Brooklyn’s “batcave” reopens after Herzog & de Meuron’s renovation

The Gowanus historic power plant, populated by writers and ravers in the last decades, has been polished and transformed into a non-profit space dedicated to artists and craftsmen.

The “Batcave”, populated by writers and ravers, has been cleaned up and transformed into a non-profit space dedicated to artists and artisans.

After seven years of reconstruction work followed by Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with PBDW, the Brooklyn power plant reopens its doors as “Powerhouse Arts”, a non-profit manufacturing established with the aim of creating a new platform for art production and generating job opportunities in the arts and crafts sector.

Along the Gowanus Canal and Red Hook, Brooklyn Rapid Transit Power Station was built in 1904 and served to support the rapidly developing rail transport network. However, the power station was closed by the 1950s and only half of its original structure, the Boiler House, remained intact. At the end of the 20th century what remained of the building became a popular destination for writers and ravers and was nicknamed “the Batcave”.

With an area of 170,000 square feet, the redevelopment project draws inspiration from the surrounding industrial landscape, enhancing the characteristics of the building and its relationship with the urban environment, preserving and restoring several original elements. The old power plant has now been transformed into an art manufacturing hub, dedicated to artists, artisans and other skilled workers.

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