Monograph in Motion

Open House New York’s Monograph in Motion is an ongoing series of public tours celebrating the work of design firms that have had a significant impact on New York City’s built environment. Monograph in Motion tours illuminate how larger ideas about design and urbanism are expressed through a firm’s buildings and how those ideas evolve over time across multiple projects.

The next Monograph in Motion explores the work of Beyer Blinder Belle, a firm that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Founded in the wake of the urban renewal movement of the 1960s, Beyer Blinder Belle pioneered and defined a different approach to the design of the built environment that focused on architecture empowering people–their interaction with each other on streets and in neighborhoods, their pleasure in moving through the city, and their connections to the surrounding physical fabric. The firm’s contributions to improving and enriching the built environment of New York City are immeasurable, through projects like the restoration of Grand Central Terminal, the vision plan and design guidelines that are helping to revitalize Coney Island, and the expansion and renovation of the Morgan Library & Museum (with Renzo Piano Building Workshop), to name just a few.

The breadth of the firm’s work is no more evident than in its participation in OHNY Weekend–with more than twenty projects over the past fifteen years, Beyer Blinder Belle has helped design or restore more OHNY Weekend sites than any other architecture firm in the city. With this Monograph in Motion series, Open House New York is privileged to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Beyer Blinder Belle, a firm that continues to shape future of New York.

Scroll down to read more about the list of sites that you can tour with Beyer Blinder Belle as part of this series, or click the image below to visit BBB’s site to hear the partners reflect on the firm’s work.

Click the image above to watch a video about Beyer Blinder Belle. 




Met Breuer

Friday, May 18, 2018
6:00-7:00 PM

Marcel Breuer was at the height of his career when he designed the Whitney Museum in 1966. The integrity, beauty, and honesty of the building’s design, materials, and execution define it as one of the most distinguished examples of mid-century modern architecture in New York. Join Beyer Blinder Belle Senior Associates Brett Gaillard and Miriam Kelly for a tour and discussion of the immersive task of restoring the iconic building – including extensive research and an understanding of Breuer’s approach to design and materials – and transforming it into a space for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to exhibit modern and contemporary art.

$10 for OHNY Members, $20 for all others. OHNY Members may purchase tickets for themselves and a guest beginning on April 27 at 8 am. General admission sales begin on May 4 at 8am. To purchase tickets, click here.



Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building 77

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
4:00-5:00 PM

Tour Building 77, the largest structure on the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 300-acre waterfront campus, with Beyer Blinder Belle Partner Elizabeth Leber and Associate Sherrill Moore, joined by Scott Demel, Director of Marvel Architects. Originally built in 1942 as a warehouse for the United States Navy’s operations during WWII, a top-to-bottom rehabilitation has transformed the building into a 21st-century commercial and light industrial hub, with a ground floor marketplace. Tour will include access to upper-floor raw spaces that feature spectacular NYC views, as well as the adjacent BLDG 92, a former 1857 Marine Commander’s house turned visitor center showcasing the Navy Yard’s history and innovations.

$10 for OHNY Members, $20 for all others. OHNY Members may purchase tickets for themselves and a guest beginning on May 1 at 8 am. General admission sales begin on May 8 at 8 am. To purchase tickets, click here.




New York City Hall

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
6:00-7:00 PM

New York City Hall, completed in 1812, is one of the nation’s oldest government buildings still serving its original purpose. Numerous ad-hoc renovations and modifications over the years had compromised the integrity of the landmarked building. A comprehensive and holistic rehabilitation – the first in more than 50 years – incorporated 21st century systems and technology with as light a touch as possible, preserving the historic fabric and spaces. Join Beyer Blinder Belle Partner Richard Southwick for a tour of the revitalized landmark, including the Rotunda, City Council Chamber, and new below-grade spaces.

$10 for OHNY Members, $20 for all others. OHNY Members may purchase tickets for themselves and a guest beginning on May 8 at 8 am. General admission sales begin on May 15 at 8 am. To purchase tickets, click here.



Photo credits: Met Breuer, Peter Aaron; Building 77 and City Hall, John Bartelstone. Courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle. All rights reserved.

Open House New York’s Monograph in Motion is an ongoing series of public tours celebrating the work of design firms that have had a significant impact on New York City’s built environment. Monograph in Motion tours illuminate how larger ideas about design and urbanism are expressed through a firm’s buildings and how those ideas evolve over time across multiple projects.

The next Monograph in Motion explores the work of Ennead Architects, a firm that creates new paradigms for how we live, learn, work and play. Tours of four projects will provide an overview of Ennead’s success in creating architectural identities for important cultural, civic and educational institutions and in enhancing the quality of civic space across the city. The studio—known around the world for their ability to transform complex programs and physical spaces into welcoming, memorable places through a highly collaborative design process—has left a marked imprint on the cultural landscape in New York City, their home base. From an iconic performance venue that represents the epitome of musical excellence to a defining landmark in the Meatpacking District and a media complex that becomes its own billboard along the highway, the firm creates highly expressive buildings that engage and inspire, while serving as anchors within their communities.


