Happy Holidays


As we continue our hard work on NBC Sports Group's Broadcast Facility in Stamford, CT., I'm thrilled to be a part of our team's incredibly collaborative design process. Responding to highly technical requirements while aspiring to aesthetic excellence has led to an open design dialogue among all team members in an integrated "atelier". Hats off to all who've contributed to date: Kristi Bernick; David Campana, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP; Aris Carlot; Amanda Colonna, LEED AP; Johanna Devia; Jeremiah Hancock, Assoc. AIA LEED AP; Mark Harbick, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP; Michael Kirn, AIA; and Michael Santilli.

Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame

Mancini Duffy/TSC employees enjoyed an evening of festive glamour last night while attending the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame at the Waldorf Astoria. Everyone was dressed to impress but especially one of our most talented designers, Heather L. Groff. Groff was adorned in her very own hand-sewn sheer gown made entirely of the iconic Mira Knoll fabric. Thank you Knoll for supplying the beautiful fabric and thanks Heather for showing off your awesome talents and eye for style!

Mancini-DuffyTSC designer, Heather L. Groff in Heather L. Groff gown constructed of Mira Sheer by Knoll Textiles

Mancini-DuffyTSC designers, Amanda Colonna, Heather L. Groff and Kristi Bernick


Campus Dish

The central seating area (Peter Paige Photography).

Our renovation of University of Rochester’s Danforth Dining Hall, based on ARAMARK’s “Fresh Food Company” concept, is getting plenty of press – go here to see what their amazing chefs are up to (a far cry from the spooky Salisbury steak one may remember as standard dining hall fare in the past) or here to see coverage of ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new dining hall.

The First Tee

On October 11th, Georgi Hubenov and I attended a press conference to announce a new facility for the First Tee Junior Learning Center at Weequahic Park in Newark, NJ. The First Tee is an organization whose mission statement is “to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.”

When we were approached in 2008 and asked to assist the First Tee with the design of their new facility by donating architectural services, we were excited for the opportunity to give to the community and be associated with the organization. At that time they were conducting their operations out of a portable trailer on a formerly blighted area of Weequahic Park. After exploring several options, it was determined that the best course of action would be to create a 1,600-square-foot addition to the existing clubhouse at the golf course. The new facility will include an indoor golf instruction area as well as a computer lab.

Construction on the facility has begun and is expected to be complete by the year’s end, we are very proud to be associated with this project.

To read more, click here.

A Great Night in Boston

The Alcott Ballroom at Boston’s Omni Parker House

On the evening of Friday, September 23rd, I had the pleasure of attending the DDI Portfolio Awards ceremony at Boston’s Omni Parker House.

What a perfect venue for this! Parker House originally dates back to 1855 and was rebuilt as it stands today in 1927. It is indeed a grand old hotel.

Mancini•Duffy was cited for Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica as the Best-Designed Store of 2011. Coincidentally, Santa Monica Place was cited as the Best-Designed Shopping Center of 2011. The awards were based on reader feedback which makes the award one of peer recognition.

Our firm was in good company with retail luminaries such as Harry Callahan of Saks Fifth Avenue and Giorgio Borruso among those cited as industry influencers.

To download a PDF that shows all of the 2011 DDI Portfolio Awards, go here. (Bloomingdale's in on page 19.)

We truly are overwhelmed by all the recognition Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica has gained since its opening a little over a year ago! We couldn’t ask for a better client.

Alan Dandron & the IIDA New York

Mancini•Duffy Principal Alan Dandron has been a busy fellow. As President of the IIDA New York Chapter beginning in 2010, he took as his theme “The Value of Design,” bringing home the message that design is more than a question of aesthetic choices – it’s a differentiator that can have a positive impact on a client’s bottom line. Events put on by the IIDA New York during Alan’s tenure were almost too many to count, ranging from the 2010 Color Invasion party to the 3rd Annual Sustainable Quilt Auction to IIDA Forum Events certified for both IIDA and AIA CEU credits.

