NotM Dan Hisel: RAW Art Works

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Located in Lynn, MA, RAW Art Works strives to provide local youth with ‘a creative home where they can safely explore difficult personal and community issues through the creation of art’. Our featured Ninja of the Month, Dan Hisel, was asked by the organization to re-imagine the first floor of their building, located in Central Square – an area currently undergoing a revitalization led by local artists and cultural organizations.

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The space was designed to function as both a studio space for the young artists, as well as a gallery for exhibitions. As is fairly standard for a gallery, the space is left as open as possible – white walls with an open floor plan. In order to bring some interest to the space, and to engage the public – specifically the street, as this is on the center’s first floor – Hisel has created a steel frame, or ‘box’, which he has inserted into the façade.

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This box box serves the initial purpose of opening the center to the street, creating a visual connection with the square and it’s pedestrians – which it takes one step further, by literally opening out the the sidewalk. The interior of the box then features a raised platform, allowing the center’s façade to serve both as a storefront, displaying student work to passers-by, and as a stage opening to the street [above].

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Alternately, the platform can be used as a stage to address visitors assembled within the gallery Рor to play movies/video installations [above+below]. In another move to draw pedestrians into the gallery, the screen that descends is translucent Рallowing passers-by to view whatever visitors within the gallery are watching, essentially transforming the fa̤ade itself into a street-side movie screen.

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When not in use as a ‘stage’, this platform can be rearranged to create pedestals and/or tables, and reveal bench seating along the window – creating a type of lounge / reception space for visitors in the front of the gallery.

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Essentially, the project is an attempt to place the gallery itself – in it’s entirety – on display to the square.  In doing so, the center distinguishes itself from surrounding storefronts, while expressing it’s desire to interact directly with the local community – both to ‘show off’ the work of the young artists, and to encourage community participation in RAW Art Works programs.

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View more of Dan Hisel’s work at his website – and / or check out coverage of other selected works here at AMNP’s NotM: Dan Hisel Architect.

::images and any quoted text provided by Dan Hisel::

Posted: June 3rd, 2009
at 1:29pm by orangemenace


Categories: architecture,interiors,featured ninjas,Ninjas of the Month

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