Pace Gallery is pleased to announce that it will open its new flagship gallery in New York in September 2019. Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood at 540 West 25th Street, Pace’s new global headquarters is being developed by Weinberg Properties and designed by Bonetti / Kozerski Architecture, in close collaboration with Pace President and CEO Marc Glimcher. Spanning eight stories and measuring approximately 75,000 square feet, the building has been designed as an integrated and dynamic space for artists, collectors, curators, gallery-goers, and Pace’s international team alike, to gather together and engage with the work of the leading artists that Pace has the honor to represent. With an astute vision for the future of the art gallery model, the new building unites the multi-faceted and evolving roles of the gallery under one roof—encompassing expansive indoor and outdoor exhibition galleries; a 10,000-volume research library; an open art-storage area; and a 2,200 square-foot space dedicated to new media works, performance, and public programming. The opening of the new building in fall 2019 will mark a major milestone in the history of the gallery as it embarks on its 60th anniversary year in 2020.
“Designing this new building alongside Bonetti / Kozerski and Weinberg Properties has given our team at Pace the opportunity to approach, with fresh eyes, the question of what it means to be an art gallery in the 21st century,” said Glimcher. “It allowed us to take a nuanced look at the fundamentals of what we do, where we believe the art world is heading, and how we can create a space that will empower us to continue to serve our artists and our community to the fullest extent of our abilities and ambitions. Every element of this new building – from the first floor research library, to the sixth floor outdoor terrace gallery, to the seventh floor’s flexible performance and programming space – was shaped to allow us to tell the inspiring stories of our artists as dynamically and richly as they deserve to be told. That is an immense privilege that we don’t take lightly and we see this new building not as an end in itself, but as a catalyst for continual innovation and evolution as a gallery.”
Samuel G. Weinberg, President/CEO of Weinberg Properties, says: “Weinberg Properties and Pace have had the pleasure of a 20+ year relationship in the Chelsea Arts district. We are thrilled that Bonetti / Kozerski Architecture have helped to bring our vision and ideas for this building to life. As the owner and developers of the project, we feel that we have created something truly unique and special for Pace that has not been seen before. We are strong believers in the Chelsea market, as we have another development site down the block on the horizon. We are extremely proud and excited for the grand opening of Pace’s new flagship gallery in our building and to be able to continue our long relationship with them.”
More than doubling Pace’s current exhibition space in New York, the new building features four distinct galleries measuring a total of 16,500 square feet, including both indoor and outdoor spaces. All of the exhibition spaces allow for a broad range of installation styles and artistic media, with features such as an entirely column-free design, high loading capacities, and flexible lighting plans creating extraordinarily nimble galleries that can support a diverse approach to exhibition programming. The largest gallery occupies the ground floor, spanning 3,800 square feet with 18-foot ceilings, as well as a glass oversized pivot door that opens directly onto the street. The ground floor also features the gallery’s research library. Open to the public by appointment, the research library will not only include much of the gallery’s publication holdings, but also a display area to showcase the gallery’s rich archival materials in complement to the exhibitions on view.
The building’s second floor features a 2,600 square-foot gallery, designed with solid white oak wood flooring and an all-glass south wall that leads directly onto an 1,800 square-foot outdoor terrace gallery. The design allows for either one integrated exhibition fusing indoor and outdoor works, or two distinct shows at once. The most intimate gallery occupies 1,300 square feet on the third floor and features the same wood flooring as the second floor gallery, as well as south-facing floor-to-ceiling windows that allow natural light to infuse the space.
Offering panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, the entire sixth floor is devoted to a 6,000 square-foot outdoor exhibition space that can accommodate large-scale sculptural installations. Partially covered by the volume of the seventh floor, the design creates the sense of an outdoor room. Rising over 14 feet high, the ceiling has been configured with a removable lighting system and audiovisual equipment to support a wide array of exhibitions and programming. The floor is composed of solid end grain Black Locust wood blocks installed on a bed of sand—a design selected for its resistance to weather elements, ability to support large point loads, and higher comfort level than concrete or stone pavers.
Dedicated to presenting new media works, live performances, and public programming, the final gallery occupies 2,200 square feet of the building’s seventh floor. With a north-facing wall of 17-foot-high glass windows, the gallery is designed with a concrete floor, configured into two different levels connected by a series of continuous steps. The space’s flexible layout, enhanced with a special acoustical treatment, is optimized to create dynamic audience experiences for rotating and multidisciplinary exhibitions and programs.
“The chance to design this innovative gallery project for Weinberg Properties and Pace was a unique opportunity,” remarked Bonetti / Kozerski Architecture. “We were challenged to re-evaluate the gallery paradigm, both in terms of building and gallery design, whilst being supported to make in-depth studies into materiality, natural and artificial light, as well as building construction technologies. The result is a project that reflects our close collaboration with both Weinberg Properties and Pace, and a structure that will further enhance the burgeoning Chelsea neighborhood—with a strong street and skyline presence, materials that will age gracefully, and a variety of dynamic indoor and outdoor spaces for people to experience and be inspired by art from around the world.”
With both Weinberg Properties and Pace Gallery using Bonetti / Kozerski Architecture for the construction and interior design of the new building, the process has been a collaborative, integrated and efficient one from beginning to end – allowing for every element of the building to reflect and reinforce the distinct programming needs and vision of the gallery. Targeted to achieve a LEED Silver Certification, the 135-foot-high building has been designed with close considerations of its environmental impact. The exterior of the building features volcanic stone up to the sixth floor of its north façade, and aluminum foam on the other three sides. The construction of the building envelope used a custom fabricated “mega-panel” system, which has allowed for an efficient on-site installation process – with the entire construction period of two years. Both the volcanic stone façade panels and the aluminum side panels were pre-assembled under precise factory conditions, resulting in very high quality control and performance for thermal, acoustical, and water barrier factors in comparison to the traditional field-build methodology.
The lighting for the entire building has been designed in collaboration with Arnold Chan of London-based Isometrix Lighting Design, one of the world’s leading designers of lighting for galleries and museums. Guided by the gallery’s need for fully customizable lighting options, the scheme fuses natural and artificial light to create distinct lighting environments throughout the entire building. Hidden fixtures deliver ambient light that can be adjusted in terms of intensity and color temperature. This is combined with a sophisticated system of spot and flood lighting that is adjustable within the same parameters, allowing for an extremely high level of flexibility and customization according to the requirements of the art on display.
In the coming months, Pace will be sharing news about its inaugural season of exhibitions, programming, and special artist commissions leading up to the September 2019 opening. Beginning in summer 2019, Pace will no longer occupy 537 West 24th Street, but will continue to operate in its current exhibition spaces at 510 West 25th Street and 32 East 57th Street. The exhibition programming throughout the new building will also encompass the programs of Pace/MacGill Gallery and Pace African and Oceanic Art.