Location: 208 West 13th Street Manhattan
Architect: Amnon Macvey
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center has been an indispensable resource to hundreds of thousands of queer city dwellers since its opening in 1984. Colloquially known as “The Center,” the Italianate-style hub serves the community through health and wellness programs, political action, and social events. In 2001, the center brought on Françoise Bollack Architects to restore the facade and transform the former high school into its present-day program.
The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation has awarded the 2014 Historic Preservation Book Prize to “Old Buildings New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformations” by Françoise Astorg Bollack.
I prefer the expression “architectural transformations,” to
the limited vision offered by “adaptive re-use,” “adaptive use,” and “re-purposing”—all recent expressions—because it places transformations of old buildings in a larger architectural context, one with a rich history available for study: from Andrea Palladio’s 1545 wrapping1 of a “modern” (i.e. Renaissance) loggia around the, by then outmoded, 15th-century buildings housing the law courts in Vicenza; to Michelangelo’s 1563–64 insertion of a Christian church into the ruined Baths of Diocletian in Rome; to Mount Vernon in Virginia, enlarged by George Washington in 1758 and 1774;2 and to the 1928 Maison de Verre in Paris where Pierre Chareau and Bernard Bijvoet inserted a modern residence under an 18th-century house (the tenant refused to move!).
Architect Françoise Bollack will lecture at the LSU School of Architecture and LSU School of Interior Design on February 23, 2015, at 5 p.m. in the LSU College of Art & Design Auditorium (room 103). Bollack’s lecture, “Old Buildings-New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformations,” examines a wide range of contemporary interventions, which add to and transform old buildings. The lecture is sponsored by GraceHebert Architects.