Project DescriptionHappy Lucky No.1 is an art gallery, community art space, artist residency and apartment building located on Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights. Beginning in 2013, our client approached us with a desire to transform the existing 4 story building into a cultural landmark for her neighborhood. We were charged with redesigning the building to include both multifamily and assembly use, as well as a private office and garden for the client and her curators. In addition to the programming goals, there was also an ambitious sustainability agenda including stormwater capture, solar power integration and low energy systems throughout. These goals were often at odds: both a green roof and PV panels on limited roof space; a minimalist gallery and extensive performance and audiovisual equipment and capabilities; highly controlled scene-based lighting systems and ample daylighting in the gallery. Our solutions to these problems were the result of close collaboration with the client in reimagining her goals, as well as extensive research in the material repurposing and novel construction techniques:
• The ceiling of the gallery was lowered and extended into the yard with new steel structural members to hold an intensive green roof assembly and a 100 sq ft on operable skylights for the gallery below. While the roof is two levels, the lower level green roof is capable of holding the stormwater of both roofs in most rain events.
• 1200 sq ft of wooden floors tiles are made from those replaced joists, and were carefully cleaned and edged to give the unique floor texture in the space.
• Hidden behind the floors and ceiling is also an operable pneumatic stage, retractable projection screen and projector, a multi-scene reconfigurable LED lighting system, wireless sound systems and retractable gates. The fresh air diffusers were literally hidden in a 1” crack in the wall, invisible unless pointed out.
• A vertical green wall punctuates the volume of the gallery through a 13’ wide glass opening, a solid texture of green visible even from the street frontage. The green wall provides a cooling effect in the summer months and visual contrast to the pristine white of the gallery.
In addition to the gallery, the residential use above was divided into a 2 large apartments, as well as a artist studio and a large office for the client overlooks the green roof. From the rear of the property an accessory stair links the office and gallery together, providing a hidden link between two different building uses.