Public Art Fund Offices
New York City

The Public Art Fund procures the development, installation, and awareness of art in the public spaces of the city. As a growing non-profit organization, the Public Art Fund welcomed contemporary economical sensibilities of space and material. The eleventh and twelfth floors had great exposures set within a long, narrow interior space. One of the main challenges of the project was finding a way to provide for the dense occupancy and necessary private offices while preserving the strong natural light and oblique views. Design strategies continually developed to satisfy program requirements until the composition of spaces could be reduced to a diagram of a few, clear planes.

Plastering beads, which are typically concealed by layers of tape and paint, were integrated in the partitions as exposed elements that serve to articulate and sharpen the cellular polycarbonate and metal assemblies. Resin panels express key areas of passage and entry. The planes follow a grid orthogonal to the building envelope. Skewed and curvilinear strokes were discarded. The subtle definitions of the orthogonal order sought clarity and thoughtful juxtaposition while providing for the gradation of light transmission. The achieved affect was translucency, and the contrast of light and dark, focus and ambiguity.

For the main conference room table, a bar code system served as the technique for recording a pivotal date for the Public Art Fund and the marking of the proportion of public installations completed across the city.