This project, for New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, transforms a five-story historic former public school to better house four arts groups and one community-service organization. Our design proposed a new five-story addition to create additional public space and provide access to all parts of the building.
The addition includes two new theatres within the building shell, a design studio, rehearsal rooms, shop space, painting studios, two gallery spaces, a lobby and pre-function gathering area, offices for the community center, and an outreach station for the community service group.
The new construction asserts a strong presence with delicacy, using natural daylight and artistic nighttime lighting to balance the heavy masonry of the building. It expresses a physical transformation, one that builds programmatic diversity for public functions and a unifying intersection of performing and visual arts groups.