History and Culture of Handel Architects
Handel Architects was founded in 1994 with a commitment to making cities better places to live. They believe that architecture and design matter, and that through our work, they can make a positive difference in the world. They strive to create buildings that are not just things in themselves, but serve as catalysts for positive urban and social change.
With over 200 architects and designers in New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Hong Kong, their work encompasses projects like the National September 11 Memorial, urban infrastructure and master planning projects, high-density mixed-use developments, multi-family projects across all income bands, hotels, corporate headquarters, and buildings for non-profit, institutional and educational clients around the world.
Their design process is open, interactive, and collaborative. They believe that great design need not be created through arrogance and ego, but in a way that can sustain us all and allow each of us to grow and learn. Great ideas can come from anyone on the team, and design inspiration from a range of sources, including art, science, history or philosophy.
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Gary Handel FAIA (Managing Partner)
Gary Handel FAIA is the founder and Managing Partner of Handel Architects. Since starting the practice in 1994, Mr. Handel has overseen its growth to a firm of over 200 architects, designers, and planners around the world. His designs have been recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the Urban Land Institute, the Society of American Registered Architects, and the Chicago Athenaeum, among others.
Mr. Handel leads the firm’s direction by placing an emphasis on enriching the urban environment and improving the lives of people through positive urban design. His work has benefited cities throughout the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. He is a leader in sustainable building strategies, and recent work includes some of the largest and tallest Passive House buildings in the world.
Mr. Handel makes significant pro bono contributions to local urbanism, including supporting non-profits and community-serving organizations in the cities in which he works. He serves as a Founding Board Member of Friends of the High Line in New York City, as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which tells the story of immigration in America.
Antonio Donofrio AIA (Principal)
Antonio Donofrio is a Principal at Handel Architects, which he joined in 2004. He has over 21 years of experience as an architect in New York City, designing and managing a variety of project types, including public facilities, office buildings, hotels, residential buildings, and educational facilities.
Since 2006, Mr. Donofrio has served as Project Manager for Handel Architects’ work in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn. Beginning with a 22-acre master plan, Mr. Donofrio managed that work, as well as each of the successive buildings; when complete, the project will include over 5,500 units of residential, as well as new retail space and a new public school. To date, four of the residential buildings have been completed and the next two are currently under construction.
Previously, Mr. Donofrio served as Senior Architect on the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Natatorium & Ice Rink in Queens, designed for the NYC Parks Department. Mr. Donofrio is currently serving as Senior Architect for the Parks Department’s new Idlewild Nature Center, located in city parkland in Queens.
Prior to joining Handel Architects, Mr. Donofrio was a Senior Associate with Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (SHCA) where he oversaw a staff of 25 architects and interior designers and chaired the Green Buildings Committee. While there, Mr. Donofrio was the Project Manager for PS 263, a new 100,000 sq. ft. elementary school. Previously, Mr. Donofrio served as Project Architect for PS 28, a new 400-seat school for the SCA in Queens.
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Handel Architects Selected Projects
Serif and The Line Hotel is a new 12-story mixed-use hotel and residential building occupying the majority of a triangular block where San Francisco’s Union Square, Tenderloin and South of Market districts meet. The 34,000 sq. ft. site shares the block with the historic Warfield Theater. The scale and aesthetic of the project are designed to relate to the context of adjacent buildings in the Tenderloin and along Market Street. The building massing addresses the challenging proportions of the irregularly-shaped site while also carving out generous outdoor plazas for the public realm on both Turk and Market Streets.
Glass fiber reinforced concrete cladding takes cues from the masonry buildings of the surrounding area, while the patterning and textured character of the façade offers a contemporary interpretation of traditional punched windows in the neighborhood. Designed to read as a continuous wrapper around the building, the façade also employs variation and modulation in window openings and panel sizes to correspond to interior units for the hotel and residential spaces within.
Photos by Handel Architects
Angels Landing is Handel Architects’ newest mixed-use project in Downtown Los Angeles. It includes a variety of uses clustered around a large amount of public open space, which is being designed by Olin. Plans include 422 residential units, two hotels, cultural/civic space, and 50,000 sq. ft. of retail. The site, most recently home to the temporary park known as Angels Knoll, was previously intended to be part of a re-development project decades ago.
On an urban scale, the project strives to connect the various neighborhoods that converge at this location, including the Financial District, the Historic Core, the Cultural District and Civic Center. By using the buildings’ architecture and landscaping, the design encourages the fluid movement of people into and through the site’s many building lobbies, retail storefronts and plazas. The design approach is based on a number of key factors: the re-interpretation of the arrival plaza at the Pershing Square Metro Station; enhancement of the pedestrian experience of riding the Angels Flight funicular; and creating a more lively pedestrian experience to and from California Plaza and its adjacent office buildings.
Photos by Handel Architects
Madison House is a new 53-story tower in Manhattan’s surging NoMad neighborhood, one of the city’s most active design districts. The building sets a new standard for luxury living in the city, with meticulous attention to detail and elegantly crafted interiors.
Handel Architects’ design was inspired by the elegance and magnificence of the classic Gothic cathedral, and the ribboned exteriors of those buildings that draw the eye skyward; this detailing can be seen in some of Manhattan’s masterpiece skyscrapers such as the Woolworth Building. Madison House’s curtainwall is accented with white textured panels and fins, maximizing the residential light and air while creating a striking, timeless exterior. At the tower top, the façade separates into multiple planes that angle upward and mark the building on the skyline.
Photos by Handel Architects
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