The Wyckoff Exchange in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, New York is designed by Andre Kikoski Architect (AKA), an imaginative, award-winning architecture and design firm based in Manhattan.
“We wanted to create an iconic building to speak to Bushwick’s up-and-coming status as a center of art and creative energy,” says Kikoski, “so we devised a unique aesthetic that’s dramatic, inventive, and inspired by the neighborhood’s industrial past. With state-of-the-art technologies and construction techniques, we were able to realize this 100-foot-long, eighteen-foot-tall façade in only two inches of depth.”
Scheduled to open in winter 2010, the 10,000 square-foot Wyckoff Exchange will accommodate a live music and performance venue – to be called Radio Bushwick, with interiors also by AKA – as well as an organic market and a boutique wine shop, all in a long-vacant warehouse in the heart of a vital and rapidly changing area of the city.
The design solution for the building exterior is highly original, relying upon motorized door technology adapted from airplane hangars and factory buildings. The five pairs of moving façade panels create an ever-changing expression of function and tectonics. By day the panels fold up to create awnings for the stores and to shelter pedestrians; by night, they secure the shops behind them, while an abstract gradient of laser-cut perforations over semi-concealed LED lights makes the panels appear to glow from within — creating an enigmatic work of art on an urban scale.
“We chose materials for this façade that are both industrial and artistic,” explains Kikoski. “Our use of two restrained materials references the urban textures, surfaces, and character of the neighborhood. The surface quality of the raw, unfinished COR-TEN steel is elegantly transformed into a Rothko-like canvas by the setting sun, and the shimmering layer of perforated factory-grade stainless steel just two inches behind it forms a perfect complement.”
Andre Kikoski Architect’s design approach in this project, as in all of its work, is aimed at creating a dynamic, fluid piece of architecture. As an expression of AKA’s trademark resourcefulness and lyricism, and as an innovative approach to recycling buildings and creating a destination environment with an extreme economy of means, Wyckoff Exchange is truly a welcome development in this quickly evolving neighborhood.