Tag Archives: NK Architects

AIANJ Installs Ben Lee as 2017 President

Lee is Managing Principal and Chief Financial Officer of NK Architects Morristown, N.J.

Ben Lee, AIA

Ben Lee, AIA

The American Institute of Architects – New Jersey (AIA- NJ) has announced Ben Lee, AIA, as the organization’s 2017 president.

Lee, a resident of Wayne, will be formally installed during AIA-NJ’s annual awards gala, which will be held on Jan. 14 at the Sheraton in Mahwah, N.J. Lee has been an active board member of AIA-NJ for the past five years, serving as president elect in 2016, first vice president in 2015 and treasurer in 2014.  Lee was also the 2011 president of the Architects League of Northern New Jersey, one of AIA-NJ’s six local sections.

As president of AIA-NJ, Lee’s objective for the year is to make architects more aware of how the design of the built environment can impact health and wellness. Under his direction, AIA-NJ will work with the New Jersey State Legislature and will implement a government and public awareness advocacy campaign to enhance the well-being of individuals across the state through the design process.

“As architects, we are best positioned to improve the population’s health through our design for housing, schools, offices and commercial buildings,” Lee said. “By developing physical space that promote walking, biking, parks and recreation and public gathering spaces, we are creating a healthier and more livable community.”

With over 35 years of experience in architecture, Lee is managing principal and chief financial officer of Morristown-based NK Architects, a national architectural, structural engineering, planning and interior design firm. A board-certified healthcare architect, he has applied his design and management skills to advance NK’s Healthcare Design Group.
Last year, Lee was awarded the 2016 Kindred Spirit Award by Carrier Clinic for his assistance in the non-profit behavioral healthcare system providing a safe, restorative, and respectful environment for adolescents and adults receiving mental health and addiction treatment services.
Lee is also a member of several other professional groups such as the American Society of Hospital Engineers, the American Hospital Association, the Healthcare Facilities Management Society of New Jersey, the USGBC LEED accredited professional and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association.

AIANJ Presents 2016 Service Award Winners

Presentations were made to the AIA New Jersey Service Award winners at the Annual Awards Dinner held January 14th at the Sheraton Mahwah.

Congratulations to this years recipients and Thank You to the sponsors:

Intern of the Year

Intern of the Year – Megan Pritts, Associate AIA sponsored by Conspectus, Inc        c.2017 AIANJ & Hollander Photography

Paul Barlo, AIA - Architect of the Year

Paul Barlo, AIA – Architect of the Year sponsored by Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas, LP  c.2017 AIANJ & Hollander Photography








Kimmerle Group - Firm of the Year

Kimmerle Group – Architectural Firm of the Year sponsored by Van-Note Harvey Associates   c. 2017 AIANJ & Hollander Photography

Young Architect of the Year

Andrew Burian AIA – Young Architect of the Year sponsored by NK Architects   c. 2017  AIANJ & Hollander Photography








Michael Hanrahan AIA - Distinguished Service Award

Michael Hanrahan AIA – Distinguished Service Award sponsored by Whitehorn Financial Group   c.2017 AIANJ & Hollander Photography

AIA-NJ’s 17th Annual ‘Canstruction’ Event Demonstrates Design Excellence For Charity

“Forms of Communication”-Themed Competition Collects 13,145 Pounds of Food and More Than $6,000 For Community Food Bank of NJ

IMG_3250While dazzling crowds at the Livingston Mall with colossal structures made entirely from canned food, the Newark and Suburban section of AIA-NJ’s 17th annual “Canstruction” event saw 13,145 pounds of canned of food and more than $6,000 donated to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ).

Titled “Forms of Communications,” this year’s Canstruction event challenged four teams of talented architects and designers to build their most impressive can structures that portray the “ways and how to communicate.” The colossal designs were constructed during a 12-hour “Build Day” at the Livingston Mall, and remained on display for ten days, after which they were dismantled by a crew of food bank volunteers and shipped to CFBNJ’s warehouse for donation to one of the hundreds of food kitchens they support.

Team members were responsible for designing their structures, procuring and bringing their own canned goods, and constructing their displays.

The can displays were judged and awarded in various categories, including “Jurors Favorite,” “Structural Integrity,” “People’s Choice,” and “Best Meal.” The four judges for this year were Kimberly Bunn, AIA, president of AIA-NJ; Tim Vogel, CFBNJ Director; Margaret DeSantis, Event Co-chair; and Stephen Rooney, AIA, president of AIA-NJ’s Newark & Suburban Section.

“As architects, we constantly strive to serve the community, Canstruction combines elements of design and educational value with a charitable outreach that helps needy individuals,” said Bunn. “As a judge at this year’s event, I was truly impressed with the creations the competitors made with such limited materials, and it’s particularly gratifying to know that it is all going to an important cause.”

