ArchDaily Interviews: SHoP Architects

SHoP Architects PC is a New York based practice we meet a few months ago. We knew a little about them, because of the PS1 Competition they won back in 2000, the Porter House condos in NY -a great example of urban renovation- and the East River Waterfront Renovation, currently in progress.

Something that interested me before getting to know them in person, was the fact that they stated “we believe in both ideas and profitability”, as a middle point between academia and service firms – something that some architects escape from.

During our conversation, they told us something very important for current practices: how to manage the growth of your office, how to work in a multidisciplinary environment and how to get the most out of computer aided design technologies, not just in terms of design, but in streamlining the construction process and create new efficiencies and cost-savings.

After the break, the office profile and some selected works from SHoP.

Located in Lower Manhattan, SHoP was founded in 1996 by five partners Christopher Sharples, Coren Sharples, William Sharples, Kimberly Holden and Greg Pasquarelli. The practice has grown over the past ten years to an office of eigthy. Our educational and professional experience encompasses architecture, fine arts, structural engineering, finance and business management. With the exception of single family residences, we work on many project types, from multi-story housing to academic buildings to master plans. We are currently working on numerous projects totaling $2 billion around the world, and we’re having a lot of fun doing it. SHoP’s work has won numerous awards, has been published and exhibited internationally, and is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art.

Location: Seoul, South Korea Phase: Completed July 2004 Client: Hangil Publishing Co. Area: 13,500 sq ft Principals: Christopher R. Sharples, William W. Sharples, Coren D. Sharples, Kimberly J. Holden, Gregg A. Pasquarelli Project Team: Richard Garber, Yongmoo Hur, Christopher Whitelaw Photographer: Seong Kwon

ArchDaily Interviews: SHoP Architects - More Images+ 14

Invited by Junsung Kim of M.A.R.U. (Metropolitan Architecture Research Unit), the planning Architect for Heyri Art Community, SHoP Architects was commissioned in Fall 2001 to design an exhibition hall and book house for Hangil Publishing, a premiere publisher of art and philosophy books in Korea. Located at the base of one of the six hills defi ning the Art Park, the Hangil Book Hall was conceived as a built landscape. The Art Park of Heyri is interlaced with roads and paths winding and connecting the disparate parts of the complex into a natural whole.

Divided into two distinct zones, the first area of the Book House is a vertical bar enclosing a 3-story book wall and ramps connecting to the outdoor reading space on the hillside. The second area is a large hall that opens to a spacious plaza which can house programs ranging from a restaurant to a performance and exhibition space. Echoing the Art Park’s interlaced landscape, the interior spaces of the Book House are linked to the surrounding hillside and wooded landscape by a wood planked pathway. These paths create a fluid passage of space and movement by merging a variety of different programs into a seamless sequence and unfolding views of the surrounding landscape.

The paths are not the only elements that link the Book House with its natural surroundings. Folding over the exhibition hall, a layered screen of Merbau forms a continuous concave wood surface creating a roof with an undulating wood surface. In effect the warping wood fabric, as if embracing its external elements, embodies a sense of connection the Book House has to its natural surroundings and offers a panoramic view of Heyri.

Location: New York, NY Phase: Completed February 2008 Client: Cardinal Investments Area: 21,000 sf Principals: Christopher R. Sharples, William W. Sharples, Coren D. Sharples, Kimberly J. Holden, Gregg A. Pasquarelli Project Team: Ben Krone Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates MEP Engineer: Marvin Waxman Associates General Contractor: R&L Construction Zinc Fabricators: Maloya Laser Window Box Fabricators: Brakewell Steel Photographer: Michael Weber (interior)

This renovation of and addition to a genteel Madison Avenue plays on the notion of liberating the interior volumes from the structural grid of the building frame. Angled steel and glass window boxes inserted into the large horizontal openings in the existing variegated brick façade create intimate seating nooks on the interior, and are cantilevered out over the street, offering expansive views down the avenue towards Madison Square Park.

On the floors of the new addition above, the shadow play is reversed, with the floor to ceiling steel and glass fenestration punching out through the angled, zinc clad frame. In the evening, the colored lights of the Empire State building become part of the scenic panorama from these spaces.

Interiors are a continuation of the riff between the contextual elegance of old Madison Avenue and the spirit and liveliness of the modern city. Solid walnut flooring is a rich, subtle counterpoint to sparkling white kitchens by Schiffini and the crisp lines of misty gray mosaic tile which wrap from floors onto walls and ceilings in the bathrooms. The building has eight floor-through apartments and two duplex penthouses with roof terraces.

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Cite: David Basulto. "ArchDaily Interviews: SHoP Architects" 19 Nov 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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