Natalie Abrusci | Architectural Intern

Natalie attends NYIT in their 5 year program for her Bachelors in Architecture and will be graduating in May of 2023. She joined our team in December 2021 and has been a great addition to the team. She aspires to become a commercial architect, specializing in hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Tom Petersen, RA | Director of Architecture

Tom Peterson

Tom attended New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) and has worked with MDS since December, 2015. He is the Director of Architecture leading various projects, ensuring a quality and successful outcome.

Chaminade High School

Chaminade commissioned this new facility adjacent to their existing campus to better suit the needs of its students and the community.  The project included demolition of the former auto dealership, on-site soil remediation, and construction of the new multi-level building served by an on-site parking field.  Since construction, we have implemented integrated solar electric panels onto the metal standing seam roof.

This 70,000 square foot facility on a two-acre site houses the following:

  • Regulation full-court basketball arena with two lateral practice courts
  • Indoor running track (mezzanine) surface, elevated above main court
  • Regulation wrestling facilities with retractable bleachers
  • Home and visitor locker rooms and coaches’ and officials’ offices
  • A 250 seat auditorium with projection room, sound system & theater lighting
  • Kitchen facility to host athletic as well as academic and social functions
  • Full toilet and shower facilities throughout
  • Exterior main plaza and full basement with vehicular access

Freeport UFSD

Mark Design Studios Architecture PC provided professional architectural and design services for Freeport School District.

Lawrence UFSD

Lawrence Public School- Broadway Campus in Lawrence, New York was commissioned by the federal Public Works Administration as part of the New Deal.  Completed in 1936, it was originally constructed as the town’s high school.  Presently, the building houses Lawrence Elementary and Middle Schools.  Under this project, the Auditorium, main Cupola, Lobby and event toilet rooms as well as the original administrative suite were restored and renovated.

Located at 195 Broadway, one of the main thoroughfares in the heart of the Lawrence residential community, this iconic building with its grand yet graceful pediment and ionic columns has been a part of the community for nearly a century. The building’s restored façade, cupola and clock tower stand tall and is the beacon for the diverse but tight-knit community.  The original clock was no longer serviceable and was replaced with a back-lit LED, fully automated, weather-proof clock mechanism with a face and hands that were painstakingly designed to be a replica of the original.  With this improvement, residents walking or driving through are now able to tell time day or night as the new clock tower glows in the night sky.    

The Auditorium space is used for presentations, conferences, concerts and theatrical performances for both the student and school productions as well as local outside groups. No details were spared in this restoration project as students and guests are welcomed into the school building under new signage made in the Art Deco inspired font type to assist in wayfinding.  In the secured vestibule, a visitor management system with a transaction window are installed to meet the demand of today’s security protocol.  The lobby is adorned with original travertine walls and terrazzo floors that were impeccably cleaned and polished; the coffered plaster ceilings restored with new energy-saving LED pendants that provide ambient lighting to illuminate and accentuate the grand lobby with high ceilings.  The side wings that lead to the guest toilet rooms received new finishes that reference the original lobby’s grandeur.  The toilet rooms received LED School House light fixtures and Art Deco inspired glass and stone mosaic tiles.  

The Auditorium has been meticulously restored throughout.  The original trompe l’oeil paintings on the pilasters, proscenium and ceilings were restored by hand wherever there was damage.  The gold accents on the capitals, decorative urns and medallions were hand painted to restore the designs to match the original.  

Coffered ceilings have been restored and the original deteriorated one foot by one foot ceiling tiles were replaced with new high performance acoustic panels that blend into the ceiling for improved acoustic performance and to integrate the diffusers from the new high efficiency HVAC system.  The original brass and crystal chandeliers and glass pendant lighting fixtures have been cleaned, polished, and rewired to accept new LED bulbs with the ability to be dimmed and integrated into the new state-of-the-art theatrical lighting system.    

The single pane windows were replaced with energy efficient dual glazed windows that replicate the original design.  Since the windows are high and not reachable without a lift, new motorized window shades are designed to be hidden in window pockets and invisible when not in used.  With a touch of a button, the shades can be lowered and the Auditorium darkened and ready for performances and showings.  The cutting-edge sound and lighting systems are mostly hidden but was an essential part of the project to bring the Auditorium into the modern era for today and tomorrow’s students.  Students now enjoy the ability to incorporate different lighting and sound effects into their musical or theatrical productions in a setting reminiscent of traditional Broadway productions.  The musical ensemble performances will now have the proper acoustic output and recording devices to maximize the performance and audience experience.  The ability to control and tailor the lighting, sound and backdrop images to each individual performance not only benefits the student and audience experience, but the greater performing arts community that utilizes the space.    

