Posts tagged with "David Adjaye":

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David Adjaye’s Ruby City is an imposing monument to art in southern Texas

Ruby City is an oddity. Sited in a formerly industrial zone south of Downtown San Antonio dotted with islands of gas stations and fast food signs, and abutting a neighborhood known for its artist community, the 14,000-square-foot contemporary art center designed by Adjaye Associates is, by nature of its history, location, and design, a study in contradictions. In 2007, the late Linda Pace, daughter of salsa and hot sauce magnate David Pace, reached out to David Adjaye with a sketch of Ruby City, which she envisioned as a center to present her then 500-piece-strong art collection to the public. An artist herself, Pace would draw her dreams after waking up and have these sketches fabricated into sculptures (the institution's inaugural exhibition includes a work by Pace that renders the word STAY in fake blue flowers). Pace’s idea for Ruby City came during one of these nocturnal fantasias, when she envisaged a complex of towers and minarets in blazing red. Pace met Adjaye shortly before her death from breast cancer to discuss the project, and 12 years later, the building is finally opening. The result is far from a collection of windowless spires but is still, as Adjaye told Texas Monthly, “very shy.” On approach, my initial impression was of a thick-shelled aardvark or beetle, the building’s heavy stone massing and brilliant red color standing in stark contrast to the sea of parking lots nearby. The red, terrazzo-like concrete used to form the facade has been rightly celebrated by critics ahead of the building’s opening; the material was fabricated by Pretecsa, a company based outside of Mexico City, and is also strategically deployed in custom curbside bollards and benches in the sculpture garden. In person, its rich color is true to the photos. Despite the fortress-like street presence, Adjaye has tried to make Ruby City feel inviting. The way the entrance canopy gently lifts from the building and cantilevers over the plaza like the opening of a cave lends some much-needed lightness to the massing, a touch that’s mirrored on the reverse side, over the parking lot. Part of the inward-facing design is practical, as anything built in southern Texas must defer to the elements. To combat the harsh sun, two layers of curtains, one blackout and one shade, have been installed across the windows in all three of the building’s central gallery spaces; the building will be open only four days a week, with the blackout curtains otherwise drawn to protect the collection. Ruby-tinted steel grates, resembling crenelated brick from the ground, have been installed across every skylight to protect against monster hail. Once inside, it becomes clear that Adjaye Associates and executive architects Alamo Architects took great strides to enliven what could have become just another set of white-walled galleries. Flourishes abound. Pulls and fixtures were all designed in-house at Adjaye’s office, as were the molcajete- and metate-inspired benches and reception desk textured in rough, crinkled concrete. Faceted skylights brighten the steep, lengthy staircases, which are specifically designed to block the view of the second floor until visitors nearly reach the landings above. What at first seems to be a straightforward path through two extra-tall exhibition spaces (the third is currently ensconced in blue felt for an installation of Isaac Julien’s Stones Against Diamonds video, which will run for two years) actually meanders and reveals plenty of side passages and nooks with alternate views of the route just traveled. Similarly thoughtful, unexpected details are everywhere: an “eyelid” panel juts away from the building over a window on the second floor to direct views downward to the sculpture park; a conference room centered on a pair of doors taken from Pace’s bedroom is clad in timber; the adobe-colored concrete plaza extends inside to the reception area and into the elevator; a triangular cutout hidden in the overhang above the entrance looks to the sky but is only visible from directly below, Adjaye's James Turrell moment; a central gallery tall enough to comfortably, surprisingly, fit 16-foot-tall sculptures typically reserved for outdoor installation. These moves all spice up an interior that can still feel, at times, a bit too staid. There are now 900 drawings, paintings, videos, and mixed-media pieces in Ruby City’s collection, as the Linda Pace Foundation has combined its holdings with Pace’s personal acquisitions. Exhibitions will draw only from the permanent collection, and will likely rotate every two years, with the kickoff show, Waking Dream, presenting a twisted take on domesticity from international and local artists from the building's opening on October 13 through 2022. Combined with strategic views of Chris Park, a one-acre landscape of palm trees and bamboo groves down the street that is dedicated to Pace’s late son, from the double-height side corridor before entering the galleries proper, there’s enough discovery in both the art and the building to keep visitors coming back. In the end, the gestures add up, turning what could be a simple experience into something more multifaceted.
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David Adjaye and Ron Arad revise design for the UK Holocaust Memorial

