US Building of the Week
SO – IL
22. August 2022
Photo: Naho Kubota
Located next to a brewery, a self-storage warehouse, and other industrial structures in North Brooklyn, Amant is a gem in the rough — and a surprising one at that, with intimate courtyards set between the art foundation's multiple brick and concrete buildings. The architects at SO – IL sent us some text and images on the project.
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Client: Lonti Ebers
Architect: SO – IL
- SO – IL Executive Team: Florian Idenburg, Jing Liu, Kevin Lamyuktseung, Ted Baab
- SO – IL Design Team: Pietro Pagliaro, Grace Lee, Sanger Clark, Lucia Sanchez-Ramirez, Álvaro Gómez-Sellés, Kristen Too, Sophie Nichols, Christopher Riley, Alexandre Hamlyn, Regina Teng, Etienne Vallat, Marisa Musing, Tyler Mauri, Julie Perrone, Mario Serrano, Diego Fernandez, John Chow
Structural: Silman Associates
MEP: CES Engineering, Plus Group Engineering
Lighting: Buro Happold Engineering
Cladding Consultant: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Civil: Bohler Engineering
Expediter: J. Callahan Consulting, Inc.
Acoustics / AV / Security: Harvey Marshall Berling Associates
Concrete: Reginald Hough Associates
Geotechnical: Langan Engineering, PMT Laboratories, Inc
Landscape: Future Green
Graphics: Linked by Air
Site Area: 1670 m2
Building Area: 16,400 sf (21,000 sf including indoor and outdoor)
Gallery/office building. (Photo: Naho Kubota)
Amant is spread across three blocks of rapidly changing, industrial North Brooklyn. An innovative cultural incubator, the facility functions both privately and publicly, housing artist studios, galleries, offices, a performance space, and a cafe.
Model showing the four buildings at Amant, left to right: gallery/cafe, gallery/office, artist studios, and gallery/performance space. (Photo: SO – IL)
Central to Amant’s design is the idea of an urban oasis, a space where the pace of art-making can slow to allow experimentation and meaningful reflection. The campus converses with the site’s eclectic post-industrial neighborhood, just as the organization housed within fosters dialogue between artist, visitor, and community.
Courtyard and gallery/office building. (Photo: Naho Kubota)
Rather than isolating from their urban context, the distributed volumes weave through the fabric of the city. Pockets of outdoor space with multiple entry points provide myriad opportunities to relate to the surrounding neighborhood while providing sanctuary from the city’s intensity. Public routes channeled through large city blocks create new means of circulation and discovery. Courtyards and thoroughfares dart through and between existing buildings, moving visitors past more private spaces at the periphery to centrally located galleries and exhibitions.
Courtyard and gallery/cafe building. (Photo: Naho Kubota)
Each of the four buildings in this collection contributes a gallery unique in proportion, size, light quality, and infrastructure. The porous campus remains flexible to curation, facilitating diverse, technically demanding programming on large to intimate scales for local and international artists across disciplines.
Inside gallery/cafe building. (Photo: Naho Kubota)
Materials render the buildings partly anonymous. Deeply textured form liners shape cast-in-place concrete. Bricks rotate out of plane to catch shadows. Galvanized steel bars toy with reflection and transparency. Each building nestles comfortably within its industrial context, offering surprising tactility, detail, and depth up close that betrays the familiar and the everyday.