s clean geometry. Key interior finishes include rough sawn oak kitchen cabinetry by Eggersmann, custom designed bathroom vanities crafted with reclaimed wood, and Corian counters throughout. All building materials were vetted by the team for aesthetic value, durability, cost, and multi-faceted impacts on both human and environmental health.
This project is a successful model of an “urban steward project” as a result of responsible civic and environmental design. The building received LEED Gold certification in part due to stormwater credits – a rare accomplishment in an urban setting. This was made possible through the implementation of a blue roof that can detain water for up to 24hours to help reduce overflow in the city’s drainage system; and a centrifugal action sediment separator that filters stormwater before it enters the municipal sewer system.
For tenants, the is ample opportunity to connect with the natural environment, due to several outdoor spaces with landscaping by Town and Gardens. Residents of the second, seventh, and eighth floors benefit from balconies bordered by green roof planters, and five ground floor apartments offer substantial backyards. In addition, all tenants have access to a shared 1,853 square foot roof garden, which includes large swaths of native plants and low-lying green roofs. Each eighth floor penthouse directly connects to private rooftop terraces, which are supplemented by seven more terraces that are available for purchase. Among the other amenities that encourage recreation and wellness are a fitness room, library, and social lounge.
Despite an aggressive schedule, a charge to maximize the allowed zoning envelope, and an atypical 158 foot-long street presence on 13th Street, The Jefferson exemplifies a neighborly approach to urban infill. Located in the vibrant East Village neighborhood, the ground-up development inhabits the site of the vaudeville-era Jefferson Theater, which was demolished by previous owners in 2000. Notably, the team took the project from conception to completion in under three years, while maximizing the three-building site’s residential possibilities. A stepped dormer approach on 13th St eliminates unused space within the allowed zoning envelope, and creates a “theatrical” hierarchy along the block. The building’s center extends slightly out and above its flanking masonry wings, creating a “play” of brick piers and varied window patterns within a framework of painted steel – a subtle nod to the long lost theater.
A carefully detailed façade, block-appropriate cornice lines, and abundant brick usage further ensure that the project complements the neighborhood’s 19th century architectural vernacular and residential scale. The exterior’s mottled silvery brick also creates a shared visual language between the site’s two northern buildings on the commercial corridor of 14th St with the entirely residential building on 13th St.
The design instills a strong sense of sustainability and sociability with its residents. To create a building that would be a ‘supporting player’ to life on this block, the team closely studied the neighborhood’s scale, current ecological trends, and the expectations that come with contemporary New York living.
The Jefferson achieved LEED Gold certification due partially to stormwater credits – due to the implementation of a blue roof that detains water for up to 24hours to help reduce overflow in the city’s drainage system; and a centrifugal action sediment separator that filters stormwater before it enters the municipal sewer system. Reflective rooftop pavers and a shared 1,853 sf roof garden fit with planters help with heat island mitigation. Regional materials, the reduction of construction waste, and green power diversion all further contribute to the building's stewardship.
Tenants are provided ample opportunity to connect with the natural environment from indoors through exemplary views and roof garden access. Indoor air quality is enhanced by building materials vetted for aesthetic value, durability, cost, and multi-faceted impacts on both human and environmental health. Additional sustainable elements include 72 bicycle spaces, an eight-sort recycling system, and high-performance windows.
This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow.