Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers
Owner: 88Nine RadioMilwaukee
Contractor: Catalyst Construction
This renovation of a vacant brick and steel industrial building in the Walker’s Point neighborhood of Milwaukee creates a new home for a nonprofit “listener supported” radio station, expanding its ability to engage the community through stories and music. The project includes flexible performance spaces and state-of-the-art broadcast and production studios as well as supporting elements that allow for active community involvement, enhanced programming and a collaborative work environment that reflects the culture of the station. The central feature of the building is the Performance Space that accommodates over 100 people for live performances and events. The adjacent community room for station events connects to a coffee shop through large glass garage doors and features large windows that extend the experience to a sidewalk patio. On the second floor, offices and open workstations bracket a central space with teaming areas to enable collaboration. A green roof and rain barrels provide stormwater management while a steel patina wall creates a visual and acoustic backdrop for a rooftop music stage. The project included the extensive use of salvaged, repurposed and recycled materials.
Jury Comment: “There is an informality and vibe and participatory quality to the performance space that appears to buzz with excitement. You can really see this being a lively hub of activity. The layering of spaces, use of color and reuse of materials – especially from the dairy barn – all add interest. The progressive attitude of the radio station now has an architectural expression to it – and that’s very cool.”
Photos: Darris Lee Harris Photography