The result of this multi-phase project integrates 21st Century functional practices and the allure and glamour of the Art Deco era into a public building that is the crown jewel and point of pride for the Lawrence community.

Levittown UFSD

Mark Design Studios Architecture PC provided professional architectural and design services for Levittown School District as part of an extensive capital improvement project to upgrade and modernize facilities throughout the District.  Projects included:

  • Renovated cafeterias and kitchen at Division Avenue HS 
  • Renovated cafeterias and kitchen at MacArthur HS 
  • Flooring replacement at Gardiners Elementary School 
  • Outdoor Learning Center at Levittown Memorial Education Center
  • District-wide masonry restoration 
  • District-wide roof replacements 
  • District-wide site improvements

Malone-Mulhall Recreation Center
at Camp Anchor

A new 15,900 sf Recreation Center serves the Anchor Program for children with disabilities and includes house a regulation Gymnasium with resilient wheelchair-friendly monolithic flooring, General Purpose Rooms, kitchen, computer classroom, nurse’s station and accessible multi-user toilets.

Mineola UFSD

Mark Design Studios Architecture PC designed a new Cafetia/All-Purpose Room & classroom addition at Hampton Elementary School.  This project also includes a new synthetic turf field for the Varsity High School teams as well as renovation of the existing cafeteria space to repurpose into additional classrooms.   The APR addition features a sloping metal roof with integrated solar PV system, new Kitchen and main space serving as a Cafeteria as well as APR for other curriculum and extra-curricular activities.  

Additional projects included an innovative new Fabrication Lab for Mineola High School.  This unique space houses the robotics program and incorporates a seamless blend of glass-enclosed computer facilities, production/fabrication shop and mezzanine to add storage space to the former auto shop.   Other projects at Mineola High School included renovation of the Band & Choral Rooms, Main Lobby renovation, new synthetic turf multi-sport athletic field and corridor locker replacement.

Our Lady of Mercy

Mark Design Studios Architecture PC designed a renovation of the third floor of the east wing for conversion into new STEM spaces for the school. This design features a flexible floor plan with retractable glass Nana walls as well as glazed storefront partition walls in each of the four computer labs, a 3D printer room, student lounge, office and ADA accessible rest room. This was additionally expanded with a complete renovation of the school Library Media Center. The features of the space include a new Reading Room, collaborative work areas, additional computer stations, dedicated computer room, new HVAC system and circulation desk with visual control of all spaces.

Plainedge HS Fitness Center

Mark Design Studios Architecture PC provided professional architectural and design services for Plainedge High School Fitness Center.

Tobay Beach Park

This major expansion of Tobay Beach Park extended over two phases to add attractions to the Beach park for patrons. Phase I consisted of adding a spray park feature and new playground area. Phase II of the project involved a second spray area with distinct features plus the addition of a 9-hole miniature golf course. Other site features in the park improvement included a new pre-fabricated comfort station with ADA accessible toilet facilities as well as outdoor showers for bathers, construction of a new outdoor deck restaurant at the location of the former helipad, landscaping improvements and the design and installation of a new sanitary system, pump stations and diffusion field. Total construction cost was $3,000,000.

Plainedge Athletic Complex

Creation of a state-of-the-art athletic facility as the home of the Plainedge Red Devlis’ athletic program, this facility includes a new synthetic turf multi-sport athletic field, 400-meter regulation track, 1300-seat grandstand with press box and LED field lighting system was designed and near completion.  Along with the new field, the project includes a new concession/storage building as well as a series of customized ISBU storage units to be located under the grandstand with a screen wall to mimic a building facade.  Accommodations were made to allow for security cameras, sound system and future technology package.  A new dedication concrete paver walkway connects the stadium complex to the parking lot along with new gateway arches from each parking area to welcome visitors and new baseball stadium synthetic turf infield.

Nino's Beach Restaurant

Nino’s Beach Mediterranean Restaurant, 43 Orchard Beach Blvd. Port Washington, NY 11050, is located on a geographically challenging site in the North Shore of Long Island, NY. The main structural system of the existing building was constructed directly above Manhasset Bay on a system of timber piers and decking that was recently restored by the owner of the marina.  

Humidity and high wind were taken into careful consideration when designing for the restaurant. With patron comfort being one of the essential objectives in the design, we designed a flooring system using a structural insulation panels system with splines to attach each panel for greater stability and resistance to tidal movement.  

