This new 6,000 square foot office fit-out for Independence Care System (ICS) is an expansion adjacent to an existing outreach and office center in downtown Brooklyn. In addition to their constituents, many of the employees are also disabled and a broad central corridor allows ample maneuverability for wheelchairs.
This new 6,000 square foot office fit-out for Independence Care System (ICS) is an expansion adjacent to an existing outreach and office center in downtown Brooklyn.
ICS is a not-for-profit advocate organization for the disabled providing community center functions, counseling, workshops, and wheelchair maintenance services. This is one of three centers located in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn.
Located on the 5th floor of what was the JW Mays Department Store, the new office retains many of the existing decorative features that were part of the original store construction from the early 20th Century. Combining original pressed tin ceilings and ornate wood moldings, the space is an amalgam of old and new, with the ghost of a demolished staircase visible on an existing demising wall.
In addition to their constituents, many of the employees are also disabled and a broad central corridor allows ample maneuverability for wheelchairs. Running parallel for its entire length is an illuminated fascia. With natural light entering at the west end of the space, this glowing surface symbolically extends the light from the cafÃ© area at the windows along the entire 150-foot length of the office.
An existing brick bearing wall intersects the illuminated fascia where an opening was created to allow access to a new call center at the rear of the space. In addition, a neighboring tenant space to the north, with only one exit stair, required the inclusion of a new public corridor through the new ICS space as part of the fit-out design. Bifurcating the plan, the passageway was conceived as a tunnel that does not reach the ceiling allowing the volume of the space to flow above it. Painted red to signal its emergency egress function; glass doors on hold-opens allow passage through it.