In response to continuing demand from the creative and artistic communities in Brooklyn for studio, gallery and work space, a new ground-up, six-story, 50,000 s/f mixed-use artist studio development, designed by Gene Kaufman Architect, P.C., is set to rise at 100 Bogart Street in the East Williamsburg/Bushwick neighborhood.
The project is being developed by IBK Construction Group, LLC, which specializes in state-of-the-art concrete construction.
“This project marks a historic moment for Brooklyn and for the arts,” said Gene Kaufman, founder of GKA. “Brooklyn’s evolution from a last-resort ‘outer borough’ with low rent to the ‘hippest place on earth,’ colonized by artists and hipsters, had it drowning in a sea of convertors and developers.
“The development of a new building for artists brings Brooklyn an even better version of its hippest moment by constructing artist facilities that are permanent, state-of-the-art and conceived and designed exclusively for the artists who will work here.
“This building combines the best aspects of the arts and real estate in one structure and proves that they are compatible. The classic cycle of artists rescuing a neighborhood and then being pushed out due to their own success is not inevitable.
“By making artists an integral part of the long-term picture of a community and a built-in economic generator, this project builds on decades of urban transformation of neighborhoods like Soho and Tribeca and does it better than it has ever been done before.”
The design and development team expect to create and lease 50 to 60 artist studios at 100 Bogart, but given the work patterns and resourcefulness of the artistic community, who are exemplars of the creative economy, it is expected that two to three times that number of artists will be working at the building.
“The new building will not fill the existing lot entirely; it is set back to maximize the light for the artists and artisans who will occupy and work in the spaces,” added Kaufman.
“The interior was designed to provide maximum flexibility and utility for the creative tenants. Details such as heavy floor loads, larger elevator bays and strategically placed of stairs and elevators have been carefully considered to allow for maximum adaptability for multiple uses.”
“Real estate interests are sometimes tone-deaf to the very factors that draw them in, to the intangible ‘vibe’ and essence of a community.
“Faced with the assignment to build new but keep the ‘cool’ factor of the low-profile conversion of this formerly industrial neighborhood, we decided to build an all-concrete building – not just a structural frame to be hidden by other materials, but exposed concrete exterior walls that will have the timelessness and industrial character of the surrounding area.
“The expression of the basic materials of construction will show the essence of this building even to passers-by. We have an ideal client, a concrete contractor par excellence, who will deliver a building of the highest quality at a very modest budget by doing the work in house during lulls in their work schedule.
“This building will rival the finest Chelsea galleries and, like the new concrete Zwirner Gallery, will take the art of architecture to a new level with the architecture of art.”