Brooklyn, NY


The master plan for the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cultural District was commissioned by BAM Local Development Corporation to establish new homes for cultural not-for-profit arts organizations currently facing expiring leases and space limitations in Manhattan. Empty lots used for day parking surrounding BAM Opera House will house an aggregate of new “production” facilities and “presentation” venues. Contrary to the convention of building on side-by-side lots, a dense array of programs including visual arts institutions, theaters, a performance library, dance rehearsal spaces, administrative spaces for cultural institutions, artists’ live/work lofts, residential housing, and commercial programs, will span several building lots and city blocks with major spaces articulated as strands running “with the grain” in the north-south axis. The District Core is envisioned as an open weave of buildings and public spaces. The conversion of existing structures in concert with new construction is imperative for the project “to take root,” maintaining the diverse character of the surrounding community without sanitizing away its rough edges. Prior to any building activity, a process of “acculturation” will take place through the temporary occupation of car lots with time-share programs such as drive-in cinema, art installations, and performance events using existing site surfaces. Permanent interventions such as a vertical park and an urban beach will be made into undervalued site lots. The project is in collaboration with OMA.

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