Occupying an entire city block, LentSpace acts as a platform for rotating exhibitions of contemporary art complemented by various public programs. The infrastructure and master plan of LentSpace includes a tree nursery and an operable fence. The tree nursery provides foliage and shade for the site while also incubating street trees to be distributed at a later time throughout the surrounding blocks. In response to the client's requirement of enclosing the space with a seven foot fence, we designed a moveable sculptural fence facing Duarte Square that can enclose or open the site to different degrees, creating an array of social spaces.
Looking more like a piece of furniture than a security measure, the fence also serves as a public amenity in the form of benches and wall panels for exhibitions on the edge of LentSpace. Through these procedures and interfaces, the fence itself becomes public and creates an object that can be interpreted, used, and appropriated in many different ways, including as a surface for the display of art. Different timespaces and different constituents border the site: Varick Street with its droves office workers, 6th Avenue with a number of everyday uses occupying the sliver parcels, and Canal Street with both the daily congestion of commuters entering the Holland tunnel and the "sidewalk mall" of vendors selling fake handbags and t-shirts.
Thus, the distinct edges of LentSpace become activated differently depending on the time of day or week. Conceived as an “in the meantime” activity to animate a vacant site awaiting renewal, LentSpace offers a new model for land use citywide.