Clearly the work of the New York Chapter with Alan at the helm has paid off – at the IIDA Annual Meeting, held in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art this past June, the New York Chapter was honored with five awards, including Large Chapter of the Year. (You can read more about the event in the IIDA’s newsletter DesignMatters here.) Much more important, this year’s events raised money for all sorts of good causes from the IIDA’s student scholarship fund to the Fiver Children’s Foundation.

The Presidency runs from August to August and so, in July, after a year of hard work, Alan passed the torch to Lance Amato of Conant Architects. During the event, which was hosted by the Kimball Office New York Showroom, Alan addressed the crowd “with grace and humor” – in the words of Jeanette Rodriguez, IIDA writing in officeinsight – and thanked the many corporate partners who provided program support. To read more, see the story in officeinsight (login required) or to see pictures of the event, check out Kimball’s blog and Flickr page.

So hats off to Alan for all his hard work! And hopefully he gets a little vacation.

Past President/Advisor of the IIDA New York Chapter Alan Dandron, IIDA, LEED AP with new President Lance Amato, IIDA, LEED AP at the IIDA Annual Meeting in Chicago (thanks to the IIDA for the use of this image).

Contract asked three designers who went to the Milan Furniture Fair on a trip sponsored by InterfaceFLOR to pick their favorite products at the show. Mark Harbick, AIA, IIDA, a Design Principal at Mancini•Duffy, made some fabulous choices – from the "synthesis of simplicity and technology" that is Jean Nouvel's "Table au Km," to the "Kimono" by Ca'Onorai, a "stylish touchdown station 'in a box.'"

The Jean Nouvel "Table au Km" – fit that into your 300-sf studio apartment.

Go to Contract's website here to see a slideshow of Mark's picks.

John Sadlon: New York Office Managing Principal

Congratulations to John Sadlon on his new role as Managing Principal of our New York office. He took up the helm in May, and now oversees all aspects of practice-related activities for New York, in addition to maintaining his client relationships. Before joining our firm in 2002, John spent a decade working in Boston on a variety of projects including mixed-use architecture and corporate interiors. Read more on officenewswire, or see the notice in the “Executive Moves” section of Crain’s New York Business (for those with a digital subscription). He’ll also be profiled in the August issue of the Mann Report.

John shows off his executive moves at last year's holiday party at the SICIS showroom.

More Press for the GoaLight

Check out this recent mention of Filippo Paccagnella's GoaLight in the "New Products" section of Interior Design magazine. Also go to the GoaLight's own website here.

A Wonderful Evening

On Wednesday, March 16th, RDI sponsored an evening honoring the New York Chapter winners of the “Store of the Year” contest. The Haworth Group generously accommodated RDI for the evening in their beautiful showroom opposite Grand Central Station.

Although the awards were formally presented last January 10th, this occasion afforded an opportunity for each of this year’s local winners to give the membership a short presentation of their project that would outline the project brief and how each solution came about.

Each of us was asked to create a PowerPoint, and each presenter was limited to ten minutes! Ten minutes is tough, and I agonized over how to tell the story of Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica without belaboring any one point. I usually outline in my head what I’m going to say, and I never want to be guilty of reading from notes.

The most difficult part of the evening was finding out that I was “up first” – ! I really didn’t relish being the opening act. But that sudden rush of near stage fright and anxiety was quickly dispelled, and I proceeded with a far more spontaneous talk than planned.

The retail group attended and, to our great surprise and delight, our client Jack Hruska of Bloomingdale’s made a rare public appearance just to demonstrate his support. That small gesture was the greatest compliment to Mancini•Duffy.

Grand Prize for Bloomingdale's in A.R.E. Awards

Photograph by Gray Crawford.

Project Director Marian Crawford emailed us from GlobalShop in Las Vegas today to share the news that Mancini•Duffy has taken home the Grand Prize in the category “Specialty Store over 25,000 sq. ft.” for Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica Place in the 2011 A.R.E. Awards. Once again, congratulations to our hard-working team!

For more images of the project, go here for DDi's project gallery.

Great Reviews for Filippo Paccagnella’s GoaLight

The GoaLight in situ.

