At RKTB inclusivity is a core value reflected both in the diversity of our staff and the communities we have served for more than sixty years. In steadfastly supporting positive social change through our active involvement in improving the physical fabric of urban communities, RKTB has regarded architecture as social art with a responsibility for improving the lives of all people irrespective of race, religion, origin, or economic class. In the present heightened awareness of society’s structural biases, we at RKTB reaffirm this commitment to foster architecture as a profession that conscientiously works to remove the embedded obstacles that maintain racial inequity in the design of the built environment.
RKTB is extremely proud of our commitment to the design excellence and the quality of service that we have provided to our clients since 1963. We believe that an architectural firm’s reputation should be based on its creative talent, track record of successful projects, technical knowledge and collaborative spirit in order to achieve solutions which fully address our client’s needs. This website allows us to share a sampling of the broad range of work produced for a varied group of clients. Hopefully you will find the work informative and as inspired as the spirit in which it was created.
In this post-pandemic era where there is a widespread crisis of available affordable housing and where a significant number of office spaces remain empty, the reuse of non-viable commercial buildings for residential purposes has become apparent.
In Octobober of 2023, Carl Kaiserman, AIA, a former principal at RKTB Architects, gave a timely presentation focusing on Adaptive Reuse. Mr. Kaiserman drew on his pioneering experiences during the 1970s and 80s converting an array of commercial buildings in NYC to residential use and illustrated how the same design, legal, safety, and technical tools used then can apply to the much-needed residential conversions of today.
The entire presentation has been made available below as well as on Vimeo.
In this short webinar, RKTB's President Carmi Bee, FAIA, and Associate Principal Nelson Vega, Assoc. AIA were invited to present their work on a pair of affordable housing solutions that have reinvigorated a Brooklyn neighborhood after the closing of an iconic church. Listen to the lively discussion with Smart Density Co-Founder Naama Blonder as the two RKTB architects share the strategies and designs that made it all possible.
THE CONSTRUCTION SPECIFIER "Lessons in Adaptive Reuse" (by Carmi Bee, FAIA and Peter Bafitis, AIA) - Adaptive reuse has been a long-term success story in North American cities and former industrial and institutional areas. This process involves maximizing the use of existing buildings and materials and restoring the urban and architectural fabric to revitalize cities and places.
RKTB addresses the need for affordable housing in New York with its Infill Housing Prototype, which was designed to replace scattered, vacant lots throughout the city with new, affordable multi-family buildings. While the model is basically the same for each project, it is customized according to site conditions with different façades that relate to the context in which it is built. The prototype has been successfully used in seven different projects in New York City, including the Msgr. Anthony J. Barretta Apartments, Madison Putnam Housing, Maynard Co-ops, and Prospect Gardens, but it can serve as a model in other cities, as well.