David Adjaye and Ron Arad’s design for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre planned for London looks distinctly more understated in the most recent set of renderings released by the duo. Crafted in collaboration with landscape architecture firm Gustafson Porter + Bowman, the updated version of the memorial project was created in response to concerns from neighbors and the local Westminster City Council. Planned for a site next to the Houses of Parliament in Victoria Tower Gardens, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the project has been highly contentious. For years, Britain’s government has been seeking a way to honor Holocaust survivors and the lives lost under Nazi persecution, but a cross-party group of Jewish leadership, as well as local residents, have been against the memorial, saying it would present an inaccurate attitude of national guilt. Still, in 2016 the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation launched an international design competition, which attracted high-profile firms and artists like Zaha Hadid Architects, Anish Kapoor, MASS Design Group, Studio Libeskind, and Allied Works. Though the jury unanimously selected Adjaye and Arad’s proposal in October 2017, the winning design was criticized from the start by the public, and even UNESCO, for its size and location. Concerns were raised over the Foundation’s plans to put the Learning Centre underground, which would disrupt the site during construction, and people feared the memorial wouldn’t be built in dialogue with the existing monuments on site or with the nearby Imperial War Museum, which has planned its own Holocaust tribute. Adjaye and Arad’s revised design features a new, single-story entrance pavilion that’s lighter, more transparent, and more in sync with the existing landscape, according to Adjaye Associates and the planning application submitted to the city this January. Its roofline has been changed to allow for better views across the entire site, which was a major change to appease critics who argued the memorial blocked sights towards Parliament. The bronze fins that signal the memorial’s presence, arguably the most striking part of the exterior design, have been subdued and pulled away from the old plane trees that surround the structure. Visitors will still be able to walk through the rows of fins and into the subterranean Learning Centre below. Overall, Adjaye and Arad’s new plan for the memorial, which is now under a public commentary period, is better integrated into the landscape of Victoria Gardens and doesn’t pose as serious a threat to the surrounding historic views or the existing native plantings. Walking from the Houses of Parliament, the grass sweeps in an upward motion towards the memorial, becoming a part of its roof. From the other side, the stark fins still seem to stand out, but maybe in the summers, when the site’s flora is in full bloom, the structure will surprise visitors who stumble upon it amongst the luscious greenery. 
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David Adjaye to help build strategic plan for Central Brooklyn community

David Adjaye is teaming up with the U.S.’s first community development corporation (CDC) to revitalize its home of 50 years. Restoration Plaza, headquarters of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn, New York, will get a total revamp through a five-year strategic plan that will include input from local residents. Located on Fulton Street, the campus has long been a community anchor in Bedford-Stuyvesant, or Bed-Stuy, as the neighborhood is known. The complex currently houses office space, a restaurant, commercial tenants, the Brooklyn Business Center, and the recently-renovated, historic Billie Holiday Theatre. Adjaye Associates will work with Restoration and local residents to redefine the 300,000-square-foot commercial plaza and add 400,000 square feet of office space to the site. For the influential nonprofit, the massive undertaking will further its mission of disrupting and closing the racial wealth gap in Central Brooklyn—something that’s becoming an even bigger focal point as the area gentrifies and longtime residents feel the pressure of higher rents. Through the plan, Restoration will create new centers—one for personal financial health, one for community asset building, one for social entrepreneurship and enterprise, as well as new accommodations for its existing RestorationART program. These initiatives will help bridge existing inequities by providing locals the assistance they need to continue investing in Bed-Stuy’s future amidst its rapid growth. Since it was established in 1967, Restoration has played a key role in the neighborhood’s development. A predominantly low-income area, it served as a testing ground for the Special Impact Program, an amendment to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 that was started by Senator Jacob K. Javits, Mayor John W. Lindsay, and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The plan saw business leaders from around the country, including those from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and the Ford Foundation, invest in the build-out of what would become the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. The plaza, which envelops all of Restoration’s offices and the businesses its attracted over the years, was renovated in the early 2000s, and has been repeatedly updated since then. This new overhaul and expansion by Adjaye Associates will bring a modern feel to the site in hopes of boosting job growth across various industries in the area, including tech, fashion, and hospitality—sectors that are largely burgeoning along the Brooklyn waterfront. Though no specific details for the site’s renovation have been released yet, the nonprofit said it aims to build new spaces that better attract these innovative businesses. For Adjaye, he’s ready for the chance to physically build upon Restoration’s rich legacy and announce its influence through new architecture that the locals deserve. “Our team is embarking on a notable mission to re-imagine Restoration Plaza and showcase its impact on the Bed-Stuy community and the country,” said Adjaye in a statement. “As the nation’s first CDC, Restoration has a long history of setting a high standard for the advancement of African American and Caribbean residents who built Central Brooklyn and poured their soul into the community. It’s our honor to be a part of this powerful five-year plan to remake this iconic community epicenter and tackle the large challenge of sustained wealth through the closure of a heartbreaking wealth gap in this city.”    
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David Adjaye to design Ghana's first Venice Art Biennale pavilion

