Sotheby’s announces $55M expansion and redesign of NYC headquarters by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA

February 22, 2019

Renowned auction house Sotheby’s has revealed renderings of its reimagined Upper East Side headquarters, designed by OMA New York’s Shohei Shigematsu. Slated to open on May 3rd to coincide with their auctions of Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art, the redesign features 40 galleries across four completely transformed floors and will increase Sotheby’s exhibition space from 67,000 square feet to more than 90,000 (a whopping two acres of space!).

Sotheby's, OMA, Shohei Shigematsu

Sotheby's, OMA, Shohei Shigematsu

Sotheby's, OMA, Shohei Shigematsu

“The new headquarters is designed for openness and discovery,” said Shigematsu. The new galleries will span a variety of sizes, ranging from an intimate 350-square-foot space for small objects to the 150-foot-long Grand Gallery for large collections. Taking inspiration from art institutions around the world, the exhibition spaces will include a “dynamic repertoire of spatial conditions,” including white cubes, double-height spaces, a temple-like octagonal gallery, four cascading galleries, and an L-shaped space. To enhance the character of the building, existing columns were reinforced with new concrete and hand-stippled for an eye-catching effect.

Sotheby's, OMA, Shohei Shigematsu

“Our ambition was to completely reimagine the client experience in our building, from arrival into our lobby, and the path taken to view an exhibition and participate in an auction, through to collecting new purchases,” said Tad Smith, CEO of Sotheby’s. The lobby will include digital signage by 2×4, a flexible ground-floor gallery, a Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar, and Sotheby’s retail wine store.

Sotheby's, OMA, Shohei Shigematsu

Sotheby’s London and Paris are also undergoing a series of “enhancements” focused on creating state-of-the-art galleries and expanding the institution’s potential to present a range of exhibitions and public programming. Over the past 18 months, Sotheby’s has also opened locations in Geneva, Dubai and Tel Aviv. Their NYC headquarters is located in Yorkville on York Avenue and 71st Street.


Images courtesy of OMA New York

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