The Architecture League of New York has picked the winners of its annual Emerging Voices Awards. Each the year the League chooses eight practitioners from the United States, Canada, and Mexico through an invited, juried portfolio competition. This year’s winners include three firms from Mexico. The rest are based on the East Coast of the U.S. The winners will be giving
To keep the project on budget and within zoning requirements, Merge stacked the building’s condos horizontally, like interlocked tubes. Doing so also met the developer’s demand to give each unit a water view.
It is this cost friendly design approach that Merge used at Penn Street Lofts, a building in Quincy, Massachusetts, that was built for just $100 a square foot. By similarly reorganizing the building’s interior, Merge could spend more of its energy and budget on creating an interesting piece of architecture. For Penn Street that meant cladding the building in red cedar clapboard siding and giving it recessed balconies framed with bright green panels.
Since its inception, Merge has also been using its talents for many interiors and smaller scale installation projects around Massachusetts. In Waltham, Whittaker’s team gutted a century–old warehouse to create a modern and airy orthodontist office. The firm achieves this with “Lightwell,” an 18-foot-tall translucent wall that brings light into the office and acts as an architectural divider between the sterile labs and treatment chairs.
And in 2013, Merge collaborated with the MIT School of Engineering to pack design elements into just about every square inch of the MIT Beaver Works, a flexible research facility in Cambridge. The industrial space is brought to life with splashes of yellow, custom-fabricated wood and felt pendant lights, and built-in plywood seating. At the center of it all is a crooked plywood pod with interior benches for small meetings.
As for what’s next for Merge Architects, the firm is getting to work on more multi-family projects around Boston, and is even in discussions about a “neighborhood renovation” in China.