NYC-based Urban Studio, an Affiliate of Kimmerle Group, Marks its Third Year of Operations
When Kimmerle Group (KG), an established 25-year-old architecture and planning firm headquartered in Harding Township, N.J., decided to open a New York City office to service its considerable array of clients in the Tri-state area, they had no idea what kind of additional traction that decision would give the firm. While serving KG’s significant corporate and development portfolio from its Chelsea location, Urban Studio (US), as a brand, was founded and is devoted to extending the firm’s impact around urban design, planning and sustainability.
Joined by its four partners and team leaders in New Jersey, the combined organization of 35 professionals is active, engaged and practicing in over 20 states. The company provides multiple disciplines including project management, furniture and furnishings management, architecture and interior design.
Just three years since opening its offices at 20th and 6th Avenue, US has completed dozens of major New York area assignments for an array of clients. The work includes hospital and health master plans, skilled nursing and senior housing plans, housing and training facilities for the disabled, significant high-rise building additions, industrial conversions and mixed-use redevelopments including transit village programs for both public and private clients. The firm’s Chelsea location also serves as an outpost for its many New Jersey corporate and development based clients as they expand their ventures into Manhattan and the five boroughs.
US, which has relocated to 127 West 20th Street, #100, also in Chelsea, is led by George and William Kimmerle and extends the long-term commitment of KG to sustainable architecture and planning. US adopts a perspective that is rooted in a commitment to combining the intentions of good public policy with market based incentives and motivators to achieve a larger whole, and an environmentally responsive and inclusive outcome. As a manifesto, this statement seems to capture the spirit of the team.
An Urban Counterpoint to Kimmerle’s Rural New Jersey Location
“Urban Studio is the urban counterpoint to our rural location in scenic Harding Township,” said William Kimmerle. “We believe that the two sensibilities are linked – open space and rural environments are enabled by urban systems, and likewise urban systems are reinforced and reinvigorated by rural settings. As a visual artist and painter, I know we draw inspiration from each. That fact is undeniable, and infusing that spirit into our work is fundamental. William is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and Washington University in St. Louis.
George Kimmerle is a past adjunct at NYU, and qualified PhD candidate at Rutgers University with visiting lecturer status, where he is completing his PhD in planning and public policy with emphasis on redevelopment of urban neighborhoods, abandoned downtowns and rural communities. Uniting public policy with market dynamics in the real estate process is the theme between the two postings.
The firm also owns a small farm in coastal Stonington, Conn., complete with a 1700-era main house, outbuildings, ponds, fields and two stalwart Clydesdales, Sherman and Mike. “Used as a retreat for employees and a setting for regular design charettes, the farm at Stone Silo demonstrates again our commitment to environment, art, human settlement and history,” said William Kimmerle.
“What is apparent is that there is strong research supporting the Urban Studio concept that is visible in its choice of project types and the range of subjects to which it is engaged,” said George Kimmerle. We truly believe that design, when rendered with a social consciousness and an eye toward the practical realities of the market, can achieve wonderful and relevant outcomes.”
It’s about community and sustainability and quality of life. “If you view the profession of urban design and planning from that perspective, there is no limit to the range of subjects and public issues to which one must be engaged,” both George and William Kimmerle agree. The two look forward to the next two years as an opportunity to repeat and enlarge their volume of output and to focus more clearly on issues of community value, engendered in that point of view.
The award-winning Kimmerle Group is comprised of six divisions, each with complementary specialties, including Kimmerle Newman Architects, Urban Studio, Real Estate Services, Workspace, Project Management and Branding. The multidisciplinary team, which was named the 2016 AIA NJ Architecture Firm of the Year, has established an outstanding reputation for its design and development work in corporate architecture and interiors, education, healthcare, urban design and planning, FFE procurement, industrial and retail, private and multifamily housing and historic preservation. Kimmerle Group possesses a national project footprint and is active in the Tri-state area and across the United States. The firm’s headquarters in Harding Township, N.J. is an NJBIA Good Neighbor Award winner for 2017, as well as a 2017 NJBIA Environmental Quality Award for Excellence winner and CPE’s 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award for Best Design. The firm is also located in the Chelsea Arts district of New York City with offices at 127 West 20th Street.