A new state-of-the-art center for visual storytelling.
As the name implies, the work we do is thoughtful. Our work strives for success, satisfaction and beauty not as a starting point of a design, but as the result of a rigorous process of investigation and discovery. By uncovering the central issues embedded in each project, and through an openness to widest range of possibilities, we endeavor to formulate design solutions that result in the unique and intelligent resolution of need, desire, function and circumstance.
A new state-of-the-art center for visual storytelling.
Anchoring an emerging creative precinct of Brooklyn is Pratt's new Department of Film & Video. The design places a series of free-standing programmatic volumes into an existing pre-fab metal building. The resulting spatial intersections produce dynamic social spaces for student interaction and display.
Within one year of opening, the Department's five-year plan to double enrollment was realized.
Pratt Film/Video in the press
INTERIOR DESIGN MAGAZINE. September 29th, 2015.
Jack Esterson Designs Film and Video Department for Pratt.
PRATT INSTITUTE. June 10th, 2016.
USA Today and Variety Name Pratt's Film Program among Best in the Nation.
ARCHITIZER. March 21st, 2016.
Featured Project: Pratt Institute Department of Film/Video.
ARCHDAILY. July 20th, 2015.
Pratt Institute's New Film/Video Department Building.
ARCHINTECT. July 10th, 2015.
Get a peek inside Pratt's new Film/Video Department building.
ARCHITECT MAGAZINE. July 8th, 2015.
Pratt Institute Film Department Building.
BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE. July 7th, 2015.
Pratt unveils new state-of-the-art film and video building.
CONTRACT. July 9th, 2015.
Pratt Institute Film/Video Department Expansion Opens.
DEZEEN. July 10th, 2015.
Think! converts campus shop into film making facility for the Pratt Institute.
FORT GREENE FOCUS. July 8th, 2015.
Pratt Unveils New Film-Video Facility Inside The Former PrattStore, Which Has Moved Online.
PRATT INSTITUTE. July 2015.
New State-of-the-Art Facility Opens for Film/Video Department Expansion.
BARYSHNIKOV ART CENTER'S
Jerome Robbins Theater
Publications and Awards
United States Institute for Theater Technology.
2014 MERIT AWARD.
ARCHITECTURAL RECORD. July 2011.
Performing Arts Building Types Study: 450 West 37th Street.
ARCHITECT MAGAZINE. February 18th, 2014.
Four Examples of Strong Theater Design.
TIME OUT NEW YORK. March 26th, 2010.
37 Arts is dead! Long live Baryshnikov Arts Center!
THE OBSERVER. November 17th, 2009.
Baryshnikov Arts Center Opening LEED-Stamped Theater at 450 West 37th.
147 Saint Felix Street
Two Unit Residence coming to the BAM Historic District
Sands Site Competition
Scale of elements, materials and landscape adapt at each
location to provide a wider range of campus experiences.
A renewed presence at night.
Pratt projects its design
brand into the community.
The Municipal Arts Society recognized the project's positive impact on the immediate community with its
2011 MASterworks Award for Best Neighborhood Catalyst.
A Waterfront Mixed Use Development along the Hudson River
The masterplan reconnects the center of Newburgh with its waterfront through multiple view corridors, various pedestrian access points, a new public central space and boardwalk.
Views from the city's principal street - Broadway -
are framed by the orientation and spacing of the
The planning of the buildings emphasizes river views for its residents by rotating apartments towards the water.
A new ferry terminal, assembled of pre-fabricated elements, becomes the waterfront gateway for commuters and visitors between Newburgh and Beacon.
Think! Architecture and Design
is a partnership between
Martin Kapell, Jack Esterson and Ernesto Vela.
In the spirit of true collaboration,
the partners have written bios for each other,
spotlighting the unique strengths each
brings to the creative table.
Partners and Staff >>
Martin Kapell, AIA
Previous experience: WASA/Studio A, TEK Architects, Kapell and Kostow Architects.
Education: MArch, Yale University; BA, MFA in Theater Directing, Scenic and Lighting, New York University.
