Ray Philly: New Design-Forward Residential Building Debuts in Philadelphia

Ray is rooted in making art and design a part of everyday life through culturally-inspired apartment buildings that offer unique programming and publicly-accessible art spaces

Ray Philly features 110 apartments, six artist studios and public spaces for art-related programming

PHILADELPHIA, July 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Ray, a brand rooted in hospitality and making art and design a part of everyday life, today announced the opening of its first residential building, Ray Philly. Located in the heart of the burgeoning North American Street creative corridor, Ray Philly aims to be a creative hub where beautiful, culturally-inspired apartments co-exist with publicly-accessible art spaces. The project will also offer unique programming through partnerships with the local creative community and will include original art installations by renowned artist Rashid Johnson and locally-based artists Michelle Lopez and Marian Bailey.

The 103,000 square foot building features six artist studios on the ground floor, 110 residential units – including 25 studios, 67 one-bedrooms, 18 two-bedrooms – free communal art studio (called the makerspace) for residents, and a commercial space. Ray Philly is located at 1525 N. American Street in the South/Olde Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, adjacent to Northern Liberties and Fishtown.

The artist studios, located on the ground floor, utilize roll-up glass garage doors that open directly onto North American Street, inviting the neighborhood in. The inaugural studio tenants include artist Michelle Lopez, beloved neighborhood bookshop and curatorial collective Ulises, and Linden Ave Studio, a multidisciplinary creative design studio, among others. The community is invited to host and attend public programming in Studio 105, Ray Philly’s exhibition and event space. Ray will curate ongoing art exhibition programming and will fund Ulises to curate a series of exhibitions in the 105 space as well, and is working directly with each studio tenant on program development and to ensure their spaces are open regularly to the public.

Ray Philly apartments feature a contemporary design with huge windows and blonde oak floors and building amenities include a landscaped rooftop garden, beautiful, light-filled working areas in the coworking lounge, a gym and yoga studio featuring 12-foot ceilings, a fully-outfitted communal kitchen, and a communal art studio (also known as the makerspace) with workshop tables. Artist installations include an exterior intervention by Michelle Lopez with the text “WHEN UNDER ONE SKY” on the corner edge of the building which explores the themes of unity and possibility at the place where the built and natural environments collide. Residents can lounge in the sunken living room featuring an original installation by Rashid Johnson that includes a stacked cell system filled with plants, books, sculpture and light, and a library curated by Ulises.

Ray has also commissioned the installation of an artwork consisting of three hanging fabric panels to anchor the entryway staircase to our building entitled Find What Grounds You by local artist Marian Bailey (b. 1991), who was named as a Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists 2023 Mural Arts, with production facilitated by Commonweal Gallery. In making work that focuses upon dark-skinned black women, Bailey considers how the very act of existing in space can at times be taken as confrontational or aggressive, which is a notion their work is actively trying to combat. For their installation at Ray, the image they’ve constructed is one which reflects an air of tranquility and belonging – a dignified serenity that comes from taking up space and inviting others to do the same. Additional work from local talent can be found within the amenity spaces in the building, acquired in partnership with local galleries and art organizations.

Ray Philly is a home and gathering space where people can express their unique voices and perspectives, whether as residents of the building or participants in Ray’s free public programming,” said Suzanne Demisch, Creative Director at Ray. “We’re excited to be part of the City of Brotherly Love and look forward to delivering an experience that brings art and design into people’s daily lives.”

Developed in partnership with Philadelphia-based Six Acre Capital and designed by award-winning architectural firm Leong Leong, the $34 million project was constructed out of the need for more spaces that bring culture to daily experience. Approaching this through a residential lens, Ray highlights the sense of community and belonging made possible by a shared intimate experience of art, architecture, and design. Ray Philly’s considered design serves as an intentional alternative to the ubiquitous 5-over-1 multi-family projects popping up in cities across the country. Neighboring The Clay Studio’s new facility and the storied Crane Arts building, it will be the first Ray development project to open its doors to the public and showcase the philosophy of design that’s functional and unconventional, and available to residents and the community alike.

“When we identified this parcel, we had conviction it was highly unique for many reasons – controlling 300′ of linear frontage, on a double-wide street with an abundance of light and air, at the southernmost portion of North American Street, a corridor primed for tremendous growth – the location was really the initial thesis, and to see this project, which is the first for Six Acre, come to life in the way it has is incredible,” said Borden and Lansman, Principals of Six Acre Capital. “We are highly committed to continuing to develop in the Greater Philadelphia area through delivering projects where we can employ contextual and everlasting designs and forward-thinking programming.”

“We were excited to partner with Ray because of our shared interest in supporting the creative ecosystems of our cities and centering the needs of artist communities,” said Dominic Leong, Founding Partner at Leong Leong. “The design for Ray Philly references the historic industrial buildings of the neighborhood with its unique hand-split brick facade – a gesture that is both contextual and contemporary through its attention to craft.”

About Ray
Ray exists to perpetuate art and culture in the built environment. Founder Dasha Zhukova was inspired to apply her work within cultural institutions and public art spaces into a new category of the built environment. Dasha established the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008, seeking to create a space devoted to the discovery and exploration of global art and culture. Her experience at the museum, particularly observing how people interacted with both the art and architecture, was the catalyst for launching Ray.

About Six Acre Capital
Six Acre Capital is a real estate developer, owner and operator founded by Jake Borden and Mark Lansman. Leveraging the Principals’ prior institutional experience coupled with a ‘hands-on’ operational mentality, the primary focus for the platform is developing, repositioning, and acquiring multifamily and mixed-use assets. The firm employs a hyper-local geographic investing approach, selectively pursuing opportunities within the Greater Philadelphia and tri-state areas. This investment philosophy lends itself to a ‘boots-on-the-ground’ execution, in turn creating superior risk-adjusted returns for its partners and investors.

SOURCE Ray Philly

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ray-philly-new-design-forward-residential-building-debuts-in-philadelphia-301887786.html
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