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Local Union 580

Long Island City

DANIEL GOLDNER ARCHITECTS DEFTLY ORCHESTRATES AN ASSEMBLAGE OF METALS IN A BUILDING RENOVATION TO SIGNIFY A UNION'S IDENTITY.

By Suzanne Stephens

Architect: Daniel Goldner Architects—Daniel Goldner, principal; Davis Iszard, project executive; Ashley Wilson, project architect; Jimmy Counts, project manager Client: Ironworkers Local 580: Apprentice and Training Facility Engineers: Wexler and Associates (structural); John Guth Engineering (m/e/p)

Size: 18,000 square feet Cost: Withheld Completion date: 2004

Sources

Stainless-steel-mesh screen: GKD Resin-laminated glass: Rudy Art Glass

Structural glass: Depp Glass Interior acoustical and suspension-grid ceiling: Armstrong Custom metal paneling, windows, entrance doors, and entrance-door pulls: Empire Architectural Metal Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore (interiorpaints); Carboline (fire-rated intumescentpaint over steel columns)

For more information on this project, go to Building Types Study at www.archrecord.com.

Long Island City, Queens, may have gained an artistic aura by being the home of P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Noguchi Museum, among others. But much of the area is littered with dreary, low-rise masonry structures devoted to light industry and related enterprises. Nevertheless, Ironworkers Local 580: Apprentice and Training Facility (for ornamental and architectural ironworkers) shows how a renovation can artfully change that tone.

Program

In transforming a scuzzy medical-supply storage facility with a setback brick garage into the 18,000 square feet of classrooms and workshops, the union leaders wanted to signify the value of their craft through the design of the facade and the public spaces. They didn't have to look far: Daniel Goldner Architects, based in Manhattan, had remodeled a nearby building for two structural-ironworker unions in a clean, planar mode evocative of the International Style. In the case of Local 580, it encouraged Goldner to make use of a range of metals to fully emphasize the union's particular craft.

Solution

Goldner and his team gave the facade, entrance lobby, and stairway the full-metal-jacket treatment, in addition to revamping the steel-

The brick facade and parking court (left) was covered in a grid of bead-blasted stainless-steel panels with Z-clip reveals (above). A stainless-steel-mesh screen is hung from the second-story roof (opposite).

framed interior for a workshop, an adjoining welding shop, and classrooms inserted in the basement. With the new facade, Goldner left most of the brick exterior wall intact (infilling places with concrete block). Over that he designed an outer carapace of assorted 3/6-inch-thick metal panels at the ground floor— an articulated assemblage of

The brick facade and parking court (left) was covered in a grid of bead-blasted stainless-steel panels with Z-clip reveals (above). A stainless-steel-mesh screen is hung from the second-story roof (opposite).

bead-blasted stainless-steel (with a soft luminous sheen), pearlized stainless-steel doors, and oxidized steel at the north end—plus an etched-brass pylon. This Modernist composition, limned by reveals and shallow volumes pulled out from the brick backdrop, is further dramatized by slotlike horizontal and vertical windows incised into the

PHOTOGRAPHY: © DAVID JOSEPH, EXCEPT CO U RTESY ARCH ITECTS, LEFT PAGE BOTTOM

planes and filled with lime-green, cobalt-blue, and yellow tinted glass.

At the roof line, Goldner hung a 27-foot-high, stainless-steel-mesh screen and clipped it in place over the second floor. Viewed at an angle, the screen appears opaque; dead-on it subtly discloses the brick wall behind it. To underscore this revealing-by-concealing approach, Goldner stopped the screen above the metal panel base in certain areas so that unadorned glimpses of the brick wall remain on view. The screen also allows the second floor, used as rental space, to receive natural light through existing windows.

An aluminum canopy with a painted black soffit continues into the lobby at an 11-foot height, slightly compressing space in the 13-foot-6-inch-high area. Anchored by the black slate floor, the dramatic interplay of steel, brass, glass, and prepatinated copper planes accentuates the dimensions of this small, cubiform hall. On the lower level, another lobby receives natural light through the glass floor above and in turn opens onto trimly designed corridors and classrooms.

Commentary

Granted, the actual classrooms and workshops inside the building lack the design drama of the facade and the public spaces. However, the latter carry the day, especially as an urbanistic gesture. If only similar renovations would follow suit. For the moment, Goldner's efforts stand out as a visual surprise against the dreary backdrop of moldering industrial buildings.

The renovation obviously succeeds in advertising the possibilities of the ornamental- and architectural-metal workmanship the union is advancing. Moreover, it reaffirms one's faith in the effect of architecture on everyday places. Goldner has shown that craft and material, combined with proportional and compositional sophistication (not surprisingly, he used to work for Edward Larrabee Barnes) can go far in improving the urban landscape— even if it is step-by-step. ■

In the first-floor lobby (above), a stainless-steel bench seems to float over structural glass. It hooks into the low brass partition that engages the luminous, textured-glass floor of the stair landing. Above the bench, prepati-nated copper panels define the lobby space.

In the first-floor lobby (above), a stainless-steel bench seems to float over structural glass. It hooks into the low brass partition that engages the luminous, textured-glass floor of the stair landing. Above the bench, prepati-nated copper panels define the lobby space.

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