New Normal Porch
The New Normal Porch is a project by SACRA for PUSH Buffalo, at 236 Normal Avenue. The design of the porch reinterprets and combines many features and details that are common to historic, Victorian-era houses in Buffalo. The porch provides four unique room-like environments across two sides of the house, which might be shared or divided by the two families which will reside inside. These unique environments allow for different degrees of weather protection, shade, privacy and distinction through the use of screens, partial enclosures and decorative elements.
Cabinet Drawer Room
The Cabinet Drawer Room, a project of the SACRA program, hearkens back to those intricately designed rooms of the past—often known as cabinet rooms— that were intended as places for study and private retreat. This version of such a room creates an intimate environment that includes various drawers, compartments, shelving and a classical spinet desk. The design of this room also includes variations on features particular to vernacular houses in Buffalo, such as an inverted bay window (turned bookcase), inlay floor and a siding treatment within the interior of the space.
A.E. Minks Archive
Architect August Minks immigrated to Buffalo from Hungary in 1896. Between 1896 and his death in 1910, he designed approximately 40 buildings for the city, including the oldest Jewish synagogue, Ahavas Sholem (demolished in 2014), the French Church (Our Lady of Lourdes), the Hungarian Reform Church, and many residential and commercial buildings. The A.E. Minks Archive Project was initiated upon the discovery of Minks’ original drawings at a Buffalo estate sale in 2017. The project utilizes these drawings, as well as historical research, oral histories, models and photographs, in order to explore the continuous creation and fragmentation of identities and places, overlaid with the development of the city of Buffalo over time. The A.E. Minks Archive is an ongoing research project with students at University of Buffalo, School of Architecture and Planning.
Northland Pattern Wall: City of Past and Future Craft
The City of Past and Future Craft is a three-dimensional wooden wall mural, constructed by SACRA, for the public lobby of the Northland Workforce Training Center. The design incorporates components built by students in the SACRA program—including wood inlays, molding profiles and frames, demonstrations of joinery techniques, architectural models and other crafted details—and blends them with wooden pattern relics found within the former Niagara Machine and Tool Works, the site of the wall’s installation. Together, the SACRA designed artifacts and historic wooden patterns construct an imaginary cityscape—one that celebrates and re-imagines Buffalo's legacy of craftsmanship while projecting toward its future through a new generation of builders and dreamers.
Constructed by students in the SACRA program, the Quarter House is a demonstration of traditional house-building techniques, guided by expert builders in Buffalo. Each stage in the building of this house fragment was an instructional exercise led by a building industry professional with specialized expertise. The lessons included the construction of the basic frame and tower, stairs, windows, wainscoting, railing and inlay elements. The house has subsequently served as a continuous reference for students, a stage for presentations and events, and a prototypical model for future SACRA projects.
A collaboration between John Zissovici and Dennis Maher, with Ethan Davis, these two 'buildings within the building' establish a new crossing within the transept of the church. The two tower-like structures are assembled from prefabricated structural insulated panels and are designed to receive augmentations and enhancements by future Assembly House collaborators. The interiors of the towers provide environments for a Building Arts Library and a Presentation Space while framing aspects of the overarching environment in unexpected ways.
Cabinet Cabinet Cabinet
This project by students at the University at Buffalo, Department of Architecture, began with explorations of cabinet designs by Thomas Chippendale (1718 - 1779). Students constructed replicas of Chippendale components and then retrofitted an antique cabinet in order to contain and display the assembled parts. Studio Participants: Lemma Al-Ghanem, Alyssa Bennett, Mark Brooks, Ali Elhaddad, Ryan Grace, Blake Kane, Ashwini Karve, Quincy Koczka, Natalie Lis, Adam McCullough, Kenzie McNamara, Kamillah Ramos, Crystal Schmoger, Shuiping Xiong
“This miniature temple used for a ceremonial, symbolic purpose may even enshrine one of man's first purely architectural discoveries, a discovery re-enacted by every child who establishes his momentary dominion under the table.” John Summerson
This University at Buffalo, Department of Architecture design studio explored the theme of the aedicule ( (literally, little building) as a framework for designing a new, intimate environment within the former Immaculate Conception Church. Students modeled parts of the church at a smaller scale and combined the rebuilt fragments in order to construct a new chapel-like space. Studio Participants: Hashim Ailouni, Olivia Arcara, Micaela Barker, George Behn, Orghya Bhattacharjee, Dan Fiore, Robert Miller, Eric Multer, Louis Rosario, Tim Ruhl, Kim Sass, Mohammadhosein Soroush, Carl Stanbro, Marc Velocci