Metro Pictures Gallery
© James Ewing/OTTO
Tour Time: 12:00pm
519 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10011
1100 Architect’s renovation of Metro Pictures completely transformed the gallery’s exhibition spaces and visitor experience. By reformulating an earlier layout—and without adding to the building’s overall footprint—the design increased the total exhibition space by 16 percent. Whereas it was once arrayed as three sequential galleries, each similarly sized, 1100 Architect consolidated those earlier spaces into two larger galleries linked by a smaller transitional space, creating more expansive rooms and giving the gallerists more curatorial flexibility.
The design also converted a former storage area into additional exhibition space, opening up more room to display art. This change also allowed 1100 Architect to introduce a new skylight into the gallery area that now brings abundant daylight into exhibitions spaces.
By eliminating an entry vestibule, the renovation created a more open connection between the gallery and its surrounding context, allowing passersby to see some of the art inside. Reorienting the entry desk made the transition between outside and inside even more seamless.
The renovation also transformed the connection between first- and second-floor galleries. These areas were formerly linked with an industrial, blackened-steel staircase that had cast a sculptural presence in the gallery’s entry area. Now, with the new design, that connection is more discreet and intimate. Having removed the old staircase, 1100 Architect inserted a new staircase into the wall behind the reception desk, making an enclosed passage between the floors. The treads are made with welded aluminum plates, giving the appearance of a continuous folded surface. A Corian handrail, set into the wall, provides a visual through-line between the upper and lower floors.