Sotheby’s New York Headquarters by OMA

To establish flexibility through diversity

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards OMA for providing the following description:


Sotheby’s is continually adapting to a changing art market that is increasingly dominated by online sales and digital technology; global art fairs and events; diversification of customers, goods and services. Sotheby’s has already redefined the auction house by becoming a global home for collectors, a unique place to sell, acquire, and experience art and beautiful objects. The headquarters of the global company, located at 1334 York Avenue in New York, has untapped potential to reflect and accommodate the open future of Sotheby’s and the changing market for art and luxury goods. The redefinition of the York Avenue building can support and define the transformation and reorganization of the diverse and complex institution.

▼接待台,reception ©Brett Beyer Photography


The redevelopment of 1334 York is approached surgically, starting with a reorganization of programs throughout the building. Existing conditions and locations of employee, client-serving and back of house spaces are sprawled across the building with unclear circulation and a lack of efficiency. Our conceptual proposal clarifies the overall flow through the building by restacking and consolidating complementary programs while freeing up space for improved connectivity and openness—new retail, gallery and client spaces span the first four floors to better engage clients and visitors.

▼设计方案通过调整及合并辅助空间来提高整个交通动线的清晰度, by restacking and consolidating complementary programs, the conceptual proposal clarifies the overall flow through the building ©Brett Beyer Photography


Flexibility in architecture is often defined through adaptable or moveable elements within blank spaces, so that anything can happen anywhere. What results are more often than not characterless environments that fail to work perfectly for any specific program or use. Rather than flexibility through genericity, OMA’s key ambition for Sotheby’s new galleries was to establish flexibility through diversity.  Across the bottom four levels of Sotheby’s headquarters, 40 new galleries of 20 distinct types ranging in size, scale, material, and form respond to the different types of sales, exhibitions, and events that are hosted at Sotheby’s.

▼大楼的1-4层增设了40个新画廊,40 new galleries were arranged across the bottom four levels of Sotheby’s headquarters ©Brett Beyer Photography

▼空间的大小、规模、材质和形式均有所不同,the galleries vary in size, scale, material and form ©Brett Beyer Photography

▼高度灵活的展厅,任何活动和事件都可能在此发生,adaptable elements within blank spaces, anything can happen anywhere ©Brett Beyer Photography


The level of the first floor has been raised, with a new double-height gallery to create a seamless connection between the street and exhibition. This gallery is immediately connected to the second floor, through interior windows that look from the second floor down to the first floor space, providing visitors with a unique vantage point to view art. A dynamic repertoire of spatial conditions for display—from white cube, double height, enfilade, corridor, cascade, octagonal and L-shaped—can be used individually or as clusters, to accommodate various programming as well as the display of Sotheby’s diverse portfolio. Individual gallery clusters can be closed for art install while the majority of the floor remains open for exhibition, enabling a rapid and efficient turnover of exhibition spaces which is typically every 3-4 days.

▼带有混凝土立柱的双层高展厅,double-height exhibition space with concrete columns ©Brett Beyer Photography

▼展厅内部,gallery interior view ©Brett Beyer Photography


The redevelopment also aims to introduce a new aura for Sotheby’s as a part of the institution’s global program of concurrent enhancements in London and Paris. Entry into gallery clusters is defined at their thresholds with custom stained walnut panels and doors, a nod to the traditional woodwork found at Sotheby’s London. Simultaneously, the history of the building at York Avenue is not ignored. Existing concrete columns are exposed, stripped, and hand stippled to reveal their material character, and steel beams in open ceiling galleries are left exposed, acknowledging the building’s industrial past. The unique qualities and history of the New York headquarters are married with the heritage and tradition of the company and its London heritage.

▼每个展厅的入口使用了定制的深色胡桃木门板,entry into gallery clusters is defined at their thresholds with custom stained walnut panels and doors ©Brett Beyer Photography

▼混凝土立柱保持了裸露和剥落的状态,existing concrete columns are exposed, stripped and hand stippled ©Brett Beyer Photography

▼立柱细部,detailed view ©Brett Beyer Photography

▼展出中的画廊,galleries with art ©Brett Beyer Photography

Sotheby’s New York Headquarters
Project: Renovation of Sotheby’s New York
Client: Sotheby’s
Status: Expected Completion May 2019; Commissioned January 2017 Site: 1334 York Avenue, New York, NY USA
Program: 92,753 SF Gallery, Retail and Client Spaces
Lead Design Architect: OMA
Partner-in-Charge: Shohei Shigematsu
Associate-in-Charge: Christy Cheng
Project Architect: Jina Kim
Team: Caroline Corbett, Vincent Parlatore, Anahita Tabrizi, Natasha Trice, Jesse Catalano
Concept Design
Project Architect: Caroline Corbett
Team: Jina Kim, Vincent Parlatore, Timothy Ho, Jesse Catalano
Executive Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP Signage and Wayfinding: 2×4
Lighting: Tillotson Design Associates
MEP: Cosentini Associates
Structure: Robert Silman Associates Structural Engineers, DPC Acoustics: Cerami & Associates, Inc
Building Envelope: Heintges & Associates
Contractor: Structuretone
Client Rep: Gardiner & Theobald

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