Gallery Cafe Hotel

Technical tool/
3d model: Revit
Plan: AutoCAD
Diagrams: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator 
Rendering: Lumion, Photoshop
Layout: Adobe Indesign

Issue

Building Modification

Heritage Preservation

Project

Boutique Hotel with Public Gallery Bar

A building without a monumental meaning or a culture’s collective memory can make a statement through the abstraction of its original stylistic intentions. The cultural character of an existing building can be emphasized by purifying the interior structure, strengthening the key features and weakening the others. The India House in Manhattan’s financial district is converted to 21st-century function naturally evolving with time. 

GENERAL IDEA

 

Under the perspective of preserving a heritage building, we used to either restore the whole structure or emphasize the different portions of a structure. The problem is people tend to lose their focus with too many details or just don’t know what the building stands for, perhaps due to their lack of interest in understanding it. The case is severe especially if a building exists without a collective cultural meaning to a society, unlike the White House with its politic status value to the United States, or the Great Wall, with its rich historic significance to China.

The conflict between building modification and preservation is one of the barriers that holds up the process of urban renewal. One the one hand, building modification does have its necessity, based on the needs of green building regulations in modern cities or change of programs for personal uses. On the other hand, the urge to keep old memories of a place or preserve historical properties for descendants does exist in the minds of most people.

The conflict between building modification and preservation is one of the barriers that holds up the process of urban renewal. One the one hand, building modification does have its necessity, based on the needs of green building regulations in modern cities or change of programs for personal uses. On the other hand, the urge to keep old memories of a place or preserve historical properties for descendants does exist in the minds of most people.

SITE ANALYSIS

The site is located in the financial district in lower Manhattan, and it is a convenient location for tourists to explore the city. 

It also located in the Stone Street historic district and on the Street Plan of New Amsterdam, which is the oldest street in Manhattan.

HISTORICAL DISTRICT  

 

The site also located in the Stone Street historic district and on the Street Plan of New Amsterdam, which is the oldest street in Manhattan.

EXISTING CONDITION

The methods for finding the balance between building preservation and modification are the following:

(1) Identify key cultural characteristics of a heritage building.
(2) Maximize (strengthen) the key characteristics.
(3) Make visual contrast to emphasis the difference between new and 
old elements.

MAXIMIZE THE KEY CHARACTERISTICS:

Transform the exterior wall into a glass facade

 

The original Anglo-Italianate style facade is the main character; thus, extend its wall from the exterior to the interior to emphasis its existing features; and transform the facade of the added building (in back) into a curtain wall which will emphasis the solid and heavy characteristics of the original structure of the India House.

 

Weaken the back part of the building (the added portion) and transform the brick wall into a glass façade which can create a contrast to the original façade.

 

Through this approach, one can not only feel the mass of the original façade (compared to the transparent character of glass), but the glass façade can make a dialogue with the old neighborhood (brownstone buildings on Stone Street and Pearl Street) as well.

 

 

MAKE VISUAL CONTRAST:

Bring the facade from exterior to interior

 

The reason to choose the façade as a key characteristic is that it not only is the very original feature of India House but it represents the period of the mid-19th century architectural style of New York as well as the upper social class.

 

Follow with the column entrance and bring the exterior façade into the interior space to emphasis its existence once people enter the building. Then adjust the wall to the needs of the program to create the contrast between light and heavy, neutral and rich, as well as modern and ancient (relatively).

 

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE FLOOR PLAN

To create a visual contrast between new and old, the entrance includes several design ideas. First, the wall has different directions to indicate its visual function and based on that, is allocated with different materials.

The extended façade representing the old follow the angle of the building and was slightly offset from the direction of the entrance; the new walls, on the other hand, made of concrete and plaster (which is different from the sandstone façade), were set in a straight direction from the entrance. Physically, one needs to enter the building by turning in a different direction while visually they will look directly at the new portion of the building.

 

1   GALLERY
2   RESTAURANT
3   HOTEL LOBBY

 

4   KITCHEN
5   MEN'S ROOM

6    LADY'S ROOM
 

7    LOUNGE BAR

8    HOTEL ROOMS

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