West Coast Flagship

wHY to design new Beverly Hills outpost for Christie’s auction house

Architecture West
wHY to design a 5,400-square foot Los Angeles flagship store for Christie's art gallery. (Courtesy wHY)
wHY to design a 5,400-square foot Los Angeles flagship store for Christie's art gallery. (Courtesy wHY)

Los Angeles– and New York City-based wHY has been tapped to design a new 5,400-square-foot flagship location for British auction house Christie’s.

Renderings released by Christie’s indicate that the architects will adaptively reuse a single-story commercial structure in Beverly Hills for the project. The building—repurposed and added on to by the architects—is wrapped in an undulating curtain made out of “pearlescent white aluminum” that is interrupted along a large, recessed expanse of clear glass along the street. Plans for the new storefront include the addition of a second story terrace and a “grand yet flexible” ground floor interior layout.

(Courtesy wHY)

The new flagship gallery will be wrapped by an aluminum screen along the building’s exterior. (Courtesy wHY)

Interior configurations will include spaces for exhibitions, private events, and live-streamed auctions along the ground floor. Private meeting areas and offices will be located upstairs along with the outdoor, vegetated terrace. The second-floor expansion will add approximately 1,400 square feet of floor area to the structure. Although the project is being touted as a new flagship for the auction house, Christie’s has maintained West Coast offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco since 1978 and 1982, respectively. The flagship expansion mirrors Christie’s recent expansions in China, which—along with the West Coast of the United States—accounts for much of the recent growth in new buyers, according to a press release touting the new location.

To commemorate the new expansion, Christie’s is hosting a pop-up gallery show through February 11th at the Collection of Earl and Camilla McGrath at the De Re Gallery, 8373 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles.

wHY—already a prolific firm in its own right—has recently become the go-to architect for internationally-renowned art galleries looking to open up West Coast outposts. The firm recently completed work on a new outpost for the Gagosian Gallery in San Francisco across the street from the new Snøhetta-designed San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The firm is also working on designs for the Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation’s new facilities in L.A. That project, due to open this Spring, will transform that city’s Scottish Rite Masonic Temple into what the firm conceptually describes on their website as an “art city.”

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