Just minutes from Manhattan’s southern tip, the new Arts Center at Governors Island, featuring creative engineering solutions by BuroHappold, reimagines an historic warehouse building as a hub for performing arts and community events, and further transforms this 172-acre former military base as a year-round destination.
Developed by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) in partnership with the Trust for Governors Island, the center dramatically expands area cultural programming and kickstarts a long-range redevelopment vision focused on investment in arts, culture and education.
With sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, art spaces and a public café, the $12 million renovation designed by architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Adamson Associates Architects reveals the original structure of the historic building while adding flexibility for a variety of contemporary uses. Key program elements include a central exhibition and performance hall, dance rehearsal studios, and galleries.
BuroHappold and firm partner Craig Schwitter have supported the project from its inception, working with the design team and LMCC through the challenges of efficiently upgrading the 40,000-square foot, two-story historic military structure to create an enduring public cultural asset for Governors Island and New York City. Large-scale gallery and artist spaces were carefully adapted to meet the environmental and program needs of the next generation of LMCC artists, and the space will be one of the largest and most public facing projects to date on Governors Island - a quiet public treasure just minutes from downtown Manhattan.
“The new Arts Center at Governors Island serves as an exemplar for the intelligent reuse of existing landmark structures, showing how smart engineering can unlock the true potential of new cultural venues.
“This project required innovative solutions to boost energy efficiency, improve occupant comfort, and deliver a flexible, state-of-the-art performance venue that honors the historic character of Governors Island while creating a fully contemporary destination," confirmed Schwitter.