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The Kitchen is a nonprofit, interdisciplinary arts performance space, theater, and gallery located in an old ice factory adjacent to the High Line in Chelsea. During Hurricane Sandy, four feet of water flooded its lobby and theater. We approached the task of redesigning the damaged space as an opportunity to both resolve pre-existing circulation issues and implement new sustainable design strategies appropriate to the post-Sandy urban setting. A restrained material palette and economical construction techniques reflect the industrial nature of the site. The new lobby is comprised of a flood-resistant finish system cladded with a combination of solid and perforated raw steel panels — some operable — that are hard wearing, require minimal maintenance, and patina over time.

Years after the success of this renovation we were asked to imagine what The Kitchen at 50 would be if it would stay in that location. To this question we applied Juhani Pallasmaa’s following words to this new vision of the institution “Basic architectural experiences are best understood as verb forms rather than being nouns. Authentic architectural experiences consist of approaching or confronting a building rather than a formal apprehension of a facade; the act of entering, not the static appreciation of the visual image of the door; of looking in or out of a window, rather than the window itself.” 


ARCHITECT: Matthew Baird FAIA, Matthew Baird Architect, PLLC, ASSOCIATE ARCHITECT IN CHARGE: María Milans del Bosch COAM


"Research on the impact and response to hurricane sandy"

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