The Bev, the new headquarters for the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF), opened its doors recently in Manhattan. In addition to being BWAF’s new headquarters, The Bev – aptly named after founder Beverly Willis (TK-TK) – a feminist pioneer, architect, and champion of architecture and women’s causes.
The 2,000-square-foot space, situated in a SOM-designed tower at 4 Manhattan West, overlooking the High Line and Hudson River Park, will serve as a hybrid space offering a gathering and activity space for public and internal uses for women architects, engineers, construction (AEC) executives and allied professionals.
“The Bev stands as a symbol of the power inherent in collaboration,” Michele O’Connor, PE, LEED AP, past chair of BWAF’s board and principal at the engineering firm Langan said. “It is a testament to the boundless possibilities that arise when diverse talents and shared commitment come together.”
Fully equipped with a lounge, conference and meeting spaces, offices for foundation staff and setups for BWAF’s board activities, The Bev is shaping up to be a center for influence and prestige in the architecture world. The space has already hosted BWAF’s “Emerging Leaders” program, new recordings for the “New Angle: Voice” audio documentary series, and the debut of the BWAF’s first exhibition, “Pioneering Women of American Architecture,” designed by Yay Brigrade and curated by Mary McLeod and Victoria Rosner.
BWAF also intends to host community and educational events at The Bev in the future – including roundtables with leading journalists, feminists and experts on issues impacting women in the AEC fields.
The interiors of the space were designed pro bono by Angelica T. Baccon, principal of SHoP Architects and chair of BWAF’s Board of Trustees.
“We are so excited about our new home, The Bev, which is so much more than just a physical place for our work,” Baccon said. “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.”
Full-time occupants of the space include BWAF’s executive director, all communications and programming staff, publications and social media coordinators, as well as the producer for “New Angle: Voice.”
According to a BWAF statement, The Bev is sponsored by Brookfield Properties and SOM – both long-time supporters of the foundation. BWAF also credits other collaborators including JBB, Darby Construction, StickBulb, RavenHill Studio, Estiluz, and Crosby Street Studios as contributors for the landmark project. Select furnishings were also donated by WeWork.
An official housewarming and launch party will be held at The Bev in the early spring. Individuals and groups can also visit the space by contacting [email protected].