- Architecture Research Office (ARO) New York State Firm of the Year AIA 2018
The New York State Firm of the Year award by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (NYAIA) is intended to celebrate notable achievements of an architecture firm in design, community service, education, and service to the profession. The award recognises firms for their consistency and requires a portfolio of projects spanning at least ten years in order to be eligible for consideration. It is one of the highest honours the AIA bestows.
Founded in 1993, ARO, which stands for Architecture Research Office, is led by Stephen Cassell, Kim Yao and Adam Yarinsky. The firm is defined by its consistent production of imaginative, innovative architecture uniquely suited to the living context in which it exists. Unencumbered by preconceived notions, ARO's research-driven collaborative design process leverages collective intelligence to discover unanticipated possibilities, pushing the limits of architectural design to produce striking, transcendent work grounded in its efficiency. Not surprisingly, the projects by Architecture Research Office (ARO) cover a very wide range of action, embracing pure architecture as well as urban design and strategic planning. All backed by the firm's strong civil and cultural engagement, as demonstrated by the Environmental Defense Fund's Lower Mississippi River Design initiative and the post-Sandy analysis of the NYC Housing Recovery Office.
ARO also stands out in the field of green building with R-House, the award-winning, affordable, passive-house-certified urban housing prototype at affordable prices. The combined environmental and economic efficiency lessons learnt informed its design of two public schools in Brooklyn, compliant with rigorous passive house standards. The aspects of collaborative design alongside their respect for original buildings is best showcased in their work with Congregation Beit Simchat Torah. Here, within a landmark warehouse designed by Cass Gilbert, ARO was appointed to design a new home for the world's largest LGBTQ Jewish congregation within the confines of the building's original column grid.
Another standout aspect for the purposes of the award was the fact that ARO has maintained its commitment to education and service to the profession. Principals Stephen Cassell, Kim Yao and Adam Yarinsky have taught at more than a dozen architecture schools across the US.
This explains even further the great joy of the ARO founders when they found out they were the recipients of the New York State Firm of the Year for 2018: "It is extremely gratifying to have won this award that honors our body of work and our contribution to the profession. More than anything, knowing that we have the respect of our peers and colleagues is what makes this award important”.
Architecture Research Office (ARO) - https://www.aro.net/
2018 AIA New York State Firm of the Year
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