Art Lab

The uni­que vi­sion of mul­ti­me­dia ar­ti­st Ro­bert Wil­son, the Wa­ter­mill Cen­ter on Long Island is a gal­le­ry, a work­shop, a per­for­man­ce ve­nue, a re­si­den­ce for crea­ti­ve minds. And ho­me to its foun­der

ELLE Decor (Italy) - - Inside Design/ Tessuti - by Hel­le Wal­sted — pho­tos by Wi­ch­mann+ Bend­tsen Pho­to­gra­phy words by Ka­rin Grä­bæk — wi­th Fla­via Gior­gi

Hid­den by a den­se ve­ge­ta­tion of tall trees, an im­pres­si­ve buil­ding, in­cor­po­ra­ting sharp li­nes and sim­ple ma­te­rials. Con­cre­te, grey sto­ne and cor­ru­ga­ted zinc shee­ts add sha­pe to squa­re vo­lu­mes, in­ter­rup­ted by a dou­ble row of win­do­ws. We are in Wa­ter Mill – an area of Sou­thamp­ton, Long Island - a few hours away from New York. He­re, Ro­bert Wil­son has crea­ted a uni­que pro­ject. “My idea was to crea­te a spa­ce to ho­st work­shops and shared events, a pla­ce whe­re young, up- and- co­ming ar­tists and thin­kers from all over the world could find in­spi­ra­tion and try out their ideas”, he tells us. “And I found a lar­ge la­bo­ra­to­ry aban­do­ned 30 years ago, right he­re on Long Island”. So in 1992, the Wa­ter­mill Cen­ter, fruit of the part­ner­ship wi­th Gluck­man May­ner Ar­chi­tec­ts, Mark Fied­ler of Fied­ler Mar­cia­no Ar­chi­tec­tu­re and a num­ber of ar­chi­tec­tu­re and design stu­den­ts, ro­se out of the ashes of the We­stern Union stu­dy and re­sear­ch cen­tre that on­ce stood on the sa­me si­te. To­day the Cen­ter con­sists of a U- sha­pe main buil­ding, and fea­tu­res stu­dios, wor­king areas, ar­tists’ ac­com­mo­da­tion and Wil­son’s pri­va­te apart­ment, whi­ch al­so hou­ses his mo­nu­men­tal art col­lec­tion. Work is cur­ren­tly in pro­gress to ex­tend the cam­pus, this ti­me in tan­dem wi­th the ar­chi­tec­tu­re firm of Ro­ger Fer­ris, and the ar­tists will soon be trea­ted to apart­men­ts se­pa­ra­ted by the cen­tral bo­dy of the com­plex: “re­si­den­ces in­spi­red by the struc­tu­res of the barns built by the fir­st co­lo­nies on Long Island”, spe­ci­fies Wil­son.

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