GF55 Architects’ Selected Projects

GF55 is an architecture firm based in New York City, which has been a major player within the NYC architecture scene. Since 1984, GF55 has been working towards creating designs with modern technologies and work practices, yet they adhere to Vitruvius’ classic principles of Firmitas (durability), Utilitas (functionality), and Venustas (beauty). Learn more about their incredible work!

GF55 Architects is dedicated to the practice of architecture and the realization of concepts into reality. They have a genuine love of being architects and bring a joyfulness that is fundamental to the creative process. They seek excellence through a collaborative search amongst themselves, their clients and expert consultants. Embracing modern technology and work practices, GF55 is hands-on and results-oriented without prejudice to project type or scale.

History of GF55

Founded in 1984, GF55 is dedicated to the practice of architecture for properties including mixed-use urban, apartment buildings, institutional, multi-family suburban, and hotels. GF55 Architects offers interior design for homes, offices, show rooms, and retail space.

 They use context as an organic approach to design. The classic principles of durability, utility, and delight serve as a foundation for creative expressions. Modern solutions are anchored by precedent.

Recognized for their attention to detail and swift execution, their methodology is results-oriented without prejudice to project type or scale.

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Company Culture

New York City is a part of their DNA. It’s what drives their belief that the built environment must be humanized in order to be a part of the natural landscape. This philosophy is intrinsic to their design process whether they are creating a solution for a multi-residential tower, a private residential home, or implementing a brand name for a national retail corporation.

GF55 designs with modern technologies and work practices, yet they adhere to Vitruvius’ classic principles of Firmitas (durability), Utilitas (functionality), and Venustas (beauty).

Their love of architecture is based upon the understanding that design solutions must be a collaborative effort with influence from all sectors of society, that must be considered the realistic parameters of timelines, budgets, constructability, historic context, local impacts, and the environment at large. As a firm, they are grounded in a practical reality and they are experts at the nexus of results-oriented design solutions.

David E. Gross AIA

David E. Gross, AIA is the Executive and Co-Founding Partner of GF55 Architects. David has led GF55 in creating a broad based national practice in several project types. A particular expertise has been developed in Multi Family, Mixed Use, Mixed Income Buildings in the NYC area. His projects have received two Urban Land Institute Models of Excellence Awards for Columbia Hicks/Cobble Hill Development and The Kalahari.

GF55 was the recipient of the Andrew J. Thomas “Pioneer in Housing” Award in 2010 from the New York City Chapter of American Institute of Architects. David is a board member of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH); Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC) as well as the NY Housing Conference. Another one of David’s significant projects is the widely published and AIA award winning renovation and addition to a classic Mid Century Modern house in Rye, NY.

Leonard Fusco

Leonard went to get his Undergraduate at Columbia University, School of Engineering and then got his Masters at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Design.

He has been a wonderful mentor for many architects and designers since the foundation of GF55. More specifically, he has worked with 6 Architect-US community members, and below we go into detail regarding some of the participants work and experience during their JOB+J1 Visa Experience.

Shay Alster AIA

Shay is a longstanding Managing Partner at GF55 Architects. GF55 is widely recognized in the industry and the firm has been awarded the Andrew J. Thomas Award for Pioneering in Housing from The American Institute of Architects. Shay’s own expertise and experience with NYC Zoning contributed to his spearheading several large-scale urban development projects for which he garnered multiple awards from the NY State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH).

Shay is respected by his peers and recognized in the industry, he has received numerous accolades from the real estate industry for his wide breadth of knowledge and his understanding of the critical bridge between architecture and real estate.

Architect-US J1 Visa Participants

Josipa Baricevic

Josipa started his career graduating from the University of Zagreb in his home country of Croatia. Very soon after graduating, he started his own design studio, and worked on his firm and craft for two years before making his way over to the USA. He studied Sustainable Design and Architecture at Pratt Institute in New York City. After finishing his Masters, he applied to work at GF55 Architects via the JOB+J1 Visa Program, and was able to work with Leonard for half a year before moving on to his next venture called Superhands.

