660 Congress Street

Portland, Maine

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When this 130 year-old landmarked building came to our attention in 2012, it had been abandoned for years and a recent fire had exposed the interiors to such extensive water damage that nearly everything had been destroyed, except its historic brick facade. We approached the renovation of 660 Congress as a ‘ship-in-a-bottle,’ meticulously preserving the historic facade and fenestration details while rebuilding anew within the existing brick walls. The entire structure was re-engineered to provide open apartment layouts and a column-free commercial space on the ground floor.

In the design of the apartments, we returned to the historical facade by tracing the silhouette of the mansard roof with gently curving walls. At the third floor ceiling, the expansive volume of the roof is revealed with dramatic coffers that bring light into the spaces through skylights and hidden architectural lighting.

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Program: Historical Preservation, Residential, Commercial
Client: A.K. Longfellow
Collaborators: Bayhill Building (Contractor),  Engineering Design Professionals (Structural Engineer), Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Greater Portland Landmarks
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam, Dan Hoch, Christian Scharzwimmer
Awards: AIA New England Design Award, Greater Portland Landmarks  Preservation Award, Maine Preservation Honor Award
Photography: Robert Dietchler (photos 1,2,4,5,6,7)
Status: Completed
Year: 2016

 

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The typical approach for fashion retail focuses on the interior design environment, while the business of hanging and displaying product is often a generic experience relegated to the store perimeter. Our strategy for this shop is to make the display system the focal point of the store experience.

The concept is simple: a single ‘thread’ that weaves through the store as it switches from clothes rail to shoe presentation to accessory display while creating interconnected product zones, fitting area and POS.

Program: Shop
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam
Status: Concept
Year: 2017

 

Downing Park Greenhouse

Newburgh, New York

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The Downing Park Greenhouse is shaped by passive design principles that help to maintain a year-round temperate growing environment with minimal reliance on fossil fuels.  Along these lines, the building’s north-facing mass wall is built of rammed earth with a black bio-char finish that captures and stores the low rays of the winter sun. At night, this solar energy is radiated back into the greenhouse as heat. In the summer, operable windows enhance cross ventilation, while climbing vines provide partial shade on the southern exposure.

Located in Downing Park in Newburgh, New York the passive greenhouse is part of a local initiative to unite people around healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. In addition to growing produce year-round, it will also provide classroom spaces for hands-on learning and community engagement.

 

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Program: Greenhouse and Community Center
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam, Emily Gruendel, Caleb White
Status: Proposal
Year: 2017

Bandirma Design Institute

Bandirma, Turkey

 

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Conceived as a series of flexible, collaborative spaces for hosting regional design faculties, the new Bandirma Design Institute will establish the city’s reputation as a center for the creative industries. Situated in a new public park, the Institute’s ground floor is a playful composition of four geometric volumes that contain the main school entrance and also exhibition and lecture spaces, open to the public. The park flows around these spaces to create a kind of hybrid ‘lobby’ where the school and park intersect and enhance each other. Perched above is an industrial ‘piano nobile’ of flexible work studios, with views of the Marmara Sea.

 

Program: School
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam
Landscape Design: BEE%
Status: Proposal
Year: 2017

Springs House

East Hampton, New York

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This house in the Springs neighborhood of East Hampton was designed for a retired couple who requested a new home where they could age in place. To meet their requirements, nearly all of the program is accessibly situated on a large open-plan ground floor. To make construction affordable, the existing foundation from the previous house was incorporated into the design. And to comply with strict zoning setbacks affecting building envelope, we designed a serrated roof that descends as a series of three gables that skew back-and-forth as they step down toward the southwest corner of the lot. The roof subtly bends the rules of the local architectural vernacular, simultaneously creating a contextual and contradictory relationship with the neighboring houses. As part of a cost-efficient construction strategy, the house is stick built with CNC cut lumber assembled off-site in panels, and the facade is clad in red cedar planks, a durable and economical material that is commonly used throughout the area.

 

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Program: Single Family Housing
Client: Private
Team: , Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam, Chang Su
Status: Proposal
Year: 2016

Cape Office

East Falmouth, Massachusetts

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In this extension of an existing house in Cape Cod, we opened the home to light and views with an office addition that connects to a new garden. The main feature is a custom-designed desk which integrates workspaces, book shelves, and lighting, as it wraps around the room and frames landscape views.

 

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Program: Addition (Single Family Home)
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher
Collaborators:  Homes by Sission (Contractor), Roger Hobeika (Structural Engineer)
Photography: Robert Deitchler (photos 1, 3, 4)
Status: Completed
Year: 2014

Hacking Better Shelter

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Hacking Better Shelter is series of IKEA-style hacks designed to expand the use of Better Shelter, a leading emergency shelter system housing displaced people around the world. Our proposal is essentially a set of instructions for hacking the Better Shelter system to create new types of spaces and amenities for refugee communities awaiting asylum or a return home. Our playground swing set was featured, in partnership with Better Shelter and the IKEA Foundation, at the Stedelijk Museum as part of their exhibition Solution or Utopia? Design for Refugees.

 

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Program: Relief Shelters
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam
Status: Proposal
Year: 2016

Varna Public Library

Varna, Bulgaria

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The new Varna Library is conceived as a series of stacking and shifting volumes, like a stack of books. The gaps between the volumes define a porous public space that flows through the building, opening large welcoming entrances at the ground floor level, and framing views of the city at the upper levels. The shifting and stacking volumes respond to the confines of the strict zoning envelope, while creating a series of interlocking interior reading and collection spaces that spill out into open-air terraces. This results in an inviting urban form, presenting an accessible image to the city of Varna.

