the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Architecture Research Office Selected to Renovate Philip Johnson-Designed Rothko Chapel

Architecture Research Office Selected to Renovate Philip Johnson-Designed Rothko Chapel

Architecture Research Office Selected to Renovate Philip Johnson-Designed Rothko Chapel
© Chad Kleitsch
© Chad Kleitsch

New York’s Architecture Research Office (ARO) has been selected to lead in the renovation and master planning of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. The project aims to modernize and improve the renowned structure, which houses 14 monumental paintings by Mark Rothko in an interior space designed to meet the artist’s precise specifications, and its surrounding plaza and reflecting pool. The original building was largely designed by Rothko himself, with consult from a trio of architects including Philip Johnson.

Architecture Research Office Selected to Renovate Philip Johnson-Designed Rothko Chapel, © flickr user euthman. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
© flickr user euthman. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

“We are honored to be entrusted with work at the Rothko Chapel,” says Stephen Cassell, partner at ARO. “For more than 40 years, the Chapel has been a deeply moving experience of personal contemplation that furthers the Chapel’s mission of social action. We feel enormous responsibility toward its future.”

The firm will be tasked with the renovation of the Chapel’s entry vestibule and skylight, and will collaborate with lighting designer George Sexton to make improvements to the interior light baffle and electric lighting. The project scope will also include updating the building’s HVAC system and acoustics. All changes will be made with extreme sensitivity to Rothko’s original intent for the space.

Outside, a new master plan will include improvements to the plaza and reflecting pool containing Barnett Newman’s sculpture “Broken Obelisk,” as well as provide additional space for the public and staff. New pathways and visual corridors will connect the complex to its two neighboring institutions, the Menil Collection (master planned by David Chipperfield and home to two buildings by Renzo Piano) and University of St. Thomas, both of which are currently involved in ambitious campus redesigns. The project is hoped to raise visibility for the Chapel and to accommodate future increases in foot traffic, while allowing the site to continue functioning as a quiet sanctuary.

ARO has experience renovating the environments of minimalist artists: in 2013, the firm completed the restoration of 101 Spring Street, a 19th century cast-iron SoHo warehouse that served as the home and studio of Donald Judd until his death in 1994. The project included extensive renovation and refurbishment of exterior and interior finishes to update the building with minimal visual intrusion.

News via Architecture Research Office.

AD Classics: Rothko Chapel / Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, Eugene Aubry

Cite: Patrick Lynch. "Architecture Research Office Selected to Renovate Philip Johnson-Designed Rothko Chapel" 24 Oct 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/798039/architecture-research-office-selected-to-renovate-philip-johnsons-rothko-chapel/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments