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Helwaser Gallery

2021 | Art Gallery, Manhattan, NY

The extensive renovation of this early 20th-century space into a contemporary art gallery required a unique focus to efficiently utilize the well-proportioned volume of the existing more

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The crown molding and trim detailing were distracting and limited curatorial choices. However, the decoration was challenging to remove without damaging the structure. Additionally, the property needed to be rewired to accommodate gallery lighting and electrical requirements. To accommodate these parameters, a concept of an inserted “upside-down white box” allowed the installation of new interior surfaces, reinforced with a layer of plywood for art installations and to run new wiring. To accentuate the volume, the new wall planes that comprise “the box” were stripped of any articulation and visually suspended above the floor with the tall, recessed baseboard. The visual effect draws attention upward toward the upper portions of the gallery walls and ceiling.


One of the programmatic parameters was a need to create a private office space for the meetings, the deep 5 feet by 9 feet opening the passage between two viewing rooms could be closed with a corresponding pocket door when privacy is required. “The pencil case” storage space utilizes a small room to create an efficient out-of-the-way place to store artwork, packing materials, and tools.

Photography by Phoebe Dheurle

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