Friday, July 18, 2008

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.

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