Architecture Lecturer Selected to Redesign Fire Island Pines Pavilion
Fire Island Pines, N.Y.--Two months after a massive fire destroyed the famed Pavilion nightclub complex in Fire Island Pines, FIP Ventures today announced a major new phase in the rebuilding effort with the selection of an internationally renowned design team. The team is a collaboration between HWKN (HollwichKushner) - the Manhattan based architecture firm led by University of Pennsylvania School of Design lecturer in Architecture Matthias Hollwich.
HWKN is joined by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the acclaimed designers of the High Line, Lincoln Center re-development and other projects around the world. HWKN will lead the design of a unique and temporary entertainment complex for the 2012 summer season and a new Pavilion complex for the 2013 season. Diller Scofidio + Renfro will act as advisors during the master planning and concept phase.
FIP Ventures-a partnership of Blesso Properties, Seth Weissman and Andrew Kirtzman-owns 80 percent of the Fire Island Pines commercial district. Their properties include the Blue Whale and Canteen restaurants, Hotel Ciel, several retail venues and the Pavilion site, which contained the nightclub, a gym, a flower shop, and a real estate office.
Blesso Properties, an innovative developer of residential and commercial properties and 50% owner of FIP Ventures, will spearhead the development process. The firm has won numerous design awards and is no stranger to incorporating great architecture into its projects. "After an exhaustive, fast-track process, we are elated to have the opportunity to work with not just one but two world-class architectural teams," said Matthew Blesso, Founder and CEO of Blesso Properties, "The Pavilion site sits at the entry point of the Fire Land Pines commercial district and it deserves a world class structure. With this project, we have a unique opportunity to re-conceive our properties, while staying true to their roots as anchor of one of the most important gay destinations in the world."
The selection of the architects caps an intensive period of planning in the two months following the fire. "The fire handed us an unexpected opportunity to create something far better than what was destroyed," said Weissman. "We're intent upon building something that will reflect the Pines' reputation as a mecca of style."
Since the fire, the three owners have received hundreds of letters, emails and Facebook messages from Pavilion devotees offering ideas for the new complex.
"We were overwhelmed by the reaction," said Kirtzman. "The Pines is one of the most famous and beloved gay communities on the world, and legions have celebrated High Tea and danced until dawn at the Pavilion. It's a treasure, and we're going to build a structure that does its legacy proud."
The design team has already begun work on the temporary entertainment complex for this summer, with an emphasis on creating lively, high-design dance and socializing spaces.
The timetable for both the temporary and permanent Pavilion structures is dependent upon the state, county and town regulatory processes. The FIPV team has already received crucial support from New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand; Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone; Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko; and Fire Island Pines Property Owners' Association (FIPPOA) President Jay Pagano.
HWKN's partners, Hollwich and Marc Kushner, were recently named as nominees for the prestigious MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program. Their projects include temporary installations for UNIQLO related to the High Line; BOOM, progressive communities for LGBT seniors in Palm Springs and Costa del Sol, Spain; and 18 Park, a 450-unit housing development in New Jersey.
"Rebuilding the Pines Pavilion is the rare instance where community identity, a visionary client, a spectacular site, and a most unique program come together. Our challenge is to make architecture that grows out of the vibrant local community to become an icon of summer," said Hollwich, Principal of HWKN.