Juan Antonio Navarro Perez

Since graduating from CEU Madrid for Architecture in 2014, he has been focused on making the hop over the pond to work in New York City. After gaining more experience with construction at Ghesa Engineering in Madrid, he made it over to GF55 Architects in early 2019 and has been working there ever since. Juan was able to work with Leonard and the GF55 team via the JOB+J1 Visa Program from January 2019 to July 2020.

Alicia Buades

Alicia worked with Leonard from May 2019 to November 2020. She defines her time there as the following: Working as architectural designer at NYC headquarters in housing developments. The work involves every single design phase, from schematic to construction administration. Her labor is adapted to the project and client’s needs, including 3D modelling, creating documentation sets for every project’s phases, presentation layout design, coordination with consultants, products and solutions research and site visits.

Now she is still working at GF55 Architects and hopes to stay in the USA for longer, so she can continue to progress in her career and make a bigger impact in the community.

Alejandro Caicoya Gonzalez

Alejandro started his own firm in 2007 called Caicoya Arquitectura, and has been working with GF55 Architects since January 2019 after working with Architect-US via our JOB+J1 Visa ProgramHe continues working with them and is looking to stay in the USA for a longer period of time.

Sofia Zandoli

Sofia is a dynamic Project Architect with a fluid and seamless artistic vision. Notable design projects have included residential, educational, retail and corporate interior construction and remodeling projects. She has enjoyed her experience of working at GF55 Architects so far, and has been there for a year and a half now since joining them in June 2019 via our JOB+J1 Visa Program.

Ingo Nicolaas Aelbers

Ingoa Dutch architect, has been working with GF55 Architects for around a year now, and was able to go from graduating from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands to working in New York City for a top-rated firm. Follow his career trajectory to learn more about how you can make your way over.

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As you scroll through the following two projects they have created, consider all of these design techniques and ideas they have implemented.

GF55 Projects

Alvista Towers

The first high rise in the immediate neighborhood, inviting more to come, Alvista Towers is an affordable residential building in the heart of Jamaica Queens. This 25-story building is comprised of 380 residential units which include both inclusionary housing units and moderate income units. Working within an extremely tight time line as well as a tight budget, GF55 provided a design solution which features brick and masonry for the building base with a tower façade composed of EIFS as a cost-effective and efficient exterior cladding system.

The design for Alvista Towers raises the bar for lifestyle standards in affordable housing by providing numerous amenities which benefit the residents and create a stronger sense of community. Ammenities include a gym, yoga room for wellness, playroom for families with young children, a computer/co-work area for professionals, indoor and outdoor lounges, finished roof terraces for social settings, and a doorman for security.

Photos by GF55

Dutch LIC

Rising nine stories with 86 condominium units, the 90,000 square foot 43rd Avenue Condos, also known as the Dutch LIC, is located directly over a subway line tunnel. This became both a challenge and inspiration. The solution was to integrate a cantilever steel truss building support into the façade design that would showcase the base structural support and enable the pedestrian to experience it.

The design gives the development a distinctive identity that draws inspiration from and connects with its environment. The building emulates the industrial heritage of the neighborhood with a modern approach. The brick brings it back to the area’s manufacturing past while the exposed structural elements, glass and metal panel arrangement make it contemporary and contextual.

The lobby will feature a hanging wood ceiling with pendant lights, large wall mural, metal wall panels, and a textured wall. The tenant lounge is adjacent to the lobby and carries through the material palette along with metal drapery. The ground floor has 17 residential parking spaces and a bike room for 45 bicycles. The 2nd floor will have residential units, an outdoor terrace, and recreation space. Floors 3 thru 9 will have residences ranging from studios to 3 bedrooms. The rooftop has a public terrace with an entertainment area/bar and 2 private terraces.

Photos by GF55

Do not forget that we will be posting more work by GF55 in the coming weeks and months, so keep an eye out for more of their incredible work!! Every Friday we will be posting a new Featured Company, so join us again next week!

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