003_bylawrence-sumulong for OHNY consideration

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Thursday, March 10, 2016
9:00 AM

The recent re-design of the public spaces at Jazz at Lincoln Center creates a spatial experience that celebrates this vital cultural institution’s mission to entertain, enrich, and expand a global community for Jazz through performance, education, and advocacy. Join Ennead partner Molly McGowan and Minh Kim Tran to explore the elegant new Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium and the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, and take in sweeping views of Columbus Circle and Central Park.




84 — Final Photography — Interior;

Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall & Stern Auditorium

Thursday, March 17, 2016
6:00 PM

Tour Carnegie Hall, one of the world’s most iconic performance venues, with Ennead Architects associate Charles Brainerd to learn about the firm’s work on the restoration of the renowned Stern Auditorium, as well as Zankel Hall, a new state-of-the-art performance space created directly below Stern following the excavation of 6,300 cubic yards of bedrock. Determined largely by acoustical requirements, this new multi-use venue is a rectangle within a canted ellipse, with the curved structural walls dramatically reinforcing the hall’s individual identity by separating the performance space from the historic building envelope.




NYTimes Printing Plant OHNY ©Jeff Goldberg_Esto

New York Times Printing Plant

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
6:30 PM (Shuttle) 7:00 PM (Tour)

Located alongside the Whitestone Expressway in Queens, The New York Times printing plant acts like a giant billboard for the nation’s newspaper of record. Immediately legible, its dynamic volumes, saturated colors, supergraphics, and uncommonly employed materials dramatize the printing process within. Join Ennead architect Amy Maresko to explore the plant’s design, which recomposes the typical industrial shed into a series of dynamic building forms.

Note: Transportation for this tour will be provided by shuttle from a nearby subway stop in Queens. More information upon registration.




Standard Hotel, July 2009, Location: Manhattan, New York Architect: Polshek Partnership

The Standard, High Line

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
4:00 PM

Surely one of the most recognizable new landmarks along the revitalized High Line, The Standard is made of two materials—glass and poured-in-place, board-formed concrete—that serve as an interpretation of the character of New York City, with the gritty quality of the concrete contrasting with the refinement of the glass. Explore the hotel with Ennead Architects associate partner Jarrett Pelletier to learn about how carefully selected materials throughout create a dynamic mix of public and private spaces that reflect the dynamism of the surrounding district.




Image credits: Jazz at Lincoln Center © Lawrence Sumulong; All others © Jeff Goldberg/Esto

The Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema features a spacious two-story atrium that doubles as a community space and screening area. (Photo: Barbara Eldredge c/o Brownstoner)

Open House New York’s Monograph in Motion series was created earlier this year to celebrate the work of New York design firms that have made significant contributions to shaping the city’s built environment, and to consider how the work and ideas of those firms evolves over time and in different projects. This past fall, the second installment of Monograph in Motion explored the work of Dattner Architects. With more than a hundred design awards, Dattner Architects has shown a deep commitment to democratizing great design since its earliest days and tours of three projects provided an overview of the firm’s extraordinarily broad range: from the city’s first public graduate film school, to a new affordable and supportive housing project, to the first new stop added to the New York City subway in more than a quarter-century. Across all three projects, the team at Dattner demonstrated that it looks at constraints and complexities not as a hindrance to great design, but as the source for inspired solutions.

The tour included a stop in the new set shop, where students will be able to build full-scale movie sets on-site.
(Photo: Barbara Eldredge c/o Brownstoner)

At Brooklyn College’s new Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, for instance, the team had to fit “everything you need to make a movie, from concept to credits,” into one and a half floors of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s historic Building One (aka Building 291), according to Dattner Architects principal Daniel Heuberger. As Heuberger explained, that included soundstages, set shops, classrooms, a motion-capture studio, screening rooms, and a host of other facilities, many of which required special flooring, insulation, and building systems to prevent sound vibrations from traveling between rooms—or even entering the building from the surrounding city.

“Ours is an office of generalists,” Heuberger told the group during a post-tour presentation in one of the school’s sleek new screening rooms. (Photo: Barbara Eldredge c/o Brownstoner)

Once this was all accounted for, the team found themselves with considerably less space than they had originally anticipated, forcing them to get creative. The resulting space, however, feels anything but cramped. Entering the school from the elevator bank, one steps into a soaring, two-story atrium organized around an inviting staircase that enables the dramatic, airy lobby to double as a screening area. The entire facility is rendered in white, black, and cool grays, with supergraphics of blown-up film noir stills. “We took inspiration from old black and white films, for the color palette,” explained Dattner associate Maya Maxwell. “The color comes from people using the space.

