About

American Building is a podcast series sponsored by Michael Graves Architecture & Design, headlined by Atif Qadir, AIA, and hosted at the Warehouse, the home of the late Michael Graves in Princeton, New Jersey.

With his unique perspective as both architect and developer, Atif interviews accomplished individuals who tell the stories of American buildings that they have designed and/or developed.  His guests talk about their processes and products on a deeply personal level, highlighting the teamwork, integrity, ingenuity, empathy, and commitment that are necessary to produce exceptional works that grace the skylines of our cities and towns.

The Warehouse

The Warehouse, once the home of Michael Graves, was converted into a residence from a 44-room rental warehouse built in the 1920s in a Tuscan vernacular style by Italian masons moonlighting from building Collegiate Gothic buildings at Princeton University. Michael Graves, the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture at the University, frequently entertained students and visiting scholars at the Warehouse. Owned today by Kean University’s Michael Graves College of Architecture & Design, it anchors of a two-building study center, making it a perfect location for the dialogue that American Building encourages.

Your Host, Atif Qadir!

Atif Qadir, AIA founded REDIST, a proptech startup based at the Columbia Startup Lab, and Amanat Properties, a development company focused on renovation of historic real estate in New Jersey. He was previously a member of the acquisitions and development teams at Extell Development for real estate deals across the United States and Canada. He also worked at Turner Construction and at Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects. A licensed architect, he is a frequent speaker on real estate and entrepreneurship at Columbia, Harvard, MIT, and Yale. Atif serves as a city planning commissioner in Hoboken, where he lives. He sits on the boards of The Hudson School, Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center, and En Garde Arts. He received his bachelor’s degrees in architecture and in urban planning from MIT and his MBA from Columbia Business School.

Recent Episodes

Season 2

S2 – Episode 28: Arthi Krishnamoorthy

Today we are joined by Arthi Krishnamoorthy, a partner at Deborah Berke Partners, the renowned architectural design firm. We discuss the two new Residential Colleges that her team has designed at Princeton University, including the strategies she uses to make university buildings feel more homely for students. Join us today as we discuss Arthi’s journey from Southeast Asia to the cornfields of Urbana Champaign to West Philadelphia as well as how she brings to her designs to transform architectural spaces.

Season 2

S2 – Episode 27: Paul Lewis

In today’s episode, Paul Lewis, Principal at LTL Architects based in New York City, shares his experience of working on projects for universities across the United States, from NYU to the University of Wyoming. As the Professor and Associate Dean at Princeton University School of Architecture, he works with students to develop environmentally sensitive and sustainable projects. Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about Paul’s experience as a designer as well as his most recent project working on the Carnegie Mellon University Residence & Academic Hub.

Season 2

S2 – Episode 26: Lauren Eckhart Smith

We are joined today by our guest Lauren Eckhart Smith, the Head of Design at Alagem Capital Group in Beverly Hills, California. She speaks to us about One Beverly Hills, a mixed-use project that includes residential, retail, hotel and both new construction and renovation components. More broadly, we discuss how this particular 17.5-acre site is one of the largest projects incorporating sustainable design and architecture in California, far beyond the hand-waving that we see in our industry.