Having first designed their headquarters in New York City over 20 years ago, Gensler was enlisted by AKC to create a new headquarters that reflects the organization’s legacy and future. AKC saw the new workplace as an opportunity to relocate the Museum of the Dog from St. Louis to New York City, its original home, in order to capture a larger audience and strengthen connections between teams at AKC. Enlisting Gensler to design both the workplace and museum, the new spaces reflect AKC’s heritage and larger identity as an advocacy, educational, philanthropic, and research institution.
For the museum, the architectural design was created to support the 1,700 pieces of canine-related art. Rotating black steel art display walls showcase paintings and can be reoriented for different exhibits – making each visit to the museum feel new. Digital experiences are also stationed throughout the space, giving new life to the museum’s extensive art collection and AKC’s archives. A Gensler-designed app leverages augmented reality to display information about selected artwork and a “Meet the Breeds” touchscreen table surface shares essential information about all 193 registered breeds. An open staircase wraps around a 34-foot tall glass vitrine that holds porcelains and bronzes. Visitors can view these smaller artifacts as they make their way from the ground floor to the second floor. Located on the fifth floor of the same building of the museum is the workplace which houses AKC’s 260-piece art collection. The reception area doubles as a gallery space with sculptures placed throughout and a 135-foot-long wall showcasing oil paintings and drawings. Ornately framed artwork hangs on white lacquered panels that lay on top of the concrete-finish walls, which balances the old and new with contrasting design materials.
Involving 27 Gensler designers across multiple areas of expertise, the museum and headquarters are powerful examples of multidisciplinary design. Gensler helped realize two spaces that enhance and further the mission of the AKC, as well as showcase one of the largest collections of canine fine-art. Designers worked in partnership with the AKC to develop all of the content for the museum’s digital experiences and the traditional didactic panels. Given the museum’s relocation to New York City, Gensler also helped establish the art program and set guidelines for AKC’s Director of Cultural Resources.
Project Manager: VVA Project Managers and Consultants (Cathy Dixon)
Lighting: Hillmann DiBernardo Leiter Castelli Inc.
Hardware Systems Design: Shen Milsom & Wilke
Museum Consulting: Lord Cultural Resources
Expediting: Milrose Consultants
Mobile App Development: Gramercy Tech
Software Development: AV&C
AV Integration: TriTech
Exhibit Fabrication: Maltbie
Vertical Transportation: VDA
Structural Engineer: Gilsanz Murray Steficek
MEP: Syska Hennessy Group
Acoustics: Cerami & Associates
Woodwork: Miller Blaker
General Contractor: Structure Tone
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.