Thursday, July 31, 2008


While searching for a material to replace the fibrecement originally used on the gallery’s façade, we learned a few things about the environmental implications of the various materials we could use. Ecological awareness was an important part of Kyong Park’s mission when he founded Storefront, and we wanted to make sure we chose a product with a low energy footprint, especially since the so much more is known today than in 1992 about the environmental responsibilities of the building industry.

Our number one option was fibreC, a material produced by the Austrian company Rieder. fibreC is based on purely organic substances - more than 95% of fibreC consists of sand, cement and glass fibres, and it can therefore be completely recycled, unlike fibrecement products. Moreover, its production involves a low use of resources: the production of fibre cement consumes 76% more primary energy than fibreC. Wolfgang Rieder, the CEO of the company, generously agreed to provide enough 8mm fibreC to clad Storefront’s façade. The panels are on their way over from Austria now – will be arriving in mid-August.

fibreC is a concrete panel reinforced with glassfibres. Therefore, it combines the advantages of the two in a single material – it is as moldable and durable as concrete, but thanks to the glassfibres it is also thin-walled, fireproof and light-weight. It’s been used in some pretty exciting and innovative projects recently built around the world:

Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion by Zaha Hadid

DRL TEN Pavilion by Alan Dempsey and Alvin Huang

If you’d like to know more about fibreC, be sure to come along to Wolfgang Rieder’s lecture at Storefront on 25th September, 2 days after the inauguration of the renovated façade.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Things are moving quickly. Today they painted the facade's steel skeleton with a white rustproof primer. Looks great...

The builders also stripped away the cornice above what remains of the facade... Let's hope it doesn't rain.

In the meantime, work continues in the basement sweatshop. It's hot here in the Big Apple, especially underground with no aircon!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


For every one who as been tripping up entering or leaving the gallery in the last 15 years the re-tailoring of the entrance door will be greatly appreciated. For those who believe tripping is part of Storefronts inherent charm all other panels will still offer tripping possibilities.

Note: This is the only alteration to the facade that will be made everything else will be restored faithfully.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Original construction of the steel structure, 1993.

It's been 15 years since the facade has been naked for all to see. Interesting things have revealed themselves, like the on-site sketches trying to figure out how to round a corner with fiber cement board.

Friday, July 25, 2008


For the first time since the facade was closed up in 1993, we've been able to see what the complete metal structure looks like.

Photos by Danny Wills

Monday, July 21, 2008


STOREFRONT FOR ART & ARCHITECTURE concrete letters are taken down to be restored. Reconstruction is according to an anonymous website the longest word that can be derived from those letters. Other re-arrangement suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Just a few hours after the first section is complete swift "wheat pasters" make their mark. You have got to admire the speed at which it happens.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Builder +

more builders =

barricade. Tall beautiful plywood barricade.

Photos by Gaia Cambiaggi

RESTOREFRONT : The blog about the Storefront facade restoration

Storefront demolition of the interior face of the facade, May 2008
Photo by Ramak Fazel

The Restorefront blog will be following the restoration of Storefronts iconic but rapidly deteriorating Vito Acconci/Steven Holl facade. A facade that was originally meant to stay up for two years has actually just about lasted for 15 but now it's time to help it last another 15 at least. After an intense spring of consultations and preparations we have pulled together a great team that will bring the facade back to its 1993 glory by the end of September when we will open our many doors again for a new season of exhibition, talks, screenings, events and Pop-ups. I have included some background info about the Storefront facade restoration below.

In 1993, Storefront commissioned a collaborative building project by artist Vito Acconci and architect Steven Holl. The project replaced the existing façade with a series of wall panels that pivot vertically or horizontally, enabling the entire length of the building to open directly onto the street. Storefront’s façade is now regarded by many as a contemporary architectural landmark and is visited each year by thousands of artists, architects, and students from around the world. The façade exemplifies Storefront’s commitment to alternative architectural and artistic practices. Currently, however, the façade is in a serious state of deterioration and is in urgent need of restoration. The interior and exterior façade panels are damaged and decayed. A major part of the renovation will involve removing and rebuilding the panels on each side of the façade along with repairing and refurbishing its interior metal frames.

To mark its 25th anniversary in 2008, Storefront for Art and Architecture is embarking on a project to restore its façade. The Board of Directors, in conversation with Stephen Holl, the original architect of the project, reached this decision after careful consideration. The group examined possible approaches and concluded that a renovation of the original design was the most appropriate direction and would be an essential step in ushering Storefront into its next 25 years. Storefront views this renovation as a fundamental priority in both preserving the architectural and cultural landmark and in realizing the full potential of its capacity to further contribute to the cultural life of New York City.

Ibex construction will be the general contractor for the restoration and have generously donated a substantial part of the works to Storefront. The remainder of the cost is covered by government grants from NYSCA and LMCC and private donations from FLOS and anonymous donors. Rieder/fiberC will donate all the glassfiber concrete board that will be replacing the existing supra board cladding. Jerome S. Gillmann have been expediting this project pro bono.