Meet New Affiliates, a dynamic New York studio founded by Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb, who joined forces in 2016 to found this award-winning and fast-emerging New York practice. The pair have been prolific, but our pick of their projects is the soothingly angular Tunbridge Winter Cabin in Vermont.
Who: New Affiliates
Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb founded New Affiliates in 2016 – and this emerging New York studio, has been scooping awards and recognitions ever since. The Architectural League Prize, awarded by the Architectural League of New York, and the New Practices New York Award, by the American Institute of Architects, are just two of the studio’s growing list of accolades; but it is New Affiliates’ work that really makes it stand out. The pair jumped into architectural production head first, completing a slew of temporary and permanent projects since their firm's foundation.
Relationships, they explain, are a key part of their approach and how they intepret and produce architecture. ‘We like to make things we find beautiful, but we like to make them in larger chains of production; to work between business-as-usual and its implications, service and its byproducts. The projects brush against deeper issues – on sustainability, on public space, on material research – but we’re forever driven by acts of orchestration: to realign interests and find new sets of values both within the profession and the world the profession serves,' they say. Architecture is a ‘cultural phenomenon’, motivating them to explore the world, they conclude.
Their portfolio includes a wide variety of commissions. There have been ground-up, entirely new projects (such as the Tunbridge Winter Cabin, see below) and interiors projects (their Bed-Stuy Loft apartment design comes to mind), but also exhibitions and installations for prestigious institutions such as the New York's Jewish Museum, the Shed, and the Canadian Center for Architecture. And they've only just begun.
What: Tunbridge Winter Cabin
Set within the leafy hills of Vermont, Tunbridge Winter Cabin was commissioned by a private client as an idyllic winter retreat and artists' studio. Occupying some 1,250 sq ft, the project is generous but maintains a strong cabin-style identity, clad in a distinctive dark timber skin and featuring sharp, pitched roofs that echo traditional structures in this part of the world. The design by New Affiliates is inspired by ‘the area’s strange aggregate structures, in which barns, houses and sheds all grow on and around each other as if clustering for warmth'.
Still, designed as two identical squares that in plan meet at a corner, the structure maintains a strong, contemporary sensibility. Slight misalignments and minor asymmetries add quirkiness and personality to the whole, while minimalist white interiors starkly contrast with the grey timber plank exterior, creating a dialogue betweek inside and outside.
The double-height studio space occupies one wing of the house, while on the other side, a ground-floor living space is topped by a bedroom above. The high, pitched ceiling becomes a central architectural feature inside and leads out to a decked terrace set between the two wings. Large-scale window walls frame the picturesque views of the adjacent Green Mountains. Meanwhile, a second, larger home on the same estate is currently in the works to complement this one, also designed by New Affiliates.
Why: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2021
Conceived in 2000 as our index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our magazine’s annual listing of promising practices from across the globe. The project has, over the years, spanned styles and continents, while always championing the best and most exciting young studios and showcasing inspiring work with an emphasis on the residential realm. Now including more than 500 alumni and counting, the Architects’ Directory is back for its 21st edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios, from Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the USA, and the UK, with plenty of promise, ideas and exciting architecture.
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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).
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