Fire and Ice
Pollack Glass Studio & Gallery brings glass art and a teaching facility to Magazine Street
Pollack Glass Studio & Gallery at 4132 Magazine St., was designed by Albert Architecture. It serves as a showcase for Andrew Jackson Pollack and other glass artists, as well as a studio where Pollack and other artists work and teach classes.
The modern building at 4132 Magazine Street, designed by Albert Architecture, is home to Pollack Glass Studio & Gallery. At first glance, its interior resembles that of many art galleries — white walls, shelving and pedestals donning various works. It’s not until entering the space that the “studio” part of the name becomes apparent.
Through a glass window in the back, visitors get a front-row seat to the glass art-making process. Or, for those curious enough about the art form to want to learn how to do it, students can step through the door into the studio and participate in the process via various classes. The man behind the curtain — or door, in this case — is artist Andrew Jackson Pollack.
After spending several years working out of a home studio, Pollack says he was ready to expand his workspace, add a gallery to showcase his work and that of other local and national glass artists and create a place to teach others his craft.
“It stands out in the neighborhood,” says Pollack. “This part of the block isn’t ‘old New Orleans.’ I [do] like that style of architecture, but this is very modern and I worked with the historical architectural commission to navigate it.”
The building also houses a salon and currently features an available space that could be used either as an apartment or for commercial use. For the design inspiration, principal architect Richard Albert, project architect Jared Bowers and design architect Dan Akerley looked to the artist’s preferred medium: glass. Expansive windows that run across the front of the building showcase the glass art inside and upstairs and offer a glimpse of work happening in the hair salon.
“Glass as a design element is prevalent throughout the building,” says Bowers. “Glazing on the Magazine Street façade is maximized to flood the building with desirable northern day lighting. A vertical glazed entry tower is recessed from the street to accommodate additional clerestory windows that provide day lighting to three sides of the gallery space.”
Glass was incorporated into the interior via finishes and furnishings. In addition to windows running across the front of the exterior façade on the second floor, Bowers notes that natural wood panel accents and projecting balconies (which also fit the spirit of New Orleans’ traditional architecture) “are combined to produce a unique project that effectively and efficiently spotlights the means, methods and products of the art of lampworking.”
Safety was a top priority, given the nature of the work done in the studio. With both hot and cold working areas, offices and a gallery, as well as leasing tenants upstairs, Pollack says the team worked closely with the fire marshal to follow building codes and oversee details.
Akerley says the main challenge of the project was “navigating the unique complexities of fire protection inherent to the distinct multiple occupancies, one of which was dealing with the storage and combustion of flammable gases through open torches in an interior environment.”
Beyond the gallery and studio, there is a bathroom with a handy shower (glass art is dirty work), a break room with a comfortable brown leather sofa for lounging and an office. Gray cabinetry by Gulf Breeze Cabinets provides ample storage and, along with wood plank floors salvaged from a warehouse on Tchoupitoulas Street, warms up an otherwise minimal and cool interior. Additional storage is hidden by sliding barn doors made from some of the leftover wood planks used for the flooring.
“My other studio was a cluttered mess,” says Pollack. “[This new space] feels more professional. Things are where I need them. It feels like a blank canvas and has room for a lot of inspiration. A new start, a new body of work.”
“It stands out in the neighborhood,” says Pollack. “This part of the block isn’t ‘old New Orleans.” I [do] like that style of architecture, but this is very modern and I worked with the historical architectural commission to navigate it.”
At A Glance
Pollack Glass Studio & Gallery
Completion date: April 2018
Architect: Albert Architecture (Principal architect Richard Albert; project architect Jared Bowers; design architect Dan Akerley)
Interior Designer: Albert Architecture (Jared Bowers and Dan Akerley) Selections include paint colors, tile, countertops, cabinetry, light fixtures, door hardware, plumbing fixtures and floor finishes)
Furnishings: Furnishings include a custom point of sale desk designed by Albert Architecture and fabricated by Riverbend Construction
Size: 4,447 square feet
Main goal: To provide a functional studio and gallery space for the instruction, creation and presentation of glass art
Biggest Challenge: “Navigating the unique complexities of fire protection inherent to the distinct multiple occupancies, one of which was dealing with the storage and combustion of flammable gasses through open torches in an interior environment,” says Dan Akerley.
Standout Features: Exterior: “Articulated vertical entry tower with natural European wood panel accents,” says Jared Bowers. Interior: “State-of-the-art instructional lampworking studio,” says Bowers
The studio area contains both hot and cold work stations and a sophisticated restaurant kitchen-style ventilation system.
There are two additional spaces in the building — one is a salon and the other is available for either commercial or residential use.