FROM THE ARCHITECT:
The Wyckoff Exchange is an economical and adaptive re-use of two abandoned warehouses to create 10,000 square feet of retail and cultural space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. This place is marked by the strong traces of a gritty industrial past, and is rapidly transforming into a center of art and creativity.
Our design solution offers an innovative response of what a modest retail building could be. We designed a trademark façade that responds to the place and purpose of this commission, paying careful attention to the resolution of formal and technical issues with extremely modest means. The choice of materials and technologies in this project is highly considered.
The design relies upon five pairs of motorized scissor doors/panels, whose technology is adapted from warehouses. The position of the façade panels creates a dynamic expression of purpose within: by day the panels fold up to create awnings for the stores and to shelter pedestrians; by night they fold down to secure the shops.
The panels consist of a steel frame that is clad in a double layered skin. The outer layer is textured Cor-Ten steel. The inner layer is shimmering light-gauge stainless steel. Each layer is laser cut with a different gradient pattern. And each double-layer panel is internally illuminated by LEDs.
While industrial in nature, the texture of the Cor-Ten steel responds to the modulation of daylight. The sun set transforms the richly oxidized surface into a Rothko-like canvas. At night these simple materials and technologies create a contemporary glowing mural of light, 100 feet long, eighteen feet tall, and only two inches deep.
The Wyckoff Exchange is dramatic and highly tactile. At once both simple and complex, the design uses a modest kit of parts of technology, material and light to create a sophisticated yet playful building, offering a fresh, bold, and different understanding of a retail venue.