Monday, June 19, 2017

We Won!

2017 Alice Washburn Award Winner | Connecticut Chapter of The American Institute of Architects | Accessory Building

Reminiscent of a vernacular barn structure in an abandoned state, this new "reclaimed" structure houses a state of the art theater, sculpture gallery and observatory. Perched austerely on a hillside with sweeping views into the gardens and meadows, one side opens entirely with an industrial air-craft hangar door allowing further union with the countryside. The exterior is clad in glass and Corten steel in a natural rusted state. Atop sits a rotating aperture-slit dome of galvanized metal used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Visitors are greeted by a monumental oak door that floats within its glass façade. Continuing the mystery and creating a little bit of tension, a mottled black folded plate steel stair, resembling the bellows of an accordion, cantilevers off the wall. Once ascended, visitors encounter a catwalk crafted in steel and resin panels set within a circular spoked frame evocative of a reel of film which hovers above the gallery below. Combining the romance of the abandoned farm structure with a sense of folly from an earlier century, the building creates drama within its shell and frames the natural drama without. 

As an additional bonus, (not included within the award) this project is connected to the wine cellar in the main house by an 800 sf, 140 foot long concrete tunnel, inspired by a wormhole. The wormhole is home to an iridescent slug that radiates light in a broad spectrum of wavelengths from her glowing translucent skin. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Building with Blocks

Our 5 Story Mulit-Family for Spinnaker Real Estate Partners on Day Street South Norwalk just 3 weeks after foundation. Rendering of completed project at bottom.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Bringing It - A Better Shelter

Each Better Shelter unit comes with a Photo Voltaic system which
provides energy for the supplied LED light or for charging a mobile phone
IKEA really showing up with this 2017 Beazley
Design of the Year

award winning project -
A Better Shelter

With years of expertise in squeezing complex items of furniture into the smallest self-assembly package possible, Ikea has come up with a robust 17.5 sq m shelter that fits inside two boxes and can be assembled by four people in just four hours, following the familiar picture-based instructions – substituting the ubiquitous allen key for a hammer, with no extra tools necessary.

Ikea’s solar-powered Better Shelter lasts six times longer than a typical emergency tent and has already changed the lives of thousands of refugees around the world.

Consisting of three main parts — a frame, panels, and a solar power system — the weatherproof structure can go up in under four hours. It's designed to house up to five people.

Designboom time lapse construction video here
Guardian article here

Thursday, February 23, 2017

ARTISAN / Beinfield Architecture / Fairfield Restaurant Week - Feb 27-Mar 5

Voted One of the Best Restaurants in Connecticut 2016: Experts' Picks CT Magazine 

"Parisian chef Frederic Kieffer dreams up wonderful New England–style cuisine spotlighting sensational seafood at this easygoing but elegant Southport American in the Delamar Hotel, where the menus in both the main dining room and the no-reservations tavern emphasize seasonal, mostly local ingredients; unobtrusive servers navigate the lively scene amid old-world, 18th-century Swedish furniture, striking floral murals and contemporary copper chandeliers, while dining on the amazing outdoor patio is like being on vacation.”

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tappas and Tiramisu

Stamford Restaurant Week starts tonight 2/17 - March 2nd !
Featuring two Beinfield designed restaurants, Bar Rosso and Barcelona:

Bar Rosso Menu                                                                                Barcelona Menu

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Beinfield Architecture's Audubon Square OK'd

New Haven can model itself on the car-free Brooklyn lifestyle - article here

“This is going to generate bicycle trips and pedestrian trips. People will be shopping locally. Not driving in their car out to East Haven to go to Shop & Stop” 
Matthew Nemerson Economic Development Administrator

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dude man der Rohe

Jeff Bridges to star in movie about Mies van der Rohe -  Abide here...

Farnsworth House, Plano Illinois - completed in 1951, US National Register of Historic Homes / Jeff Bridges

Thursday, February 2, 2017

An Elevated Escape

The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona is a place of silence and meditation perched among the rocks, set in the rocky wall on the eastern slopes of Monte Baldo, at an altitude of more than 700 meters high above the Adige valley.

In 1522, according to legend, the villagers living in the virtually impassable rocky cliffs of the Monte Baldo region, observed a mysterious light emanating from the valley below.  A few were lowered by rope to a secluded spot in the middle of the rocks where they found a stone statue depicting the Pietà. 

3 times they collected it and 3 times it was returned to the spot where they found it. Later it was determined that it was a statue that vanished from the island of Rhodes when the island was invaded by the Muslim army of Suliman II, miraculously transported through angelic intervention.

