Dezeen Magazine

Brooklyn warehouse overhauled by Snøhetta to create art studio for painter José Parlá

Snøhetta has renovated a Brooklyn warehouse to create a studio for Cuban-American artist José Parlá, whose murals adorn the lobbies of One World Trade Center and the Barclays Center (+ slideshow).

Parlá is well known for his exuberant large-scale paintings, so for the new studio both he and Snøhetta chose to combine the industrial details of an old factory building with a monochrome palette – allowing the artist's work to stand in contrast.

Studio for Jose Parla by Snohetta

Working together, they divided the space up into two sections, referred to as "the arena" and "the nest". One is a double-height workspace, while the other is an elevated lounge space positioned above storage areas and a kitchen.

Piping and electrical fixtures were left exposed overhead, while previously closed-up skylights were brought back into use.

Studio for Jose Parla by Snohetta

"This renovation project retains the aesthetics of the building's working past, including the industrial ceilings and concrete floors," explained the design team in a statement.

"The interiors are painted with neutral grey tones to allow the vibrant colours of José's paintings to stand out more brightly within the work space."

Studio for Jose Parla by Snohetta

The space known as the arena is framed by two sets of U-shaped partition-wall systems. Some walls pivot, allowing artworks to be easily moved in and out, but also offering flexibility when Parlá is working on large-scale pieces.

The nest area sits opposite but is one storey higher. Described by the design team as a "cosy mezzanine", it offers comfortable sofas and a vantage point from which to survey the work in progress.

Studio for Jose Parla by Snohetta

According to Snøhetta, the studio could easily be adapted for use as a gallery or events space.

"When Parlá Studios hosts an event or wants to more formally display works of art, by repainting the floors and adjusting the wall configuration, the studio quickly transforms into a clean, curated gallery of José's work and process," said the team.

Studio for Jose Parla by Snohetta

The studio renovation is the latest in a series of collaborations between Parlá and Snøhetta. The artist developed a design for the facade of the firm's Far Rockaway Public Library, currently under construction in Queens, and one of his murals hangs inside the Hunt Library at North Carolina State University.

Photography is by Jeff Goldberg/ESTO.