Behind the scenes of the city

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In an unprecedented show of transparency, 25 architectural firms in DUMBO are opening their doors to the public as part of an ongoing series organized by Open House New York called “Open Studio,” beginning on Feb. 25 —and, when it comes to architectural firms in Brooklyn, there’s no better place to start.

“The architects who are in DUMBO are among the most creative in the city,” said Bill Menking, editor and chief of Architect’s Newspaper. “Perhaps it’s because they’re of a certain age, but those companies who have been there for 10–15 years have really matured. People will get to see what they’re working on and sort of de-mystify what architects do.”

Visitors can tour the participating firms at their leisure; perusing architectural models, drawings, photographs; exploring the creative work-spaces; and enjoying presentations by the architects themselves. Capping off the day will be a reception at the Garrison Architects’ studio featuring drinks, snacks, and the chance to snag some one-on-one time with some of the city’s most brilliant designers.

One of “Open Studio’s” biggest draws, however, is providing patrons with the opportunity to check out the participating firms various design practices — while the creative process for many architectural firms has become predominantly digitized, the architects over at Matter Practice, for instance, like to do things the old fashioned way.

Architects are hoping that the event will give patrons a greater understanding and appreciation of the buildings that surround them.

“You live in a city that’s surrounded by what we do,” said Jim Garrison of Garrison Architects. “The more people know about architecture the smarter they’ll be.”

Open House New York [81 Front St. between Main and Washington streets in DUMBO, (212) 919-6470] Feb. 25, at 12:45 pm. $35 (30 in advance). For info, visit

– Colin Mixson

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 5:30 pm, July 9, 2018
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