We were commissioned by gallerist Marianne Boesky to create a new building for her gallery that would be architecturally distinct, invitingly private, and suited to its West Chelsea site. We designed a glazed white brick volume on a corrugated metal base, with a sidepiece of custom concrete block.
The building is set asymmetrically next to the High Line, and was the first building built in accordance with that area’s new zoning, put in place as the park was being conceived. The gallery has offices, storage, and several distinct exhibition spaces, including project rooms and an expansive room to the north that is daylit by skylights.
The gallery’s interior spaces are arranged in sequence to create a rich experience of discovery. From the entrance, a generous entry hall leads past the reception area and private viewing room to the first gallery. Beyond, the building opens up to the main gallery, measuring 28 feet by 57 feet, its 18-foot ceiling punctuated by three large north-facing skylights. These light monitors are carefully designed to mix small amounts of indirect, south light with north light for an improved depth of color in the main gallery. Museum-quality electric light supplements this natural light on cloudy days.
We focused on combining the usual materials one finds in an art gallery—white walls, concrete floors—with the gritty texture of the original neighborhood’s sheet metal and concrete block to make a building that is very much of its place. You almost don’t see it—then you do.Marc Leff, Partner
Deborah Berke Partners
Structural Engineer, MEP Engineer
Design Award for Commercial Architecture
2009 AIA New York State
Gallerie d’Arte, by Chiara Savino, Motta Architettura