Text description provided by the architects. Commissioned by the Friendship Development Associates (FDA) as a central player in its community revitalization program, the Glass Lofts are a new mixed-use construction consisting of 39,000 sqf artist’s work spaces, 18 loft condominiums, retail and restaurant space, FDA offices and a flexible-use community space. Located at the center of the Penn Avenue Arts District, the Glass Lofts is the result of a community-driven planning process actively involving neighborhood residents, artists and business owners in the development of the project.
The driving force behind the architecture of The Glass Lofts is an idea of incomplete. Instead of seeing architecture as an absolute and final presence, the Glass Lofts are purposefully made incomplete. The users and the inevitability of time passing become essential forces in shaping, and thus completing the architecture. Neither literally nor physically incomplete, the Glass Lofts is incomplete in that it allows for and believes in change as an essential contributor to the overall design.
At the core of incompleteness, are The Commons, a place for human action where: change is made manifest, the predictable and the unexpected meet and where users interpret and complete the space.
The architecture invites interactivity by embracing the incomplete -- engendering in its users diverse experiences of connection on the realm of the physical, intellectual, and emotional. The architecture demands of its users and viewers an open mind and a full engagement of their senses and mind. The Glass Lofts is a space fluid in its being, imperfect and incomplete – waiting to be transformed by the people who will live and use it.