Building upon the relationship created by an initial renovation of the 100 year old former Catholic School, the project expands the charter school’s capacity from grades K-2 to K-8 with a 20,000sf addition on a small, oddly shaped lot to the north. Further renovations to the existing structure include a new cafeteria, rooftop play space, administrative spaces and installation of new mechanical and life safety systems while the addition includes additional classrooms, new toilet rooms, and an elevator. The full building is upgraded to meet current building and accessibility codes.
The school shares the site with a former church, converted to a community center, and future residential building. A careful analysis of the site, and close collaboration with our client, client’s project manager, and the developer/landlord led to the best use of the available lot coverage allowed by the NYC zoning resolution. Sensitive to the historic context of the Harlem community, the building was designed to fit in with its neighbors through the use of color, proportion, scale, and material selection without mimicking the surrounding buildings.
New Amsterdam School
The New Amsterdam School expanded into a new space in New York’s Lower East Side. VIRALINE began the process with a thorough investigation of the Waldorf-based program’s goals and requirements. Initially intended as two separate retail spaces, the existing layout was altered to create four classrooms centered around an inviting open space. Aside from hosting group activities, the breakout space allows for future growth through the creation of a fifth classroom. The school’s early childhood classrooms required coordination with the NYC DOHMH to secure necessary approvals. As a tenant on the ground floor of a multifamily residential building, the school faced unique challenges to separate the students from the residential tenants above. VIRALINE located separate entrance through the existing courtyard and designed a new wood trellis to both shield the students from the elements and create a clear identity within the neighborhood.
K-12 School Design
VIRALINE has developed an expertise in the planning and design of K-12 schools over the years. From master planning to programming to test fits to renovations & additions to ground up buildings, we have seen a wide variety of k-12 project types. Essentially miniature cities, each school presents unique challenges and opportunities, and they are a joy to design.
A;long with numerous test fit, programming, and visualization exercises for schools evaluating the viability of potential new locations, VIRALINE has provided direct design services for the following schools and organizations:
Ascend Public Charter Schools
Brooklyn Rise Charter School
Citizens of the World Charter Schools
Global Community Charter School
Harlem Hebrew Language Academy Charter School
New Amsterdam School
Prior to founding VIRALINE, James Vira played a key role in the following K-12 projects in prior firms
The Abraham Joshua Heschel School Master Plan
Harlem Village Academy Charter School New Building
Morgan High School New Addition
NYC SCA PS 13Q New Addition
NYC SCA IS/HS 362X New Building
NYC SCA PS/IS 66K New Building
Interior fit out and exterior storefront renovation for the luxury fashion retailer. Located on the ground floor of a 100+ year old building in New York City’s West Village Historic District, the project required approvals from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. Working with a highly compressed schedule, the design, filing and construction for the project was completed within four months. Billy Reid returned to VIRALINE for the design of signage at their Bond St location. Not simply a building in an historic district, the cast iron structure was also a designated landmark. VIRALINE’s solution for providing signage without damage to the historic façade was widely praised by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission who unanimously approved the design in a public hearing.
German-based AVENSO AG secured VIRALINE for their second gallery in New York on the city’s Upper East Side. AVENSO provided authorization to proceed at the beginning of November with the understanding that the space be documented, filed, and built in time for the Christmas shopping season, five weeks away. Calling on our established network of vendors and contractors, the renovation of 1,400 sq ft form delicatessen was completed in time for the planned opening.
Kips Bay Residence
A residential apartment renovation for a young couple, this project highlights VIRALINE’s ability to work with small spaces in a way that is efficient, functional, and attractive. Through a few simple moves, we modified the single open space to create distinct Dining,Sleeping, Living, and Working areas. Not intended to be separate rooms, the spaces are open to one another and sized appropriately for each function. The central element in the composition is the walnut wood clad wall. The wall runs along the two sides of the bedroom creating a warm and intimate environment on one side and a functional dining room banquet on the other. The wall creates a canopy above the six-person dining table to define the space as well as conceal the electrical conduit mounted to the concrete slab ceiling. The banquet seat doubles as open storage for the bedroom.
