The firm, which specializes in transportation and landscape design, relocated from a small office in Manhattan to a two-floor space in Long Island City, including an outdoor terrace where they frequently hold meetings.
di Domenico + Partners was established in 1981 when the combination of landscape and transportation architecture was a new idea. Founder John di Domenico said that at first potential clients were weary of hiring the firm out of fear it would want to design more than was expected of them.
But with today’s buildings being constructed with an eye toward environmental impacts, the concept of having an architect that specializes in both transportation and landscape is a positive.
The firm’s most notable achievement of late is Atlantic Terminal. The firm designed not only the station, but also all of the retail space in the area, and won a New York Construction Best of 2010 Award of Merit in Transportation for their work.
“That’s a project we’re pretty proud of,” di Domenico said.
Looking to the future, the firm hopes to put their expertise to work in the education system. At the moment, the firm is working on a new theater space at Wagner High School in Staten Island.
“We really consider education our future, that’s what is important to us,” he said. “We’re from New York City, so we’re part of New York City and in that sense responsible for it’s future. The opportunity to work on education projects is something that we take very seriously.”
The main reason for the move to LIC roughly six years ago was that rent was becoming too expensive and the spaces were becoming noticeably small cross the East River.
But di Domenico quickly found that there is more creativity happening in LIC than Manhattan, and architects enjoy being around innovation and fabrication.
“I think it has the advantages of being part of a great city with some of the aspects of the small village,” said di Domenico. “That is a real special quality of Long Island City.”
When di Domenico held a meeting explaining to his staff that they would be moving out of Manhattan, everyone over the age of 50 voiced their concern. However, that wasn't true for the younger employees.
“Many of the staff live in Long Island City,” said Domenico. “They’re young, ambitious and enthusiastic. For all the right reasons this is a more convenient place for them.
“We wanted to move someplace special,” di Domenico said. “Some place where other like-minded and innovative people were gathering. Maybe that’s the ‘old Manhattan.’”