Created by Herzog & de Meuron, the design for Powerhouse Arts reimagines the 113-year-old power plant to create a new contemporary art center that meets the multidisciplinary needs of artists it serves.  Built in 1903 in Romanesque Revival style by Thomas E. Murray, the Power Station originally consisted of two parts: the Turbine Hall, which housed the dynamo and engines, and the Boiler House to the north, which contained the furnaces and coal storage. In 1950, the power station was decommissioned, the Boiler House demolished, and the site subsequently abandoned.  

Herzog & de Meuron’s design transforms the site including the renovation of the existing Turbine Hall and the reconstruction of the adjacent Boiler House building. The building will allow for flexible workshop configurations, exhibition spaces, as well as community space for research and exchange.

PBDW Architects is executive architect on this project.

Read more about the design here: NYTimes: The Batcave, a Graffiti Landmark in Brooklyn, Grows Up

HISTORY

1903 – The Brooklyn Rapid Transit (BRT) Power Station constructed to supply electricity to the newly consolidated local steam railroad, elevated railroad and street car system.

1950s – The Power Station decommissioned and the Boiler House demolished.

1950s – early 2000s - Site abandoned, with restricted access. The building becomes known as the “Batcave,” a destination for explorers and graffiti artists, whose work covers its walls.

2012 – The site is acquired by Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created to redevelop the property and operate Powerhouse Arts. 

2016 – Powerhouse commissions the Pritzker-prize winning architecture practice Herzog & de Meuron to reimagine the 113-year-old power plant and create facilities for fabrication

2017 – Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation completes a voluntary remediation process under the NYS Brownfield Cleanup Program as part of its commitment to environmental stewardship and to the revitalization of Gowanus.

2020 – Powerhouse Arts scheduled to open to the public.

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