The design of the Korean Presbyterian Church began in 1995 with the limited partnership of Michael McInturf, Greg Lynn (Hoboken, New Jersey), and Douglas Garofalo (Chicago, Illinois). The project involved the adaptive reuse of the existing 90,000 square foot Knickerbocker Laundry factory, with a 50,000 square foot addition. The lower level of the 1932 two-story factory was renovated into 70 classrooms, while the upper level was transformed into an 800 seat cafeteria, a 600 seat wedding chapel, a library, a day care, and offices.
The addition is suspended above the existing building as an independent structural entity, containing a 2,500-seat sanctuary and a 200-seat choir. Its unique design was realized within the client's limited budget through the management of the forms and dimensions using extremely advanced computer aided design and fabrication technology. An S-shaped lobby/circulation spine punches through the entire complex, shifting the main entrance from the street to the west to the new south parking lot.
The new sections of the building are clad primarily in metal panels, standing-seam metal sheathing, translucent and transparent glazings. The internal circulation cores are rendered in stucco. The expansion of the building provided for the preservation and restoration of the building’s distinctive Art Deco façade, which is a familiar sight to passing Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road commuters.
The Korean Presbyterian Church of New York received an Honor Award by the American Institute of Architects - Cincinnati Chapter, a Citation Award for New Building by the American Institute of Architects - Ohio Chapter, a First Place Bronze Plaque by the Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Awards Competition, and a Progressive Architecture Citation by Architecture Magazine. It has been featured in exhibitions in New York City, Queens, and the upcoming Digital/Real exhibit at the Deutsches Architektur Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. The project has also received wide-spread covering, including articles in Architectural Record, Architecture, A+U: Architecture and Urbanism, Architecture New York, Blueprint, Casabella, Cincinnati Enquirer, deArchitect, Los Angeles Times, Metropolis, Miami Herald, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Magazine and World Architecture. The Church will also be featured in contemporary architecture, a forthcoming book from Benedikt Taschen Publishing.