studioMDA completes two galleries beneath new york’s high line

studioMDA, led by architect markus dochantschi, has completed two brand-new galleries adjacent to one another in new york’s chelsea neighborhood — the high line nine and the new kasmin gallery. the two projects, which were first announced in 2017, are located in close proximity to 520 west 28th — a residential building designed by zaha hadid — and sit beneath and alongside the city’s famous elevated park.


high line nine is a new collection of art galleries located directly under the elevated park
image © roland halbe (also main image)

 

 

high line nine, the larger of the two venues, is a new collection of art galleries located along a central throughway directly under the high line in west chelsea, a former industrial zone currently home to many art galleries and cultural institutions. the new ground-up development has been designed by studioMDA and developed by related companies. borrowing from the european arcade, the layout of the building is dominated by a central corridor, connecting 27th and 28th streets, serving as the main artery of circulation for the purpose-built interior façades that look into each of the nine gallery spaces.


nine full service and highly amenitized boutique exhibition spaces are provided
image by timothy schenck

 

 

having designed over 140 booths for art fairs all over the world, studioMDA focused on accommodating a wide range of galleries by offering nine full service and highly amenitized boutique exhibition spaces, ranging from 500 to 1,300 square feet. all of the spaces offer museum quality lighting and have skylights over the 13 foot art walls achieving a maximum of 22 feet in height. at 28th street, next to the high line entrance, there is a wine bar/café and catering kitchen also designed by studioMDA.


galleries range in size between 500 and 1,300 square feet
image by timothy schenck

 

 

the central corridor is a sloped concrete floor, maximizing ceiling heights while responding to the site’s topography. the entrances to each gallery feature curved walls enhanced by natural light revealing each gallery to the visitor. exposed high line columns and steel beams give the gallery the industrial feel that relates to the historical and aesthetic architecture of the neighborhood. the corridor seeks to maximize viewing space by allowing direct views in the galleries from the large glass windows that act as vitrines.


all spaces offer museum quality lighting
image © roland halbe

 

 

the façade, cast in white bronze, embraces the history of the site, home to a metal recycling yard for over 50 years. studioMDA collaborated with polich tallix, a foundry that has a long history of working with artists, and followed various steps to create the intricate façade. at first, a slate plate was scanned to extract its texture that was later digitally manipulated to create a monolithic pattern that would run along the whole width of the façade. the digital model was then used to 3D print sand molds at the maximum possible size that were later cast in white bronze and divided in panels for the installation on site.


the façade, cast in white bronze, embraces the industrial history of the site
image © roland halbe

 

 

next door, studioMDA has created a purpose-built gallery for paul kasmin that acts as a ‘kunsthalle’ for displaying and viewing art. the main exhibition area, designed for the display of large-scale artworks, is a column-free, 3,000-square-foot space with 22-foot-high walls and a polished concrete floor. the ceiling in this main space is a pattern of 28 trapezoidal board-formed concrete coffers, each of which houses a large skylight that provides diffused natural daylight. the new gallery also houses private viewing rooms and offices.


the purpose-built gallery for paul kasmin acts as a ‘kunsthalle’ for displaying and viewing art
image © roland halbe

 

 

the building is topped with a landscaped roof and sculpture garden, which sits on the rigorous skylight grid. the undulating form, designed by future green, provides soil depth for plants that will naturally change colors throughout the seasons. in between the plants, platforms are placed to host sculptures that rotate with the gallery’s program. from the street, the façade has an angled form, which follows the shape of the skylights. cast in white concrete with a wood texture, it contrasts the bronze façade of the adjacent high line nine.


the building is topped with a landscaped roof and sculpture garden
image © roland halbe

 

 

both the new kasmin flagship and the high line nine are directly adjacent to the zaha hadid-designed  520 west 25th street. markus dochantschi, studioMDA’s principal, who worked for hadid for many years and led the design and construction of her rosenthal center for contemporary art in cincinnati, describes this as a case where ‘someone from the next generation is literally bumping up against the master. I could not be more exited to have two buildings opening next to the late zaha hadid, who was a great friend and mentor, and has been an inspiration to me throughout my career.’


the main exhibition area is a column-free, 3,000-square-foot space
image © roland halbe


the ceiling is a pattern of 28 trapezoidal board-formed concrete coffers
image © roland halbe


platforms are placed to host sculptures that rotate with the gallery’s program
image © roland halbe


both galleries are adjacent to the zaha hadid-designed ‘520 west 25th street’ (shown in the background)
image © roland halbe

 

 

project info:

 

high line nine —
type: art gallery, ground up construction
size: 10,000 sqf / 929 sqm
status: completed
location: new york, NY
design: studioMDA: markus dochantschi, maria vlagoidou, caitlin mccabe, dylan kessler, yan chen, katerina paitazoglou, yeonseo cho
client team: related
structural engineer: desimone consulting engineers
MEP engineer: STE
façade fabrication: polich tallix
photography: roland halbe and timothy schenck

 

kasmin gallery —
type: art gallery, ground up construction
size: 5,000 sqf / 465 sqm
status: completed
location: new york, NY
design: studioMDA: markus dochantschi, maria vlagoidou, caitlin mccabe, katerina paitazoglou, yeonseo cho, daniela gonzalez
client team: related and kasmin gallery
structural engineer: desimone consulting engineers
MEP engineer: STE
landscape: future green studio
concrete: reg hough associates
photography: roland halbe

philip stevens I designboom

nov 09, 2018

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