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Construction & Design

New Governors Island Arts Center set to open

The new Arts Center at Governors Island is set to open in September 2019.

The Arts Center reimagines a historic warehouse building as a hub for performing arts and community events and further transforms the 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 cultural programming and kickstarts a long-range redevelopment vision focused on investment in arts, culture and education.

With 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.

The facility features engineering solutions by BuroHappold and firm partner Craig Schwitter who worked with the design team and LMCC through the challenges of efficiently upgrading the 40,000 s/f, two-story historic military structure.

“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,” said BuroHappold’s Schwitter.

“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.”

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