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2 min read

Peopleverse 015: William Mandara Jr

Special guest William Mandara Jr, AIA of Mancini Duffy joins the Peopleverse to talk about a project that is sure to become an icon. It’s called TSX Broadway and it’s located at Times Square in New York City. Listen in as we go behind the scenes from the very beginning of the feasibility studies all the way through construction with some fantastic stories along the way of this project that’s part historic Broadway theater, part high-rise hotel, part multi-event venue, and part performance backdrop situated at the “Crossroads of the World”.

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About Bill:

William Mandara Jr., AIA, is the chief executive officer and co-owner of Mancini Duffy, a national design firm with a 100+-year-old history and tech-forward approach based in New York City. Bill comes from a family in the business: his father and grandfather were general contractors. He got the most thankless tasks during his teenage summers at his father’s job sites. In retrospect, it was a great way to instill understanding and respect for the profession. It was also a not-so-subtle hint from his father that he should be thinking about architecture school instead.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Bill’s journey of becoming an architect after working within a family lineage of construction workers
  • Why Bill chose architecture even though his passion for music was so strong
  • The story of TSX Broadway which includes:
    • navigating the challenges including the physical logistics and sequencing of such a project
    • demolishing an existing hotel that stood above the historic theater
    • digging 2 basement levels below the historic theater to install caissons 
    • why they decided to lift the iconic Palace Theater box 30 feet
    • building a new 3-story pre-function lobby to create opportunities for new audience experiences
    • building a new hotel
    • building the world’s largest LED-covered operable doors that reveal an elevated stage above Times Square
    • stories of collaboration and coordination of the complexity of the project between various stakeholders
    • how various stakeholders can add value to projects to make them extraordinary if they think outside “normal” boundaries
    • what working on “an iconic, kick-ass project” could do to people over such an extended project time line
    • an idea of the sheer number of building products in the project
    • the value of immersive software and physical mock-ups during the design process
    • teams of people with the daunting task of dealing with the thousands of building products on the project and their interface with other parts in assemblies
    • what Times Square was like when the COVID-19 lockdowns happened
  • Bill’s favorite part of the architecture & construction process
  • Bill’s answer for why someone should consider becoming an architect
  • Bill’s answer for why someone may want to consider becoming a leader of a firm
  • Bill’s insight into why someone may not want to consider becoming a leader of a firm
  • Bill’s megaphone message for the building industry to stop beating the crap out of each other

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