Renowned Architects Celebrate Women’s History Month with NYC Project Featuring Our Etched Glass

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A renowned architectural firm, owned by Iranian-born sisters Gisue Hirari and Mojgan Hariri, is celebrating both Women’s History Month and the recent completion of a dramatic renovation featuring our architectural glass.

Hariri & Hariri Architecture re-designed a 3,000 square foot office in Manhattan’s Diamond District. The tenant, SIBA Corp/SIBA Residences, is a prominent gem dealer and real estate business. The project includes our SatinTech™ etched glass to establish privacy while allowing natural light to enter the central space. The glass resists fingerprints and staining, diffuses light, reduces glare and minimizes reflections.

“Large frameless sliding doors and panels along the perimeter offices needed to be tempered for safety and etched for privacy,’’ Gisue Hariri said. “We also wanted a maintenance-friendly surface unlike coated, sandblasted glass.”

The architects incorporated their design trademarks, using a unique blend of architectural, artistic and interior design elements to create a space that is filled with art, timeless, healthy and inspiring. “We wanted to pay homage to SIBA’s heritage in the diamond business by making the architecture like a cut stone or jewel,’’ Gisue said. “We also wanted everyone to have their own views of New York City to enjoy the skyline and natural light.”

Bendheim etched glass installed as cubicle partitions.

SIBA Corp, New York, NY by Hariri & Hariri Architecture. Photo Eric Liagnel, courtesy of Hariri & Hariri Architecture

Hariri & Hariri have incorporated our products into various commercial and residential projects over the years. “The quality, variety, dependability and size is what makes Bendheim products special,’’ Gisue Hariri said.

SIBA’s main office is organized around a central open space with private offices and meeting rooms on the perimeter. Natural light enters the private offices via large windows and filters into the central open space through translucent doors customized with our etched glass. The design creates a bright, airy and tactile central space.

Three divisions of SIBA – diamond trading, real estate sales and building management – share the floor. The architects faced a design challenge in securing the gem side of the business, while also providing functionality and space for the other company divisions.

Solving architectural challenges is not unusual for the Hariri sisters, who came to the United States in the 1970s from Iran and have since become two of the world’s most highly regarded architects. They have won multiple awards, including the “2015 American Architecture Award” from The Chicago Athenaeum Museum and the “Academy Award for Architecture” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Inducted into Interior Design Magazine’s Design Hall of Fame in 2006, they also received the Career Achievement Award from the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans.

After working independently for several years, the Hariri sisters formed their own multi-disciplinary architecture and design firm in 1986. Considered one of the most progressive and forward-thinking firms in the industry, it has completed a variety of projects, including luxury residential developments, hotels, single-family homes and high-tech, high-concept experiments.

The Hariri sisters are pioneers in the field of women’s architecture. The percentage of women registered with the American Institute of Architects continues to be astonishingly low. Only 17 percent of registered architects are women, according to the AIA. When the Hariris started their business in the 1980s, only about four percent of the architects were women, the AIA said.

Women’s History Month celebrates the contributions women have made in the United States and recognizes the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history. Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri have been among the most influential women architects for more than 30 years.

“Our projects are unique, our concepts are different and our dedication has been rewarded,’’ Gisue Hariri said. “Being women has contributed to our work philosophy, vision and approach to architecture. Being different is an asset, being a woman is a gift, and being Iranian is a cultural strength.”  

Fred Jayson & Margaret Bendheim

Bendheim co-founder Margaret Bendheim with her son-in-law, second-generation owner Fred Jayson.

“It’s an honor to be chosen to work with such world-renowned architects,” said Ben Jayson, Bendheim President. “Diversity has enriched the industry and our team profoundly. Our company was co-founded by a woman in the 1920s. My great-grandmother Margaret Bendheim ran the business operations, while my great-grandfather Sem focused on sales. This set them apart at a time when only about one in ten married women worked, and very few held controlling positions in a business. I am truly proud of our legacy.”

About Bendheim

Bendheim is one of the world’s foremost resources for specialty architectural glass. Founded in New York City in 1927, the fourth-generation, family-owned company offers a virtually unlimited range of in-stock and custom architectural glass varieties. Bendheim develops, fabricates, and distributes its products worldwide. The company maintains production facilities in New Jersey and an extensive showroom in New York City