Tribeca, NY

In 1994 I spent the summer teaching in Israel, running a studio that proposed to examine architectural invention through drawing (this was a time before computers) as a process that could be intrinsically tied to archeological excavation.  The spectacular site of Herod the Great’s maritime palace at Caesarea provided the mornings activity, digging away the dirt, and an empty warehouse at the seaside Nahsholim Kibbutzim the afternoons more mentally driven exhumations.

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I also began work that summer on a project that had finally produced the ideal client. Myself. In the early evening, I would lay out the plans at a scale of one inch = one foot and draw over them, moving slowly through the space of the project, determining, reconsidering and reinventing each and every material intersection, joint, or surface. This included finish plywood cabinetry stained pink and a round, nearly freestanding shower. The project was for a loft in an old match factory facing onto Hudson Square Park. Great pleasure was taken in drawing at the larger scale. It resulted in a certain attitude toward interior space that privileged porosity and episodicness, making sure the full extent of a space was always partially concealed. The raw space itself was a rectangular volume of about 20’ wide and 60’ deep intruded upon by the buildings egress and mechanical spaces. It took me some time and probably another 20 projects to recognize that increment as New York City’s most ubiquitous in terms of housing. The design was dominated by a folded golden wall finished with waxed Venetian plaster and linework in steel that made it a body-scale landscape drawing.

Once realized, the space quickly took on a life of its own. The very next year I would meet (and marry) Erika Hinrichs, and so together we began using the space as our office. The year after that we would sell the loft to my brother, Steve, and move to a commercial space on Broadway. Steve, too would get married and start a family, so we returned again to add another bedroom to the design. Three years ago, we remade the kitchen a bit larger. And now most recently we are back again to design some furniture for his youngest daughter, Noelle.

New York City

Frederick Biehle will be making a presentation, the Re-Invention of Public Housing, to the New York City Housing Authority directors and staff. It will include the work of his last three fall semester studios from Pratt Institute dedicated to the transformation of the superblock housing concept, so universally excepted and implemented in post-war America and now universally acknowledged as an urban failure.

Anna Dwyer and Siman Huang

Anna Dwyer and Siman Huang

Detroit, MI

Frederick Biehle will present his paper, Episodic Urbanisms: Pedagogical Studies and the Lesson of Rome, at the annual national conference of the ACSA during the session In Practice: History as Research. The paper looks at the porosity and interconnectedness of the pedestrian fabric of historical Rome as a principal means of empowering the individual and fulfilling the promise of the urban experience.

Brooklyn/Rome

Episodic Urbanisms, the publication on the pedagogy and work of the Pratt Institute Rome Program, a program for the past 8 years directed by departmental Chair Erika Hinrichs, and for the previous 20 years coordinated by Frederick Biehle, will be released as a part of the festivities to mark the 40th anniversary of the program at the Palazzo Doria Pamfilj in Rome. Essays by Ryszard Sliwka, Jeffrey Hogrefe, Frederick Biehle and an introduction by Erika Hinrichs.

Rome, Italy

2017 is the 40th year of the Pratt Institute Rome Program, a program that has been directed in its entirety by Richard Piccolo and coordinated for 20 of those years by Frederick Biehle. Pratt Institute will mark the occasion by inviting alumni to Rome to celebrate the significance of this program in the education of its archtiects. The culminating event will be the evening of April 13 at the Palazzo Doria Pamfijl,. The Institute president, Thomas Schutte, as well as he Dean of Architecture, Thomas Hanrahan, will be in attendance.

New York City

Frederick Biehle’s400 level options studio from the Pratt UG Architecture program, called the Reinvention of Public Housing, has work included in an exhibition organized by Mattias Altwicker and Nicolas Bloom of NYIT entitled “Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City.” Hunter College East Harlem Gallery at Silberman School of Social Work.

The exhibit is coordinated with the release of their book of the same name, and will be at Hunter College’s East Harlem Gallery, in the Silberman School of Social Work on East 119th Street and Third Avenue. 

Michael Rosen and Yuli Huang Project for the Ingersol/Whitman Houses

Michael Rosen and Yuli Huang Project for the Ingersol/Whitman Houses