Architect Alan Barlis first became associated with the Dennis Wedlick Architect firm back in 1997 after studying both system architecture and urban planning. After becoming a leader on the team, he opened a satellite office in Colorado. Eventually he returned to New York City and expanded the firm’s portfolio with a variety of project types, like urban residences, affordable housing, rural conservation subdivisions, and sustainable prototypes. In 2005, BarlisWedlick was born when he became co-owner of the firm. The MIT-trained Barlis not only speaks on architecture, interior design, and energy conservation, he’s on the board of the Tribeca Trust, an organization focused on preserving the architectural integrity of the Tribeca neighborhood, and in 2013, he co-authored Classic and Modern: Signature Styles. Let’s see what he’s most passionate about in this week’s Friday Five.
1. The collaborative design process of L’Aviva Home.
Laura Aviva searches the planet for cultures that are still producing traditional—even ancient—art forms, and re-imagines them as collections for the contemporary market. Her studio works hand-in-hand with artisan workshops to produce stunning pieces, simultaneously offering critical support to those communities.
2. Advocacy for biophilic design by Terrapin Bright Green.
I’ve known Bill Browning, one of the founders of this environmental consulting firm, since his days at Rocky Mountain Institute. He’s still at the forefront of innovation and advocacy, with must-read reports and must-have tools for anyone in the design field at all interested in the environment and strategic design.
3. Architectural resuscitation by the Sydell Group.
Andrew Zobler and his team have an astute talent for distilling the essence of a destination via their extraordinary hotels. They breathe new life into old buildings and capture the vitality of the local community through design. The experience of staying there enables a new understanding of the locales while you immerse yourself in the design.
4. Preservation of urban fabric by the Tribeca Trust.
Cities have always been playgrounds for architects, with interplaying layers of history challenging the eye and mind at every turn. Tribeca, where our office has been for 20 years, is the setting for one of the most fascinating phases in modern architectural history, the transition from masonry to metal construction in the mid-19th Century. As a board member of the Trust, I’m proud to play a small role in its efforts to protect the neighborhood.
5. Nature’s raw architecture.
Watching my young kids explore the world with spontaneity and awe provokes new ways of thinking about space. The caves, cliffs, summits, and ravines all influence their behavior; it’s thrilling to witness them interpret the geologic forms around them, and the way that they respond to nature.