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
Photos by Handel Architects
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