Seven years ago, Measured designed a space for the Equinox Gallery in the emerging cultural corridor along Great Northern Way. It was not meant to be — the heritage warehouse was to be demolished to make way for the new Broadway Subway Line, and Equinox was served an eviction notice.
Equinox quickly reached out to Measured — our third project with this client. They trusted that we would be able to maintain the spirit of the gallery, but on a different site.
After discussions with the client, it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic had sped up an already evolving business model. Private showings and online purchases were supplanting the traditional model of an art gallery, and the new space needed to reflect this emerging reality.
The new Equinox is located in an area of townhouses and condominiums that is still part light industrial. As it turned out, this zoning perfectly suited our client’s needs, which was a space for a workshop where staff could archive, frame, document and package — with a smaller showroom component that worked as the equivalent of a private viewing gallery and invite-only event space.
After discussions with the client about how their business worked, we reconstructed the industrial space to provide democracy of space, allowing the organization to support two shows simultaneously. We also brought the administrative component of the gallery to an on-display space so that individuals could continue to work while visitors circulated through the gallery.”
We took every asset that we could salvage from the old space to the new location, a mid-century factory. This gave us the critical indicators of the old space, such as the entrance desk, as well as the large kinetic doors, plus the lighting and lighting grids. We also brought the same disposition and attitude of the old space — of mass drywalls enabling a lower horizon line to bisect the space, allowing for the perception of a higher existing factory roof. We replicated the concrete floor as well. Flow was vital to create a democracy of space for the artists’ works on display.
The new design emphasized a small public component — clients are received into a living-room-type space in the entranceway and then rise to owner’s office for considered viewing of curated pieces.
The work was done through the COVID-19 pandemic at breakneck speed with Kindred Construction. While we did a slight clean up of the apron around building, it’s important to note that this cultural workspace is still a tenuous rental — with the same terrifying proposition of eviction.
Our client is pleased with the result, and we are incredibly proud of the fact that Measured is now involved in our fourth project with them.