In the first of this two-part series, architect couples discuss their work and design process in context of the themes in the exhibition. With Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, principals, WORKac; Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, principals, WEISS/MANFREDI.

Amale Andraos and Dan Wood founded the architecture firm WORKac in 2003 and have achieved international recognition for projects that re-invent the relationship between urban and natural environments. We are committed to sustainability and go beyond its technical requirements by thinking more broadly about the relationship between buildings and nature. The firm is known for embracing reinvention and collaboration across disciplines. We strive to develop intelligent and shared infrastructures, and a more careful integration between architecture, landscape and ecological systems.

WORKac recently completed the first Edible Schoolyard in Brooklyn and re-imagined the future of work for the Wieden+Kennedy offices in Manhattan. Currently, in Libreville, Gabon, the firm is building its winning competition entry for a new 200,000SF Conference Center for the African Union, targeting LEED Gold certification. In the United States, WORKac is completing construction of a residential conversion of a historic New York cast-iron building, designing a distillery museum and gathering space in the Adirondacks, and a new storefront facade for a parking garage in Miami’s Design District. In China, the firm’s 2,000-acre master plan for seven new university campuses in Weifang is under construction, and we are starting design of the 450,000SF main library on the first campus.

Our projects have won numerous awards, including the ‘Best Green Design Initiative’ from the NY Municipal Art Society; two Awards for Design Excellence from the NY Public Design Commission and several state and city AIA Awards; the City of Houston Best College Campus Building award, and Interior Design’s 2014 Best of Year Award. WORKac was recently named the 2015 AIA NYS Firm of the Year. Amale is the dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Dan is a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Marion Weiss, FAIA, and Michael Manfredi, FAIA, are co-founders of WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, a multidisciplinary design practice based in New York City. Their firm is known for the dynamic integration of architecture, art, infrastructure, and landscape design. The firm’s projects, including the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, the University of Pennsylvania Nanotechnology Center, the Barnard College Diana Center, Hunters Point South Park in New York City, the Cultural Arts District design for Kansas City, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, exemplify the potential of architecture and landscape design to transform public space. The firm is currently working on the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, the Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument Grounds, and The Bridge, a new building for Cornell NYC Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus.

WEISS/MANFREDI has won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the International V.R. Green Prize for Urban Design. They have been named one of North America’s “Emerging Voices” by the Architectural League of New York, and received the AIA New York Chapter Gold Medal of Honor. This fall they are the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professors at Yale. Michael Manfredi has been Gensler Visiting Professor at Cornell University. Marion Weiss is the Graham Chair Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.