Ghana will present its first-ever installation in the Biennale Arte 2019 in Venice later this year, and Ghana’s president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commissioned David Adjaye to design the national pavilion. The 58th international Venice Art Biennale will run from May 11 through November 24, 2019, under the theme of May You Live In Interesting Times. The saying is erroneously credited as “ancient Chinese wisdom” that refers to living through chaotic or tumultuous times—an idea the biennale’s curator, Ralph Rugoff, has linked to fake news, digital manipulation, and the “interesting times” that we now live in. Ghana’s contribution to the Biennale will be titled Ghana Freedom and will track the evolution of that freedom across three generations, all the way back to the country winning its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957. Six artists will present work influenced by domestic Ghanaian culture and the diaspora beyond its borders, creating a narrative that the pavilion’s curator Nana Oforiatta Ayim describes as “finally moving out of the ‘postcolonial’ moment into one we have yet to envision.” The pavilion itself will be made up of overlapping concentric exhibition spaces clad in “locally-sourced earth,” in reference to traditional Ghanaian structures. “Being able to show the diversity and creativity of Ghana on an international scale is an incredible achievement,” said David Adjaye, “and one which showcases the talent that we have to offer. The commitment and inspiration shown by the President in commissioning this pavilion is a testament to what our country has to offer the art community.” According to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana Freedom will feature “large-scale installations by El Anatsui and Ibrahim Mahama; representation and portraiture by prominent photographer Felicia Abban and painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye; and a three-channel film projection by John Akomfrah and a video sculpture by Selasi Awusi Sosu.” After the completion of the Biennale in November, the pavilion will travel to Accra, Ghana’s capital.
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Serpentine Gallery and David Adjaye put out a call for trippy AR architecture

London’s Serpentine Galleries are going high-tech for its 2019 summer installation. Together with Google Arts & Culture and Serpentine trustee David Adjaye, the arts institution is soliciting augmented reality (AR) architecture proposals to run alongside the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion this summer. Serpentine Augmented Architecture is taking entries from all over the world until February 25. According to the brief, applicants are expected to “propose imaginary city spaces and speculations on the built environment to be developed and experienced” in AR onsite at the galleries. The jury, composed of writers, curators, designers, technologists, and architects, is evaluating proposals on three different categories: How can the city be augmented or reinvented through AR? How can AR recontextualize our spatial relationships, given that the challenges and limitations of designing in the physical world are nonexistent in digital realities? Finally, each submission needs to be at least somewhat site-specific, as the Serpentine Gallery sits within an ecologically-sensitive park and welcomes up to 12 million visitors a year. Most importantly, because AR is in a relatively nascent stage, despite the tech being readily available to anyone with a smartphone, the boundaries and rules for its use have yet to be written. Any creative uses of augmented reality, including those that evolve over time, will be accepted. Entrants who are selected for the two-stage competition’s shortlist will move ahead to the second round and will be given a stipend of $1,000 to further develop their idea. After that, one winning proposal will be realized on the gallery’s grounds in July, and the winning team will receive approximately $3,800 for travel and accommodation expenses. Interested in applying? The full guidelines can be found here. The Serpentine Galleries are leaning heavily into tech this year, and Marina Abramovic will be staging her own AR installation in the main gallery space from February 19 through 24. While the architect of the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion hasn’t been announced yet, that information should become available any day now, giving applicants a better idea of what their work will be shown alongside.
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David Adjaye's 66-story Lower Manhattan tower gets its rugged concrete skin

