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Artist Studio Development to Echo East Williamsburg's Industrial Past

By Serena Dai | August 11, 2014 4:24pm | Updated on August 11, 2014 6:08pm
 Architect Gene Kaufman proposed a development for 100 Bogart St. inspired by nearby industrial buildings.
Architect Gene Kaufman proposed a development for 100 Bogart St. inspired by nearby industrial buildings.
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Gene Kaufman Architect

EAST WILLIAMSBURG — A new, six-story building filled with artist studios and proposed for East Williamsburg's industrial area aims to look just like its neighbors by using all concrete.

The development proposed for 100 Bogart St. is being designed by architect Gene Kaufman and will include between 50 and 60 artist studios and work spaces, according to a building records and a statement from the architect.

Using all concrete is an effort to not be "tone-deaf" to the "intangible 'vibe' and essence of the community," Kaufman said in a statement.

Brooklyn's become "the hippest place on earth" with the help of artists, he said, but developers can end up pricing out the very people who built up the neighborhood, like with Soho in the '80s.

The new building will be a place to keep artists in the neighborhood, with a design that reflects the existing architecture, he noted.

"We’re not looking to create something that doesn’t exist and hope people like it," he told DNAinfo. "We're looking to create something that people already like."

Zoning approval for the building is still pending.

Kaufman expects at least twice as many artists to actually occupy the space as there are studios. The building will also feature details like large elevator bays and heavy floor loads so that the interior can be adapted for many uses.

The studios themselves could be as small as 200-square-feet and as big as 4,000-square-feet, though most will likely fall in the 400-700 range, Kaufman said.

The ground floor of the 50,000-square-foot building will have retail space, according to an application with the Department of Buildings.

Kaufman was inspired by the new, concrete David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea, which he said was more beautiful and practical than converted buildings.

Being able to build from the ground-up means designing to the artist, he said.

"Everything will be brand new and in tip-top condition," Kaufman said. "There's a very clear need."