Galapagos Art Space

Born in Brooklyn. Raised in Detroit.

Design Team:


Robert Elmes ---- Founder / Executive Director Galapagos Art Space
Jordan Rogove -- AIA, LEED AP Founding Partner DXA Studio 
Wayne norbeck --AIA, Founding Partner DXA Studio
Patrick Cullina -- Self; previous: 
Founding VP NYC High Line / VP Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Robert Elmes - Founder / Executive Director Galapagos Art Space

Galapagos Art Space, a performing arts venue and gallery project, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1995. Galapagos had lakes- yes, lakes – in its NYC buildings. In 2014 Galapagos Art Space moved to Detroit, Michigan and will redevelop almost 750,000 square feet of industrial and factory space into a staged, large-scale cultural project.


The new venue will have a 10,00 square foot lake as its basis of design and will once again be a LEED designed project.

“Known for its dedication to the art community, Galapagos Art space guts a 100-year-old building and creates an inspired masterpiece.”
- Green Building and Design 

In 1995 - Robert founded Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Galapagos became the key public venue of an artist community that distilled the creative energy of the Williamsburg ethos into a single idea, an idea so strong that it attracted tens of thousands of participants to New York City and launched a record-breaking number of real estate development projects concentrated in and capitalizing on Williamsburg’s success. This explosion of interest lead Williamsburg to become an international destination for the arts and creative industries, driving cities around the world to study how it could be replicated in their local governances.  

In 2008 - following its success in Williamsburg, Galapagos Art Space moved to a location in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Through an innovative ‘digital’ and scientific programming profile, along with its cultural and artistic programing, Galapagos played a key role in rebranding DUMBO as a vital citywide destination for the cutting-edge and ‘right now’ in 'smart'.

Galapagos Art Space has hosted over six hundred fundraising events for non profits cultural and artistic groups, neighborhood activism and social services organizations. From the little dance company around the corner to the leading arts organizations, Galapagos applies an innovative no-cost to low-cost model that has raised millions of dollars for local initiatives.

“Lincoln Center doesn’t have a permanent performance hall quite like Galapagos Art Space”
-The New York Times 
The New York Times called Galapagos "an ever-growing cultural oasis", and The Village Voice wrote that Mr. Elmes (is) building a cultural movement brick by brick".

Once built, Galapagos does not accept government grants or public funding in order to operate. Instead it relies on a budget of 100% earned income. 

Elmes, b. 1966 in Hamilton, Canada, currently lives in Detroit, Michigan.




Jordan Rogove, AIA, LEED AP Founding Partner DXA Studio

Jordan is a New York State Registered Architect, LEED Accredited Professional and Co-Founder of DXA studio. His role includes leading the creative design process, managing the studio, and guiding projects through complex municipal approval processes; including Landmarks, Community Board and BSA. Over the course of Jordan’s 15-year career he has completed a tower that straddles Manhattan’s High Line, won design competitions for health-focused housing in Haiti and an arena for the New Jersey Devils, designed and fabricated scenic sets for television and stage, helped realize the Louis Sullivan Award winning historic Carbide & Carbon Building renovation, and designed and oversaw over twenty high-end residential and commercial projects in New York City.  This broad and multifarious background has helped him form a unique approach to design and a thorough understanding of what it takes to see a project through to it’s successful completion.

Jordan is currently working on the 27,000 square foot conversion of the Landmarked Mt Pleasant Baptist Church to a mixed-use, residential and community facility building in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a 32-unit, 80,000 SF new construction condominium in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, multiple ground-up town houses, a 170-room hotel in TriBeCa, and several music venues both domestic and international.  A number of socially-minded projects round out the broad spectrum of project types, with the development of a health-focused community in St Marc, Haiti and the renovation of multiple derelict building’s in Detroit into campuses for performance and visual artists.

