The redesign by OMA’s New York director Shohei Shigematsu sees the creation of 40 galleries of vastly varying scale from 32-380 square metres for the New York headquarters of Sotheby's auction house.
When the renovation completes in time for an auction of Impressionist and Modern artwork on 3 May 2019, the building will have been adapted to offer spaces for a variety of formats: double-height for large-scale work, linear galleries for the display of entire collections and small-scale settings for design and artworks on a domestic scale. All in all, gallery space will be increased by almost a third, to 8360 square metres.
As well as public exhibition spaced, Shigematsu, who spoke to us about his role as a 2019 Lexus Design Award mentor earlier this month, has designed nine private sales galleries and two auction spaces. There will also be a new double-height foyer complete with digital signage, and a coffee to sit alongside its exisiting wine store.
OMA designed bespoke furniture for some of the spaces, which are to be finished in a variety of styles, with wood, concrete, carpetted or resin floors, natural or artificial lighting, and exposed or enclosed ceilings.
Wood-pannelled opening will link some gallery spaces with flecked grey flooring to match the aggregate-speckled columns that will be exposed in the renovation works.
“We wanted to embody Sotheby’s ambition to reinvigorate and enhance the client experience by introducing high-flexibility through reorganization of programs and diversification of gallery spaces,” he says of the project.
“The new headquarters is designed for openness and discovery – all public facing programs are shifted to lower levels, unlocking the public potential of the building. A taxonomy of galleries can be used separately or as clusters to allow curatorial freedom, driven by business model shifts and expanding repertoire of programming.”