foster + partners: sperone westwater gallery opens
sep 23, 2010
foster + partners: sperone westwater gallery opens

sperone westwater gallery by foster + partners
all photos by nigel young

earlier this week sperone westwater celebrated the opening of its new gallery on the bowery
by foster + partners in new york with an inaugural exhibition by argentinean artist, guillermo kuitca.
nearly 35 years after its conception, sperone westwater continues to exhibit an international roster
of prominent artists working in a wide variety of media. its new building, designed by foster + partners,
doubles the exhibition area and pioneers an innovative approach to vertical movement within
a gallery setting.

responding to the compact 25 by 100 foot site, one of the features of the project is a 12 by 20 foot
moving gallery, which connects the upper four exhibition floors and allows visitors to move gradually
between levels. it is a prominent feature along the bowery, visible from the street, its gentle pace
contrasting with the fast-moving traffic. at any given floor, the exhibition space can be extended
by parking the moving room as required, with an additional elevator and stairs providing alternative

the gallery offers a range of exhibition spaces, which vary in proportion and ambience. the design
incorporates a double-height, 27-foot high exhibition space at street level, with a sky-lit gallery,
a mezzanine floor, a sculpture terrace overlooking a park, and private viewing galleries on the fourth
and fifth floors. a setback at the sixth floor marks the location of the gallery’s administrative offices.
works of art will be stored primarily in the basement, while a library is located at the top of the building,
below the mechanical floor. the milled glass facade that houses the moving room acts as a buffer zone,
protecting the building from extreme temperatures and acoustically insulating the gallery spaces.

gallery space

gallery space


project info:
location: 257 bowery, new york city
site area: 2,500 square feet
gross area: 20,000 square feet
building footprint: 100 ft x 25 ft
typical floor to floor height-gallery: 16′-0″
typical floor to ceiling height-gallery: 13′-0″
typical floor to floor height-office: 12′-0″
typical floor to ceiling height-office: 9′-0″
building height: 131′-0″
number of storeys: 8 storeys + mechanical floor + basement
program: public gallery (3 floors)
private gallery (2 floors)
office (2 floors)
library (1 floor)
moving gallery: interior dimensions: 20′ x 12′- 13′ (height)
steel frame structure with red exterior cladding. operated by hydraulic pistons system
structure: structural concrete
cladding: north and south facade corrugated black metal panels
west facade: CNC milled laminated glass on rigid frame system
east facade: combination of corrugated black metal panel system and transparent glass
elevators: 1 passenger elevator/ freight elevator, 8000 pounds capacity 9′ x 5′-6″ approximately
MEP system: centralised hvac system with heat recovering wheels.
gas-fired boiler and chillers in basement.
cooling tower at roof level.

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