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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

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Rabbi Mishael Zion and Esther Sperber spoke about homes, the pandemic and the Jewish holiday of Sukkot as part of a four-part podcast series for Beit Avi Chai Also available to stream on Beit Avi Chai and Apple Podcasts 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

“Leadership and decisiveness are exactly what SAR implemented in its reopening strategies. Administrators there are relying on a few of the city’s proposals — and they’re adding a few modifications of their own. That’s because administrators know SAR will not look the same as it did before the pandemic. And they brought on two architects to make renovations that would make the schools safer. According to Hila Stern, one of the architects in charge of the SAR renovations, there were several factors to consider. While the goal was to make the schools safer, Stern didn’t want to make any permanent […] Read More

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Now, after three months of working with architects Esther Sperber and Hila Stern, the academy has been redesigned as an environment that allows for a safe return to the classroom while maximizing the learning experience and student engagement. Sperber and Stern created a design solution built on the idea of “radical flexibility,” a concept that allows the school to continuously adapt its physical space to conform to best practices, health guidelines and new technology in real time. To achieve their goal, the team had to rethink everything about the school’s curriculum and operations as well as the maintenance of the […] Read More

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"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

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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

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"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

Originally published on Archinect “At the end of February, a surprising decision by a state judge revoked the approval for the top 20 floors of 200 Amsterdam Avenue, a market-rate, luxury, residential building on the Upper West Side in New York.  “The developers amassed air rights, using a zoning loophole to create a 39-sided lot. While the city clarified that these zoning lots will no longer be allowed, it nevertheless sided with the developer to challenge this ruling. Despite the zoning gerrymandering that went into the design and approval of the 52-story building, few would have imagined that after receiving the required […] Read More

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From the editors of NYC Architects: “The following list features the top 15 residential architects in NYC. Our team compiled a list of accomplished architects and evaluated them based on their mastery of the trade and the quality of their work. We also assessed the architects based on their years of experience, their industry accreditations and certifications, and the strength of their portfolios. The resulting list features architects whose forward-thinking practices have put them at the forefront of residential architecture.” Studio ST Architects is proud to be featured as one of the top firms alongside other notable architects. Read More

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"Here is my provocative proposal. Instead of removing the upper floors of 200 Amsterdam, we should convert part of the building into affordable housing. Let the developer keep the top floors, which include two large duplex penthouses priced at over $40 million dollars apiece. In return, let the city or a nonprofit reclaim the bottom 20 floors for low- and middle-income families." Read More

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Published: The Architect’s Newspaper From the editors of The Architects’ Newspaper: “After expanding our categories to a whopping 47 and receiving over 800 submissions, the 2019 AN Best of Design Awards were our most successful yet. Of course, this made the judging more difficult than ever. Projects came from firms big and small across every corner of the North American continent. While we are always surprised by the breadth and quantity of submissions, we were not surprised by the quality of the design work put forth by these talented architects and designers. Sensitivity and subtlety were at a premium. Winners were chosen for their […] Read More

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Published: New York YIMBY Studio ST Architects recently completed the design and bidding process for a five-million-dollar renovation of the Ansche Chesed Synagogue on the Upper West Side in New York. The renovation will enlarge the building entrance lobby which was originally built in 1927. The size of the new lobby, designed as an open bleacher-style space spanning two levels, triples the square footage of the original space. The addition of two new ADA non-gendered bathrooms, coat rooms and stroller parking in the lobby will better serve members and guests joining the many programs and services held throughout the synagogue. A new LULA elevator provides easy access to both lobby levels, the sanctuary above, and the basement multipurpose hall. On the basement level, […] Read More

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It is incredibly exciting to see the walls of the building slowly rising from the excavated basement.

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Published: Yale Paprika In this interview, Miriam Dreiblatt speaks with founder of Studio ST Architects Esther Sperber on the challenges of designing religious spaces that promote serenity and connection while maintaining a high level of security. Sperber aims to design sacred spaces that foster a sense of community and belonging while being mindful of prayers and their individual spiritual needs. Sperber further discusses the impact of the concern and need for increased safety measures in synagogue architecture. These measures culturally informed and therefore take different forms, ranging from gates and police cars surrounding the site to hidden cameras and security […] Read More

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Published: New York YIMBY Construction has officially begun at 36 Jones Street, a new apartment building in Jersey City designed by Studio ST Architects. The building will have 900 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, 10 apartments ranging from one- to three-bedrooms, and indoor and outdoor public amenity spaces. Read the full article on New York YIMBY Read More

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I was delighted to host two groups of students who participated in the Barnard Young Women Leadership Institute. They asked about architecture, being a women business owner, and all the other challenges and joys of professional life.

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Images of our design fort he $5M renovation of the Ansche Chesed Synagogue.

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Published: Architect Magazine The dream of every New Yorker came true for these clients when they were able to buy the one bedroom apartment next to their existing two bedroom. This clean and contemporary combination created a large, four bedroom home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The large open space includes a generous foyer, living room, dinning room and kitchen, perfect for entertaining and relaxing. With the additional space we were able to expand the original bathroom to create a larger master bathroom, “his and her” walk in closets, a comfortable home office for two working parents, a […] Read More