Phillips auction house readies to open white-cube location at 432 Park

April 5, 2021

British auction house Phillips is getting ready for its June move into the white, glassy cube base of supertall 432 Park Avenue. Designed by studioMDA’s Markus Dochantschi, the 35,000-square-foot concourse space at 56th Street will be the only Manhattan auction room visible from the street, breaking down “the classical typology of the ‘auction behind closed doors,'” according to a press release. It will have a grand auction room, exhibition galleries, viewing rooms, and a VIP mezzanine.

Rendering of 432 Park Avenue from Park Avenue, looking west

In a previous press release, studioMDA said their design for the new Phillips headquarters is “a hybrid of auction house, gallery, museum, lecture forum, and event venue.” When it opens in June, Phillips will offer sales and exhibitions of 20th-century and contemporary art, leading up to the first live auctions on June 23 and 24. These will feature works by Amy Sherald, Vija Celmins, Brice Marden, and Carmen Herrera; they’re expected to fetch between $2 and $6 million each. In addition, on June 7 and 8, Phillips will participate in the 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale in conjunction with Poly in Hong Kong and Beijing. It will be broadcast in New York virtually and feature works by Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Matthew Wong, Vaughn Spann, Emily Mae Smith, and more.

When the space opens, it will be outfitted with an air-purification HVAC system, capacity limitations, and fever scanners. Its transparent nature is meant to encourage collectors and enthusiasts alike to visit. In addition, there will be office space on the floors above and a public outdoor space along 56th Street.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

432 Park Avenue was designed by Rafael Viñoly and commenced closings in early 2016. At 1,396 feet tall, it was for several years the tallest residential building in NYC until it was surpassed by the Central Park Tower.


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