The new Varna Library will be a versatile new building, both in terms of its flexible spaces for diverse programming events, and for its environmental strategy to passively provide comfortable interior spaces for the public. Deep louvers shield the interiors from the summer sun, and the concrete facade performs as a thermal mass, absorbing heat during the day – the large central atrium will help to passively cool and ventilate the building.

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Program: Public Library
Client:  Varna Municipality
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam, Austin Crowley
Status: Proposal
Year: 2015

Bamiyan Cultural Center

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

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Our design for the UNESCO Bamiyan Cultural Center draws its inspiration from the striking views of the Buddha Cliffs of Bamiyan Valley, a World Heritage Site. Our proposal is infused with the region’s remarkable landscape, and the intelligence and beauty of the local architectural traditions that have developed in response to it.

We chose a simple and spatially direct form and a locally sourced material palette of stone and brick masonry, to allow collaborative construction with local construction labor. The brick masonry used in the building will be made with soil excavated from the site and fired in an on-site kiln. An essential aspect of our design strategy is our strong consideration for the social role of this building in the local Bamiyan community, and this begins with the participation of the local community in the construction of the building.

Program: Cultural Center
Client: UNESCO
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Austin Crowley, Emily Gruendel
Status: Proposal
Year: 2015

Coachella Affordable Housing

Oasis, California

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This proposal addresses the urgent need for well-designed affordable housing in the Coachella Valley. Our design and master plan harnesses the natural temperature fluctuations of the desert to produce pleasant indoor spaces that are passively cooled and heated without relying on costly mechanical systems that burn fossil fuel.

The proposal’s urban concept is a dense layout of multifamily apartments that use their orientation and massing to minimize sun exposure. In addition to creating passively cooled interior spaces, the masterplan provides a network of shaded streets and landscaped areas that are comfortable for pedestrians and recreational activities.

 

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Program: Housing
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Harry Lam
Status: Proposal
Year: 2016

LaGuardia Airport Masterplan

Queens, New York

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We are proud to have been selected as an award-winning finalist in the Master Plan Design Competition for New York’s LaGuardia Airport, sponsored by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and The Port Authority of NY & NJ.

Our proposal focuses on integrating a unified terminal experience with innovative transit ideas in order to improve landside and airside operations. Our masterplan rethinks flight capacity by adding a fourth terminal with a parallel and independent runway, and radically increases connectivity between LGA and the metropolitan area by extending AirTrain, MTA Subway service, and East River ferry service for ‘one seat access.’ Our design takes the form of a seamless LGA composed of continuous concourses punctuated with light-filled terminals, for a visitor experience worthy of New York City.

Program: Airport Masterplan
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Austin Crowley
Status: Proposal
Year: 2015

AMP

New York, New York

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Amp is a public broadcast system in disguise – each colorful structure is an array of speakers, delivering immersive surround sound. Concealed inside the walls of AMP is a simple and inexpensive piece of audio technology called a transducer that turns everyday objects into powerful speakers. Working in collaboration with Levy Lorenzo, a New York City-based electronic instrument designer, AMP is designed to broadcast the sounds of IDEAS CITY back to visitors as a looping, colliding, and ever-evolving sound landscape. At times, AMP will be switched to public announcement mode to broadcast live programming, such as lectures and panel discussions.

 

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Program: Streetfair Installation
Client: Storefront for Art & Architecture
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Emily Gruendel
Collaborators: Nous Engineering (Structural Engineer), Levy Lorenzo (Sound Design)
Status: Proposal
Year: 2015

Tribeca Apartment

New York, NY

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As part of this 4,000 sq ft apartment renovation in Tribeca, we designed an outdoor-worthy jungle gym, giving three lively boys their dream playground at home. For their parents, we designed other custom touches, such as a series of perforated metal benches that float underneath the windows along the entire length of the apartment. The benches hide existing radiators and create a new zone for seating and display.

 

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Program: Apartment Renovation
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher, Peter Wildfeuer
Collaborators: Bednarz Construction LLC (Contractor), Jessica Whitney Gould (Interior Design)
Photography: Robert Deitchler
Status: Completed
Year: 2015

Writer’s Cabin

Lake George, New York

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The Lake George Cabin achieves its shape by adjusting to a number of obstacles and opportunities: neighbors to the east, an access road to the west, beautiful views into the woods to the north, and tree filtered daylight from the south. A large southern glass entrance connects the cabin to the main house on the property and allows afternoon daylight inside. A deep overhang protects the interior from the harsh summer sun and shelters a small porch from the rain. The cabin’s amenities – a day bed, a fold-down bunkbed and a kitchenette – are carved away from the windowless western facade which provides privacy from the road. A large window in the bedroom frames views of the mountains in the distance.

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Program: Cabin
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher
Status: Proposal
Year: 2012

M+ Pavilion

Kowloon, Hong Kong

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The new M+ Art Pavilion has a privileged location, perched at the tip of Kowloon in a verdant park overlooking Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. Our design for the pavilion looks both inward to the exceptional exhibitions and events that serve its primary purpose, and outward to the breathtaking views of the harbor and surrounding park.

The design concept begins with five circles that fan into the landscape and organize the plan. The building perimeter is a simple geometry of curving glass panels that open up views from every vantage point. Deep structural louvers support the roof and control daylight penetration and heat gain. Their iridescent finish gently reflect blue hues from the harbor and greens from the park’s vegetation.

Program: Museum / Gallery
Client: West Kowloon Cultural District
Team: Andre Guimond, Evan Erlebacher
Status: Proposal
Year: 2013