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Under the Sea

At Teitsch Kent Fay Architects, P.C. "all the fish is happy"

If you have ever stopped into 132 Albany Street you may have noticed our fishy co-workers. In the Teitsch Kent Fay Architects, P.C. lobby we have a large Amazon River Blackwater Biotope Aquarium. This is filled with a variety of fish, including Albino Plecostomus and Synodontis Catfish. The aquarium is here for a number of reasons, one of which is even architectural in nature.

In 2015, Teitsch-Kent-Fay Architects, P.C. moved from what had been our home for over 30 years, at 47 Albany to our current home in the Atwell Mill building. This historic building, while a wonderful space with large windows facing on Albany Street, has a few odd qualities. One which is a very long circulation space extending from the front door to the back of the building. This space provided us with room for many areas for things we wanted a lobby and a library space for our technical reference material. However since space was long and narrow we needed a way to divide up these two different functions of the same space. We discussed ways to divide this space up to create the above elements, and considered a variety of things, such as a folding screen, floor to ceiling shelving units, and “3 Form” acrylic partition. In the end, we decided to take advantage of Brian’s extensive knowledge of aquatic animals, and use a large fish tank as the element that would define the two spaces.

To create a successful aquatic space, Brian carefully selected various species of fish included in our aquarium to make sure that they all coexist well together. The Albino Pl, Algae Eater, and Cory Catfish are our natural maintenance workers, cleaning the inside of the tank, while the Electric Yellow Cichlid, Convict Cichlid, Blue Peacock Cichlid, Jeweled Cichlid,and Dolphin Cichlid are the “swimsuit models” of the tank, adding spectacular color and bling . Last year we were all delighted when our first group of “baby fish” arrived. These baby fish have now grown into adolescence, and are even beginning to overtake their parents in size.

As clients enter our office they encounter the large aquarium. The tank adds color, movement, and interest to the space, as well as providing the separation required between the lobby and the library. Our clients, particularly younger family members are fascinated and delighted by the variety of fish. Even the mechanical “bubbler” equipment adds an element of white noise, creating a quiet, calm space for clients to wait.

While the addition of an aquarium was originally conceived of to be an efficient way to divide space, as well as a way for Brian to partake in his hobby, the fish have become an integral part of our office life, and we can’t really imagine our office without them.

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