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Sunday, August 29, 2010

31 in 31: #29

This is a series for August 2010 which documents my on-the-ground -- and on-the-webs -- research for my guidebook to contemporary NYC architecture (to be released next year by W. W. Norton). Archives can be found at the bottom of the post and via the 31 in 31 label.

Art et Industrie

Although completed a couple years before 2000, the former Art et Industrie sculpture garden is something I was intrigued about, so I searched it out over the weekend and took a close look at it. Designed by Architecture Research Office (ARO) and located at the corner of Thompson and Broome Streets, the meat of the project is basically two solid-steel fences that follow the corner.

Art et Industrie

I'm not sure what Art et Industrie displayed in its indoor and outdoor galleries, but the fence is like a piece of Modernist sculpture: well-crafted, simple, and easy to miss.

Art et Industrie

Painted a dark gray, thin sheets of steel (I'm guessing about 8' by 8') are welded to matching steel H-shape supports which double as deep reveals.

Art et Industrie

The posts stop a little bit short of the panels, allowing the thinness of the latter to be legible. Visible below, the corner overlap puts the simple construction of the two elements on display.

Art et Industrie

The adjacent storefront space is empty, and a peek through the space reveals a pleasing garden. But in an area surrounded by mid- and high-rise construction, what is the future of this outdoor space? If I'm reading it right, a recent DOB filing points to an "eating and drinking establishment," something easy to imagine working well here, indoors and out.

Art et Industrie

Previously:
#1 - Phyto Universe
#2 - One Bryant Park
#3 - Pier 62 Carousel
#4 - Bronx River Art Center
#5 - The Pencil Factory
#6 - Westbeth Artists' Housing
#7 - 23 Beekman Place
#8 - Metal Shutter Houses
#9 - Bronx Box
#10 - American Academy of Arts and Letters
#11 - FDR Four Freedoms Park
#12 - One Madison Park
#13 - Pio Pio Restaurant
#14 - Queens West (Stage II)
#15 - 785 Eighth Avenue
#16 - Big BambĂș
#17 - Event Horizon
#18 - Murano
#19 - William Lescaze House
#20 - Morgan Library and Museum
#21 - MTA Flood Mitigation
#22 - Wilf Hall
#23 - Yohji Yamamoto
#24 - NYU Center for Academic and Spiritual Life
#25 - Nehemiah Spring Creek
#26 - Longchamps
#27 - 9th Street Residence
#28 - Crocs

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