The Higher Power House is an exercise in creative reuse. Previously serving as a facilities plant, the building has an iconic character, defined by three towering smokestacks and an attention to craft and detail. The ambition of the project is to take a building designed to house machines and turn it into a public amenity, introducing new program and breaking down the scale while preserving the attributes that make the building epochal.
Programmatically, the renovation seeks to take that building that is specific in use and create a space that is flexible and adaptive. The Higher Power House will contain a concert hall, event spaces, offices, and serve as a place of worship. It can accommodate events scaling from a gallery show to an outdoor music festival. It will sit as the only building in a public park, a privileged site for an important institution.Just as the building will be a careful insertion in a park, the programmatic elements of The Power House will become blocks thoughtfully placed in the context of the existing structure. These elements navigate the existing column grid and smokestacks, containing private program and defining public gathering space across scales in the liminal space between them. The largest of these spaces is in the center, and is used for congregation and performance. It faces a block containing a double sided stage. This stage opens to engage the exterior directly, allowing the The Higher Power House to serve as both an interior and exterior performance venue. The blocks will cross the boundary of the old facilities plant, reaching back into the park. On the exterior, the impression of the objects within is read as planters and seating, while their intersection with the building becomes a screen, a filter for light and views. The delicate brick lattice celebrates the brick screen original to the facilities plant and the care that went into the construction of the building.
Partners in Charge: Brian Rome, Melissa Rome
Team: Christopher Longman, Gustavo Rodas
Program: Sanctuary, Event Space
Size: 13,000 sf | 1,200 m2
Status: In Progress
Awards: AIA Design Award, Honorable Mention Unbuilt Architecture