The brief required the integration of all gallery functions under one roof. This became a guiding principle, both practical and conceptual, for the design. In the new building, gallery management, art dealers, curators, archivists and marketing staff are vertically and horizontally connected, which in turn fosters organizational and programmatic synergies. As well as art galleries, there are also spaces for performance art, press previews, indoor and outdoor events, and private dinners, activities that previously often took place at different locations.
The form of the building reflects the vertically layered gallery spaces interspersed with viewing rooms, offices and open terraces. The galleries themselves are not hierarchically defined by size or vertical location, but rather by their spatial characteristics, lighting (both natural and artificial), and proportion. As a result, each is distinct: the ground floor gallery, a large column-free space with 18-foot ceilings, can open directly to the street, thanks to a 20 foot-wide pivoting door; the second floor gallery’s south side is glass and opens to a terrace; and the more intimate spaces on the third floor are designed for maximum flexibility. The sixth-floor sculpture terrace encompasses the entire footprint of the building and is partially covered by the volume of the Penthouse Gallery, an 18’ tall space with full height windows facing north, which creates the feeling of an outdoor room with a ceiling height of 14 feet.
We wanted the exterior to be rigorous in its design and execution, but to be tempered at the moments where the public connects with it—for instance, at the sixth-floor terrace where the human scale of the Black Locust wood block pavers adds warmth and texture. The materials of the building—black volcanic stone, panels of foamed aluminum, and glass over a structural steel and concrete frame—are simple, yet expressive and rich in texture. The building relates to its historical context in both scale and materiality, though its form sets it apart.
We also aimed to improve the way art is contemplated and appreciated in a gallery. To create a better experience, we designed strategies to reduce distractions like ambient sound reverberation, visual pollution and light glare.
Art flows seamlessly throughout the entire building: in both public and private spaces, it is mounted on every vertical surface and installed in many open spaces. Discovering these moments is one of the delights of exploring the building, as a visitor or gallery employee.
The new headquarters creates a unified home for Pace, as well as a new iconic visual identity.
Italian-born Enrico Bonetti, AIA, and British-born Dominic Kozerski, RIBA, founded their eponymous architecture and design practice in New York City in 2000.
Working with clients including tastemakers like hoteliers Ian Schrager and André Balazs, fashion designer Donna Karan, and music producer Rick Rubin, the firm strives to create spaces that combine its aesthetics of understated luxury and warm minimalism.
Recent projects include private residences across the U.S., the Caribbean, and Europe; a new line of yachts for Italian ship builder Benetti; Edition Hotels in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Tampa, and the Public Hotel in New York; and the first campus of the international independent school network Avenues: The World School, in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
The new headquarters for PACE Gallery, a 75,000 square feet building opened in Chelsea art district in September 2019, marks their first ground up project in Manhattan.