Monthly Archives: January 2016

Mount Kisco Architects Work to Make Schools Safer

While safety and security have always been an important part of school planning and design, the recent increase in violent school tragedies have renewed the sense of urgency and put safety at the forefront of conversations about school buildings. KG+D has worked with many educational facilities throughout the Lower Hudson Valley to address this critical issue and fortify schools without turning them into fortresses.

“Security in schools often comes down to finding the right balance between visibility and the ability to isolate a portion of the population,” said Russell Davidson, one of the firm’s principal architects. “Completely open plans with lots of glass are and completely closed buildings with no visual connections can be equally inappropriate. The ability to see what is going on and to be seen, behind a secure enclosure, by law enforcement can often lead to a safer environment. Of course this needs to be combined with the ability to find a safe refuge where you cannot be seen when there is an active threat. These are the reasons why security planning is an architectural design challenge often completed in active collaboration with building administrators and security specialists. Each solution is a unique approach that is tailored to the population and the specific building configuration.”

As school architects, our goal is to incorporate secure design solutions without detracting from the impression of the learning environment. The goal is to increase the time it takes to get into and out of buildings; the overall strategy to create delay and in turn create more time for administration to react and for first responders to arrive. While schools cannot be designed completely around aggressive intruders, they can incorporate secure design solutions that increase student and teacher safety.

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Russell A. Davidson, Inaugurated as the 92nd President of the AIA

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Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, Managing Principal + President of KG+D Architects was inaugurated as the 92nd President of the AIA during ceremonies held on December 4th, 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. He succeeds the 91st President, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, in representing nearly 88,000 AIA members.

“Now is the time to move from good to great and to fully realize the potential of one of our country’s oldest professional associations,” said Davidson at his inauguration. “In an election year we will leverage the attention paid to the future of America to point out that architects, along with our partners in the design and construction industry, not only designed the places that define American cities towns and villages, but also are the leading edge of a major economic force.”

Davidson has held a multitude of elected positions within the AIA including serving as president of AIA Westchester + Hudson Valley in 1999 and president of AIA New York State in 2007. He joined the AIA National Board in 2009 and served as AIA Vice President from 2012-2013. Throughout his national leadership tenure, Davidson has maintained a special focus on government and public advocacy for architects and architecture.

Photo Credit: William Stewart Photography

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Seven Bridges Middle School

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Client:
Chappaqua Central School District

Project Scope:
This new facility for 650 students in grades 5-8 sits nestled into the slope on 43 wooded acres. Brick, limestone, natural wood detailing and copper roofs complement the school’s natural setting. The planning principle is based on the “House Plan,” where students are divided into smaller groupings by grade. Four classroom wings are separated by floor or common spaces including the library, auditorium and two large multipurpose rooms. Two landscaped courtyards bring light and nature into the core of the facility, as do expansive views from corridor stairwells and classrooms.

Completion Date:
2003

Awards:
Citation Award for Architectural Excellence, AIA Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter

Pleasantville High School

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Client:
Pleasantville Union Free School District

Project Scope:
This complex renovation and expansion of a traditional 1929 brick school building involved the addition of two new major wings at the front of the building and complete infrastructure replacement and restoration. New spaces included a new, state-of-the-art library/media center with telecast capability, science wing, cafeteria, guidance suite and administration. Infrastructure included heating plan replacement, HVAC, window replacement, replicate of slate roof, and masonry restoration.

Completion Date:
2011

Ridgefield Academy – Landmark Pre-School

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Client:
Ridgefield Academy

Project Scope:
KG+D collaborated with Ridgefield Academy on a renovated preschool wing. The redesigned wing focused on a concept that maximized natural light, provided direct access to the outdoors, implemented inventive storage space, developed acoustically sound classrooms and created open areas for hands on learning.

Completion Date:
2011

Ridgefield Academy – The Bridge

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Client:
Ridgefield Academy

Project Scope:
KG+D collaborated with Ridgefield Academy to create a student-centered space that would accommodate the school’s emerging programming needs. The result of this collaboration is a brand new technology-rich library learning commons and digital arts lab named “The Bridge.” Major features include the traditional media-infused library, a gallery with flat panel screens to showcase student projects, a filming workshop with green screen technology, and a large Macintosh lab.

