Tsao & McKown

First Friday returns after the summer with a look behind the scenes at Tsao & McKown.

September 6, 2019
6:30 p.m.

Tsao & McKown | Sangha, Shanghai, China, 2018. Credit: Seth Powers

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.

New York-based Tsao & McKown was founded in 1985 by Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown. Since its founding, the firm has continuously worked across the disciplines of urban planning, architecture, as well as interior and product design. According to the firm, their inspiration resides “in observations of the sensual, the tactile, the unexpected: our favorite streets in our favorite cities, a stairway we remember, a room glimpsed in passing, seen through an open door.” They add: “Urban plans, private homes, office complexes, museums, interiors, furniture, bathtubs, table settings, lipstick. The big and the small are to us equally compelling.”

Projects include:

  • Sangha, a curated community in Suzhou, China comprised of permanent housing and temporary lodgings, a “life-long learning” campus, East/West health-care and wellness facilities, plus various eateries and food services with produce from its urban farm. Realized in collaboration with Shanghai-based developer Octave.
  • Sunbrella Corporate Headquarters and Campus, the re-purposing of a 1900’s mill building in Burlington, North Carolina.
  • Brower Park Library, a Brooklyn Public Library branch currently being relocated into the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in Crown Heights and based on a process of energized community engagement.
  • Hong Kong: HERE and BEYOND, the inaugural and semi-permanent exhibit in Herzog and De Meuron’s new M+ Museum in Hong Kong, which explores the region’s culture of visual arts over the last fifty years. Visitors are guided through a carefully choreographed sequence of physical and metaphorical spaces to discover once hidden or forgotten histories.