Switch Building is a seven-story apartment building with an art gallery at its base. A now-familiar sight in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Switch balances its iconic presence with strong connections to local context.
The building consists of four floor-through apartments, a duplex penthouse, and a double-height art gallery at the ground and cellar levels. An angled metal facade switches visually back and forth, allowing residents views up and down the street and redefining the bay window within the tight zoning constraints of New York City. Switch Gallery is a steel-and-glass storefront and canopy that opens completely, allowing events to extend onto the sidewalk and providing a public identity for the building. The gallery introduces a larger scale into the Lower East Side’s burgeoning art scene.
Each apartment has unique light qualities and views up and down the street, created by front facade bay windows and rear facade balconies that alternate in their placement – switching back and forth.
At the ground floor, an art gallery extends the full depth of the site, terminating in a skylit double-height space at the rear. The gallery’s entire street-level storefront folds to one side, allowing for large deliveries and extensions onto the sidewalk during openings.
The intimate residential lobby is clad in ply bricks.
Floor-through apartments are bathed in light, varying from floor to floor with the varied location of bay windows and balconies.
Client: 109 Norfolk, LLC / Gilad Grinberg
Location: 109 Norfolk Street, Lower East Side, New York City, NY
Dates: 2004 – 2006
Sq Footage: 14,500sf
Program: Five apartments and art gallery
Environmental: Locally sourced materials and fabrication
Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Daniela Zimmer | Jorge Pereira, Takuya Shinoda
Collaborators: Contractor: Builders & HVAC | Structural/MEP Engineer: Sharon Engineering
Photography: Frank Oudeman