Natan Bibliowicz's sketches document the building of and people behind the Joan Weill Center for Dance in New York
Annie Block -- Interior Design, 5/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
Pictures often tell a storybetter than words. "Designing a building in New York is an exhilarating experience. It's difficult, if not impossible, to describe," says Natan Bibliowicz, principal of Iu + Bibliowicz Architects, the firm responsible for the 77,000-square-foot Joan Weill Center for Dance. The eight-story structure, which contains performance and practice space for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, took 18 months to build. "It was a labor of love," 'continues the architect, whose participation in the project totaled seven years. "I didn't want to miss any part of it." That includes nearly every person involved—from excavator to finance director.
During his daily visits to the site, Bibliowicz took digital photographs of the construction progress and the team. At night, at home with his family, he sketched the images, slightly abstracted, in charcoal and pastels, mediums he's used since acquiring his passion for drawing as a young boy.
From the project's groundbreaking to its completion, Bibliowicz generated 168 sketches, all of which he plans to compile into a book. Until then, he has given a copy of each portrait to its subject as a token of gratitude. "They're wonderful people," he says. "They built Ailey."