Fiedler Marciano and Kit Grover* were asked by BAM to collaborate on a design and branding concept for a small venue across the street from their main theater. Below is dialogue excerpted from the presentation booklet:
KG: Let’s start with a simple question ‘What can it be?’
FM: Yes this dilapidated little bookstore across the street with an overgrown backyard and a single tree.
KG: A café or shop, where you can get a book and a coffee sure..but what about performance? Could it be a theater, show films, host poetry readings?
FM: Maybe invite kids for a puppet show? Is there anime, or simulcast? Can it be a portal to get tickets or a schedule of events, see a preview?
KG: I can see it at least part of the time, as a space for visual art, with a curated program featuring Brooklyn artists - a place for openings and art-related events.
FM: The form emerges from the desire to be all these things, and none of them, and all at once. We open up the face of the building and make a public space that sweeps in, front to back. An extruded series of steps wraps, inside and out – creating a platform that is in turn pedestal, podium, shelf and seating - a metaphorical ‘Stoop’ for the BAM community; a formal gesture uniquely Brooklyn evoking the theater of daily life.
KG: ..and opposite the steps there’s this fantastic media wall that lets people interact in ever changing ways with the expanding sphere of BAM, artists, their work, performances – an electronic picture window. So this narrow space expands into a sort of limitless world of virtual access.
FM: This ‘extroverted’ sense of the interior sets up an interesting dialogue with the backyard, where the ‘Stoop’ extends and gets wrapped by an intense hydroponic green wall , turning the focus inward.
KG: I’m imagining this wonderful patch of green as a place for children’s activities, outdoor performances and of course just a fantastic hang. So in the end this sliver of space in Brooklyn becomes a canvas for imagination, communal in spirit, a reference point, with the potential for this great kind of happening.
*Kit Grover Retail Culture is a London-based studio that specializes in product and shop design for a variety of premier cultural institutions worldwide.