ULI NY chatted with SOM Director Chris McCready for the next installment of ‘Five Minutes With’. He shares the best advice given to him, his love for an iconic New York building, and highlights why The Kathleen Grimm School – an Awards for Excellence in Institutional Development finalist – is such a special project.
Who was the most influential person who left a mark on your career and what was the best advice he or she gave you?
The most influential person who left a mark on my career would be SOM Design Partner Roger Duffy. The best advice he gave me was simple – focus on doing great work.
What is your favorite building in New York that isn’t one of yours and why?
My favorite building in New York is the New York Public Library’s Schwarzman Building, designed by Carrère and Hastings. The public sequence from the street, through the building up to the main reading room is spectacular. There are so many beautiful and significant spaces and the building fulfills such an important role in the civic life of the city.
What makes you most proud of your ULI NY Awards finalist?
What makes the P.S. 62 project so meaningful for me is that it is a groundbreaking project from an energy point of view. It is one of the first net-zero-energy schools in the country which makes as much energy as it consumes. We worked carefully with the School Construction Authority to create a forward looking school that meets the needs of a public school in New York City. The fact that kids are the main users makes it even more important and hopefully this building will help these students learn about how their actions can significantly impact energy consumption. Our vision for the project was to have the architecture express the net-zero-energy mission of the project while creating great spaces for faculty and students to teach and learn about sustainability.