Dia:Chelsea

ARO is overseeing the upgrade and expansion of Dia Art Foundation’s locations in New York City and Beacon, as part of a comprehensive, multi-year plan to strengthen Dia’s mission, program and resources. The new Dia:Chelsea expands street-level exhibition spaces behind new brick facades, uniting three existing buildings for a more cohesive visitor experience.

  • street elevation of proposed facade
    Proposed Dia:Chelsea facade.
  • street elevation of existing facade
    Existing Dia:Chelsea facade.

The project includes the extension of Joseph Beuys’ 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) installation along the street and the return of Dia’s bookstore to Chelsea.

view through street trees of new street entrances to Dia:Chelsea
looking into new glass entry into Dia bookstore
Dia bookstore interior
Dia:Chelsea bookstore.

Extending Dia’s history of revitalizing buildings for contemporary art, the design honors the industrial vernacular of each structure and of the neighborhood itself, while creating a seamless experience for visitors in rejuvenated, luminous spaces.

  • new Dia:Chelsea façade with gallery garage door open
  • new Dia:Chelsea façade with gallery garage door closed

One gallery, located in a former marble factory, retains its exposed brick wall. A retractable metal-panel door enables the handling and installation of large-scale work within the gallery, as well as offers the potential for street-facing performances and installations.

  • new Dia gallery space with skylights above
  • new Dia gallery space with garage door open to street

The adjoining second gallery space will retain its distinctive vaulted, wood roof, white walls, and tall glass doors. In each exhibition space, new, upgraded, and insulated skylights—matching the design of the originals—allow natural light to enter the galleries.

bright sunlight coming through several skylights and historic wood trusses in Dia gallery space

The plan encompasses the restoration, renovation, and expansion of Dia’s two principal gallery spaces in Chelsea and Beacon; the reactivation of one of its original programming spaces in Soho; and the revitalization of two landmark installations by Walter De Maria, The New York Earth Room and The Broken Kilometer, which have been maintained by Dia since first installed in the 1970s.