The Architectural League of New York holds a First Friday event each month within the office of a local design firm for “drinks, informal conversation, and a behind the scenes look at recent and upcoming projects.” Tickets to last Friday’s event at the new office of SHoP Architects in the Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan sold out within minutes. Hundreds of architects, designers, and SHoP fans from around town packed into the expansive space. SHoP had moved in mere weeks before the event from their previous office in a building across the street. Though the firm is still making some finishing touches, visitors were impressed by features such as a swanky client lounge and a large employee area with pool tables and arcade games and both beer and iced coffee on tap.
A metal sign spelling the firm’s name hangs in the lobby above the spot where one might expect to find the reception desk. Instead, there are models of built and in-the-works projects by SHoP on display, and the reception desk is positioned to the side to create a more relaxed environment reminiscent of the lobby of a boutique hotel.
As part of the event, SHoP’s designers, including Director of Interiors Krista Ninivaggi (Contract‘s 2014 Designer of the Year), presented projects in progress. Krista discussed the design of the interiors of 626 First Avenue, a residential development currently under construction near the East River. The project is comprised of two towers connected by a skybridge containing and indoor lap pool. The towers reach 49 and 40 stories in height and will hold 800 residential units in total. SHoP designed millwork, cabinetry, and unit finishes, as well as the furnishings and finishes for all of the building’s amenities, lobbies, corridors, and other public spaces.
Krista gave us a personal tour of the office, and while we are only able to show you a peek for now, we look forward to sharing more once SHoP has completed those finishing touches!