Following the judges’ deliberations, awards were handed out, including:

  • Gensler’s Morristown team took home two of the event’s awards, “Jurors Favorite” and “Best Use of Labels.”
  • NK Architects, perennial Canstruction participants and award winners, also from Morristown, took home the “Structural Integrity” award.
  • The “Best Meal” award was given to Solutions Architecture, Corp. of Newark.
  • The “Honorable Mention” award was presented to Martinsville-based De Biasse and Seminara Architects.

Architects League of Northern New Jersey Hosts 2012 Group Exhibit in Ridgewood, N.J. Open to Public; Opening Reception To Be Held on July 12

The Architects League of Northern New Jersey, a local section of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ), has announced that the organization will be hosting its second Annual Group Exhibit from July 9 to 27, during which Architects League members will display original art and architectural work.

The 2011 event was at the Art Center of Northern New Jersey in New Milford, N.J

The exhibit will be on display at The Stable, located at 259 North Maple Ave. in Ridgewood, N.J., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Architects League will host an opening reception for the 2012 exhibit on July 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. to which the public is invited and at which refreshments will be served. Examples of the art and architecture work include architectural plans, sketches, renderings, models and photographs.

“The purpose of the event is twofold,” said Ralph Rosenberg, AIA, senior design associate at NK Architects and chair of the event. “One: this is a great way of increasing public awareness of who we are and what architects do. And two: this allows us to showcase and share our projects with our peers without judgment or competition.”

“It’s an opportunity and venue for architects to let down their guards and show what they have been working on, how they work, and show their personalities and common interests outside of the office,” he continued.

The Stable, where the exhibit will be held, is an old barn that was renovated and now houses Ridgewood’s Parks and Recreation department. The Stable also doubles as a gallery for the display of fine art.

During the opening reception, the Architects League will also be showing “The Fountainhead,” a 1945 movie based on the best-selling book of the same name by Ayn Rand. The classic movie, which stars Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal, focuses on a young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision.

Last year’s exhibit, which was held at the Art Center of Northern New Jersey in New Milford, N.J., had about 45 pieces from roughly 30 participants.

For more information about the Architects League of Northern New Jersey’s 2012 Group Exhibit, please E-mail Ralph Rosenberg at [email protected]

CANstruction – 14th Annual New Jersey Competition

14th annual New Jersey design/build competition

2012 – call for entries

It starts with one can, to feed the hungry, to lift the spirit, to change the world. Can- struction is a charity committed to ending hunger, using “one can” as a catalyst for change. Every month, over 500,000 New Jerseyans access hunger reflief programs supported by the Community Food Bank of NJ. New Jersey’s design/build competition puts a visual spotlight on hunger while showcasing the state’s best and brightest designers.

Think you have what it takes to design and build a structure entirely out of canned food? Enter today! Get creative and help!

This year’s theme:      “Back to School!”

WHO – Teams of NJ Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Designers, and students attending Schools of Architec- ture, Engineering, and Design

WHAT – Design and build structures made entirely from canned foods within a 10’ x 10’ x 8’H space.

WHERE – Livingston Mall, Livingston, NJ

WHEN – August 1: Deadline for entry
September 20:  Build Day
September 21:  Judging & Awards Gala

HOW – Complete entry form below. Entry fee $100.
Make check payable to:

“AIA Newark/Suburban Chapter”

Mail to:  Christy DiBartolo Gensler
10 North Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960

Complete rules & regulations will be emailed upon receipt of entry form. Teams are responsible for acquiring canned food.


2011 Entries

NK Architects
15 Minutes of Fame of Fight Hunger

Milrose Consultants
The “Can” Film Festival

USA Architects
Egg-Nite the Fight Against Hunger!


For further information, contact Christy DiBartolo at 973.290.8544

[email protected]

Sponsored by AIA New Jersey

Canstruction Announces Winners of 19th Annual International Competition

Portland, OR (May 7, 2012) – Canstruction, Inc announced the seven winners of who received top honors for the 19th Annual Canstruction International Design Competition.   Of the seven awards, local AIA New Jersey and AIA Newark & Suburban based NK Architects entry “15 Minutes of Fame to Fight Hunger” earned the Best Use of Labels and, for the third year in a row, the coveted Most Cans award.

Judges marveled at the careful shading, color, can placement and the massive scale of the structure with 17,411 cans of food.  An accurate self portrait of the iconic artist, Andy Warhol.  Molly Georgetta of the Portland Compound Gallery thought the Campbell’s soup cans lining the exterior were “very punny”.

To read the full press release announcement and about the other six winners go to the Canstruction.org website.

See all the entries to the 2011 Canstruction event held at the Livingston Mall:

CANstruction 2011

The New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) recently held its 13th annual “CANstruction” event, a design exhibition and contest to benefit community food programs, at the Livingston Mall, in Livingston, N.J.

