Levenbetts is a New York-based architectural firm that practices in designing buildings, exhibitions, interiors, furniture, and urban spaces. The firm was started in 1997 by David Leven, who did his graduation from the institute of architecture & urban studies in New York and masters from Yale University school of architecture, and is currently the director of the graduate architecture department at parsons the new school of design; and Stella Betts who did masters from Harvard University and is currently adjunct faculty at parson the new school of design. 

The firm has been awarded and been featured in architectural records in 2007 design vanguard and has been a runner-up in the metropolis next generation prize. 

Below are 15 projects by Levenbetts over the period.

1. Princeton house  

Princeton house is 2,400 ft2, built on a 3-acre site, and is just 10min away from Princeton University. The main element is the central courtyard which provides maximum light and ventilation to the whole house. The built-up spaces like kitchen, living, dining, bedrooms on upper floors, and the library are placed around the courtyard. 

The house has windows according to the inside activity like windows in the dining are lower than the other which is according to the seating position. The whole is based on sustainable strategies: passive solar heating and cross ventilation for cooling. Its shows, living in a contemporary way with openness from all sides.

Princeton House _Levenbetts
Princeton House _Levenbetts
Princeton House _Levenbetts
Princeton House _Levenbetts

2. 36 SML Beach House

36 SML beach house is developed on 1.4 acres of land which is divided into 3 yards according to the activities, First – the recreational yard which is towards the south side with pool, Second- the garden yard which is towards the west with green lawns and garden and the Third – auto yard which is for cars, motorcycle, and go-karts. 

The hose also gets divided into 3 wings on the lower floor, the living wing, kitchen wing, and garage wing on the upper floor as a guest wing, children wing, and parents wing. On the upper floor, the interaction of the 3 wings results in a deck with an amphitheater that steps up to the terrace height and gives a view of the ocean. The house is cantilevered from the ends.

It is made of a braced steel structure that bears the wind load from the ocean and is cladded with concrete panels and GFRC panels with oak flooring and cabinets. 

36 SML Beach House_Levenbetts
36 SML Beach House_Levenbetts (2)
36 SML Beach House_Levenbetts
36 SML Beach House_Levenbetts

3. TAYSTEE Building 

TAYSTEE building is a 3,00,000 ft2 project which is developed as a LEED silver commercial facility. The building represents a new pattern for commercial buildings in the 21st century. The whole structure is developed in 4 volumes, one with 2 lobbies and circulation towers and another with 2 wide black colored commercial blocks.

Lobbies are placed on the east and the west side which is accessible both from the subway and major places. On the west side is the public space which creates interior stress and courtyards to which the lobby is faced. Some of the public spaces are on the terrace of the building.

TAYSTEE Building_Levenbetts
TAYSTEE Building_Levenbetts
TAYSTEE Building_Levenbetts
TAYSTEE Building_Levenbetts

4. Zoid Pavilion 

Zoid pavilion is a shelter occupied around a central courtyard. ZOID is an asymmetrical trapezoidal shape that is depicted in its appearance. The pavilion contains an amalgamation of basic elements that are needed in the world. It could be said as a pavilion, a house, or a campsite and is designed in a manner that it could be entered from any side.

The main aim of Zoid is to prioritize nature, living environment, affordability, and habitability.

Zoid Pavilion _Levenbetts
Zoid Pavilion _Levenbetts
Zoid Pavilion _Levenbetts
Zoid Pavilion _Levenbetts

5. Open House

The open house is 1600 ft2 built on 2 acres of land. It depicts alternate ways of living in a contemporary world with the surrounding; therefore it is considered as a campsite rather than a house. Each space inside the house has a strong connection with the outdoors and its experience is enhanced by the frames that have been created by the interiors.

Each space has its door that takes outside directly with no internal connections. Some of the partitions are of glass which gives full transparency within the spaces. The walls are in the form of angled transverse with glass. On the upper floor, the bedroom and bathroom create a shape of the parallelogram which splits into a triangle with a central staircase.  

Open House _Levenbetts
Open House _Levenbetts
Open House _Levenbetts
Open House _Levenbetts

6. Square House

Square house is a 43’X43’ structure with the concept of connective relations between built and unbuilt areas that are, inside out. The house has no defined entry or exit, every space has a door that is connected to the outside and with no windows but only doors as openings. It has a square planning that appears as a monolithic structure and gives opportunities to experiment with textures and sculptures in concrete. 

The project is sustainable as it consumes less energy because of shading on the southern side and does not have a mechanical ventilation system which eventually reduces the carbon footprint of the house. 

Square House _Levenbetts
Square House _Levenbetts
Square House _Levenbetts
Square House _Levenbetts

7. CC01 House

CC01 house is built between the agricultural land with large windows and sliding doors which gives the view of the field from each space. The house steps up from east to west and follows the contour of the site which makes it contextual to the surroundings. 

It is divided into 2 linear volumes that are wet and dry; wet consists of bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, and utilities, and dry consists of living, dining, and bedroom. Both the volumes are aligned in a manner that represents the farming pattern. On the face, there are long linear grooves which also represent the farming element. 