The GOA in GoaLight stands for “Geometric Organic Atmosphere” and indeed the light’s shape, with its sinuous curves, energy-efficient LEDs, and elegant simplicity can call to mind all of the above. According to its designer, Filippo Paccagnella, the GoaLight was inspired by the oscillations of a light wave; although (just to cavil for a moment here) given the gentleness of its curves, it’s closer to a shortwave radio frequency. Whatever the wave, the GoaLight’s “long and lean” LEDs last up to ten times as long as compact fluorescents, and its ultra-sustainable body is made out of 100% recycled aluminum – actually, 700 used soda cans. The product, which is manufactured by the Veneto-based Esse-Ci, is getting great reviews in the design press: see this enthusiastic notice on 3rings, a product blog for architecture and design, and go here for the GoaLight’s own website. This link will take you to photos from the party held at Piola on East 12th Street for the GoaLight’s stateside release.

Filippo Paccagnella.

A project manager and designer at Mancini•Duffy, Filippo is a native of Venice, and studied architecture at the Università IUAV di Venezia. Working out of our New York office, he’s currently contributing to our projects for a law firm client and a long-term client in the financial services industry.

Congratulazioni, Filippo!

“Work Reworked”

Women typing social security cards, circa 1937. Not exactly the way we work now – thank goodness. Photo from the blog Old Picture of the Day.

Have a look at the article “Work Reworked” by Kriston Capps in the current issue of Architect for insights from Mancini•Duffy’s Center for Workplace Innovation, including the curious findings that “most office space is unoccupied 40 to 70 percent of the time.” Quoted in the article are design principal Alan Dandron, IIDA, LEED AP; T. Lee Trimble, AIA, our KPMG point person; and tireless strategic planner Priyanka Agrawala, FMP, LEED AP, who wrote her graduate thesis “Alternative Workplace Strategies” while getting her Master of Science in Facilities Management at Pratt in 2007.

Yet Another Award for Bloomingdale's Santa Monica!

Photograph by Grey Crawford.

Looks like Bloomingdale's Santa Monica has won yet another award, this time in the Association of Retail Environments' Design Awards program. As the A.R.E. writes in their press release, "out of a record-breaking 298 entries, 37 projects were singled out to receive 54 awards." We'll see what level of award Bloomingdale's won at the A.R.E. ceremony in Las Vegas on March 28th, 2011. Congratulations once again to the team!

Another Award for Bloomingdale's Santa Monica

Photograph by Grey Crawford.

Congratulations once again to the Mancini•Duffy Retail Group, whose design for Bloomingdale's Santa Monica has earned an Honorable Mention in the Department Store category in Chain Store Age's 2010 Retail Store of the Year design competition.

Best wishes go out to the team behind the Santa Monica Place design, which included Senior Associate Edward Calabrese, Creative Director; Senior Associate Lisa Contreras, Resource Director; Senior Associate Marian Crawford, IIDA, FRDI, Project Director; Stan Kao, Senior Designer; Courtney Kemper, Project Designer; George Winsper, Job Captain, 1st Floor; and Alex Mai, Job Captain, 2nd Floor.

First Place for Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica!

Lanterns that double as retractable dressing room pods. Photograph by Grey Crawford.

The Retail Design Institute’s International Store Design Awards Gala was held on January 10th at the New York Times Building’s conference center. The evening coincided with the Institute’s 50th anniversary, and the awards were the Institute’s 40th presentation.

It was an interesting evening – to say the least.

No red carpet here, but all the “stars” of the retail design community were out in full force. We knew in advance that our Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica store was cited for an award, but until the announcement we didn’t know at what level.

Just to prolong the suspense…the awards presentation this year was set up differently than in past years. This year, each candidate in a particular category was announced and asked up on stage where the winner would be announced. And then the winner was asked to make a short acceptance speech – GULP!

What made our segment highly amusing was not only to have been nominated along with a competitor, but for the same client – Bloomingdale’s – in another location.

Well, it was the longest ten seconds I can remember…but happily, our project won. Off the top of my head all I could think of to say was, “Well, in any event, Bloomingdale’s wins!”

The next day, after delivering the good news, our client was very happy and quite pleased to have had their two newest stores nominated.