AKC Museum of the Dog

Submitted by Gensler

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Client: American Kennel Club (AKC)

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2019

Project Team

Interior Designer

EJ Lee

Gensler

Other

John Bricker

Gensler

Architect

Jan Gross

Gensler

Other

Bevin Savage-Yamazaki

Gensler

Interior Designer

Amanda Zaitchik

Gensler

Architect

Matt Piechowiak

Gensler

Interior Designer

Rose Novak

Gensler

Other

Adi Marom

Gensler

Other

Ryan Miller

Gensler

Other

Kelvin Chiang

Gensler

Interior Designer

Brandon Smart

Gensler

Other

Miyeon Kim

Gensler

Other

Hannah Huff

Gensler

Other

Eileen Moore

Gensler

Overview

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.

Goals

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.

Process

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.

Additional Information

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