FXCollaborative Architects - David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center, a LEED Platinum performing and visual art center
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David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center, a LEED Platinum performing and visual art center

FXCollaborative Architects

Renovation  /  Completed
FXCollaborative Architects

The rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of the orangerie at Pocantico Center, the historic Rockefeller estate located in Tarrytown, New York, transforms the former Beaux-Arts style greenhouse on a National Trust Historic Site into an exemplary LEED Platinum performing and visual art center. Built in 1908, the orangerie was conceived as a winter greenhouse to sustain imported orange trees. The monumental scale pavilion is a 200-foot-long symmetrical volume with a 26-foot-high ceiling, ten arched windows, six skylights, and doors scaled for the transport of orange trees. The building had fallen into disrepair after being dormant since the 1930s.. In 2019, the client announced plans to transform it into a public arts venue that would showcase the building's history and be deeply sustainable.

To support the arts program housed in the main volume of the Center, the sensitive addition of a modern pavilion is positioned closely to the south façade on top of a newly established plinth. Above the pavilion, a 160 ft long trellis stretches across the southern exposure embracing the landscape beyond while shading the outdoor terrace space below. A new 40 ft wide proscenium opening with insulated operable pivot doors animates the terrace, allowing for outdoor performances and connection to nature. Circulation from the north entry vestibule is extended through the support pavilion establishing access and views south to the landscape. No longer a back, the expansion makes inspiring connections to the natural setting, putting the site features on display for artists and visitors.

To achieve the anticipated goal of Net-Zero energy, the team reduced energy loads and optimized energy production. Preserving masonry walls was non-negotiable to limit the embodied carbon of the rehabilitation and to comply with landmark requirements of the historic building. The envelope required a full rehabilitation on the exterior and an entirely new interior liner on all six sides to meet energy efficiency goals and programmatic needs. The team used energy modelling to test the effectiveness of various envelope improvements. The largest benefit comes from the addition of insulation and smart vapor retarder on the interior side of the terracotta block wall. The building is powered by an array of photovoltaic (PV) panels. It is LEED v4 BD+C Platinum certified.

The David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center is open to the public and provides visitors with a glimpse inside the artistic process, offering performances and exhibits; residencies for visual, performing, and literary artists; and other cultural events. The building rehabilitation harmonizes historic restoration with contemporary features that benefit its inhabitants and the surrounding environment. For simultaneous art programs to occupy the space, the long volume of the orangerie is subdivided into performance and rehearsal, gathering, gallery, and studio spaces, each of which have their own programmatic requirements. Clerestory glazing above partitions allow the continuous wood ceiling plane and architectural steel grid to run overhead throughout the different spaces, keeping the sense of the original volume intact. In the center of each partition large, glazed sliding doors provide access and views down the main axis, preserving the character of the space. The new architectural steel grid is supported by the existing steel columns and follows the rhythm of the existing structure, accommodating the different infrastructure and lighting needs in each space in one consistent unifying move. Acoustic treatment above the ceiling provides specific tuning for each space. The design illustrates that deep sustainable design is very compatible with adaptive reuse and the energy demands of performing arts programs while maintaining a strong relationship to the exterior landscape.

The David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center recasts a historic structure as a high-performing retrofit that supports organizational goals and invites the public to see diverse creative arts.


 New York, USA
 Rockefeller Brothers Fund
 15700 mq
 Sylvia Smith, FAIA, LEED AP, Senior Partner; Brandon Massey, AIA, LEED GA, Senior Associate; Daniel Piselli, AIA, LEED AP, CPHD, Principal, Director of Sustainability; Jais Kwon, LEED AP BD+C, CPHD, Associate, Sustainable Design Specialist; Elizabeth Himmel, LEED GA
 York Construction Corporation
 Structural Engineer: Silman Structural Engineers, DRP; Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire/Life Safety Engineer: Altieri Sebor Wieber, LLC; Building Enclosure Engineer: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger; Historic Preservation Consultant: Li Saltzman Architects, PC; Landscape Architect: Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architects, PC; Civil Engineer: Langan Engineering; Lighting Design Consultant: Fisher Marantz Stone; Theatre Design Consultant: Fisher Dachs Associates; Acoustic and Audio-Visual Consultant: Jaffe Holden; Building Commissioning: Horizon Engineering Associates, LLP; Code Consultants: Code Consultants; Controlled Inspections: AK Engineering; Furniture: Miller Blaker; Paint Donation: Benjamin Moore and Co.; Security: NYCON Security Systems, Inc.; Signage: H Plus; Survey and Geotechnical: Langan Engineering; Telescopic Seating: Jezet; Theatrical Lighting: 4Wall Entertainment, Inc.;
 Ceilings: USG Ensemble Acoustical Drywall, Armstrong Calla Ceiling Tiles, Rulon Ceiling Panel; Exterior Wall Systems: MemBrain Continuous Air Barrier & Smart Vapor Retarder; Interior Glass: GGI Float Glass; Gypsum: USG Ecosmart and Sheetrock Brand; Insulation: Natural Polymers Natural-Therm Light, Owens Corning Foamular XPS, Owens Corning EcoTough Pink Fiberglass Batt; Paints and Finishes: Ultra Spec and Eco Spec by Benjamin Moore, SuperSport and Traffic; Roofing: Carlisle Syntec Systems TPO System


FXCollaborative is a New York City-based architecture firm founded in 1978. The firm leverages broad expertise in architecture, interiors, and planning to enrich our world with responsible, intelligent, and beautiful design. The firm’s holistic approach integrates client aspirations, an urban sensibility, and a celebration of the craft of building. FXCollaborative’s work ranges from the scale of individual buildings and interiors—office towers, multi-family residences, cultural facilities, workplace, K-12 and higher-education institutions—to the city as a whole, addressing infrastructure and transportation.



#Finalist #Pietra  #Centro culturale  #Pannelli fotovoltaici  #New York, USA  #FXCollaborative Architects 

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