BEYOND THE GALLERY : MANCINI DUFFY
BY: JEN LEVISEN, EDITOR AT THE FORUM, MORTARR
With roots tracing back to 1915, New York’s Mancini Duffy has spent more than a century at the forefront of the A&D community. Responsible for the design of such famous landmarks as the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, early on the firm earned a reputation for its impressive design that helped define the architectural fabric of greater New York.
Now, Mancini’s designers evolve this legacy with breakthrough ideas, research and development initiatives that will unleash traditional design delivery, and individual expertise to produce the dynamic and pioneering work the firm is known for today. Seriously, name dropping’s never been so fun — Peloton, NBC Sports Group, A+E Networks, Tiffany & Co., American Airlines, and Truly Original just to name a few.
Mancini’s commitment to excellence extends beyond its New York and New Jersey offices, clients and projects. The firm’s leadership is committed to contributing to the industry and the wider community as a whole.
“We strive to stand out in our profession by the way we integrate experimental technology, foster a mentality of exploration and ingenuity among our team, and design spaces that help meet the business goals of our clients,” says Christian Giordano, President. “We’re constantly motivated by our clients’ staggering need for great design.”
From translating a client’s goals through design, to spear-heading leading-edge technology development that empowers an industry, Mancini is entering its second century head on.
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Fresh off the base building renovation of NoMad House and John Street House, The Assemblage Park Avenue is the culmination of Mancini’s working relationship with The Shorewood Group and Prodigy Network’s The Assemblage brand, which offers co-working, co-living and community space in New York City for creatives, entrepreneurs, investors, strategists, and more.
Mancini designed the base building renovation of the 35,000-square-foot, 1920s building at 331 Park Avenue and provided full interior design services – right down to the last stick of furniture.
Having redefined boutique co-working in two previous locations, Mancini and The Assemblage capitalized on direct feedback from the brand’s members, who said that connection and flexibility were key.
The building is organized to be a vertical campus of four social floors for connecting and gathering and seven coworking floors that offer a variety of space options, from individual desks to dedicated suites. As The Assemblage offers a variety of member programs, Mancini designed each space with maximum flexibility to host any occasion, often simultaneously, from networking and business development, to personal wellness, to guest lectures and concerts
A plant-filled living room contains a lounge, a full-service elixir bar, and a multi-tiered platform—the first in any location—and acts as the social epicenter of the building. A high-tech sound/meditation room offers a serene environment for total immersion in virtual environments, presentations, or guided meditations. The Celestial Bar on the top floor is an ethereal multipurpose space designed to offer a more relaxed area where people can work, gather or unwind and includes a large conference room.
Mancini recently completed the design and ground-up construction of the new Dolan Family Science, Technology, and Research Center at Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York. The project is the hallmark of the school’s “Advancing the Mission” initiative, which is aimed at improving academics, and encouraging student involvement and interest in STEM education, by upgrading the campus’s facilities.
Spread across the center’s 34,000 square feet are six university-grade educational labs, zones for collaborative discussion, and a multipurpose floor with access to terraces and a roof deck for meteorological observation. These spaces are all connected by a three-floor entrance atrium that is home to a Foucault Pendulum, one of only six in the state of New York. The pendulum demonstrates the rotation of the Earth and is an example of the “building as a teaching tool” design intent.
Mancini designed the building with the spatial flexibility to serve as an event venue for the school. A third-floor multipurpose room, designed with an undulating, wave-like open millwork ceiling, is used to host fund raising events, school exhibitions, community functions and other events. Two terraces and access to a finished roof provide unique vantage points to look out over the football field to catch a game or even stargaze at night for an astronomy class.
Since its inception in 2012, Peloton had been operating out of ad-hoc spaces, accommodating a fraction of their rapidly growing staff. Peloton brought Mancini aboard to finish out 50,000 square feet over five floors in a recently repositioned building, providing a blank canvas to invent a new model of workplace that encompasses the company’s multifaceted mission.
One aspect of this new workplace type was to address fluctuating group sizes. As the company grows or as individual departments change, shifts can happen. Mancini’s design team responded by creating uniform, individual working spaces. Much of the desking is similar in layout and capability, offering the maximum flexibility each group needs to accomplish their tasks. On each floor, open workspace is laid out largely along each floor’s southern wall, with large warehouse-style windows providing ample natural daylight. Intermixed throughout each floor are collaboration spaces of various sizes – from a monumental, stadium-style staircase to circular sofas or plush chairs.
Counterbalancing the more generic layout of the working spaces is a Department Destination, a specific home base designed especially for each group. Department Destinations vary floor to floor, so on one floor would be the R&D lab where product teams develop new technology, on another is a photo studio with a seamless wall that provides a backdrop for in-house photoshoots. The apparel team has their own dedicated showroom off the main entrance where they can display merchandise for clients in a highly curated setting.
Between these two zones is where the Mancini design team placed all the office’s enclosed spaces. Nestled between the building’s core and elevator banks, phone rooms, huddle rooms and conference rooms create a central hub where departments can merge for meetings or have privacy for important conversations.
The established zones at Peloton’s new headquarters are designed so that work, R&D and collaboration can happen simultaneously. Mancini invented this new type of workspace to strengthen the flow of ideas, further amplifying the brand through the medium of space.