In Brooklyn, a Creative Campus Designed to Slow Artists and Visitors Down
Earlier this month, a stately structure covered in angled white bricks opened its doors in the East Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. It serves as one of four buildings that comprise the New York home of the Amant Foundation, a nonprofit arts organization that values a slow, focused approach in making and viewing art. (It has a sister location in Chiusure, a village in central Italy.) The campus, designed by the New York–based architecture and design studio SO–IL, includes a bookstore, a café, a courtyard, and several galleries—all accessible free of charge—that offer a tranquil environment in which visitors can take in the work on view. Artists’ studios, located across the street, provide time and space for residents to hone their crafts.
The foundation’s inaugural exhibition,“Heroines, Birds, and Monsters” (on view through October 31), features works by Berlin-based Portuguese artist Grada Kilomba in video, earth, and other media that speak to one another across the spaces, and with the people and nature invited inside. Here, SO–IL co-founder Florian Idenburg explains how the firm’s design reflects Amant’s aim to serve artists and the public, and describes the materials used to bring its vision to fruition.