Project: "Multimedia Entertainment Company"
Company:FXFOWLE Architects
Designer(s): Gerard Geier, Gregory Chann, Violette de la Selle, Erica Godun, Sylvia Hernandez, Ervin Hirsan, Illiana Ivanova, Daniel Jacoby, Ilana Judah, Heng?Choong Leong, Robert Loken, Alvaro Quintana, Krishna Rao, Gerard Sambets Jr., Stephanie Schreiber, Michael Syracuse, United States
Category: Architecture Categories, Professional
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Entry Description: Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, one block from Central Park, the First Battery Armory was constructed in 1901 for the New York City Armory Board. In 1913, the First Battery relocated, and between 1913 and 1976, the building was renovated multiple times for various tenants. In 2012, we converted the three-story stone and brick building—a linear head house along the street with a drill hall behind—into the corporate offices for a multimedia entertainment company. The armory is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and our design restores the shell as rigorously as possible. Historic portions of the building have been restored with original components (brick and trusses), fabricated to match what exists (light fixtures), or updated to meet code requirements in a way that references the past (roof structure). All historic steel— ceiling trusses, handrails, building details—is painted gray, fostering a unified industrial look and establishing an internal dialogue. Materials for the modern insertions create a clear contrast. The interior of the head house accommodates private offices. Two new mezzanines in the drill hall provide efficient work and meeting areas. At the juncture between the head house and the drill hall we inserted a light slot. Skylights cast natural light into this circulation zone of stairs and elevators. The new stair in the light slot serves as a social space; stretching diagonally, it conducts light through the building, all the way to the basement. At each end of the light slot is a conference room that overlooks the office interior. Glass partitions increase visual transparency and allow light to filter through to offices, workstations, and conference rooms. Mezzanine floors are flat-slab construction; their smooth, polished finish contrasts with the rough texture of the old brick walls. In the basement offices, indirect illumination reveals the historic flat-arch ceiling.

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