CC10 House _Levenbetts
CC10 House _Levenbetts
CC10 House _Levenbetts
CC10 House _Levenbetts

8. PHX Cactus House

PHX cactus house is the result of multi-family housing and urban sprawl in America.it is sited beside the canals and is based on a grid planning system. The whole complex includes 5 cactus housing towers, low rising snake housing and commercial areas like markets, stores, and restaurants. 

The housing is divided into different unit types which are based on the concept of cactus; water areas in the middle folded skin for shading and cross ventilation for cooling of the whole structure. The individual units are planned in a manner keeping the idea of privacy and public spaces for interactions. 

PHX Cactus House _Levenbetts
PHX Cactus House _Levenbetts
PHX Cactus House _Levenbetts
PHX Cactus House _Levenbetts

9. SA House

SA House is a kind of pavilion with no walls and it is arranged in a manner of series of volumes as boxes with different spaces like a bathroom, kitchen, fireplace, closet, Storage, and utilities all under a single roof. Each of the spaces is placed in a perpendicular pattern which provides privacy and openness together. 

The whole house does not have windows but only doors that take directly outside with no inner connectivity. One of the areas has a roof supporting the planter garden that invites to move outside the build spaces. There is also a play of light and show inside the whole structure through the roof in the daytime concerning the movement of the sun. 

SA House _Levenbetts
SA House _Levenbetts
SA House _Levenbetts
SA House _Levenbetts

10. Helsinki Museum

Helsinki museum has a concept to provide civic spaces and the city shall be welcomed inside the museum. The museum has courtyards that give access to the city and the museum and fulfill the needs of civic development. 

The galleries are placed on the upper floor with café, book stores, and gift shops which provide a view towards the water body which is beside the museum. 

37_Helsinki Museum _Levenbetts
37_Helsinki Museum _Levenbetts
37_Helsinki Museum _Levenbetts
Helsinki Museum _Levenbetts

11. Microgreens Housing 

Microgreens housing is a type of housing that depicts a living garden in a city, it creates big communities within a series of small spaces. There are a total of 56 micro garden apartments. It is based on the concept of giving access to outside gardens which would bring light and fresh air and be termed as a luxurious lifestyle. Each apartment has access to a vertical greenhouse on each floor which also acts as a thermal chimney and provides cross ventilation for the common hallways on the north façade. 

The whole complex has a maximum of green spaces like roof gardens, vertical greenhouses, and each apartment has a certain part of the balcony for vegetation purposes.it also has communal living space and kitchen with commercial facilities like a café, small restaurants, and other retail shops.  

Due to the usage of passive and mechanical technology, the structure has achieved suitability which enhances the surrounding environment and the community as a whole. 

Microgreens Housing _Levenbetts
Microgreens Housing _Levenbetts
Microgreens Housing _Levenbetts
Microgreens Housing _Levenbetts

12. Dormitory + Student Center 

It is 400-500 bedded dormitories which are placed at the top of the big open public space on the lower level. Major social gatherings are on the ground level and in the basement.

The rooms of the dormitory are placed towards the street for a better view of the students. Some of the terraces are being created for relaxation and interaction within the students. 

Dormitory + Student Center _Levenbetts
Dormitory + Student Center _Levenbetts
Dormitory + Student Center _Levenbetts
Dormitory + Student Center _Levenbetts

13. Cedarhurst Apartments

Cedarhurst apartment is developed for middle-income families with single and multi-family housing. There are a total of 44 units in the whole building. It has a concept of ascending spiral movement starting from the basement parking moving up through the building with a central courtyard and ending into the building’s common pool on the upper part. 

Each floor has limited entries which give privacy and intimacy to each apartment. There are a total of 8 different types of dwellings from studio apartments to 3 BHK duplexes with 3 different types of green spaces that are individual green space in balconies, central common courtyard, and street parks.

Cedarhurst Apartments _Levenbetts
Cedarhurst Apartments _Levenbetts
Cedarhurst Apartments _Levenbetts
Cedarhurst Apartments _Levenbetts

14. Chicago Filter Parking

Chicago filter parking is besides an expressway with 100 car parking facilities in which cars occupy the upper levels whereas the buses are at the ground level around the terminal. There is a central open space for pedestrians and cyclists to access. 

The structure is in a vertical linear manner developed to challenge preconceptions of the parking structure both technically and environmentally and to change the perspective on how parking looks aesthetically. 

Chicago Filter Parking _Levenbetts
Chicago Filter Parking _Levenbetts
Chicago Filter Parking _Levenbetts
Chicago Filter Parking _Levenbetts

15. BP Library 

BP library is an 18000 ft2 renovation project done by the firm both from the interior and exterior of the building. Its main aim was to create communal gatherings and learning spaces with a huge amount of light penetrating inside the structure.it has 2 large reading rooms faced towards the streets and gardens and connected internally through transparent partition walls. 

The outer face merges with the surrounding context in the masonry character of the street. It has large windows on the upper level and GFRC panels as cladding.

BP Library _Levenbetts
BP Library _Levenbetts
BP Library _Levenbetts
BP Library _Levenbetts
Shivalika Bagre
Author

Shivalika is a final year student of architecture from Mumbai. She is kind of a “Go with the flow” person and gives 100% to that flow. She likes observing the surroundings, capturing scenic beauty with her eyes and think, there is no choice between beaches and mountains, they both are necessary.

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