219 West/Subcat Studios

The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects recently announced the recipients of 2012 Design Awards. One of the Honor Awards went to the Clyfford Still Museum by Allied Works, previously featured here as a Project Review; the other went to the National September 11 Memorial attributed to two World-Architects.com member firms: Handel Architects and Davis Brody Bond. Here we feature one of the Merit Award Winners, a mixed-use development in upstate New York whose main ingredient is a recording studio. Fielder Marciano Architecture supplied us with the following description for their winning project.
Tower and Entry Lobby Facing Downtown ( Photo © : Chris Cooper Photographer )
The three story masonry building at 219 West was redeveloped as a multi-use cultural facility that complements the adjacent Redhouse Theater, enhances the local arts scene and revitalizes this small but significant corner of the city.  The site, a glorified traffic island bordered by high-speed thoroughfares and a cacophonous freight rail line, sits at a pivotal juncture between the historic Armory Square District and burgeoning development on the city’s Near West Side. 
Live Room with View To Control Room ‘A’ ( Photo © : Chris Cooper Photographer )
The program grew out of a grass roots initiative that engaged local creative, educational and business communities, and includes the primary tenant SubCat Studios, a shared cafe/lobby, music instruction and rehearsal spaces, a dance studio, offices for creative industry tenants and three residential units to accommodate visiting artists.
Entry Lobby ( Photo © : Chris Cooper Photographer )
The new intervention distinguishes itself from the historic fabric and reorients the building towards downtown. The stair tower, re-clad in perforated metal panels, subtly references the area’s industrial past and along with the ribbon of colored glass at the expanded lobby entrance, establishes a clear sense of arrival.
Ground Floor Plan ( Drawing © : Fiedler Marciano Architecture )
The design of Subcat Studios overcame daunting acoustic challenges including isolation from exterior sound and vibration, interior room isolation, and the acoustic ‘tailoring’ of each studio space.  Existing ground floor framing was replaced with a floating concrete slab sitting atop a new structural slab.  Partitions built onto these floating platforms create a ‘box within a box’ configuration that insures proper isolation.  Studio walls were developed as a vertically striated ribbon, akin to a DNA strip.  This motif continues into the exterior storefront glazing and allows a variety of treatments including panels for diffusion, absorption and reflection, to be incorporated within a single unifying theme.  The result is a series of integrated spaces, each clearly expressing its unique acoustic signature.

Email interview conducted by John Hill.
Approach from Downtown ( Photo © : Chris Cooper Photographer )
South West Street Storefronts ( Photo © : Chris Cooper Photographer )
219 West/Subcat Studios
2011

Syracuse, NY

Client
219 West LLP

Architect
Fiedler Marciano Architecture
New York, NY

Design Principals
Mark Fiedler and Martin Marciano

Project Team
Josh Lacasse

Structural Engineer
Ryan-Biggs Associates

MEP/FP Engineer
JFK+M Consulting Group

Landscape Architect
Environmental Design and Research PC

Lighting Designer
Onelux Studio

Construction Manager
V.I.P. Structures Inc.

Acoustical Consultant
Lally Acoustical Consulting

Exterior Metal Panels at Tower
Morin (perforated)
Kingspan (insulated)

Exterior Storefront System
Kawneer

Interior Acoustic Wall/Ceiling
RPG Diffusors Systems Inc.

Expanded Metal Mesh Ceiling
Pinta Acoustic

Exterior Pavers
Hanover Pavers

Site Area
18,200 sf

Building Area
18,300 sf (3 floors plus basement)