Using the cellars that line New York’s sidewalks as a canvas, Cellar Door activates and reclaims these often avoided spaces, framing their contents and transforming them into a space of intrigue.

New York’s sidewalks are lined with cellars that lead down to the basements of buildings and bowels of businesses. At street-level, passersby are offered glimpses into the cellars; legs cut off at the knee, dank puddles pooled on the floor, boxes overflowing with products. Each unique view adds mystery to these spaces. Often, the hatches are ignored and pedestrians avoid them. Even when shut, these cellars tend to create a pedestrain choreograph that ebbs and flows around the metal doors.  

Cellar Door reclaims these overlooked spaces on our sidewalks. A welded metal frame sits within the cellar's opening holding a transparent, glowing surface.  As a pedestrians pass, the cellar glows, inviting them to peer within the illuminated frame.  When the pedestrian stands upon the glowing surface, the interior of the cellar grows brighter, illuminating the cellar space below.  Contents found in the cellar are arranged in a site-specific vignettes for visitors to view. 

By creating a dialogue between the city’s architecture, infrastructure and the movement of its residents, Cellar Door taps into the subconscious effect the doors have on pedestrian movement.