IMG_4954 (1)
A model of the building illustrates the unique profile created by the wedge-shaped lot along the subway tracks.
(Photo: Open House New York)

At CAMBA Housing Ventures’ 97 Crooke Avenue development in Flatbush, the architects were presented with a very different, if equally challenging site. The wedge-shaped lot, formed by an uncovered subway trench for the B and Q trains that cuts diagonally through the neighborhood, required a more complex layout than a standard rectangular lot would have. The constant rumbling of the subway also presented challenges for this residential project, especially given CAMBA’s dedication to providing the highest quality housing for its tenants, a mix of low-income and formerly homeless individuals. As CAMBA’s President and CEO, Joanne Oplustil‬, told the tour group, “If I can’t live in the unit, nobody can live in the unit.”‬

IMG_4917 (1)
Countertops manufactured by Icestone in the Brooklyn Navy Yard were chosen for 97 Crooke’s communal computer room for the way that they reflect and distribute light, helping to brighten the basement room. (Photo: Open House New York)

Once again, significant constraints led to the building’s signature feature. The building’s elevator core was sited along the subway trench, allowing it to serve as a buffer between the bulk of the residential units and the trains. The resulting diagonal wall, a majority of the building’s street facade along Crooke Avenue, was transformed by Dattner principal Bill Stein and his team into a “tapestry,” drawing on the terra cotta and red, yellow, and cream toned bricks of the other apartment blocks in the surrounding neighborhood.

Dattner’s Catherine Selby discusses how the building’s residential units were designed to maximize limited space.
(Photo: Vanni Archive Architectural Photography)

Of course, constraints aren’t always physical. “Our firm does a great deal of of public work, and [having a lot of stakeholders] is expected. Not just for infrastructure projects, but for housing now, too, since funding comes from so many different agencies,” explained Dattner principal Beth Greenberg. “Things that may look very simple have input from right, left, up down…everywhere! Any architecture in the public realm is very likely to have a lot of layers.”

A brightly colored mosaic mural by artist Xenobia Bailey, commissioned by MTA Arts and Design, soars over the entrance to the 34th Street-Hudson Yards station. (Photo: Ben Helmer for Open House New York)

Greenberg was speaking not of 97 Crooke, but of the 34th Street-Hudson Yards subway station, the brand new terminus for the 7 train on Manhattan’s West Side. The physical limitations of working on a subterranean site are obvious; what was most impressive here was the way in which the architects had taken scores of rules and regulations from multiple agencies and crafted a space that felt light and airy, given the fact that it is located so deep beneath the city streets. Finishes and fixtures were chosen to amplify light, allowing the project to meet requirements for minimum brightness while also meeting energy efficiency standards. Striking architectural forms and public artworks made possible by the city’s Percent for Art program were deliberately placed to enable “intuitive wayfinding,” using design to minimize the need for signage by helping people to easily navigate the series of underground spaces.

In the station, architectural elements are used to enable intuitive wayfinding, with minimal signage.
(Photo: Ben Helmer for Open House New York)

Greenberg and her colleagues were also working against the psychological limitations presented by the fact that most New Yorkers take the experience of using mass transit completely for granted. Normally, making your way to the train is hardly an experience worth paying attention to; this belies the subway’s status as one of the city’s most impressive technological innovations. At 34th Street, the Dattner team created a sequence of spaces, each of which—from the first escalator tube, to the fare collection area, to the subway platform itself—is visually distinct from the last, while still feeling like part of an integrated whole. Together, the progression through these spaces subtly highlights the complexity of the system, encouraging thoughtful commuters reason to consider and appreciate the modern marvel that is the New York City subway system.

It may be more than a hundred feet below street level, but the station is brilliantly lit throughout.
(Photo: Ben Helmer for Open House New York)

It is estimated that each year over 150 million people pass through transportation projects by Dattner, and tens of thousands have lived in the more than 13,500 units of new and renovated housing that the firm has designed. Dattner Architects’ commitment to improving the civic realm through great design has been fundamental to the firm’s practice since founding principal Richard Dattner started in 1964, and New York is a transformed city as a result.

Open House New York’s Monograph in Motion, which kicked off this past spring, is an ongoing series of public tours that celebrates the work of design firms that have had a significant impact on New York City’s built environment. Monograph in Motion tours look at how architects’ larger ideas about design and urbanism are expressed through their buildings, and how those ideas evolve over time across multiple projects.

The next installment of the Monograph in Motion series, to take place this November, will explore the work of Dattner Architects, a firm that has shown a deep commitment to democratizing great design since its earliest days. Tours of three selected projects will provide an overview of this firm’s extraordinarily broad range, and how its work has shaped the city at every level: from the creation of housing that is as beautiful as it is affordable, to the crafting of mass transit infrastructure that is both functional and attractive, to the design of educational facilities that uplift and inspire.


