CetraRuddy - Fotografiska NY, the rebirth of a place to meet and experience photography
  1. Home
  2. Award 2023
  3. Renovation
  4. Fotografiska NY, the rebirth of a place to meet and experience photography

Fotografiska NY, the rebirth of a place to meet and experience photography


Renovation  /  Completed

Fotografiska NY is the New York outpost of the internationally renowned destination for photography based in Stockholm. Beneath the stone façade of the historic 1894 landmark building, a “structure within a structure” houses the museum, crafted with the DNA of Fotografiska in mind. The goal of the project was to create a space for New Yorkers to meet, eat, drink, and experience photography through a series of rotating exhibitions, while returning a historic landmark to the public.

The restoration of the Church Missions House and Calvary Church Annex allows a new generation of New Yorkers and visitors to appreciate these buildings’ historic details in a way never before possible – creatively and carefully making the most of their exquisite design and structure while adapting to a new use. The restoration of the exterior of the building was a critical step in the building’s transformation into a premier cultural institution. The ornate carved limestone and granite façade was cleaned, removing years of pollution, and the windows were repainted. Bulky HVAC equipment was moved off of the building’s roof to hide it from view. Finally, low-profile exterior lighting was added to highlight and accent the building’s impressive stonework at all hours of the day and night.

From a sustainability perspective, the reuse of an existing structure, with appropriate upgrades to mechanical systems, is a far more sustainable enterprise than constructing a new building from the ground up. In a crowded city with a rich stock of existing buildings, Fotografiska serves as a model for how Landmarks and other historic buildings can be repurposed in the present and the future. -2022 AIA Long Island Archi Award Winner -2021 Architect Magazine Architecture and Interior Award Winner -2020 AIA NY State Citation -2020 Architecture Masterprize Award -2020 NY Landmarks Conservancy Lucy G. Moses Award -2020 Interior Design Best of Year Award -2020 NYCxDesign Finalist -2020 SARA New York Design Award of Excellence

Fotografiska NYC celebrates a historic building, restoring it to its former glory and giving it a new life and program as a premier cultural institution. The ground floor café and art book store features reading nooks and seating areas to allow for personal connection and community. A new internal passage to the Calvary Church Annex, located next door allowed this chapel space to be converted into a bar – one of 4 food or beverage locations within the building. The integration of food and drink into the museum experience is a key part of the Fotografiska DNA. A new elevator and a rerouted, expanded staircase welcome visitors up the gallery floors. Lined with large graphics, the stairway itself serves as an extension of the exhibits located above. The 6th floor space has been repurposed to create a home for public gatherings and events - capturing the spirit of the Fotografiska mission. The low ceiling on this floor was removed, exposing the iron columns supporting the roof, and revealing the terra-cotta tile in the building’s attic. These alterations required substantial upgrades to the building’s original structure. Finally, the addition of an inner set of walls on floors 3-5 surrounding the galleries was designed to create an intimate and flexible viewing experience that can evolve with the changing exhibitions but also creates a projection surface visible from the street, allowing the building’s iconic window apertures to serve as the frames for a public art show.



 New York
 New York, USA
 250000 mq
 CetraRuddy Architecture D.P.C.
 John Cetra, Nancy J. Ruddy, Theresa M. Genovese, Ruben Cabanillas Ramos, Rachely Rotem, Rei Celo


CetraRuddy is an award-winning architecture, planning, and interior design firm based in New York City. With over 36 years of experience, they are known for creating innovative and financially successful projects that engage context and enrich the human spirit. Their practice spans residential, academic, hospitality, and commercial uses, reflecting a commitment to community, context, and the human experience. CetraRuddy believes in designing sustainable, resilient, and inclusive communities that promote health and wellness while inspiring and invigorating individuals. Their DNA is defined by six pillars, including Architecture is Home, Every Site has a Story, and History Matters. Led by Principals John Cetra and Nancy J. Ruddy, the firm emphasizes collaboration and principal involvement throughout all project phases. Their portfolio has earned national and international recognition, and their designs blend materials, details, and branding to provide unique and cost-effective solutions.

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® is a trademark of Monotype ITC Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and which may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.