H3 designed and renovated the Dahesh Museum of Art, New York’s first museum dedicated to the acquisition, display, and curatorial exploration of nineteenth-century academic art.
Occupying a portion of the former IBM Building, a 43-story office building on Madison Avenue, the museum contains galleries for permanent collections and changing exhibitions, a 250-seat auditorium, a museum shop, a restaurant (Cafe Opaline), and offices.
The museum’s design represents a dialogue between the twentieth-century modernism of the Edward Larabee B arnes skyscraper it inhabits and the nineteenth-century objects on view. Although abstract in form and detail, the interiors, including a dramatic two-story red and gold backlit curtain wall, recall the earlier era through color, pattern, and a series of portals leading to the galleries.
Materials include bamboo floors, cabinetry, and trim; patterned fabric, and vivid paint colors. Exhibition lighting is adjustable, mounted on a suspended grid of power tracks. Gallery division walls, of metal studs and drywall, define temporary exhibition areas that can be easily reconfigured.
The museum store, at street-level, offers books, clothing, posters, decorative objects, and jewelry related to nineteenth-century design.