Architecture Firm’s Hoboken, N.J. Studio Receives Design Award

February 25, 2011

AIA New Jersey Honors Team at Minervini Vandermark Architecture

AIANJ 2010 Design Award - Minervini Vandermark Architecture

AIANJ 2010 Design Award - Minervini Vandermark Architecture

A mixed-use building designed and used by Hoboken, N.J.-based Minervini Vandermark Architecture has won a Merit Award in the “Design/Build” category from the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ).

The award for the half-studio, half-residential structure in Hoboken, N.J., was announced this past September at AIA-NJ’s annual “Design Day” conference at Bally’s Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J. The design award was presented at the annual AIA-NJ awards dinner to be held in January 2011 in Princeton, N.J.

“We are excited to see projects being created at this high level of innovation and quality by New Jersey firms,” said Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEED AP, 2010 president of AIA-NJ. “I am honored to recognize these architects for their dedication and commitment to their craft and to the architecture community.”

Frank Minervini, AIA, and Anthony Vandermark Jr., AIA, principals of the firm, purchased the 50- by 50-foot lot at 360 14th St. in 2007 from developer clients who had planned on building a four unit residential building. Minervini and Vandermark loved the neighborhood so much that — when the opportunity arose — they purchased the property and designed a mixed-use space that would also house the firm’s design studio.

“We love Hoboken’s industrial past, which is why we chose to set up our studio in this part of town, near remnants of the city’s old factories and warehouses,” said Minervini. “We specifically designed the building to tie into the industrial surroundings of the neighborhood.”

The building is four stories tall, with two floors of office space topped by two floors of residential units. The building is adjacent to Hoboken’s 14th Street Viaduct, a “bridge” that connects Hoboken with Jersey City Heights and Union City.

The two upper floors were wrapped in Corten steel, the same industrial material used extensively on the iconic pre-war viaduct. The material weathers naturally, developing a vibrant orange-hued protective rust coating. The lower portion of the building, which resembles a modern glass box, is anchored with local brick, which blends with the cobblestone streets of the neighborhood.

Minervini and Vandermark conducted a friendly in-office design competition for the mixed-use project. Ultimately, the principals incorporated elements from each of the firm’s designers’ proposals in the final design of the structure.

“The design of our building includes input from everyone in our firm,” said Vandermark. “We have an incredibly talented and diverse group of designers here and we’re proud that this space reflects who we are, yet honors the history of the neighborhood.”

The building, completed in April 2009, is one of the first projects to have undergone renovation in the burgeoning northwest “viaduct” area of Hoboken, which has been slated for redevelopment, with plans including pedestrianized streets, a playground and park and two blocks of multi-purpose space to be used for farmers markets and community events.

The Minervini Vandermark building, although privately owned and not part of the city’s master plan, has already achieved a high level of respect and admiration from the city’s leaders and the greater community due to its status as a trailblazer.

AIA-NJ announced a total of 11 design awards at the gala. In addition to Minervini-Vandermark’s mixed-use building, the other winners included:

In the “Built” category, two Honor Awards were announced. The winners were Ann Beha Architects for the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., and KSS Architects for the Human Rights Institute at Kean University in Union, N.J.

The Merit Award winners in the “Built” category were Environetics for the New York Foundling in Bronx, N.Y.; Ikon.5 Architects for the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J.; and two awards for KSS Architects for the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, N.Y., and the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons at WHYY in Philadelphia, Pa.

The Honors Award in the “Unbuilt” category was awarded to HDR CUH2A for the Biomedical Educational Research Institute at Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea.

The other Merit Award winner in the “Design/Build” category was Midouhas Architecture for the Vlahakis residence in Harvey Cedars, N.J.

Merit Award winners in the “Interior Architecture” category were Hugh A. Boyd Architect for the Landmark supermarket in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, and Joshua Zinder Architecture + Design for the Waku Ghin restaurant in Marina Bay Sands, Republic of Singapore.

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