The original sanctuary was built around the statue where it was discovered. In 1625 construction began on a larger church 4 meters above on a ledge, bare walls of the mountain became the walls of the sanctuary. In 1974 demolition and reconstruction of the Shrine was overseen by architect Guido Tisato, preserving significant elements and maintaining the spiritual atmosphere and intention.

Friday, January 27, 2017

On the Market - Frank Lloyd Wright Home in New Canaan

FLW signature tile on Taliesin West
The architecture masterfully merges with the landscape and soundscape of waterfalls. The estate named Tirranna, Aboriginal for running waters, has been extensively restored and retains its original design and fixtures. The home is one of approx 20 that bear Wright’s signature on a tile at the entrance.

The 8 million dollar proceeds will be donated to charity.

Friday, January 13, 2017

SoNo Eighties

Taking a look back at South Norwalk in the 80’s and the revitalization that launched
Beinfield Architecture’s ongoing involvement in SoNo  - and some bits of history

The Corset Factory 1910 and 2004

Washington Prime - corner of Washington and Water
Ann Street  - Corset Factory - 1980's

The view down Ann Street from our archives shows how derelict the area had become. The scaffolded building to the right of the razed lot is the historic R & G corset factory built around 1900. In 1994 Beinfield Architecture refurbished the red-bricked shell into 80 residential units. Historically, the R & G Corset Factory was one of the largest producers of ladies corsets and in 1901 employed about a thousand workers, almost all of them women. This was one of the earliest projects to promote the redevelopment of downtown South Norwalk.

Washington and Water Street - 1980's. The mural on Donovan's facade painted in 1978 by legendary Brechin Morgan,
depicts one of the last working schooners on Long Island Sound

Across from what is now Washington Prime, Donovan’s Pub, formerly Jeremiah Donovan's saloon, has stood at the corner of Washington and Water streets since the late 19th century. Jeremiah Donovan a former Norwalk mayor and U.S. Congressman, owned the bar, which at some point had been a small grocery store as well. The tavern stopped selling liquor during the prohibition but allegedly maintained a speakeasy in the back.

The "Welcome to Historic South Norwalk" mural on the wall of the eastern side of Donovan’s facing the bridge was painted by Brechin Morgan in 1978. Brec had a sign painting business in Norwalk for 23 years and is an accomplished nautical artist. He became legend and hero in 2003 following a 4 1/2 year solo circumnavigation of the world, sailing 32,000 miles to 32 countries in his 27-foot sloop,Otter.
"...Then a fair sail to Suakin in Sudan. Not to be missed. The ruins of the old slave port in the moonlight. Un touched by tourism. All the men in white robes and turbans with long sharp bright swords across their backs and daggers at the belts...fierce..rdng camels through the dusty streets....bblcal.. .. and camels everywhere" Journal entry
“(Brec's) accounts range from the mundane (diet and weather), to the mysterious (giant phosphorescent blobs that flash then fade around the boat; a huge, unidentified sea creature that follows Otter) and mystical....". Hartford Courant 2003

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Modern and Minimal

On the art and design path : Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design is on view at the Jewish Museum through March 26. The exhibit showcases rare furniture, lighting fixtures, and interiors, as well as designs for the Maison de Verre along with interactive virtual views.
Info and 360 views here
The exhibition components inspired a closer look at the classic 1932 Maison de Verre. It is marvelous to see how the early modern style is still contemporary and how the challenges of that collaboration lead to highly imaginative innovations - the house was an unlikely confluence of residence meets Dr’s office meets cultural affairs salon, all evolving together without disturbing the top floor tenant’s dwelling.
The design was an on-site choreography between designer, architect and craftsmen* from whom evolved an intricate system of spacial division utilizing sliding, folding or rotating screens in glass, sheet and perforated metal.

Creative guests may have included Tristan Tzara, Paul Éluard, André Breton, Hans Arp, Salvador Dalí, Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst, René Crevel & Man Ray, 1933
The salon was regularly frequented by Marxist intellectuals like Walter Benjamin as well as by Surrealist poets and artists such as Louis Aragon, Paul Éluard, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Jacques Lipchitz, Jean Cocteau, Yves Tanguy, Joan Miró and Max Jacob.

*Pierre Chareau (furniture and interiors designer), Bernard Bijvoet (Dutch architect working in Paris since 1927) and Louis Dalbet (craftsman metalworker).