The BRIC House and UrbanGlass complex by LEESER Architecture opened its doors to the public on the morning of Oct. 2 in Downtown Brooklyn. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz were present to perform the ribboncutting at Brooklyn's newest creative space.
Back in 2008, Brooklyn-based LEESER won the chance to transform the historic Strand Theatre into what is now a 60,000 sq.foot venue for BRIC Arts | Media, a 35-year-old non-profit organization widely known for its interdisciplinary arts and media programs. The reconstruction project cost $35 million.
An emphasis on community outreach and participation is evident throughout LEESER's redesign of the 1919 building. The central public-gathering and presentation area (known as The Stoop), the white-walled interiors, and the facility's spaciousness create an overall open environment that will be suitable for the venue's various events and functions.
The House is also full of resources for BRIC's arts and media programs: a flexible performance space (BRIC House Ballroom), a public-access television studio, artist work space, a broadcasting center, and a customizable cafe that will be themed according to current major performances or exhibitions in the 3,000 sq.ft art gallery.
The BRIC House will be the new home of the UrbanGlass studio and gallery, NYC's only organization devoted to the art of glass-blowing. The 17,000 sq.ft space features energy-efficient furnaces and will allow glass artists from around the globe to create, connect, and get inspired.
UrbanGlass also created the signage for the building's neo-classical facade. The raised metal lettering is splashed across a white painted surface, and the word BRIC is mapped onto it by the use of projection and optic techniques. Next to it is UrbanGlass' own neon-lit sign.
The BRIC House & Urbanglass complex is LEESER's third cultural project in the New York City area, and is the latest addition to one of the fastest growing creative hubs in the U.S.
All photos courtesy of LEESER Architecture.