African Design Magazine February 2016 - Page 48

National Sawdust (NS), a $16 million, 13 000-square-foot, state-of-the-art space in the culturally vibrant Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York, opened in October 2015. The non-profit music venue was designed by multidisciplinary architecture practice Bureau V. A dopting the name of the factory once housed within the centuryold building’s shell, National Sawdust will provide composers and musicians a setting in which they can flourish, and a place where they are given commissioning support, mentoring and other critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work. For audiences – serious fans and casual listeners alike – the venue will be a place to discover genrespanning music at accessible ticket prices. Describing their design approach to the venue, Bureau V states, “In order to move forward, we decided to look back. At its core, the design of National Sawdust is a retooling of the 18th century chamber hall model as an incubator for new music.” The wonderful anachronism of the chamber hall provides a simple but vital resource to musicians and composers of all genres: a home where they can dwell, compose, experiment, rehearse, record, and premiere new work. National Sawdust provides an extraordinarily intimate space – with a capacity ranging from 120 to 350 – to experience genre-spanning music, at accessible ticket prices. National Sawdust’s design maintains the building’s historic brick exterior while providing a refined new interior. Bureau V worked closely with acoustics and theatre teams at Arup, to devise an acoustically-driven chamber hall with a wrap-around balcony that accommodates 170 patrons in row seating, 120 patrons in cabaret seating, or up to 350 standing guests. With variable stage configurations that can be lowered flush with the floor, the double-height venue can also hold a 70-piece orchestra for rehearsals and recordings. PROJECT TEAM Click here to read more 48 CLIENT: Kevin Dolan / National Sawdust DESIGN ARCHITECT: Bureau V ARCHITECT OF RECORD: SLAB Architecture, PLLC ARUP: Acoustics, Audio/Visual, Theatre, Lighting & Fire Consultant STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Liam O’Hanlon Engineering CONTRACTOR: Alcon Builder’s Group, Inc PHOTOGRAPHER: Floto + Warner africandesignmagazine.com