Last week, massive, hand-cast concrete arches—reminiscent of historic New York building materials from the 19th and 20th centuries—started getting installed on the facade of Adjaye Associates' 130 William residential tower in Lower Manhattan. The tower has made huge progress over the past six months, transforming from a steel skeleton into a concrete superstructure 27-floors high, which is still less than half the size of its projected 66-story peak. Once finished, the building will considerably transform New York City’s iconic skyline, while introducing 244 new luxury condominiums to the Financial District. The skyscraper is significant not only for its immense height, eclectic building materials, and interesting color palette, but also for its visual simplicity, clarity, and unique profile. Distinguished by its stark inverted-pyramidal design, the facade of the building symbolizes an era of social change, technological development, and evolution from the repetitive style of modern architecture in the city. The minimalistic, concrete pillar, evocative of New York City's industrial history, drastically differs from Manhattan’s glass-box skyscrapers. Although this urban monument lacks vibrant imagery and ornamentation, its sheer height and rational twists in concrete, glass, and bronze give it an animated appearance, while still embodying a modern “less is more" ideal. Adjaye Associates describes its architectural practice as, “renowned for an eclectic material and colour palette and a capacity to offer a rich civic experience, the buildings differ in form and style, yet are unified by their ability to generate new typologies and to reference a wide cultural discourse.” According to a representative, the building’s real estate is selling well.
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David Adjaye cites anti-Semitism as criticism rises over his UK Holocaust Memorial

Critics of the upcoming UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre have cried out to the government over its prominent location in London's Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Houses of Parliament. The Jewish Chronicle reported that a cross-party group of Jewish leadership worries the $58 million project “conveys an impression of national guilt” and that it’s too close to the Imperial War Museum, which has held a long-standing permanent exhibition on the Holocaust. Despite these complaints, Sir David Adjaye, the British architect behind the memorial, is fiercely defending his vision, and several advocates, including three major Shoah charities, are backing him. Adjaye told ES Magazine this week that the poignant memorial needs to sit next to Parliament because “Holocaust-deniers have festered” in the country in recent years. Most notably, Britain's Labour Party leadership has been accused of allegedly stirring up anti-Semitism in national politics. “History has taught us that we need a mechanism to remind us of what we did and why we did it,” Adjaye told ES. Some say the project needs to be downsized or that it isn’t necessary altogether because of Britain’s involvement in liberating the oppressed from concentration camps during World War II. Critics also think some of the money for the memorial should be allocated to enhancing the efforts of the nearby Imperial War Museum, which has also repeatedly called for a rethink of the project's design and location as it gets set to unveil its newest Holocaust-related digital galleries in 2020. But Adjaye and supporters believe the new memorial is crucial to further honoring the memory of those who died and that the proposed site is “hugely appropriate.” Adjaye Associates won a competition to design the structure last year after submitting a proposal with Israeli designer Ron Arad and landscape firm Gustafson Porter + Bowman. Their vision for a bronze, sculpture-like memorial sporting 23 stark fins beat out teams from Zaha Hadid Architects, MASS Design Group, Anish Kapoor, Studio Gang, Foster + Partners, and more. The competition was put together by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and backed by former British Prime Minister David Cameron.
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National Smithsonian symposium will celebrate black architects and planners

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C., is gearing up for a national symposium that will reflect on a half-century of work by black American design professionals. Shifting the Landscape: Black Architects and Planners, 1968 to Now will be a three-day event in late September featuring talks and presentations from Sir David Adjaye, Justin Garrett Moore, Mabel O. Wilson, Jennifer Newsom, and many more at Adjaye's NMAAHC building and the National Museum of African Art. The event will highlight the work of black architects and planners since the late '60s, and speakers will reflect on the evolving relationship between design and activism. The events are also intended to allow participants to network and form relationships that could help young designers advance their careers. The symposium is one of many events this year that looks at the profession's progress on racial equity since Whitney M. Young Jr.'s 1968 address to the annual convention of the AIA. In that speech, the then–executive director of the National Urban League exhorted architects to take on the nation's social and political issues, especially those of the nation's cities. He also encouraged the profession to embrace diversity and encourage designers from underrepresented groups to take their place in the design community. Although the symposium has already reached capacity, its Thursday and Friday events will be streamed online here. Shifting the Landscape: Black Architects and Planners, 1968 to Now will take place Thursday, September 27, through Saturday, September 29 at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of African Art, both in Washington, D.C.
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David Adjaye realizes a ruby-red museum in San Antonio, Texas