Completion Date:
2011

Orange-Ulster BOCES Regional Education Center at Arden Hill

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Client:
Orange-Ulster BOCES

Project Scope:
This adaptive reuse project transformed the former Arden Hill Hospital Campus into a vibrant educational facility. Extensive renovations of the 200,000sf hospital included new building systems, reconfigured spaces to allow for appropriate room size and program adjacencies, a new addition to connect East and North wings, a new central media center and major renovations to the building’s main entrance vestibule.

Completion Date: 2014

Awards:
Citation Award for Architectural Excellence, AIA Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter

Distinctions:
As the school is a shared government facility, the kitchen was designed to serve the Orange Ulster BOCES community as well as produce and serve over 200 meals per day for the county’s Meals on Wheels Program.

Eastchester Middle School

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Client:
Eastchester Union Free School District

Project Scope:
The Eastchester Middle School was too small to meet the community’s growing needs and programs were overflowing into the adjoining high school spaces. The first phase of the design solution was submitted on a “fast-track” and included the work to reorient the rear entrance and create a construction staging area. The second phase of the project included a large addition to the middle school encompassing 14 new classrooms, 5 additional bathrooms, space reconfiguration, an elevator, an expanded cafeteria, relocation of the special needs classrooms and energy efficient improvements in heating and lighting.

Completion Date:
2014

The Harvey School – Athletic Center

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Client:
The Harvey School

Project Scope:
As part of a phased Master Plan for campus development, KG+D completed a new Athletic Center for The Harvey School. The new energy-efficient, high performance Athletic Center includes a gymnasium, fitness center, training facilities, faculty offices and multiple team locker rooms.

Completion Date:
2012

The Harvey School – Arts Center

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Client:
The Harvey School

Project Scope:
As part of a phased Master Plan for campus development, KG+D completed a new Arts Center for The Harvey School. The 24,100sf visual and performing arts facility includes music, art and photography classrooms, video and dance studios and a gallery to display student work. The centerpiece of the project is a 3,400 sq. ft. black box theater designed to seat more than 200. The theater has movable partitions that open to create space for audience overflow into the gallery and as well as a flexible stage that can be moved to accommodate a variety of performances.

Completion Date: 2005

Awards:
Honor Award for Architectural Excellence, AIA Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter

Trinity Pawling School Athletic Field/Tennis Courts

Client:
Trinity Pawling School

Project Scope:
KG+D planned and designed a new 86,000sf synthetic turf field outfitted with a bleacher/pressbox combination and lighting for night games. The David N. Coratti Field replaced an unleveled natural grass field and was relocated to provide for a new West campus entry and ample athletic facility parking. The tennis center includes nine hard-surface courts, viewing areas and a gazebo encompassing storage areas and restroom facilities.

Completion Date:
2012

Roslyn High School

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Client:
Roslyn Union Free School District

Project Scope:
Roslyn High School sought to transform an aging series of disconnected cafeteria spaces into a cohesive, technology-rich cafeteria commons for the students of Roslyn High School. The design solution removed cafeteria and corridor walls to create a bright, open commons with day lighting, views to the outside, access to an outdoor terrace, and 162 additional seats in a more flexible configuration. The Cafeteria Commons also features flat panel monitors, wireless technology and charging stations.

Completion Date:
2013

Awards:
Citation Award for Architectural Excellence, AIA Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter

New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University School of Law

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Client:
Unified Court System State of New York/Pace University Law School DASNY

Project Scope:
This new 3-story, 28,000 sf training center, the first of its kind in the nation, was completed for New York State Judges and their staff people. The centerpiece of the new facility is a 160-seat stepped auditorium with a dais stage for training and moot court sessions. Other major elements include a multi-use dining room, three break-out rooms for large group training, two conference rooms, a business center, a law library, telecommunications and teleconference capabilities both within the building and long distance.

Completion Date:
2002

Awards:
Design Award for Architectural Excellence, AIA Westchester/Hudson Valley Chapter