Image-description

I’m often asked by friends, prospective clients, and college students what it is that we do as architects; what are the professional services that we offer.  The short answer architects give is that we design and renovate buildings, and indeed, this is an important part of our work. But this description misses so much of the actual work we must do.  The design phases start with the Schematic Design phase – presenting the main architectural concepts. These plans are developed with input from the engineers and cost estimators in the Design Development phase. And finally, the design is completed with […] Read More

Published: e-architects e-architect published Studio ST Architect’s design for Micro homes for essential workers. We proposed to build these homes in central urban locations utilizing the void spaces that some Manhattan luxury condominiums are building in order to increase building heights and sell units on higher floors. We demonstrate the increased density when converting huge apartments into smaller units. “New York City is a financial, intellectual, and innovative center. We now see that its strength depends not only on its financial stability and profit margins but also on its ability to withstand catastrophic unexpected events. It is our moral responsibility […] Read More

Image-description

I updated this piece, originally published in the New York Times in 2015 It is Memorial Day weekend, and I’m feeling hopeful. On my run this morning I could smell the spring bloom mixed with May showers. I’m grateful that we no longer need to wear a mask outdoors. Cautiously, we are emerging from the isolation and pain of the last year, still unable to fathom the deaths of over 50,000 people in our own city.  The pandemic forced us to work from home and communicate digitally. With technology, flexibility, and patience our team was able to start the renovations of two synagogues, oversee the […] Read More

Image-description

Published: Architect Magazine “MicroPolis is a proposal for a new housing typology of micro-homes in metropolitan centers. It is a modular system of prefabricated, energy-efficient and cost-effective micro-homes that can be installed in already built empty urban spaces. The number of units and their organization will be adapted to the buildings in which they will be deployed. Each unit is 270 square feet and features an ADA bathroom, queen size bed, kitchen and living/working space. The staggering of the units creates a push-and-pull relation, generating balconies for most units. Large public outdoor terraces provide social and co-working spaces, and safe place […] Read More

Image-description

Published in The Jewish Week Friday night. We are standing in a paved plaza beside Riverside Drive; the air is crisp, the fresh snow is sparkling like diamond dust in the setting sun. We are six feet apart and masked (I can’t wait for this combined phrase to become obsolete). We join the Chazzan, chanting the Jewish Friday evening prayer, welcoming the Sabbath as the sun disappears over the Hudson river. “Come my beloved towards your bride to welcome the Sabbath.”  Suddenly I’m choked up, no longer able to sing. My eyes fill with tears and emotions. I have sung […] Read More

Image-description

On January 21 President Joe Biden released the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. In this document, he calls for a collaborative effort in which “federal government works with states, cities, Tribal communities, and private industry to increase supply and administer testing and the vaccines that will help reopen schools and businesses safely.” He continues to promise that “Equity will also be central to our strategy”. He acknowledges the great challenge but says he believes “that a true national strategy will take all of us working together.” Biden links collaboration with gender and racial equity, and his […] Read More

Image-description

What can we learn from the Covid 19 pandemic about the housing crisis, urban resilience, and the importance of community? “If we learned anything during this pandemic it is that humanity is deeply intertwined. We thrive together and we fall ill together. The pandemic has also exposed the inequities in our society. It is unacceptable that the communities that kept our city working – frontline and essential workers – also suffer the most and received the least support.” I wanted to share my 15-minute video in which I discuss this issue and propose creating affordable micro-homes in the vacant floors of Manhattan luxury condominiums. I’d love […] Read More

Image-description

Originally published: Chicago YIMBY Studio ST Architects’ new design for the renovation of Skokie Valley Agudath Synagogue, in Skokie, IL, will update and revitalize the original 1960 synagogue in order to better reflect the congregation’s values of accessibility and inclusivity. Aesthetic and practical changes address the congregation’s diverse needs, create a comfortable space for individual prayer and group services, and bring in more natural light to create an airy, ethereal atmosphere.  Read More

Image-description

Is your building immoral? You are probably thinking that this is a silly question; buildings are inanimate structures and morality is the uniquely human capacity for judgment and empathy. So, how could a building be measured by moral standards? How could it have, or lack, values? Let me share an example. Just a few weeks ago a new sign with a large capital letter D was posted in my apartment building entry. I found out that a new local law (33/95) requires every building over 25,000 square feet to post its Energy Star Score.  Nearly 70% of greenhouse emissions in […] Read More

Image-description

I was recently confronted with an ethical dilemma that I did not know how to address. Yes, it was one of those small, somewhat privileged dilemmas, but nevertheless, I would really like to hear your thoughts on this question (join the conversation on Facebook). Last week, a friend who is a real estate broker called me. She had a potential client who was considering buying an apartment in need of renovation.  She asked if I would be willing to meet this buyer to discuss the renovation design process and costs. Coincidentally, we are doing a large renovation in this exact […] Read More

Published: Archinect SAR Academy and High School was the first school in New York City to close its doors in the spring due to rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 throughout the city. Although the students and teachers quickly adapted to a new mode of remote, virtual learning, the administration was quick to acknowledge and address the need to plan for a safe and cohesive reopening scheme when the time came to return to in-person learning. Studio ST Architects collaborated with HSB Architecture and Design to update the school’s facilities and campus using the concept of radical flexibility. Changes included revisions […] Read More

Image-description

Following the stay at home orders issued in March 2020, SAR Academy and High School in New York City was forced to radically shift its education model to support virtual learning. However, the school’s administration did not hesitate to plan for a return to in person learning in the fall of 2020. Studio ST Architects collaborated with HSB Architecture & Design to craft a reopening scheme for the school’s students and staff that prioritizes health and social distancing while upholding high education standards. Read more about the reopening scheme on The Riverdale Press Read More

Image-description

Following the stay at home orders issued in March, SAR Academy and High School began to plan for a return to in person learning in the fall. Architects Esther Sperber of Studio ST Architects Hila Stern of HSB Architecture & Design worked together to craft a reopening scheme for the school’s students and staff. Their plan addresses the issues of social distancing, classroom size, and air circulation while prioritizing the learning experiences of all age groups. Read more about the reopening scheme on Architect Magazine Read More

Although the SAR community had to adapt on the spot to a remote education model, they did not hesitate to begin preparing a reopening scheme to ensure a safe and smooth return to in-person schooling when the time came. Studio ST Architects Esther Sperber and Kellen Thayer, in collaboration with Hila Stern of HSB Architecture, used the concept of radical flexibility to redesign the school's Bronx campus, which reopened its doors to 1550 students this fall. Read More

"While the school managed a swift response to the sudden and unprecedented circumstances of the coronavirus that spring, administrators recognized it was necessary to plan for the fall of 2020. Accordingly, the school convened a collaborative team of administrators, facility managers, architects, mechanical engineers, graphic designers and medical experts in preparation for the eventual reopening of the school buildings. " Read More

Image-description

Each event will feature two inspiring women working in architecture and each will speak to a different focus – from starting your own practice, to finding the right type of practice for you, to balancing the profession and family life. In these conversations, we will share stories, share tools, provide support and establish relationships among all attendees with the goal of ensuring young women in architecture stay encouraged and stay on course to thrive in the profession. Read More

Image-description

"For this reason, I am making a pledge, and I hope others will join. If I receive funding from the CARES Act PPP that allows me to keep my staff on payroll for the next two months, my firm will dedicate a significant portion of the additional work time toward architectural work that does good for the world.” Read More