East 10th St Residence
An example of VIRALINE’s expertise in enhancing small spaces, we responded to our client’s request for an open feel to his existing one bedroom apartment. In response, we removed the existing wall between the narrow bedroom and living room and replaced it with two full height pocket doors within a custom wood wall. Opening both doors dramatically alters the apartment, allowing natural light from all three windows to flow freely through the apartment. Relocating the bedroom entry provided an opportunity to enlarge the existing bathroom and increase closet space for the bedroom. We removed the wall that separated the kitchen from the dining area as well as existing closets and extended custom cabinetry into the dining area to create a link between two spaces. Storage in the kitchen was significantly improved by extending cabinetry to the ceiling.
One of ten winners of the NYC OEM sponsored, international competition addressing high density provisional housing; this project highlights VIRALINE’s design ability and commitment to research and technology. Our solution to the problem of a Category 3 hurricane making landfall in New York City centered on small, easily transportable units able to ship fully equipped and expanded on site. A hybrid of inflatable architecture and rigid shipping containers, the units are modular, stackable and more than double their size upon deployment. RDIC modules can be deployed in numerous configurations and densities to fit the variety of sites available in a post disaster environment and combined to create multiple bedroom units as required. The jury found the proposal well thought out and “believable as a high rise”. In Project Development phase of the competition VIRALINE incorporated the jury’s comments and further developed the concept with a focus on constructability, and refinement of design.
Building concept designs for mixed use development master plan located at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Designs included buildings for hotel, retail, restaurant, and office spaces, as well as a Live Nation outdoor amphitheater. The overall aesthetic of the development was intended to be reminiscent of a historic factory complex; however, a modern take on this aesthetic was used for the proposed hotel concept design. Intended to fit in with the fabric of the adjacent buildings, as the tallest building on the site, the hotel was designed as an icon for the overall development.
Motor Speedway Bungalows
A study for high end rental housing adjacent to the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The goal of the designs was to root the houses in the historic Charleston vernacular. Often unique in their varied combinations of color, material, and roof form, the houses share a striking set of similarities. The strongest similarities lie in the integration of outdoor space within the overall volume and tripartite division of the facade.
The bungalow type was adapted to the specific requirements of this development, specifically the introduction of a two car garage and two main entry points. To reinforce our position that a neighborhood can be cohesive utilizing structures similar in size, proportion, and material, two versions seemingly at opposite ends of the style spectrum were created, one traditional and one modern.
The bold, asymmetrical design creates a memorable silhouette combining organic and orthogonal elements as a representation of Battery Park. The chair back is shaped and angled to optimize a standard seating position, while a single wing supports an alternate lounge position. Not simply an iconic feature, the single wing allows two opposite chairs to pair together into a loveseat configuration. The search for a match to one’s chair creates opportunities for interaction and exploration throughout the park.
The chair is 100% injection molded HDPE, one of the most commonly recycled plastics available. Inexpensive, durable, and unaffected by moisture, the HDPE is mixed with UV stabilizers to prevent deterioration with colored pigments added to provide the chair’s signature color. The chairs are movable, stackable to five high, and the extensive openings in the seat allow sunlight and water to easily pass to the ground below.
A limited release, the Julieta Chair and Ottoman retains the classic ideals of a lounge chair while examining both form and structure. The chair design is based on the natural occurrence of diminutive pieces working together to form a stronger whole, in this case the skeletal structure of a bat’s wing
In the chair, as in the bat’s wing, four delicate members on each side work together to support and distribute the load of the seat. Despite their appearance, the leg configuration provides a strong and stable base for the seat and back, contoured to conform to the natural curves of the human body. The ottoman follows the same principles of the chair but in a simpler fashion to suit its function.
Atlantic City Holocaust Memorial
Reflecting Jewish philosophy and the inherent meaning in the letter Alef, the memorial is designed as a visceral journey from lowliness to exaltation. Starting at the lower Yud, visitors to the memorial are enveloped by the low, looming mass of the roof structure. Underneath, sounds of the adjacent ocean and boardwalk fade into the acoustical ceiling plane, separating the visitors from their surroundings. As they continue their journey across the Vav, visitors ascend the ramped structure. Views out, symbolizing hope, appear but are purposefully obscured by different elements. Upon reaching the upper Yud, the journey is complete. The roof structure ceases, and the visitor is provided an unobscured view of both sky and ocean. Looking back the visitor feels the presence of the roof, but is no longer oppressed by it.