Beit noir

Commissioned by the Storefront for Art and Architecture exhibition Souvenirs: New New York Icons.

Beit Noir is an architectural character found adjacent to the Montefiore Cemetery in easternmost Queens. In such a setting, the Beit Noir is a conclusion to the Allegorical Project following in the tradition of Melvin Charney, John Hejduk, and Shin Takamatsu. One part memento mori and literary device of portmanteau – combining a French idiom for something wearisome and the Hebrew word for house – the tripartite tower can only offer rhetorical misreadings and nonhuman agencies. 

Overall, the Beit Noir is a character and icon made of three parts - massive crown, burned body, tenuous supports - for the area spanning Queen’s Village to Cambria Heights and skirting JFK International. The centrally located cemetery is the ideal scene for this totem of particular forms and tectonics. This totem points and refers to things outside itself, but is constituted by its own internal logics. 

Project: Mariana Ibañez, Simon Kim

Design Team: Jan Kwan, Ben Ruswick, Brett Lee

Supported by a residency at the Autodesk BUILD Space