2xMDA

 John Hill
9. November 2018
Kasmin Gallery (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)
Of the numerous high-profile buildings that have sprung up along the High Line on Manhattan's Far West Side, Zaha Hadid Architects' (ZHA) 520 West 28th Street is easily one of the most popular. Next to it are a couple finds: gallery projects designed by Markus Dochantschi, who worked at ZHA before founding studioMDA.
I headed to Chelsea this morning to check out a Zaha Hadid pop-up gallery in the base of the first building in New York City by the late, great architect. Finding the exhibition closed, I walked along the streets next to the building and came upon two new gallery buildings, both designed by studioMDA and both part of Related Companies' development at 520 West 28th: Kasmin Gallery and High Line Nine. The two recently completed projects are parts of the fifteen ground-floor art spaces created by Related Companies next to Hadid's residential building.

Although Related asserts that the assemblage of galleries will "preserve and enhance the cultural character of the West Chelsea neighborhood, and further enrich the gallery corridor," they also create a buffer between the High Line and 520 West 28th. L-shaped in plan, Hadid's eleven-story building embraces the single-story galleries, the latter preserving sunlight and views for the multi-million-dollar condos. Some of the 39 residences at 520 West 28th look down to the green roof of the Kasmin Gallery, while High Line Nine tucks itself beneath the High Line.

Below are some photos from my visit today to the two studioMDA projects.

Kasmin Gallery

Kasmin Gallery's new flagship gallery sits between the High Line and ZHA's 520 West 28th Street.
The gallery is a 3,000-square-foot, column-free space with 22-foot-high walls for the display of large artworks. Watercolors by Walton Ford are on display until December 22nd.
The whole space is capped by what studioMDA calls a "super waffle structure": 28 concrete coffers with skylights.
On top of Kasmin Gallery is a green roof punctuated by the skylights. The roof serves as a setting for sculptures (a few by Joel Shapiro are on display), with ZHA's 520 West 28th Street as a backdrop.

High Line Nine

A line of skylights between the High Line and ZHA's 520 West 28th hints at the presence of something beneath the High Line.
High Line Nine occupies the zone beneath the elevated park, spanning from 27th Street to 28th Street.
At an angle, High Line Nine looks like just another Chelsea gallery...
...but a frontal view reveal the double-loaded arcade with galleries and a cafe spanning one block.
Windows give peeks into the galleries from the arcade...
...and rounded corners inside reiterate the entrances to High Line Nine.

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