The Powerhouse Workshop will be a contemporary industrial fabrication center established to serve the working needs of artists. Powerhouse will offer production capabilities in multiple materials and will encourage investigation, experimentation and collaboration across media and disciplines. Affordable and accessible space for industry and production is increasingly scarce in New York City. In Powerhouse’s new Gowanus, Brooklyn home, fabrication shops in wood, metal, ceramics, textiles and printmaking will provide sophisticated production capabilities and support risk-taking and exploration.

To support the working needs of artists, Powerhouse will create a platform that provides employment in production and full-service fabrication, and also provides the facilities and resources to support individual creation. Powerhouse’s technical staff will be experienced producers and collaborators, available to facilitate individual projects and small-batch production, as well as large-scale projects and editions. In addition to fabrication, Powerhouse will periodically host public events that encourage visitors to engage with the center. Exhibitions in the large-scale industrial spaces of the Powerhouse will be tailored to take advantage of the historic building’s volume and infrastructure.

Initial site work is expected to begin later this year and the Powerhouse Workshop will open in 2020. Development and operation of the facility will be managed by the Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation, a public charity.

building project design

In 2016, Powerhouse commissioned the Pritzker-prize winning architecture practice Herzog & de Meuron to reimagine the 113-year-old coal-burning power plant and create facilities for fabrication in wood, metal, ceramics, textiles, and printmaking. The central design elements include the renovation of the existing Turbine Hall and the reconstruction of the Boiler House. Its interior spaces will allow for flexible workshop configurations. 

Read more about the project in the New York Times here: The Batcave, a Graffiti Landmark in Brooklyn, Grows Up


progress and next steps

  • Site secured with 24/7 security guards and safety railings in place
  • Building facade and structure stabilized
  • Volunteer remediation under the NYS Brownfield Cleanup Program to be completed 2017
  • Site and architectural design in development
  • Site work to begin in 2017
  • Powerhouse Workshop opens in 2020