June 14, 2022
Author: John Seabrook
From the window of his bedroom, in the house in Canarsie, Brooklyn, where he lives with his corrections-officer dad, his middle-school-teacher mom, and two siblings, Gerard Renodo has what he calls a “perfect” view of the Manhattan skyline. “At night they’re really bright,” he said the other day, of the sparkling skyscrapers eight miles away, which he used to fashion out of Legos. His favorite is Herzog & de Meuron’s “Jenga Tower,” at 56 Leonard, which took shape during Renodo’s childhood (he is seventeen). “I like buildings with personality,” he said.
That view is part of what inspired him to want to be an architect, and the reason he chose, for high school, the Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction, in Hell’s Kitchen, where he is now a junior and a member of the National Honor Society. But, because of the pandemic, instead of learning about architecture on the ground, the students were mostly stuck learning about buildings from screens.