The panels were comprised of marine-grade plywood, polyisocyanurate insulation and a low-emitting composite wood substrate flooring for enhanced moisture resistance.  This allowed us to achieve a uniformly level floor while meeting energy code and providing a comfortable walking surface that could receive the designed floor finishes.

High performance windows and exterior doors provide for minimal extrusions to meet the demands of the climate as well as maximize the views.  Custom folding glass doors were utilized to open the space to the south deck on fair weather days to allow patrons to enjoy unobstructed spectacular sunset views over the famed Manhasset Bay.  

To protect the drainage pipes below the deck from freezing, electrical heat trace was utilized.  Since the existing roof structure could not support the weight of the ventilation equipment required to provide energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; a system of elevated steel dunnage above the walk-in boxes were designed to support the mechanical equipment as well as to keep it elevated well above the flood plain.

These systems work in unison to resolve the challenges of the location while preserving the pristine views to the surrounding waterways.

Michael Mark, AIA | Principal

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Michael is principal and founder of MDS. He founded MDS with a vision to transform the educational design landscape to enhance learning for every student. He was always in the forefront of design when he introduced the Fab Labs (Fabrication Labs), STEAM Rooms, open-concept multi-purpose and outdoor classrooms, innovative athletic facilities, and college-style cafeterias to various K-12 schools in Long Island.
Michael’s motto has always been about building mutually trusting relationships with each client. With this trust, aspirations of what each client wants to achieve is limitless as ideas can flow and bounce around until the best solution is dreamt, found and built into reality. This is deeply instilled in MDS and transpired through each and every project.
Born in New York, Michael also spent time living in Florida and Paris. He is bilingual in Spanish. He has four sons and four pups, Chloe, Cassie, Lexi, and Daisy. In his down time, he loves spending time by the ocean.

Irene Yim, IIDA, ASID | Director of Design

Irene Yim
Irene joined MDS in 2017 and was promoted to Director of Design shortly after. Irene holds a BFA in Interior Design and is a licensed and certified Interior Designer. She has experience in the architectural design field spanning almost two decades. Her areas of specialty include educational design, commercial and high-end residential.
Irene believes strongly in giving back to the architecture and design community by mentoring the next generation of designers. She holds professional memberships in IIDA, ASID, and IDEC. Irene is an adjunct professor at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) teaching Design Studios.
She has two daughters and is passionate about raising the bar of educational design so that children have an optimal environment to grow in. Being a professor, mother and designer, she has a unique perspective of how students learn, and how learning spaces should be utilized and designed to enhance learning and teaching.
In addition to overseeing all design aspects of every project, Irene also plays a pivotal role in MDS’ operation and quality control to ensure every project’s success. She enjoys long solo bike rides in her free time.

Jeff Baravarian | Project Manager

Jeffrey has been with MDS since 2005. He attended NYIT and is a top-notched 3D visualization artist. Jeffrey has one daughter, two dogs and a cat and enjoys historical fencing in his free time.

Fiona Kika | Assistant Project Manager

Fiona started working with us in September, 2021 as an Interior Design Intern and now is currently in the position of Assistant Project Manager. She has her BFA degree in Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).  She has a positive and can-do attitude that fits right into our busy firm.  Her impressive 3D modeling skills have already contributed greatly to help our clients visualize their projects into reality.  

Kristen Meyer, RA | Project Architect

Kristen Meyer, Project Architect, has been with Mark Design Studios since 2019 and has been a licensed Architect since 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami. In addition to Educational Design, she has past experience in Healthcare Design and Permit Expediting. When she’s not busy running a 5k, planning her next globe-trotting adventure or reading up on obscure trivia, you can find her indulged in her relentless pursuit of the perfect grilled cheese. Her career ambition is to retire early and sail the globe on her yacht. Kristen aspires to continue to grow with MDS and embrace the mantle of construction manager.

Irina Russu | Project Manager

Irina has been working with MDS since 2019. She earned her Master’s Degree in Architecture at the Technical University of Moldova in 2013. Irina is a fast-learner with an open-mind and has become an integral part of the MDS design and technical team. She is a driven Project Manager who is not afraid to take on challenging projects and helping clients to achieve their vision. Her ability to solve problems and finding new solutions in the fast-paced architectural design environment is an invaluable asset to MDS. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, solving puzzles and reading books.

