Sperone Westwater gallery by Foster + Partners


Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

The Sperone Westwater gallery by Foster + Partners architects opened in New York earlier this week, featuring a moving exhibition space that connects the floors of the gallery.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

The 12 by 20 foot moving gallery allows visitors to travel between floors or can be fixed at a chosen level to extend the static exhibition spaces.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

The milled glass facade of the gallery dampens noise from the street and controls the temperature and light admitted to the gallery spaces.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

Photos are by Nigel Young.

Here's more from Foster + Partners:

Sperone Westwater gallery opens on the Bowery

Sperone Westwater celebrates the opening of its new gallery on the Bowery in New York with an inaugural exhibition by Argentinean artist, Guillermo Kuitca.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

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.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

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 access.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

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.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

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.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

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.

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

Norman Foster commented:

'The concept for Sperone Westwater represents both a response to the Bowery’s dynamic urban character and a desire to rethink the way in which we engage with art in the setting of a gallery. The moving gallery animates the exterior of the building and creates a bold vertical element within.'

Sperone Westwater Gallery by Foster + Partners

'Like a kinetic addition to the street, it is a lively symbol of the area’s reinvention and a daring response to the Sperone Westwater’s major program. I hope that artists will be inspired by the gallery’s new spatial and structural possibilities.'

See also:


West Kowloon District
by Foster + Partners
The Khan Shatyr Centre
by Foster + Partners
National Glass Museum
Holland by Bureau SLA

Posted on Thursday September 23rd 2010 at 3:34 pm by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Jonathan

    I would love to see a section. But a project on this scale keeps Foster + Partners relevant in the more conceptual spheres outside of municipal sports and transportation authorities.

  • B.Otto

    'moving gallery' …you mean elevator?
    kind of cool, kind of conceptual, kind of gimmicky

  • xtruder

    like if the elevator of the new museum was not enough proeminent… another construction on the bowery that looks fantastically promising from outside and rather disappointing from inside.

  • gab xiao

    It's a beautiful little building that complements well the neighbouring SANAA''s New Museum and activates a drab section of Bowery.

  • Anton

    i simply like this minimal gallery, it really fits in that neighborhood.

    Never would thought that it was designed by Foster + Partners, would love to see the section as well.

  • edward

    I love it…it actually looks better than the artwork which you can't say for the New Museum. I think it's really elegant and pretty.

  • Goose

    Its like no Fosters building I have seen. Theres actually another colour apart from Grey

  • Really like the concept…. fosters return?

  • a nice little building. would be nice to experience the red box moving up n down, add an interesting scale to the street.

  • Jes

    Wow! I was in NY this week and saw this while i was heading to the New Museum and wondered what it was… DEZEEN you rock! totally saved me time in having to search it out! :D Just a little disappointed i didn't stop in while I was there

  • Foster + Partners (no comment) beautifull work!

  • st.st

    this is a foster?! nice

  • Stéphanie

    This project is amazing!

    • I’m not easily impressed. . . but that’s ipmrsesing me! :)

  • Fizz

    A beautiful example of a contemporary piece of architecture completely sympathetic with the more conventional forms in which it is located. This is proof that visual bravado isn't always necessary to make a formidable statement.

  • Zino

    Looks like a fashion building but in a good way… simple, rational, funny, sleek, Japanese-y.

    I. Love. It.

  • Lacy

    Hmm doesnt look like a foster + partners peice. I think this is boring.

  • a way to heaven

  • Winny


    but without the view, people would not know how high they are up above the ground. Wouldn't the experience standing INSIDE the enclosed pink "elevator" on the ground floor no difference from standing on the 3rd floor?

    It's a beautiful fashionable gadget to me… i'm sorry…

  • Winny

    cool pink elevator.

    but with no view and height reference to the outside from the enclose pink "elevator". will a person standing on the ground floor have a different experience than standing on the 3rd floor?

  • js.kim

    so simple, love it !!

  • Bopp

    The elevator is really nice. The changing space behind one door. To strengthen the “bold vertical element within” concept I would have made the elevator doors in the regular space transparent though, so you can enhance the effect of the elevator from inside of the building, instead of only from the outside.