SurroundArt Selects Steven Kratchman Architect for Green Museum Resource Center at Brooklyn Navy Yard

SurroundArt has selected an architect to design its 89,000-square-foot space at the Perry Building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Last fall, SurroundArt, which stores and restores works of art, as well as supplies back-end support for high-end art exhibitions, signed a lease for 89,000 square feet of space at the Navy Yard’s LEED-CS Silver Perry Building, designed by Vollmer Associates, which is currently under construction. The project is touting itself as the first industrial building in the country to house multiple tenants and achieve a LEED Silver rating.

SurroundArt already occupies 71,000 square feet at the Navy Yard and will also take 7,000 square feet of space in the Paymaster Building, which stands adjacent to the Perry. The Paymaster is where Navy Yard workers used to pick up their paychecks, and the Navy Yard Development Corporation is refurbishing its historic exterior while SurroundArt performs a gut renovation.

Yesterday, SurroundArt announced that it has retained Steven Kratchman Architect for the design of its new space (the Perry Building is a core and shell project, so Kratchman will work with SurroundArt to fit out the interior). Mr. Kratchman is no stranger to waterfront projects; prior to founding his own firm in 1999, he served as the lead designer for the Chelsea Piers complex along the Hudson River. Green core and shell features at the Perry Building include a wind turbine that will supply a portion of the building’s energy load, an efficient building envelope, waterless urinals, a graywater system, and a number of recycled-content construction materials. SurroundArt will pay approximately $20 per square foot for the space under its new lease.

The firm is also developing what it calls a Museum Resource Center across all three of its Navy Yard spaces and will sublet a portion to at least five more tenants that also provide similar art-related services, which range from temperature-controlled storage to packing, transportation, and exhibit design, fabrication, and installation. SurroundArt was founded in Washington back in 2003 by Michael Murray, who was formerly a cabinetmaker at the Smithsonian. Mr. Murray called the project “a much needed Fine Arts campus, providing the space and services that the arts community requires to thrive. What’s more, the sustainable, green building initiatives [at the Navy Yard] are very much in line with the artistic and cultural spirit of our company and clients.” The firm expanded to New York in 2003 and tripled the amount of space it required at the Navy Yard in the first six months it was here. SurroundArt has provided services for exhibitions that include the well-attended Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs for Arts and Exhibitions International.

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