In 2007 the late artist and philanthropist Linda Pace—of Pace jarred salsa fame—had a vision of a ruby-tinted arts city come to her in a dream. The city, as Pace dreamed it, would become a rough outline for the 14,000-square-foot Adjaye Associates–designed museum complex that will house her foundation’s art collection in San Antonio. Pace passed away in 2007; more than ten years later, her vision is being brought to life bit by bit, an endeavor that is currently in full swing ahead of the building’s projected 2019 opening date. The $16 million dream is being translated into reality by architect David Adjaye and an international network of local architects, contractors, and fabricators who have made plans for a precast concrete panel citadel situated on the Texas plain. There, folded concrete surfaces and expanses of brut walls will house the 800 or so artworks collected by Pace and her namesake foundation. The pink complex is built out of a special concrete and aggregate mix crafted by fabricators across the border in Mexico that will result in a gleaming, rosy edifice. As explained by Mike McGlone, principal at Alamo Architects, the executive architect for the project, most colored concrete starts out in either gray, beige, or white tones, with pigments added incrementally to tint the mixture to the desired color. But ruby red pigment is a particularly difficult hue to achieve. For one, pigment can only be added little by little, resulting in a blended appearance that can appear muddled when combined with cement’s natural coloring. The process is made more difficult by the inherent structural requirements of the materials involved—the more pigment is added, the less resilient the final product—so while Pace’s dream called for a vibrant, beet juice–colored edifice, tests using traditional methods yielded less spectacular results. That was the case until designers began looking south of the border, where concrete fabricators Pretecsa can produce concrete panels made with red rock aggregate and red sand taken from local quarries. There, instead of starting with beige or gray bases, the fabricators begin with white concrete and add colored materials and tints to change the hue of the mix from inside-out. The fabricators include materials such as recycled red glass and mica in the mix to boost coloration, while also creating a glittering finished surface that will reflect sunlight throughout the day. Adjaye’s designs call for a collection of open galleries topped by a pair of sculptural light cannons that will bring light into the building. The complex will make use of several different concrete panel types, including rough surfaces that will line the upper sections of the building to better reflect the sun. Lower sections will be smooth to the touch, with a three-sided forecourt wrapping a sculpture terrace that features sandblasted surfaces. The folded concrete panel structure will also use cementitious panels along its roof, a system that will be supported below by a secondary weather-proof roofing system located directly below the outermost concrete layer. The complex is expected to be completed in late 2018 and will open to the public in 2019.
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David Adjaye reveals new renderings for Financial District tower

Ahead of the sales launch for the Adjaye Associates-designed 130 William condo tower in lower Manhattan, Sir David Adjaye sat down with the New York Times to discuss the building’s design philosophy and to drop new renderings of the arch-wrapped tower. Construction on the tower, with its gothic-flair and inverted take (and massing) on the arches seen in classic New York masonry, is already well above grade. Unlike many of its glass-clad contemporaries, dark, angled concrete panels as being used for the building’s facade, which Adjaye described to the Times as acting to break up rainwater running down the face of the building. A new detail revealed in the interview is the deeply gauged and pocked texture of the concrete, reminiscent of fresh volcanic rock. The arches-all-over motif is repeated in the lobby according to the new renderings, with arched book nooks notched from concrete and arching transoms over the main entrance doors. Like the building’s facade and the black tiling in the pool room, Adjaye and Hill West Architects have gone with a heavy dark material palette for the lobby. This is in stark contrast to the all-white residential unit interiors and they’re brass-burnished finishes. Adjaye Associates and Weintraub Diaz Landscape Architecture will also be designing a planted plaza at ground level inspired by the city’s historic pocket parks, though from the construction photos the building appears to be tightly slotted into the site. Potential residents can purchase units starting from $650,000 for a studio all the way up to a $5.42 million 4-bedroom condo, with an expected move-in date of 2020.
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A roundup of inverted architecture shows the popularity of the form

