Artists’ housing with its lofts, workspaces and galleries have played an important role in the restoration of many communities’ abandoned historic neighborhoods. Government grants and private donations have given new life to older structures. In some cases, new structures have been built specifically for, or a portion of the units have been dedicated to the varied artists in a community. The recent projects shown here reveal the different approaches to the design of spaces specifically for artists.
The Loree Grand in Washington D.C opened its doors in June 2010. This high-rise state of the art building has dedicated 30 of its 700 apartments to artists.Architect Ben Ledbetter’s affordable artist housing was opened in Hamden CT in 2011. In addition to the 27 colorful affordable housing units, there is also commercial space in the refurbished buildings. What was once a department store in downtown Bridgeport, CT now houses Read’s Artspace. After a renovation by Crosskey architects, the historic building now has 61 living and work units and a large commercial area on the first floor.
Whether an artist is in need of relaxation or is inspired to work, the living area plays a double role. Located in Hyde Park, Massachusetts, the Lofts at Westinghouse offer live-in artist studios. The apartment space incorporates the original brick walls, natural light, and 15 foot ceilings. The lofts also offer a double-thick wall to prevent sound transmission. The Loree Grand set aside 30 of its 212 units for artist housing. The living area also offers a studio space for artists to work in. Completed in 2002 by architects Ralph Cunningham and Lee Quill, the Mather Studios reserved 12 of its 50 condominiums for artist housing. Residents vary in occupation, from painters to filmmakers.
Public art galleries form an integral part of the community. Brightly colored spaces or more muted interiors offer a backdrop for the display and sale of residents’ artwork. Opened in October 2011, the Brockland Artspace Lofts, located in Washington D.C., offers 41 affordable live/work spaces for artists, as well as a community art gallery. The Mather Studios condominiums, also located in Washington D.C., offers an art gallery on the ground floor called the Gallery at Flashpoint. This ground floor space contains a dance studio, a theatre, and a contemporary art gallery. The Hygienic, in New London, CT, designed by our own Chris Widmer, re-opened the doors of its 1844 building as artists’ lofts and indoor and outdoor galleries.
To create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage.
– Georgia O’Keeffe
Tags: artist housing, artspace, Connecticut Architect, Connecticut Architecture, Karin Patriquin, Karin Patriquin Architect, Karin Patriquin New Haven Architect, New Haven Architect