“CANstruction combines two of architect’s greatest passions: designing new structures and giving back to the community,” said Christy DiBartolo, chair of the New Jersey event. “With the current state of economy, the number of people who are in need of the food bank’s services is at an all-time high. We are delighted that AIA-NJ can make a contribution.”

Using over 44,000 cans of food, seven New Jersey teams comprised of architects, engineers mentored by AIA-NJ professionals competed to design and build giant structures. The structures, which took months to conceptualize, were built during an eight-hour “Build Day,” and were judged and displayed for a week before being dismantled and donated to the New Jersey-based Community Food Bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ).

NK Architects, a Morristown, N.J.-based architectural and design firm, received the event’s top award, “Jurors’ Favorite,” along with the “Best Use of Labels” award for its 10-by-10-foot, 17,000-can structure of Andy Warhol, entitled “15 Minutes of Fame to Fight Hunger.”

Other award winners included Gensler, a Morristown, N.J.-based architectural, design, planning and consulting firm, which received the “Structural Ingenuity” award for its enormous structure of playing cards, poker chips and dice entitled “All in Against Hunger”; USA Architects, a Newark, N.J.-based architectural firm, which received the “Best Meal” award for its giant Faberge egg structure entitled “Egg-Nite the Fight Against Hunger,” which also won an “Honorable Mention” award; and Skanska, a Parsippany, N.J.-based construction firm, which won an “Honorable Mention” award for its colossal birthday cake structure, which commemorated Goya Foods’ 75th anniversary, entitled “Help Take a ‘Slice’ Out of Hunger!”

In addition to designing the structures, participating firms were responsible for obtaining the cans used in their structures, which involved soliciting donations from sponsors, including food manufactures, supermarkets, clients, families and friends, or buying the cans.

Last year’s New Jersey event, which was held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., in conjunction with the “New Jersey Hockey Fights Hunger initiative,” of the New Jersey Devils, a Major League Hockey team, raised over 44,000 pounds of food and $1,700 in cash donations.

CFBNJ distributes more than 37 million pounds of food and groceries a year, ultimately serving 1,656 non-profit programs including 436 programs served by its partner distribution organizations. Through their combined efforts, they help more than 900,000 people in 18 New Jersey counties.

The New Jersey event is part of a nationwide CANstruction event, which is held under the auspices of the Society for Design Administration (SDA), an affiliate of the national AIA organization.

Since the inception of CANstruction, over 12 million pounds of food have been donated to the fight against hunger. Initiated by the Denver, Seattle and New York chapters of the SDA in 1992-1993, CANstruction had more than 130 individual competitions scheduled in last year’s cycle.

NK Archtiects Congratulations to NK Staff

Our staff is our most valued and important asset. NK Architects is proud to announce the following advancements:

Michael Cannilla, AIA, Senior Associate
Throughout his 26 years of experience, clients have come to rely on Mike’s ability to ensure that all project objectives are successfully accomplished. As a member of the New Jersey Barrier Free Building Code Sub Committee, he is a valuable resource to the firm. Mike chairs Florham Park’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and is Vice Chair of the Planning Board. As a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Disaster Medical System, he was a first responder in the relief efforts at Ground Zero, New Orleans and Haiti.

Robert Harker, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate
Robert has focused his 27-year career on the design of K-12 schools for both private and public school clients. His understanding of current design trends has resulted in spaces that greatly enhance and facilitate learning.

Pablo A. Serrano, AIA, CID, Senior Associate
For the past 16 years, Pablo has concentrated on the planning and design of a wide variety of healthcare projects. Pablo’s insistence on incorporating ‘Best Practice’ and sustainable design principles has had a critical impact on the healing process. As Co-Director of NK’s Operations Group, Pablo is responsible for planning, implementing and managing the firm’s technology systems and providing the staff with the system resources required in order to maintain a high level of efficiency and quality of documentation.

Tamara Iwaseczko, AIA, LEED AP, Associate
Tamara has 16 years of experience in the architectural profession and is the Sustainable Zone Director at NK. In this capacity, she spearheads the sustainable initiatives for NK’s project operations. Tamara’s experience with sustainable projects includes site planning, passive solar design, and employment of sustainable building systems and materials. She has worked in urban design, traffic calming, and sustainable community planning.

David E. Kunzig, AIA, LEED AP, Associate
David has 15 years of diversified and increasingly responsible architectural experience, specifically with the design of university-level research facilities.

Irving K. Leong, AIA, Associate
With 34 years of specialized experience, Irving is a recognized leader in the field of healthcare planning and design. His in-depth knowledge of DOH code requirements and his intelligent approach to facility planning culiminate in an environment that promotes the healing process.

This announcement reinforces one of our firm’s core values: to provide the highest level of professional design services through the delivery of innovative, effective and sustainable planning and design solutions.