JUNE 2016 HIGHLIGHT
IBRAHIM GREENIDGE, RA, NOMA
Name: Ibrahim Greenidge
Firm: Bolt Architecture
Practicing City: New York
Type of Work: Residential, Multi-family, Education & Retail
Featured Project: St. Albans Montessori School
Location: Queens, New York
Completion Date: in progress
Your Role: Chief Architect/Designer
Project Description: Founders of the school have decided to expand their early childhood and Universal Pre-K (UPK) Center based programs in St. Albans, Queens, where the student population is more socially and economically diverse than most other parts of New York City. They will be able to fill a gap where pre-K education is desperately needed. The 4000 sq ft facility would consist of (4) classrooms, faculty quarters and an outdoor playground.
St. Albans, Montessori School
Q & A
How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that it was an area of interest for you?
Ibrahim Greenidge, R.A. began a lifelong exploration of space as a child after witnessing the Crown Heights Riots, a few blocks from his elementary school. He understood that having space was valuable and people were willing to die over it. His passion for architecture was ignited during a summer recess spent constructing a shed with his maternal grandfather. In an attempt to resolve a challenge that comes with more family than there are rooms, his grandfather resolved to construct an 8’x 8’x 6’ shed. Prior to this summer of expedited lessons in surveying, site preparation, construction, materials and testing, Greenidge’s closest work experience was his hobby constructing model cars and planes. Sharing his summer experience with teachers and counselors, he was encouraged to take architecture and technical drawing courses.
What do you do?
Today, Greenidge is the Chief Creative Director at BOLT Architecture, a Brooklyn based collaborative architectural lab which specializes in the transformation of spaces that inspire new and innovative ideas. He finds the art and science of problem solving watching each idea go from a thought to reality exciting and liberating. He likens it to childbirth a miraculous, arduous, amazing and tedious process.
Who or what inspires you professionally?
The ole’ heads and youngins inspire him. As the father of a 5month old, Greenidge enjoys the flexibility that his schedule and growing company permits. He is able to nurture his growing child, volunteer, attend career fairs, guest talks or lectures, and to assistant coach a championship high school boy’s lacrosse team. He mentors young men and women interested in the field in order to usher in an era where an inspired generation of people of color are courageously designing and shaping the built environments where people are living, dreaming, creating, and dying. He feels it is his duty to expose youth to the profession.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement (related to architecture)?
Greenidge’s proudest architectural feat has been the completion of the ARE and IDP process. He credits the mentorship he received through nycoba NOMA, a member since 2009, with preparing him for exams. A year after joining nycoba NOMA, Greenidge became a member of the board. He is affirmed when others ask him about the initials NOMA in resumes and biographies, because it fosters conversations about the lack of diversity in the field, the history of African architects throughout the Diaspora into antiquity, and the ways in which institutional racism creates a form of cultural silencing through architecture. He also enjoys sharing experiences with other professionals within nycoba NOMA, old and new, about the profession, placing high value on the camaraderie and exposure the organization provides.