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News > Advancing Architecture and Design > “The Bev” - A Community Touchstone & Resource, Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation's new HQ

“The Bev” - A Community Touchstone & Resource, Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation's new HQ

Photo by Lucas Blair Simpson / SOM, courtesy BWAF
Photo by Lucas Blair Simpson / SOM, courtesy BWAF

As a leading national women’s advocacy organization the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) has announced the opening of The Bev, a new multiuse space and the foundation’s headquarters offices, located in Manhattan. The group’s new, women-focused community meeting spaces offer “a beacon for gender equity and innovation” dedicated to incubating firms, producing educational media, and hosting strategic gatherings to advance and elevate women in their work lives, says BWAF’s former executive director Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, who spearheaded the initiative.

Created as a community hub for transformative partnerships, the new space serves as a dynamic gathering and activity center driven by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation’s leadership and influence. The Bev offers 2,000 square feet for various public and internal uses, as well as a new East Coast home base for women architects, engineers, construction (AEC) executives and allied professionals.

“We are so excited about our new home, The Bev, which is so much more than just a physical place for our work,” says Angelica T. Baccon, AIA, a principal of SHoP Architects and chair of BWAF’s Board of Trustees. “It's a vibrant hub designed to unite the BWAF community both physically and virtually, with versatile spaces to house our executive offices, meetings, a woman-owned firm incubator, educational offerings, and state-of-the-art media production, all fostering collaboration and innovation for our community of supporters throughout our metropolitan area and beyond.”

Located at 424 W 33rd St., The Bev offers a newly appointed lounge, conference and meeting space, offices for the group’s foundation staff, and setups for BWAF’s board activities including virtual and in-person meetings. The Bev is generously sponsored by Brookfield Properties and located in the SOM-designed Manhattan West development. Both Brookfield and SOM are longtime supporters of the foundation. Angelica Baccon (SHoP) donated full design services for the interiors of the new multiuse headquarters for The Bev.

“The Bev stands as a symbol of the power inherent in collaboration,” says Michele O’Connor, PE, LEED AP, past chair of BWAF’s board and principal at the engineering firm Langan. “It is a testament to the boundless possibilities that arise when diverse talents and shared commitment come together. The dedication and expertise brought by these women have been instrumental in creating a space we are confident will help inspire and empower generations to come.”

Full-time occupants of The Bev include the executive director, all communications and programming staff, as well as the publications and social media coordinator and the producer of the audio documentaries. The second-floor space has been provided with support by Brookfield Properties, whose executive vice president of design and construction, Sabrina Kanner, led the work and championed the inclusion of BWAF. Other collaborators and team members include JBB, Darby Construction, StickBulb, RavenHill Studio, Estiluz, and Crosby Street Studios, with select furnishings donated by WeWork.

BWAF will be hosting its own gatherings and talks, as well as lending its space to likeminded organizations for their events, too. Through award winning exhibitions, websites, media, and programs, BWAF collaborates with museums, universities, professional organizations, and other groups to propel women to leadership positions in the design and construction fields.

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