A radical idea inside a historic building at the hottest area in NYC!
For this week’s EZarchitecture: Work podcast we will discuss the design for the headquarters building for Diane Von Furstenberg Studio, in the fashionable meat packing district on the West side of NYC. The DVF Studio is a project from one of our favorite architectural design firm; Work AC. Like many of the other project from Work, aside from the many wonderful detailing and choice of finishes, DVF Studio also contains an interesting special feature. Want to find out what it is? Check out our podcast below and read on!
In this week’s episode; Hsiang and Gudio talks about the unconventional design for the DVF studio from Work Architecture.
Hidden behind the historic façade on the West end of 14th street is a most unusual work space for one of the top fashion designers in NYC. The program included a showroom/ event space, offices for the design and administrative staff, an executive suite and on the very top, a private penhouse apartment. Finding a cohesive element to unify these different functioning spaces was an interesting challenge and in response, the designer came up with something rather unusual.
Can you say, Stairdelier?
A play on the word stair and chandelier, the designers transform the main circulation of the workspace into a decorative and sculptural center piece for the entire project. Not only does the main stairs create a spatial connection between each floor. By aligning each flight in a straight run, it also visually unifies all the spaces into one.
Absolutely brilliant, especially on a sunny day that is.
We have seem dramatic sculptural stairs in the past, but the stairdelier is like no other stairs you know. By building a large prismatic skylight on the top floor at the head of the stair, combine with set of computer controlled heliostat mirrors, a beam of sun light is sent straight down the stair and dramatically dispersed through a series of mirrors and hundreds of shards of crystals embedded in the stair itself.
The form of the stair itself which cuts diagonally across all the floors in turn creates additional interest, even on the normally static office level.
An appropriately dramatic backdrop for some dramatic people perhaps?
Often time it is a bit difficult to create unconventional architectural spaces given the limitation often imposed by working with an existing or even historic building. We love the approach Work AC took by inserting what essentially was a diagonal public space or what have been described as an “occupiable shaft of light” and in some way, it also reminded us of work from one of our favorite artist. Gordon Matta Clark, whom carved stunning volumetric spaces into abandon buildings in NYC back in the 70s (Abandon building in NYC?)
Gordon Matta Clark working on Conical Interest 1975, Via Artobserved
Of course it’s one thing to work with abandoned buildings slated for demolition, it’s quite another to work with a functional one that is also meant to be preserved as an historic building.