Frank Sinatra once sang, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” As for the ubiquitous ”it” that Mr. Sinatra refers to, that would only be the legendary capital of the world, New York City. An individual who closely embodies Mr. Sinatra’s quote is David Briggs, principal of Loci Architecture, a metropolitan based architecture firm. We asked Mr. Briggs what motivates his work: “My design style is one that anything we do should improve, enrich, and create a better city - the environment of New York City inspires me.” He is constantly pushing for what’s next.
Some of the most elaborate restoration and creative city projects for historical and residential homes have been in Briggs’ hands. One rehabilitation was for 520 Eighth Avenue in the Garment District. With the support of his innovative team, Briggs scrupulously and mindfully restored one of the famed district’s largest buildings, while staying true to the firm’s ideals and the building’s historical character.
He has helped fashion lavish and modern lofts and apartments for New Yorkers who were looking for something a little bit more “special.”
When I asked Briggs how he thought fine art could change an architecturally designed space, he responded, “It usually becomes a focal point. Sometimes you have an open space and you need to add something with presence- a lot of it depends on what the space is designed for and how it will interact with the art. It might simply be for the display of an art collection or an art piece in a school that might convey something about learning. Speaking more abstractly, it provides an opportunity to create a space that is more than just a room with people in it.”
Not only has Briggs worked on complex renovations, he further demonstrated his versatility by creating academic facilities for schools like P.S 58 in Brooklyn. In addition, he took on something much different than his usual path of “high end residential, school, restoration, and commercial work.” Briggs explains, “One of my biggest accomplishments has been my work with the Gowanus Canal. It’s near my home and a couple years ago it was designated as an EPA Superfund site; my friend and I co-founded an advocacy group to study the urban planning issues around the canal. We have hosted two
When I asked him which nAscent artists inspire him and fit his architectural philosophy, he replied “I like Fred Scott’s photographs because they are places in our city. I connect to them because I feel he understands the character of urban spaces. Our motivation is to design a better city and Scott’s photos speak to the urban experiences we hope people see in our work. I also like Steve Wasterval’s work - instead of photographs, he creates a collage of mixed media and graffiti - I really like graffiti art! – it captures the chaotic nature and grittiness of the city.”
New York City is not just David Briggs’ playground. Through his work he both contributes to the city’s landscape and draws inspiration from it.