Feirstein School Brooklyn College

Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema,
Brooklyn College at Steiner Studios

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
6:00 pm

Housed on the top floors of a recently restored former naval building and crowned with a “grand forum” featuring sweeping views over Wallabout Bay, Brooklyn College’s brand new Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema is a state-of-the-art facility at the Steiner Studios complex within the Brooklyn Navy Yard that contains full production and post production spaces, including sound-editing rooms, a foley studio, and sound stage. Join Dattner’s Daniel Heuberger, Mia Lee, and Maya Maxwell for a tour of New York City’s first public graduate film school, and the only school of its kind on a working film lot.





CAMBA Housing Ventures’ 97 Crooke Avenue: Reverend Dan Ramm Residence

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
9:00 am

Join Dattner’s William Stein and Catherine Selby to learn about how they worked within a unique, long-vacant triangular lot along an MTA subway line in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to create a sustainable, nine-story building containing 53 units of affordable and supportive housing for lower-income community residents and formerly homeless individuals who are exiting the City’s shelter system. The award-winning project, developed by nonprofit CAMBA Housing Ventures, features on-site social services provided by CAMBA, a landscaped rear yard and roof terrace, and a robust art collection.




7 line -34th St Station

New 34th Street / Hudson Yards Subway Station

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
6:00 pm

The first new stop added to the New York City subway in more than a quarter-century sets a new standard for the system, and features a site-specific artwork by Xenobia Bailey, commissioned by MTA Arts & Design. Designed by Dattner Architects in collaboration with WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, the station opened on September 13, 2015. Hear from Dattner’s Beth Greenberg and Emily Kotsaftis about how abundant indirect light and column-free spaces were employed to engender a sense of safety and openness unusual in a deep underground station.




Image credits: Dattner Architects; Vanni Archive Architectural Photography; David Sundberg/ESTO

How are architects’ ideas about design and urbanism expressed in their buildings, and how do those ideas evolve over time, in different projects and circumstances? Open House New York announces Monograph in Motion, a new series of tours that will periodically explore the work of a single design firm to consider how its ideas about architecture and the city are translated into built form. Monograph in Motion celebrates the architects and designers who have done so much to positively shape our experience of the city and to help us better appreciate the complexities of what it takes to design, build, and sustain New York.

This spring, the inaugural Monograph in Motion will explore the work of FXFOWLE Architects. With an unflagging commitment to improving the public realm for nearly four decades, FXFOWLE has been a forerunner in sustainable design and pioneered new models for more integrated building processes. In projects that span scale and typology–from neighborhood schools to iconic office towers that have transformed the skyline–FXFOWLE has left an indelible mark on New York City.

FXFOWLE’s new monograph Reveal Filter Evolve Effect (ORO Editions, 2015) is a four-volume set that adheres to shared bodies of ideas, and celebrates key concepts that define the firm’s creative philosophy and design methodology. The four terms crystallize the ideas that motivate FXFOWLE’s work–from individual structures to city plans. We invite you to explore these themes through the following sites with us over the coming month:


150421_The Julliard School_credit Chris Cooper

The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
6:00 pm

Explore the home of one of the most revered places in New York City’s performing arts world with FXFOWLE principal Michael Syracuse. Learn about the firm’s collaboration with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the renovation and expansion of Alice Tully Hall, which created an additional 39,000 square feet of rehearsal and performance space atop Juilliard’s 1969 building, part of the Lincoln Center campus.





Jacob K Javits Convention Center, Green Roof

Javits Center Revitalization

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
6:00 pm

Get an inside look at the revitalization of the city’s premier venue for large-scale conventions and trade shows with Bruce Fowle, FXFOWLE founding principal, Alan Steel, President and CEO, New York Convention Center Operating Corporation and Susan Elbin, Director of Conservation and Science, New York City Audubon. Go behind the scenes to learn about FXFOWLE’s design for adapting this massive building to make it more sustainable and better integrated into the fabric of the city. The tour will include a trip to the top of the building to see the largest green roof in New York City, and the city’s newest bird habitat.




11TS Exterior full view /w PA @42nd /01

Eleven Times Square/Times Square Redevelopment

Thursday, April 30, 2015
6:00 pm

Join FXFOWLE senior partner Dan Kaplan for a walking tour of 42nd Street to learn about the integral role the firm played in the area’s dramatic transformation over the past two decades, through the design of projects like 4 Times Square, the Reuters Building, and the New York Times Building (in association with Renzo Piano Building Workshop). The tour will end with a trip to FXFOWLE’s Eleven Times Square for a nighttime view of the Crossroads of the World.