Inside and Outside the Box/ A Chelsea Addition

The studio will focus on additions and connections to a loft building in Chelsea. The building is the home of The Kitchen, a not-for-profit institution dedicated to the creation and promotion of a cultural vanguard in film, video, dance and the visual arts. Founded in 1971, The Kitchen was the first institution to focus specifically on multi-disciplinary work and performance art. It is internationally renowned for its early support of artists such as Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, and Bill T. Jones. This studio expands upon the investigations of Building as Site/Performing the Kitchen,a Fall 2000 Options Studio that focused on the interior renovation of the Kitchen\’s 16,500 square foot building at 512 West 19th Street. This studio produced a thick understanding of the building as a material artifact and the institution as a place of multiple connections and flows. These materials, presented by some of their authors, will provide a jumping off point for the current studio, which will emphasize the institutions relationships with the city, including past and present technologies. The work of the semester will take place in the context of three part-projects. Together these projects will contribute to realizing the architectural potential of The Kitchen at different scales, reflecting its hybrid mission/identity as laboratory, showcase, and archive. Parts 1a and 1b will occur in the first third of the semester, and will help to construct a conceptual framework for approaching part 2, which is the main focus of the studio.Part 1a, \”Urban Kitchens\” engages building from outside, from the standpoint of the adjacent High Line, an elevated rail line that is currently being explored for its potential as a public open space. This project, which is to make a connection between The Kitchen and the High Line, introduces issues of scale, urban neighborhood, and languages of construction. Part 1b, \”The Wired Kitchen,\” beginning inside, will focus on the architecture of a high-tech theater. The site is The Kitchen\’s street level black box theater, one of the largest in the country. Part 2, \”The Kitchen Addition\”is a rooftop addition, which will be initiated from the inside and outside simultaneously. This proposed three-story construction will nearly double the square footage of the existing building. The program is housing for visiting artists, a cafe-bar, and video salon. The intention is to bring this third phase of work to a high degree of architectural definition, at multiple scales, in models and drawings. A field trip to New York City at the beginning of the semester will include meetings with the director and curators of the The Kitchen, as well as with Friends of the Highline, a group working to create strategies for its reuse. Further trips are possible, depending on the wishes of the studio group. If feasible, one or more reviews may take place at The Kitchen, in order to gain maximum benefit from the involvement of its staff and board members.