Williamsburg is at the center of an amazing revolution! Old buildings that are relics of the manufacturing/industrial age are being transformed into state of the arts spaces. Today Ms. Moos and Mr. Felix took a select group of students on a tour of a project in which a century-old sawdust factory is being transformed into an acoustically sound concert hall, recording studio, nightclub and center for composers.
This $16 million space on North 6th Street, dubbed the Original Music Workshop (OMW), would eventually be a hub for the community, musicians and top celebrities. We had the opportunity to see the work in progress. The fact that the site is in a dual manufacturing and residential zone has its advantages and disadvantages. Builders and architects had to navigate a maze of city zoning considerations and quality of life issues. According to Peter Zuspan of Bureau V, the architectural firm for the site: “This was no problem for us. Being conscious of these factors is part of our brand.” OMW’s construction is characterized by the insertion of an acoustically-driven, geometrically complex chamber hall within the old, graffitied, hundred year old frame of a former sawdust factory. One of the structural considerations is a box-in-box construction for soundproofing and to isolate the building from nearby L train subway vibrations.
Both historic and progressive, the building combines an act of preservation with state-of the-art new construction. Our students found the trip amazing and integral to WHSAD’s mission.
“I found this trip very informative.” Said WHSAD Junior Joseph Rivera. “I’ve been to construction sites before but never to such a high tech one.” WHSAD Junior John Sherzai boasted that he has been to construction sites before but never one that cost so much. Nicholas Cruz, another Junior, felt that was a great trip that helped him understand what it takes to build such sites.
The space is expected to open as soon as the fall of 2015.