Location: New York, USA
Project Year: 2004-2007
Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang (Partners); Daniela Zimmer (Project Architect), Jorge Pereira, Takuya Shinoda
Client: 109 Norfolk, LLC
Constructed Area: 1,328 sqm
Program: Art gallery on Ground & Cellar Floors & 5 condo apartments
Photographs: Frank Oudeman & nArchitects
Switch Building is a 7 storey apartment and art gallery building at 109 Norfolk Street in the Lower East Side, New York City. The building consists of four floor-through apartments, a duplex penthouse, and a double height art gallery on the ground and cellar levels. nARCHITECTS provided full architectural services for the project, including all interior design.
At the rear of each apartment, the living space extends out to large 7′x12′-6″ balconies - the largest allowed by zoning, which also shift side to side, creating double-height spaces between balconies to maximize afternoon light and neighborly interactions. While the apartment plans are identical, these variations allow each unit to be unique in its light qualities and views to the city.
The new nonprofit Switch Gallery expands its boundaries with the street via a black hot-rolled steel and glass storefront and canopy that open completely to the sidewalk. At the rear of the gallery, visitors descend into a double-height volume illuminated by a large skylight. The gallery’s plan maximizes wall space in a fluid spatial continuity, while working around the obstacles of the residential core and lobby with which it shares its footprint. The gallery introduces a larger scale into the Lower East Side’s burgeoning art scene, which has been primarily inserting cultural programs into former tenement buildings.