Publicly Accessible Buildings

Adaptive fashion

AKA transforms abandoned warehouse in Brooklyn with practical folding facade

by Sian 03 December 2010
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    Scheduled to open in winter 2010, the 10,000 sq ft Wyckoff Exchange will accommodate a live music and performance venue as well as an organic market and a boutique wine shop, all in a long-vacant warehouse in the heart of a vital and rapidly changing area of the city. Manhattan based firm Andre Kikoski Architect (AKA) has created a practical concertina façade for the Exchange, solidifying its identity in the local community. The venue will be renamed Radio Bushwick, with interiors also by AKA.  

    "We wanted to create an iconic building to speak to Bushwick's up-and-coming status as a centre of art and creative energy," says Kikoski, "so we devised a unique aesthetic that's dramatic, inventive, and inspired by the neighbourhood's industrial past.  With state-of-the-art technologies and construction techniques, we were able to realise this 100 ft long, 18 ft tall façade in only 2 inches of depth."

    The design solution for the building exterior relies upon motorised door technology adapted from airplane hangars and factory buildings. The five pairs of moving façade panels create an ever-changing expression of function and tectonics. By day the panels fold up to create awnings for the stores and to shelter pedestrians; by night, they secure the shops behind them, while an abstract gradient of laser-cut perforations over semi-concealed LED lights makes the panels appear to glow from within.

    "We chose materials for this façade that are both industrial and artistic," explains Kikoski. "Our use of two restrained materials references the urban textures, surfaces, and character of the neighbourhood. The surface quality of the raw, unfinished COR-TEN steel is elegantly transformed into a Rothko-like canvas by the setting sun, and the shimmering layer of perforated factory-grade stainless steel just two inches behind it forms a perfect complement."


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