Françoise Bollack Architects created a vibrant new home for the LGB&T
Community Center through the adaptive reuse of a mid-19th century school in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Adjacent to the main school
building is an 1895 play shed, clad in corrugated iron, with a simple gable
roof supported by thin angle iron steel trusses. In 2001, the adaptive reuse
of this play shed provided new space for two departments: Mental Health and
Social Services (MHSS) and Youth Enrichment Services (YES).
While these departments both occupy the shed space, the program required
that a separate reception and waiting area be provided for each. In order to
create a comfortable environment for the MHSS counselors and their guests,
a number of private offices have been placed around the perimeter of the main volume. Larger meeting rooms allow for group meetings and an spacious central area gives open space to the many volunteers who generously contribute to these organizations.
The design takes advantage of the texture and age of the existing enclosures
to establish a lively contrast with the new offices. The new offices, which
need absolute visual and aural privacy, have a view of the open space through
glazed areas above the seven foot line of the doors. Within the larger volume
of the shed, these illuminated glazed areas act as dramatic lanterns.