Artist Incubator, Harlem-NY
Institution: The City College of New York, The Bernard and Anne School of Architecture
Location: Harlem, New York City
Date: Spring 2006
The site for this project is a parking lot located at 116st street and Lexington Avenue, at the center of Harlem. The area is culturally rich and historically been the intersection point for different etnic groups. Nowadays the area is home to a substantial Hispanic population. The main task for the project was to design an artist incubator, where artists from different backgrounds would reside, produce and perform their works, as well as being able to display their art under the same roof, along with facilities that would benefit the community in large, such as providing a small blackbox theater for 100 people, gallery spaces, and small cafe. The studies (especially with physcial models) were made to see how building would develop if it was divided into two major sections (hubs), connected with an atrium in between them. The atrium consists of circulation paths but can also be functioned as part of the gallery spaces. First hub, which is located at the front of the building, house the studios, so that people passing by the building can have a peek at inside, and in a way, be somehow part of the whole process of art making. Back side of the building is more private, including artist residents and the small theater and its supporting facilities. Thus, gallerie space in the middle, which starts from back part of the building and flow into the facade, represents a transitional area and it gives an impression it can continue and flow into the street, thus creating an inviting feeling, with a seamless connectivity towards the urban fabric and community around the building.