broadleaf has been a part of the development of Boston Progress Arts Collective since 2004, and East Meets West Bookstore since it’s opening in fall 2004. we’ve worked to create physical and social strategies that will sustain and continue to push the growth of both projects.
during 2006-2007, i spent focused time thinking about the possibilities of BPAC and EMW. i formally developed these ideas into my graduate thesis. i thought i’d share it here, to give an example of the importance of both social and built architecture.
BPAC is a community of API* artists that aims to create a supportive space and outlet for personal growth, creative expression, and artistic exploration. We strive to use art as an active means for mobilization and education within our communities locally, nationally, and beyond.
East Meets West is the largest API* independent bookstore and arts space in New England (and the East Cost, i think). It is home to East Meets Words Open Mic, Open Orchestra, BPRLive.org, local exhibitions, and many other special events programming.
To collectively create an image that will sustain the growth both EMW and BPAC, along with other local community-based organizations (CAPAY and AARW) we held discussions to envision what the small bookstore could become. In the fall of 2006, we created a step-by-step strategic process that would maximize community-impact, based on vision, programs, funding. and in built representation.
to visualize what this plan would look like, as the architect of the team, i designed architectural suggestions.
chapter 1: artistic interventions on the exterior of the building:
chapter 2: increasing programs to take over the existing building
Chapter 3, would be the complete renovation and redesign of the current building, 934 MAss Ave in Cambridge, MA. This was the design portion of my graduate thesis.
My goal was to create an architecture that would amplify the visbility and presence of the API* community, as well as create a built structure that would enable and maximize the affect of programs.
I wanted to create an architecture that physically, and socially represented the API*, as well as build, with both people and bricks.
the interior space provides flexibility and potential for growth. a multiplicity of programs can occur in the space at once. everything serves various functions. a bookshelf is a railing and a room partition. sectional shifts in elevation provide a stage and separation of space. exterior ramps and platforms provide infrastructure that enables (and eases) the process of exterior art installation/viewing.
space is delineated without the use of walls, maintaining a sense of openness, transparency of process, and exchange of information
conceptually, East Meets West Arts Space is still “one room”. The proposal scales up current programs while maintaining a spirit of the past.
Although we are far from rebuilding the entire store, we have come along way since the opening in 2004. this thesis proposal serves as a vehicle to dream outloud, and envision, what can be… perhaps in the not-too-distant-future.