David Chipperfield Architects won the competition to redesign 1014 Fifth Avenue, a historic 1907 townhouse owned by the German government and used for cultural programming, into a space for meeting and dialogue. The project, titled "An Open House" and developed together with New York-based practices KARO Architects and Patarus Group, reorganizes the interior and creates the framework for cultural exchange while honouring the history of the building. Inspired by the interplay of public and private space within an ambassador's house, the project draws inspiration from the building's history as the home of the German Ambassador, with a design that balances public and private functions in establishing a new cultural institution.
The historic townhouse on Fifth Avenue located across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been the home of Goethe-Institut New York until 2009. From 2019, the space began hosting exhibitions, lectures, discussions, and performances developed by the organization "1014 — space for ideas" and funded by the German parliament. As described by Consul General David Gill, the international competition sought the refurbishment of 1014 Fifth Avenue into "a modern space for transatlantic cultural, scientific, economic, journalistic, and political exchange".
We didn't see this as a project where we had to land something but one where we had to find something to bring it out of what's already here. The more formal rooms of the lower floors will be public-facing, including spaces for exhibitions, lectures, screenings, and more. Upstairs, domestic spaces will host an interdisciplinary residency program. The two worlds will meet in a double-height Common Room at the centre that serves as the symbolic heart of the project. This may be a small project, but it's a very important project because what more important type of institution can there be at this moment than a house of ideas and dialogue? – David Chipperfield.
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The winning design further accentuates the structure's dual character by highlighting the public-private areas which overlap in a double-height Common Room. Comprising a residency program, an exhibition space, an event area and a series of green spaces, the project creates a platform for collaboration. The competition shortlisted ten solutions, and the runners up were Selldorf Architects, 1100 Architects, and Romines Architecture with Barkow Leibinger. Construction will begin in 2023, with the project's completion scheduled for late 2025.