A proposal for a Museum of Stored Art in Chelsea, Manhattan.
Four adjacent buildings are reconfigured and restored to house facilities for the storage of private and non-private art, with adjacent public and private spaces for display and sale of art.
The overlap of particular socio-economic tides —the rise of a shared economy that harnesses unattended markets, the proliferation of private art collections, the lack of sufficient spaces of public and communal activity, and the democratization of art viewing— has fostered an environment in which our proposal for a Museum of Stored Art is both timely and important.
Working with four contiguous under-developed buildings adjacent to the ‘Highline’ in Chelsea, we have explored the multiple design facets of a building that straddles the boundary between private art collection and public art viewing.
We have studied the nuanced and often challenging needs of storage of significant works of art and the delicate but rewarding benefit of publicly displaying both the ‘art of storage’ and the stored art.
In one scoop, by providing a space for private art collections to be viewed publicly, we connect the philanthropic intents of individuals with a public need, benefitting a community and its individuals.
The need for this type of building became evident to me as I began to design spaces for the collections of my clients. At the same time, our Chelsea office is next to one of the premiere art-storage facilities in the USA. I began to wonder what is contained in this storage building? And how wonderful it would be for the public to be able to see curated shows cross-referencing various collections.
The following images are the result of our initial foray into understanding the needs of such a building, its complex security concerns, and its incredible art-viewing opportunities.
An Art Storage and Museum Building in Chelsea
An urban lot on a side street in Chelsea is the site of an art storage and display facility.
The need for this building type became evident to us as we began to design spaces for art collections of our clients. During our research, we visited a few art-storage facilities that house un-advertised but potentially significant collections of art. Such facilities made us wonder, what may be contained in them? And how wonderful it would be for the public to be able to see curated shows that cross-reference art-work between various private collections.
Working on a 50’ wide by 90’ deep lot, zoned C.6, close to the ‘Highline’, we explored the multiple design facets of such a building and the issues that straddle the boundary between private art collection and public art viewing.
The project studies the nuanced and often challenging needs of storage of significant works of art and the delicate but rewarding benefit of publicly displaying both the ‘art of storage’ and the stored art. As such, the storage components of the building are visibly integrated on each floor with gallery or display spaces. In particular, immediately upon entering the building at the top of the rotated ‘stoop’, the museum-goer will see a compact storage area, through secure glass. On upper levels, the boundary between the storage areas and the gallery areas can be both adjusted and manipulated to serve fluid programs and intents. The work of art is always in close and visible proximity to where its stored.
Urbanistically, the building makes accommodations to its street and neighborhood. Its facade is both slightly rotated away from the front property line, and slightly tilted down, creating a sliver of space that draws one in and transitions into a rotated ‘stoop. Upon entering the staircase, one notices its high vaulted ceiling: the staircase becomes a public space and a place of public activity. Ascending it, one slowly disconnects from the noisy urban realm to the quiet within. Right before entering, only ones feet are visible from the street.
Navigating into the building, the first three floors are open to the public and connected with a staircase and passenger elevator. The top of this public stair terminates with a coffee shop, a place to sit and view street activity, and semi-public office spaces. The basement and ground floor, no longer able to contain mechanical equipment due to hurricane Sandy, are now given to a publicly accessible auditorium. Both passenger and freight elevators are accessed separately and securely from the ground level, on either side of the auditorium.
Typical rectangular introverted ‘white-box’ gallery spaces are punctuated with slivered openings that infuse the rooms with filtered natural light and allow glimpses of the architecture of the neighborhood. The elevators in the rear are similarly bordered with windows that both frame ones location within the block and allow natural light to be brought in.
The building facade, ground level, and front public areas are made of raw, roughly finished, poured-in-place concrete.
The overlap of particular socio-economic tides — the rise of a shared economy that harnesses unattended markets, the proliferation of art collections, the lack of sufficient spaces of public and communal activity, and the general democratization of art-viewing— has foster an environment wherein our proposal, we hope, is necessary and timely.
Sacred Geometry: Proposal for a Baha'i Temple in PNG
with Caroline O'Donnell / CODA and help of JWK Architects
Baha'i Temples throughout the world are required to be nine-sided and to have a dome-like interior. This proposal for a Baha'i Temple in Papua New Guinea takes its cue from the historic lineage of Baha'i temples
and adapts the template set by these structures in order to respond to nature's cycles and the path of the sun across the sky; its forms touch on the gentle shapes of local architecture and their angular profiles --shapes that were developed through daily use and need over many years.
A set of nine steel-reinforced concrete ribs adjust in depth to provide shade to a transparent skin of glass. The glazing itself has an outer and an inner layer of screens that moderate and control light and shade At
each of the nine entries, operable windows allow air to circulate in and escape through the oculus. At times, sunlight penetrates directly through the oculus casting the shadow of the Baha'i symbol onto the floor (the ceiling symbol is a requirement of the temple).
The temple is shaped to be naturally ventilated and to maintain a moderate temperature within its inner sanctum. A lightly woven lattice, made from local materials and construction techniques, forms an inner dome over this space, lowering the ceiling height and providing for a more intimate enclosure. The temple's orientation follows the angle of the sun diffusing light in a carefully orchestrated manner.
Seating is generally arranged to focus on a single speaker, but can be re-arranged to correspond to different events and programs.
The view of the temple will be that of an undulating weave of form and light and a dome that has responded to nature.
ShagWall, our project for Dstillery Lab in Manhattan, has a tapering circular wall, the largest diameter that could fit in the space, covered with 4" shag carpeting, that absorbs sound and encloses a gathering space.
A small park --parklet-- on 20th street in Chelsea, under the Highline.
More information will be available soon.
Rocks from NY Quarries.
Resin by Fusion Floors.
Plant selection by Jill Musnicki.
Plant installation by A Green Roof.
Rigging and Craning by Vergona Crane
Jee Won Kim
Time lapse photography:
DOT, Underline Coffee, Chelsea Community
small private school for the Baha'i community of Islip, Long Island, this project adapted its shape to the sliver-shaped property.
Ninety affordable apartments are clustered together in a village like setting. Each grouping of apartments is designed as a farm-house and each apartment is given a parcel of land for private farming or gardening.
The clustering of density allows a large portion of the land to remain unbuilt and infused with diverse landscape features, such as gardens, farms, sand bars, play grounds, skateboard ramps, walking paths, outdoor picnic, pool, etc.
ffordable housing for seniors in Amagansett, NY. Small two-story houses were placed densely along the edge of the site to allow for open space and vistas to remain.
A 10,000 sf space is designed to be under perpetual construction. Floating platforms will replicate idealized versions of Living room, Kitchen, Bedroom, Office, and Bathroom.
shortlisted submission to an international competition, the design proposal called for a tripled layered glass dome canopy with changing translucencies.
Shipping containers are retro-fitted with computers and transformed into satellite libraries and installed in various in-need sites in New Orleans. These centers will be monitored by the New Orleans public library and assist youth with homework, job search and general research.
The site around each center will be landscaped as a shaded urban park and be available to both students and neighborhood residents.
RDMU, Rapid Deployment Mediation Unit, made from a recycled shipping container, was originally conceived as a deployable space for mediation. It has been shown at the Salomon Contemporary Gallery and the Parrish Museum Road Show.
restaurant on the docks of Montauk on the East End of Long Island. It features an open kitchen, an interior lounge, exterior deck dining and is surfaced with reclaimed wood.
A curvilinear wine lounge using polycarbonate materials to make a sinuous interior.