Prior to founding DXA studio with partner Wayne Norbeck, Jordan worked for renowned Set Designer Tom McPhillips, Chicago-based Lucien Lagrange Architects, and Morris Adjmi Architects in New York City.   Jordan is currently teaching an architecture studio at Virginia Polytechnic Institute with Wayne, frequent collaborator Landscape Designer Patrick Cullina, and Co-Director of the Center for Design Research, Joseph Wheeler.

Wayne norbeck, AIA Founding partner DXA Studio


Wayne Norbeck is a Co-Founder of DXA studio, is licensed in the states of New York and Maryland and is an NCARB Certified Professional.  His role includes leading client relationships and design direction while overseeing overall project development and management of the studio. 

Equally facile at conceiving design solutions for large-scale public spaces down to intricate, customized fabrication details, Wayne’s 15 years of experience includes leading the design of two 100,000+ square foot museums currently under construction on the periphery of Shanghai, being part of the National AIA Award winning design for the Orange County Great Park, winning an international competition for housing in Haiti, and managing the internationally published and award winning headquarters for GKD-USA. 

Wayne presently leads the design of a 15 story hotel tower on the Lower East Side, a New York based ground-up multi-level retail store, a 40,000 square foot social club in Little Italy, a 170-room hotel in TriBeCa, an Upper East Side ground-up town house, a performance and artist based development initiative in Detroit and Blue Note Jazz Club locations around the world. 

Prior to DXA studio, Wayne practiced with Ziger/Snead Architects, TEN-Arquitectos and Gluckman Mayner Architects.  Wayne presently teaches an architectural studio at Virginia Tech with DXA Partner Jordan Rogove, Landscape Designer Patrick Cullina and Co-Director of the Center for Design Research, Joseph Wheeler.  He has previously taught at the Pratt Institute and has served as a visiting critic at numerous schools including the University of Pennsylvania and the Parsons New School for Design.  He received a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.


Patrick Cullina - Self

Patrick Cullina is an award-winning horticulturist, landscape designer, lecturer, consultant and photographer with nearly twenty years of experience in the field. He currently runs a design and consulting business based in New York that is dedicated to the innovative and sensitive integration of plants and materials into a diverse range of compelling designs that draw inspiration from a versatile portfolio of projects and ecologies alike--maintaing a particular focus on creating beautiful and resonant public and private urban spaces.

His expertise includes the design and creation of landscapes that are informed by a consideration for long term maintenance—spaces that provide ornamental interest throughout each of the seasons while being less consumptive than traditional public landscapes.

Previously, he served as the founding Vice President of Horticulture and Park Operations for New York City’s High Line, as V. P. of Horticulture, Operations and Science Research for Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and as Associate Director of the Rutgers University Gardens in affiliation with the school’s Department of Landscape Architecture. Throughout his career, he has served as a consultant and advisor to an array of public and private projects and has lectured throughout

the U.S. and abroad on the subjects of horticulture, landscape design and effective strategies for transforming cities. His current consulting includes services to private, municipal, corporate and conservancy clients as well as to a number of leading landscape architecture and architecture firms. His work in horticulture has been recognized by a number of organizations, including the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Garden Club of America (Zone Horticultural Commendation, 2010) and the Garden Club of NJ (Gold Medal, 2005).

His current public projects include horticultural consulting for landscape architecture firms designing the Hudson Yards, Manhattan West and 450 W. 33rd Street at the northern end of the High Line; planting design for the four wharf blocks of the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway in Boston—the promenade park constructed over Boston’s “Big Dig” tunnel project; consulting and design services for Bette Midler’s NewYork Restoration Project; planting design, horticultural consulting & landscape management services for Bethlehem (PA) Steel’s Hoover-Mason Trestle with Wallace Roberts Todd (WRT); a mid-block connector park with WRT for the NoMa BID in Washington, D.C., while additionally working directly for the NoMA BID; and a design for a new esplanade landscape for Battery Park City to replace one claimed by Superstorm Sandy, among many others, and has advised anticipated urban landscape projects like the Garden Aerial in Rochester and the Reading Viaduct in Philadelphia.

He is also engaged with DXA Studio Architects on a series exciting commercial and private projects around NewYork City and beyond.



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