Day 260/365 of Steel – Morris Adjmi

Morris Adjmi Architects was founded by Morris Adjmi, a New Orleans native who obtained his Masters of Architecture degree from Tulane University. In 1981 Adjmi began working with the Italian architect Aldo Rossi and, in 1986, the two jointly opened Studio di Architettura in New York City. They collaborated on numerous international projects . Adjmi has edited two books on Aldo Rossi’s life and work. After the death of Rossi in 1997, Adjmi established his own design firm.

837 Washington Commercial Office Building
Fig 1: 837 Washington Commercial Office Building
Photo: © Alexander Severin/RAZUMMEDIA

The NYC-based firm design buildings that are contextual but distinctly contemporary, with modernist underpinnings. Their work is known for its thoughtful engagement with historic context, industrial aesthetic, and creative use of materials. From the firm’s inception, they have had particular success working in historic and post-industrial districts.

837 Washington

837 Washington Commercial Office Building
Fig 2: 837 Washington Commercial Office Building
Photo: © Timothy Schenck

This building, also known as the Samsung building, sits in the Meatpacking District in NYC. It comprises two distinct but coexisting elements: a new twisting steel-and-glass volume and a rehabilitated Moderne-style brick warehouse built in 1938. Initially, another architect had proposed tearing down the two-story structure, which was one of the few remaining purpose-built meat-packing buildings from the 1930s. The Landmarks Commission denied that application.

837 Washington Commercial Office Building
Fig 3: 837 Washington Commercial Office Building
Photo: © Timothy Schenck

When Adjmi Architects was brought in, they thought of ways the old and new could have a dialogue. They preserved the existing building, and for the glass box, they drew on the proportions of its windows. The steel exoskeleton relates to the structure of the High Line; it has the same kind of heft. 

837 Washington Commercial Office Building
Fig 4: 837 Washington Commercial Office Building
Photo: © Timothy Schenck

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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