grzywinski + pons
new york

Matthew Grzywinski, 34, and Amador Pons, 36, weren’t officially a firm when they submitted design proposals for a hotel project on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, but that didn’t stop the two 20-somethings from winning the large commission. “We put together the proposal with the developer not knowing how young we were,” Grzywinski says.

The resulting project, Hotel on Rivington, is a 27-floor glass tower with luxe interiors and a window wall system that blurs and diffuses the building’s orthogonal steel grid, one magazine wrote. Despite pursuing separate interests after college (where they met), the Rivington job reunited the duo and signaled their potential, leading them to launch Grzywinski + Pons.

Today, the firm does a variety of architectural work, but it’s very interested in designing building types that interact with the public such as education complexes and hotels. Still, about 50 percent of its work is residential, including multifamily and single-family homes. The partners are interested in beautiful buildings, but they’re also cognizant of the things around their projects. “We try to pay attention to context in our work,” Grzywinski explains. “We use materials that are unapologetic, honest, and those that will age well with patina.”

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years in practice: 8 / projects completed in 2011: 3 / firm size: 3 / areas of interest: residential, hospitality, commercial, education, transportation, urban planning