Ensight


Entuitive In New York: An International Firm with Local Influence

Written on Jun 11, 2019

Entuitive’s roots can be said to be found in the City of Dreams. While the first offices were opened in Canada, the first project was won in the heart of New York City, when the team solved what others considered an impossible problem, allowing a vision to become a reality.

It’s all part of the firm’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of engineering and saying yes when others say no.

Construction of the Manhattan West platform

The Manhattan West project aimed to reclaim the empty space above Penn Station’s partially uncovered tracks. Indeed, the space above transit tracks the world over are lost due to the challenges of integrating urban and transportation infrastructure. The challenge with Manhattan West was that no columns could be used to support the base.

So Entuitive designed a post-tensioned, pre-cast platform structure over the tracks. The platform serves as the foundation for the 5.4 million ft² Hudson Yards redevelopment project, which includes two new commercial towers, a residential tower, a hotel, and the retrofit of two existing mixed-use buildings. Construction of the platform, one commercial tower, the residential tower, and one of the retrofit buildings has been completed to date.

Opening an office in the city that served as Entuitive’s foundation for success was a natural step. Chris Johnson and Jesse Chrismer were brought in to lead Entuitive’s New York office.

“Entuitive leads with a start-up mindset, and in New York we really are because we are still a small office in a very large market,” says Johnson. “But this is an edge because it allows us to focus on and have an intimate relationship with our clients. We can anticipate the entire design and construction team’s needs. We have the feel of a start up, but we’re backed by multinational capabilities.”

In New York, Entuitive offers full building envelope services, construction support, restoration, and structural engineering services in collaboration with architects, owners, and contractors in a wide range of sectors. Projects to date include the American Dream project, the Manhattan West platform, and 550 Washington.

“We are excited about our growing team in New York,” says Brock Schroeder, Managing Principal at Entuitive. “It’s an opportunity to build the kind of relationships we are known for in our other markets. We serve our clients by putting their needs first, and having a local team means we can show up for them. The importance of being there for our clients cannot be overstated.”
Entuitive’s work on the American Dream Project, the Manhattan West Platform, and 550 Washington each highlight the firm’s commitment to innovative solutions that go beyond client expectations.

American Dream project rendering

The American Dream project is a $5 billion retail and entertainment complex totaling 5 million ft² in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The mega-mall and complex includes the largest indoor water park in North America. The project presented many challenges, including the poor soil supporting the building and construction activity, the finely interwoven scheduling between construction trades, and the high level of planning and coordination required.

Entuitive was originally engaged to provide on-site technical coordination and change management support to the concrete subcontractor performing the work for the water park. Over time, the role evolved to include a range of construction support activities.

As mentioned above, the Manhattan West Platform was the first step in a commercial development overbuild on the busiest commuter rail corridor in North America. One significant challenge was that the design and construction of the platform could not disrupt rail service.

550 Washington – Image Courtesy of Oxford

At 550 Washington the firm is serving as the structural engineering consultants on the redevelopment and restoration of what was the train terminus for the High Line, when it was in operation. The 1930s-era building has been reimagined to become a commercial hub and workplace of the future. Through close collaboration and a careful review of archival drawings, Entuitive designed a solution that will maintain and expose a significant amount of the original structure in order to keep its heritage alive.

“Entuitive operates with what we call our One Company culture, which means that we’ll always put the right team on the job no matter where in the world that team member is located,” says Schroeder. “At the same time, we realize that having people on the ground is vital to maintaining the level of accessibility and responsiveness our clients expect from us.”

Since opening, the New York office has expanded to seven members, including Dave Douglas, an Associate specializing in engineering and construction, and recently welcoming Tanya Luthi as Vice President, Structures. Tanya has extensive experience in mass timber and timber hybrid buildings, putting Entuitive in a competitive spot within the growing trend toward wood design.

The newly expanded team is looking ahead and continues to win the same type of innovative, challenging projects that served as the genesis of their permanent home in the city. “We never say no to a challenge,” says Johnson. “With our depth of experience, breadth of services, and One Company culture, we’ll always provide the best solution to our clients no matter the obstacles.”