MARTY BY JACK
Marty loves adventure. Whether it's checking out a metal fabricator for a new material, cracking open a book of new global architecture, or getting in a car to explore a new neighborhood, for Marty it's about the excitement and the discovery of something unknown, unusual and fresh. And it's this love of adventure that informs the way he leads our clients and staff in search of unexpected design with unexpectedly delightful results. A consummate collaborator, Marty knows the best ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. Our 15 years working together has been a truly fulfilling creative partnership. With his generosity of spirit, Marty embraces the world and is committed to making it better, one design idea at a time.
MARTY BY ERNESTO
Marty is a thinker as much as he is an artist. He always risks to dream. He is constantly searching and questioning not only architecture but, most importantly, its significance and enrichment in everyday life. Marty comes to architecture via the theater, a world that informed much of his creative approach to the design process. The evidence of this synergy is in beautiful and ingenious solutions that reach out and engage the emotional side of its users. A loyal leader and tireless cheerleader, Marty inspires respect. He honors the creative essence of each person, inspiring the people he works with to bring their best to each project.
Jack Esterson, AIA
Previous experience: WASA/Studio A, TEK Architects, Thanhauser & Esterson Architects, Kliment & Halsband Architects, Skidmore Owings & Merrill.
Education: BArch, Pratt Institute.
Polytechnic of Central London.
JACK BY MARTY
Jack truly operates from the belief that architecture can improve the lives of all people and, by extension, make cities more livable and vital. Jack's entire career has been an example of how buildings can be made functional, accessible and beautiful regardless of the project type, the project's budget, its constituency or all of the practical and cultural challenges that conspire on an almost daily basis against vision and quality. In a career that has already spanned more than 40 years (with no end in sight) Jack has developed the type of hard won wisdom that allows him to always go straight to the heart of the matter and create designs of enormous clarity - always buildable and compelling.
Jack's talent and extraordinary empathy for his clients has long been acknowledged by colleagues and, in 2015, earned him the recognition of the New York State Chapter of the AIA with their Henry Hobson Richardson award, which goes each year to the architect who has made a career-long contribution to the public realm. No other award could have been more appropriate to Jack's career. Whether designing a humane environment for substance abuse recovery, a dynamic new building for Pratt Institute, or a beautiful "high end" project for private clients, Jack applies the same high standards of design. Because for him good design isn't about money, instead it's about the intelligence and understanding that's brought to bear and the commitment and rigor that brings good architecture to fruition.
JACK BY ERNESTO
Passion. This quality that best defines Jack comes with an open-minded approach to architecture refined over a long dynamic career. His sincere commitment to improving our city's civic life through thoughtful architecture is evident in every project he designs. In his work there is an unabashed belief that the beautiful in architecture is as essential as any other functional requirement. His passion for beauty and its rewards infuses his designs with integrity and timelessness. His design approach is always positive, encouraging and self-critical, bringing clients and collaborators closer to his vision of a sustainable and humanistic urban life.
Ernesto Vela, AIA
Previous experience: Dattner Architects, Perkins Eastman, Kapell and Kostow Architects
Education: BA in Environmental Studies, University of Manitoba; BArch, Cornell University.
ERNESTO BY MARTY
Ernesto is a quiet force within the office - a rigorous seeker who inspires his partners and staff with his devotion to the art of architecture. In addition to his solid technical skill as an architect, Ernesto is the guardian of think!'s design integrity and our adherence to our basic principles of practice. He is unflappable and firm. Truly, when the going gets tough, Ernesto gets calm and focused, a treasured skill that allows him to effectively lead, mentor and motivate the staff. To the extent that think! remains on track with regard to its mission and philosophy, it owes a great deal to Ernesto's perseverance and dedication to architecture and our firm.
ERNESTO BY JACK
Ernesto operates from a strong focused center. His contemplative nature is a reflection of his willingness to listen and consider carefully before putting forth design ideas that are as much about the client's aspirations as about his own considerable artistic ambitions. Those ambitions originate from a humanist world-view and an inherent empathy for people, the way they live, work and find enjoyment. Ernesto is also a teacher, a behind-the-scenes motivator who is masterful at understanding design's impact on the world and its inhabitants. His wealth of knowledge is considerably enhanced by his collaborative nature, pushing the think! team to a place of greater authenticity.