This media center is located in Chelsea, NYC and occupies the ground floor of approximately 18,000 SF in an existing landmark building. A new 6,000 SF mezzanine was introduced, which strategically elevates the “creative and managerial” functions over the production floor. Duggal’s new headquarters contain the following functions: marketing and sales offices, a digital imaging center, digital production spaces, mounting and laminating etc.
This places Duggal as one of the first digital imaging centers in New York to combine digital imaging and virtual experience with electronic communication and production. The insertion of this ‘mostly digital and electronic space’ into the existing building structure leads to the proposition that subtraction would precede addition. The completely gutted space will enable minimal gestures with a strong spatial effects, reminding one of a set of urban landscapes rather than an interior. Existing cast-iron columns are restored and stress the extreme ceiling height of the space, which interacts with the architecture of the new exposed concrete mezzanine; here sur-faces are considered inter-faces.
The treatment of the new building surfaces as ‘smart’ interfaces suggests an infinitely large, smoothly connected space. Floors, walls and ceilings have been transformed into endless planes containing and wrapping building systems and are connected by long sandblasted glass surfaces. The suggestion of the infinite space is borrowed from the electronic communication space regulated by a matrix in the spatial modeling process. Where the mind travels in these infinite planes, the body occupies a “modeled” space of incredible comfort designed to support and hug it during long sessions. This indexical modulation of space provides a series of elements providing the required programmatic elements i.e. traditional darkrooms, digital darkrooms, scanning and retouching areas, and image manipulation centers. All traditional workspaces have been coded yellow, the use of the darkroom area still requires a set of codes, warning signals, red lights and perfect light temperature control.