Our designs are informed by social, cultural, environmental + technological patterns. We create richly varied spatial experiences + new programmatic relationships within frameworks that address impact + performance.

Photo: As an international cultural destination, the Museum of the Moving Image is touted as one of the world's best museums. It is also a model of urban environmental stewardship with USGBC LEED Silver certification earned through innovative strategies. One example is its iconic facade which functions as an intricate stormwater management feature.



As a guiding principle of our work, sustainability is intrinsic to the design solutions we create. Our team includes sustainable design professionals adept at developing and implementing strategies to minimize environmental impact and maximize environmental performance.

We think beyond technical applications and design within the three point context of sustainability. This includes not only environmental issues, but also social and economic considerations that will affect a project's long-term success.

One example of our comprehensive approach to sustainable design is the Strand Theater in the Brooklyn Cultural District. The Strand is a former vaudeville venue that saw a multitude of uses over the decades including glass factory, bowling alley and print shop.

LEESER Architecture helped transform the city-owned building into a multi-disciplinary arts and media center. Today, the building serves the program and operational needs of its two tenants - BRIC + UrbanGlass - and also the diverse and creative Brooklyn community. (read more below)




Museum of the Moving Image
Astoria, NY
USGBC LEED Silver certified
2014 Red Dot Design Award

Strand Theater
Brooklyn, NY
USGBC LEED Silver certified
2014 MASterworks Award for Neighborhood Catalyst

Mercedes House
New York, NY
USGBC LEED Certified

60 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY
USGBC LEED Silver (projected)


Transforming the Strand Theater

LEESER Architecture’s design for the renovation and expansion of the Strand Theater helped transform an under-utilized building in the Brooklyn Cultural District into a multidisciplinary arts and media center. Home to BRIC and UrbanGlass, the project included a full renovation of the interior space to create new theaters, television broadcasting studios, art galleries, glass workshops, media labs, classrooms, administrative and operation offices, and support spaces.

While the two organizations focus on different disciplines, both are centered on a mission of community outreach and participation. LEESER Architecture juggled complex programmatic demands and highly specific uses to create an open and accessible arts facility. The new Strand Theater connects with the community and engages them with the myriad activities occurring within. One of the primary ways this was achieved was to visually open the building at street level to create an ongoing exchange between inside and out.

The result serves as a model for creative placemaking by remaining true to the past, present and future of the neighborhood as an incubator for the arts. The building retains much of its historical identity, however with a fresh visual concept and a graphically intriguing façade. The use of bold neon signage (completed in 2014) is a nod to the building’s past as a glass factory and also to the creativity fired within the new 17,000 square foot state-of-the-art glass making studio of UrbanGlass. BRIC cultural programs, which have served Brooklyn since 1979, now have a true home complete with its own ‘Stoop’ - a public cultural gathering space at the ground floor where community comes together for free, drop-in programs.

In 2014, the design was awarded an NYC Municipal Arts Society MASterworks Award for Neighborhood Catalyst. It has also been recognized with a 2015 Building Brooklyn Award for Community Development. The result is a community-connected, LEED Silver-certified home for two of Brooklyn's most vibrant cultural organizations.

For more information: 
Contact Alison Kriscenski
718 643 6656 or ak@leeser.com