Situated on a narrow Lower East Side lot between Delancey and Rivington Streets, ODA’s just-completed 100 Norfolk is designed to maximize square footage, starting with a tightly-constricted base, and widening as it rises; taking advantage of its neighboring buildings’ air rights. This reverse-ziggurat strategy is a time-honored one, particularly in tightly-packed cities like New York. Some, like ODA’s, max out tight spots, others create unique programs, or are simply meant to impress by defying gravity. Here are some of our favorites, both realized and not: OMA 23 E 22nd Street A luxury condo set on a tight site down the street from the Flatiron Building, OMA’s 23 E 22nd Street was set to widen over the neighboring building, still leaving room for light and views above and beneath.   KPF 40 E 22nd Street For its glassy residential tower just down the street from OMA’s site, KPF used almost the exact same strategy — albeit less dramatically. It’s 40 E 22nd Street, aka Madison Square Park Tower, may have “borrowed” OMA’s idea, but it also actually got built.   Adjaye Associates, Bond/SmithGroup National Museum of African American History and Culture David Adjaye’s National Museum of African American History and Culture uses this strategy to help tell a story: in this case African Americans’ passage from slavery into freedom. The museum starts underground, and—thank to bronze-colored walls hanging from massive girders—opens up as visitors progress upward.   Kengo Kuma, V&A Dundee drone footage of kengo kuma's V&A museum of design, dundee from designboom on Vimeo. Sometimes inversion works effectively simply for its wow factor. Kuma’s three story building for the V&A in Dundee, Scotland is made up of 21 wall sections, composed of 2,500 pre-cast rough stone panels—none of them straight—creating the appearance of a Scottish cliff face.   Harvard Jolly, W Architecture, St. Petersburg Pier (courtesy Harvard Jolly) Located at the end of the St. Petersburg Pier, Harvard Jolly's steel-framed inverted ziggurat (top) served as a festival marketplace from 1973 until 2013. Michael Maltzan was first slated to replace the design, but that plan fell through. Now the project is being led by Rogers Partners Architects + Urban Designers, who seem to be creating yet another inverted structure (bottom), lifted high off the water.   Kallmann, McKinnell, & Knowles, Boston City Hall Another example of the symbolic use of the inverted ziggurat is Boston City Hall, a structure whose glassy base is designed to welcome local residents (whether it does that or not is very debatable,) while offices above shade this space and through their extension announce the importance of the public officials inside.   Konstantin Melnikov, Rusakov Workers Club Constructivist master Konstantin Melnikov created ever-changing, ingeniously adaptable buildings, including this communist workers club in Moscow, whose upper balconies protrude noticeably from its façade, allowing them to be closed off (via moving partitions) as independent spaces for art, athletics, and so on, or moved into place as theater seating.  
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Adjaye Associates delivers a high-design switching station in Newark

Switching stations, a necessary part of our electrified lives, are normally ugly as hell. From afar, the assemblage can look like sculpture, all painted metal and catenaries, but up close, the infrastructure in harder to appreciate, and even harder to accept in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Out in Newark, electricity provider PSE&G heard neighbors when they demanded the company's new switching station be a) beautiful and b) a real community asset. It took four years of planning to get there, but on a recent Wednesday, a stylish crowd of Newark residents gathered to celebrate the opening of an Adjaye Associates–designed switching station in the city's Fairmount Heights neighborhood. The 177,000-square-foot Fairmont Heights Switching Station commands a good chunk of a full city block, but it harmonizes easily with its more modest, three-story neighbors. To strike a coolheaded balance between the industrial structure and the existing residential fabric, Adjaye Associates' New York office worked with local firm WSM Associates to encase the switching station's unsightly components behind an art wall, a 1,790-foot-long concrete and aluminum edifice embedded with permanent works by 14 artists. While two of the works anchor the concrete portion of the facade, most of the pieces are mounted up high, near the top of the 30-foot walls, in niches that interrupt tastefully gold and subtly curved perforated aluminum screens. The most remarkable feature, however, is a concrete-columned agora at the front of the building whose two rows of 34-foot-high red columns support geometric canopies that cast complicated shadows on the sidewalk below. The arrangement can hold other artworks in suspension, but it also defines an otherwise throwaway cutout in the perimeter that can now be used for a market or other community events. In his remarks, Mayor Ras Baraka joked about Newark's seemingly forever-ongoing revitalization. Alluding to the process that created the building he stood in front of, Baraka called art and collaboration—between public and private, between community and architect—the "secret sauce" of successful neighborhood revitalization. Like other new, high-design public amenities in the tristate area, this project was brought on by Hurricane Sandy. In the immediate aftermath of the 2012 storm, local utilities took a beating, leaving around nine in ten of Newark's residents without power. In response, PSE&G began upgrading its infrastructure to anticipate overloads, and it planned a switching station in Fairmount Heights to improve its resilience in the face of extreme weather events. Adjaye Associates worked with the company, arts groups, and elected officials to deliver a design that exceeded expectations. "What I've learned in architecture and design is that, when the opportunity seems complicated, that's when your creativity has to rise to that opportunity," firm principal David Adjaye told the crowd. "One gets opportunities to work in amazing places, but it's actually much more rewarding to work in places people think design will not come to. [Here] we wanted to create something that would make a place." Outside Newark, Adjaye's firm has a number of projects in process or recently completed. The architect just revealed updated designs for a new public library in Winter Park, Florida, and earlier this month, The Architect's Newspaper (AN) spotted crews working on 130 William, Adjaye Associate's first New York skyscraper. Although the firm is best known for its work on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, its latest commission, a Manhattan espionage museum, opened to the public in Feburary.