Elly Leung | Senior Project Manager

Elly studied at SUNY Farmingdale and NYCTC for Architectural Technology. She had almost a decade of experience working with city agencies prior to joining MDS in 2016. Elly is a Senior Project Manager and has a personal interest in approaching architectural design combining classical design concepts with new technology. She enjoys spending her free time with her 7-year-old pembroke welsh corgi.

Joy Lexian Liaw, RA | Project Architect

Joy is a Project Architect and joined MDS in November, 2018. She graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture and obtained her RA licensure in New York State in 2006. Prior to joining MDS, she had 10 years of architectural experience with various types of projects from mixed-use retail/office complexes to corporate interiors, religious buildings, healthcare and residential housings.
Her diverse range of experience and her approach to treating each project uniquely has led her to become a successful Project Architect managing all phases of the project from conceptual design through construction administration. Joy has two lovely and energetic boys named Winston & Kaden, both of whom were born in London while she spent five amazing years doing campus ministry with her husband. Joy enjoys traveling and exploring different cities and cultures.

Jaime Kantro | Administrative Assistant

Jaime Kantro has been the Administrative Assistant for MDS since February, 2019. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a BA in Environmental Design, Policy and Planning. Jaime has worked in the A&E industry for years and loves seeing a project from start to finish. At home, when she is not busy with her dog Karma, Jaime enjoys knitting and listening to podcasts.

Pasquale Iannotta | Assistant Project Manager

Pasquale attended NYIT and graduated with a B.ARCH in 2018. He aspires to be a successful Project Manager and is studying for his ARE exams to achieve his dream of being a licensed architect. He spends his free time brushing up on 3D modeling and post-production skills.

Armand Markarian, PE | Site Inspector

Armand is a retired public school Director of Facilities and Chemical Engineer with extensive experience working with school construction projects. He is also a NYS Code Enforcement Official. Armand has a keen eye for detail and is very knowledgeable on public works contracts and prevailing wage projects.

Frank Russo | Site Inspector

Frank is a retired public school Director of Facilities with vast experience in both public and private construction projects. Frank is an excellent craftsman and meticulous with knowledge of construction best practices, materials and methods.

Center Island Beach Park

A new synthetic turf multi-sport athletic field was designed and installed at this north shore location in place of an abandoned sanitary disposal field. Along with the new field, the project included a new pre-fabricated comfort station with press box on its flat roof, a new septic system and provision for a future field lighting system. The project also included a new basketball court with enclosure adjacent to the existing athletic club building. The entrance drive into the park facility was reconfigured and the guard booth relocated. New grandstands were installed adjacent to the comfort station with ADA accessible seating and access ramp incorporated.

Plainedge HS Cafeteria Commons

The High School Cafeteria Commons is a 7,000 sq. ft. space that includes booth seating with built-in charging stations and tables that offer areas for small groups to gather, eat and study together.  A counter seating area, dubbed Refuel Counter, offers an abundance of natural light and allows busy students who are short on time to refuel quickly and move on to their other activities. A Quiet Café, situated apart from the main Commons, will allow students to have their meal while studying in a focused and quiet manner. Combined with an open floor plan and a landscaped outdoor Court, the new space will allow for flexible use by the PTA and after school club meetings.

The Commons can turn also into a Lecture Hall with the push of a button using the latest state-of-the-art Crestron AV system. Motorized projection screens and LED TV’s throughout the space become presentation and learning tools. Integrated motorized shades help control glare from the sun-drenched addition as needed; zoned JBL speakers and wireless mics were thoughtfully integrated into the design so students do not miss hearing a word in lecture mode; in another mode, soft music can be played in the background to create a soothing environment.  

Valley Stream 13 UFSD - Library

Mark Design Studios Architecture PC provided professional architectural and design services for Valley Stream 13 Wheeler Avenue Elementary School  and Willow Road Elementary School Libraries.

Harbor Country Day School

Mark Design Studios Architecture PC provided professional architectural and design services for Harbor Country Day School. A private school from Pre-K – 8th grade.

Renaissance Hills

A 656-unit affordable luxury residential complex located in Hauppauge, NY.  A redesign of the existing apartments, plus a ground-up vision for the clubhouse, pool, fitness center and other newly built facilities, for a complete overhaul of the property into an attainable luxury development.

The complex offers five-star amenities including two resort-style swimming pools, a sports court, a dog park, an outdoor BBQ and dining area, a playground, and a fitness & wellness room complete with Matrix equipment. A clubhouse is positioned as the hub of the complex set among manicured and well-lit, park-like grounds.

Title

Commercial

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Client Name - Rikarin

Date - March 2016