SO – IL-designed 'amant' art campus set to open in brooklyn

SO – IL-designed 'amant' art campus set to open in brooklyn

‘amant’, a 21,000 square foot (1,950 square meter) art campus designed by SO – IL, is set to open its doors in brooklyn’s east williamsburg neighborhood. the location will serve as the new headquarters of amant, a non-profit arts organization, hosting exhibitions, public events, archival projects, performances, and a residency program. conceived as a research and process-oriented platform, the venue provides a public forum that presents and supports the practices of both established and under-recognized artists working across diverse creative fields.

 

‘we were interested in introducing a more humane grain and texture to the industrial neighborhood,’ SO – IL tells designboom, discussing the design of the project. find out more in the words of the architects below, and stay tuned as the complex prepares to open.

SO – IL amant art campus
amant exterior, under construction, april 2021 | image courtesy of the amant foundation

 

 

amant’s home in new york is a research and artistic platform spread across four different buildings in east williamsburg at 315 maujer street, 306 maujer street, and 932 grand street. the flexible and adaptable scheme includes exhibition galleries, a bookstore, a courtyard garden, and a multi-functional space dedicated to moving images and live art. the complex allows for an internal networking of activities while connecting, spatially, with the dynamics of the surrounding neighborhood. in developing the design, the architects sought to reinterpret the area’s industrial context.

SO – IL amant art campus
amant exterior, under construction, april 2021 | image courtesy of the amant foundation

 

 

we were interested in introducing a more humane grain and texture to the industrial neighborhood,’ the architects explain. ‘to reference and soften the neighboring materiality of the commercial landscape, we chose very simple, tough materials like brick, concrete, and steel, but applied in a more delicate manner. the bricks get turned to reveal the sides or back, creating a unique texture. the concrete peels in and out, to make the volumes softer and catch the light. the industrial grating and metal we assembled into sturdy but elegant edges and surfaces. together, the environment they create will hopefully trigger curiosity.’

SO – IL amant art campus
amant exterior detail | image by naho kubota, courtesy of SO – IL and the amant foundation

 

 

‘today, the area is almost entirely industrial and commercial,’ SO – IL tells designboom. ‘the site is surrounded by warehousing and independent businesses: a meat distributor, a truck body shop, distribution warehouses, and the like. the insertion of this art campus will most likely not add or disturb much of what is going on there, but the community that amant is shaping will benefit from the porous and permeable urbanism with courtyards and alleyways. the project is more an oasis or refuge.’

SO – IL amant art campus
amant exterior detail | image by naho kubota, courtesy of SO – IL and the amant foundation

 

 

the main entrance is located in the center of the complex at 315 maujer street, which houses amant’s offices and a daylit, 22-foot-tall (6.7 m) gallery space. across the courtyard at 932 grand street, what was once a marble shop has been converted into a vast second gallery space in addition to a café and bookstore. to the south at 306 maujer is a dedicated studio building for artists in residence featuring a large communal meeting area, library, and dining space, encouraging social exchange. four studios occupy the floor above, while walkways at the east and west perimeter lead to a second concrete volume housing ‘géza’, a multipurpose space for performances and screenings.

SO-IL-amant-art-campus-brooklyn-new-york-designboom-1800b

interior of amant’s performance space ‘géza’, under construction | image by naho kubota, courtesy of SO – IL and the amant foundation

 

the foundation is the vision of philanthropist and art collector lonti ebers, with the brooklyn programs to be spearheaded by artistic director ruth estévez — former gallery director at REDCAT in los angeles and senior curator at large at the rose art museum. ‘the idea behind amant was to create studios and exhibition spaces that would encourage artistic research and experimentation, free of the time restrictions and financial and administrative confines that typically accompany art practices in new york,’ ebers explains.

 

‘at a moment when new york is still reeling from the pandemic, amant wants to stress the importance of human relations,’ adds ruth estévez. ‘we want to provide opportunities to seed long-term cohesion between artists and audiences, supporting a tissue of intellectual, creative and emotional togetherness.’

SO – IL-designed 'amant' art campus set to open in brooklyn
amant exterior detail | image by naho kubota, courtesy of SO – IL and the amant foundation

 

 

in september, amant’s brooklyn campus will welcome its inaugural group of national and international residents. the four artists will come from a wide range of artistic fields and reflect amant’s commitment to geographic diversity. residencies take place three times a year and form the heart of amant. the new york residency is open to artists at all stages of their careers, with the sole restriction that residents may not already live in new york. with a focus on research, rather than production and fabrication, residents will enrich their creative practices by observing, absorbing, and listening to the many perspectives, lived experiences, places, and communities that new york has to offer.

SO – IL-designed 'amant' art campus set to open in brooklyn
amant founder and CEO lonti ebers (left) with artistic director ruth estévez (right) on site at amant, march 2021
image by lyndsy welgos, courtesy of the amant foundation

 

 

amant will open on june 5, 2021 with a survey of work by grada kilomba, the portuguese artist, writer and academic of west african descent whose work deals with the difficult legacies of slavery and the colonial past. in the fall 2021, as conditions permit, géza — amant’s multipurpose space — will host a screening series featuring kilomba, olivia plender, dora garcía, and clara ianni, whose cinematic works dissect and re-assemble history through found footage, news archives, and other epistolary documents and ephemera.

 

 

project info:

 

name: amant art campus
location: brooklyn, NY
client: amant
program: artist residency with galleries, offices, cafe, studio spaces, performance space
area: 1,950 sqm / 21,000 sqf
status: opening june 2021

 

SO – IL team —
florian idenburg, jing liu, kevin lamyuktseung, ted baab, pietro pagliaro, grace lee, sanger clark, lucia sanchez-ramirez, álvaro gómez-sellés, kristen too, christopher riley, alexandre hamlyn, regina teng, etienne vallat, marisa musing, tyler mauri, julie perrone, mario serrano, diego fernandez, john chow

 

collaborators —
architect of record: andrew reyniak
project manager: paratus group
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

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