First Friday: Ennead Architects

The New York and Shanghai-based firm hosts First Friday at its One World Trade Center office.

June 5, 2020
6:30 p.m.

Ennead Architects | University of Michigan, Biological Science Building, Ann Arbor, MI, 2019. ©Aislinn Weidele / Ennead Architects.

The League’s monthly First Friday events are informal social gatherings that allow members to visit the offices of leading design practices and see work on the boards.

Based in New York City with an office in Shanghai, Ennead’s practice centers on educational, cultural, scientific and civic buildings that, in the firm’s words, “authentically express the progressive missions of their institutions and enhance the vitality of the public realm.” The work is typologically diverse, but unified by the conviction that “the most compelling architectural expressions echo our society and culture and enhance the life of our cities.” The firm describes its research-based design process as focused on “analysis of context, program, public image, emerging technologies and a commitment to sustainable solutions.” 

Current and recent projects include:

  • University of Michigan, Biological Science Building, a new building combining a public science museum,  graduate-level scientific research, and undergraduate science education. Located between the historic and the modern medical campus areas, it “creates a dramatic gateway and defines a new life sciences district.”
  • Seoul Foreign School, New High School, Designed to replace an antiquated building for the campus of a 106-year-old private international school in Seoul, South Korea, the program for the high school building was “to provide an entirely new learning environment for the campus…that augments traditional teaching spaces with an abundance of collaborative learning spaces […].”  
  • Shanghai Astronomy Museum, an international competition-winning design intended to invoke the experience of orbital motion. The building’s three principal forms act as both an architectural and an astronomical instrument, tracking the sun, moon, and stars, all unified by the architecture’s ribbon-like structure.

Explore

Speculative Science

Dr. Rachel Armstrong is co-director of AVATAR (Advanced Virtual And Technological Architectural Research), specializing in architecture and synthetic biology. She states that efforts to imagine a prosperous future that disarms climate change shouldn’t be relegated to a marginal sustainability sector—they should transform established fields and forge connections between them in intelligent new ways.