The Bushwick-based, five-member architecture-and-design firm Thread Collective specializes in stretching puny spaces on the cheap. They’ve added decks and kids’ rooms and solar paneling to apartments and townhouses around the city, and they do it all for a flat fee (as little as $10,000) rather than the 5 to 12 percent of costs that many architects charge. In a 350-square-foot Nolita studio, says Thread principal Gita Nandan, they “peeled plaster off brick to get three inches more floor space,” then removed partitions and converted the Kafkaesque warren into a bright space with walk-through closet and a hideaway bed. Nandan and her colleagues also oversee construction in apartments and townhouses, create and install furniture, and show clients how to save on materials now and utilities later.
Best Shoestring Architect
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).