The design for Poster House, the first museum devoted to poster art in New York City, responds to both the unique qualities of the institution within the cultural landscape of New York City and the exceptional urban conditions of its site in the Flatiron district near Madison Square Park. The design is organized by splitting the existing space into two halves: the galleries to the east and the public passage to the west, but inflects this line of division diagonally through the space. This geometry maximizes space for the main gallery to the north and opens up the public zone to the south, optimizing interface with the street. The result is a single 185 foot long diagonal wall that both divides the space programmatically while linking the 23rd and 24th street sides, guiding visitors through a series of interconnected spaces and providing a surface that accommodates the display of posters both within the galleries and along the public promenade. Acknowledging the 23rd street entry, a canopy pivots out from the wall to create a zone of overlap between the two kinds of space, connecting the front door at the sidewalk to the door of the main gallery near the midpoint of the space. Juxtaposing a dynamic urban passage with sophisticated gallery spaces, the design for Poster House seeks to combine the old and the new, the rustic and the refined, the playful and the somewhat serious into a layered but still unified architectural experience. As a museum for the often overlooked and undervalued poster, the space balances contrasting spatial qualities that correspond to the poster’s unique identity as both commerce and art, public information and cultural artifact.
Credits: - Silman Engineering - Structural - Thomas Reynolds - Owner's Representative - Sterling Project Development - Joelle Byrer - Graphic Design - Pentagram - Paula Scher - Thomas Polise Consulting - Mechanical - Daniel Polise - Interactive Designer - Conduit Projects - Robert de Saint Phalle - Lighting Designer - Lumen Architecture - Nelson Jenkins - Code Consulting - J Callahan Consulting Inc. - Jack Callahan - Photographer - OTTO - Michael Moran