ELEVEN SIX MEN + WOMEN | Philipp + Kit von Dalwig
Photos courtesy of: Martien Mulder | @martienmulder
This is our first ELEVEN SIX couple feature with Philipp and Kit von Dalwig: the talented duo behind the recognized architectural firm: vonDALWIG. Their philosophy: “maintains strong interest in space, program, context and potential - and strives to fully engage with the manifold aspects of architecture and spatial design.” Philipp and Kit are also dear friends we have known for close to 20 years and have had the honor of them working on Co-founder: Nick’s coffee stores in NYC: Gasoline Alley Coffee. In this story we learn about their path to create their firm, their design approach, sustainability, and how they live their passion. The von Dalwig family (including their daughter Marlowe) are captured at their stunning Brooklyn Home that they designed and converted – this living space is truly an urban sanctuary!
Can you share both your paths to becoming architects and how the von Dalwig formed?
We met back at grad school - during our time at Columbia University - in 2000. After graduating, we both decided to stay in NY - Philipp worked at the ad agency, Arnell Group in their Innovation Lab, developing strategies and spaces for their clients and I worked for a sole practitioner who taught me the ropes of building in NY. We worked on a range of private residential projects to educational projects mainly for The New School. After about 5 years, a friend brought us on to a branding project he worked on for a shoe line and then a loft project in the East Village came along. From there we realized we loved working on our own and formed initially Manifold Architecture Studio - as a combined effort in developing a ‘manifold’ of projects due to our grad school education and Philipp’s experience in branding and our connections to amazing product designers, strategists, graphic designers. After another 5 years we saw the value of architecture and worked strictly on architectural design and building and since then we’ve renamed the studio to vonDalwig Architecture with a focus on creating relevant, timeless spaces for our amazing clients.
Kit wears LIAN Cardi in biscuit (SHOP HERE)
Can you speak to some of the highlights of your career through vonDALWIG?
We’ve really been fortunate in the opportunities we’ve had - both in working with amazing clients (some of whom have become friends) who have similar visions and have in one or another contributed to our growth in terms of how we see architecture and in the projects we’ve been able to build in this complex city. That is for us not so much a highlight but a progression that we really appreciate and value.
Can you speak to how you channel sustainability into your design work and what key aspects you believe to be of significant importance in a time when contributing to improving climate change is critical?
We recently completed a passive house in Brooklyn - quite the challenge to do in the city!We have applied aspects like energy efficiency, affordability and ecological standards to many projects and typologies typical to NY, even if not completely passive we strive for the optimum.
Phillip is wearing the Mens Shawl Collar Cardi (SHOP HERE)
As for many industries, the pandemic was a particularly tough time for architecture with many developments being placed on pause or cancelled. Can you speak to any silver linings for your firm and also what the current industry feeling is right now in 2022?
We luckily had a very steady time during the pandemic as we had a number of projects that actually went into construction during the pandemic and now have a sudden boom with meeting great clients and projects! So we look forward to 2022!
As a couple, how do you wind down and switch off from being busy, entrepreneur business owners?
It is not easy, especially to switch off the business part of it - but what’s amazing with architecture is that it involves so many aspects of life and living so in that sense we enjoy experiencing and discussing it together, so that aspect doesn’t switch off but also we don’t see the reason for it to do so.
Kit wears the Mens Color-block Sweater (Of course for women too!) SHOP HERE
We adore your home: a beautiful converted Brooklyn garage that was featured in New York Magazine. Can you speak a little to this process of design and to aspects of its style?
Our house is of course a little bit of a personal playground to test an idea or approach. The main thought behind our house was how to utilize an unusually long space with little light - and so we inserted a courtyard in the middle ! And love how it changes the space through the day as the sun moves around it and the depth it offers in terms of breaking down the length without entirely closing off the open feel of the original space.
Do you have anything exciting in the pipeline?
We have a lot of exciting projects in different stages ! We are starting construction soon on an office space for a Manhattan model agency, a Brooklyn townhouse, a landmarked carriage house addition. As well new projects going through design and permitting - converting a Brooklyn carriage house into an artist studio, a very interesting addition to a townhouse in Brooklyn, an art warehouse, a new multi-family building in Brooklyn. And of course a lot of potential projects upcoming ! We are fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and work with great clients and also have a range or potential projects upcoming - a lot going on in upstate NY, an amazing floor-thru artist loft, working with a German investor to realize a condo building in Soho, many different projects to explore !
Philipp wears the Mens Color-block Sweater (SHOP HERE)
Marlowe wears the Humanity sweater (a collab with @koketit) (SHOP HERE)
What does the ELEVEN SIX brand mean to you?
Eleven Six represents to us quality, considered designs and a crafted execution - similar to our approach in our work.
Which are some if your favorite pieces from the ELEVEN SIX collections and why?
I’ve had a number of pieces from Eleven Six since it’s inception - my absolute favorites are no longer available but I’ve been wearing them for years (which is a testimony to its quality and timelessness of the designs). These pieces are the Lola cardigan (an oversize plaid-pattern, non-closure cardi), Laria track pants and the Catherine jumpsuit both in classic black which Catherine needs to bring back into the collections! Of course, since the mens Nick sweater came out, it has become a staple for Philipp but now he owns the new Men’s Shawl collar it is a close contender! Marlowe, our daughter has been enjoying the reversible Humanity sweater.