The Park Avenue Armory is beginning revitalization work on its Veterans Room – one of the only surviving interiors designed by Louis C. Tiffany and Co., Associated Artists, in the world. A monument of late 19th-century decorative arts, the Veterans Room will be reanimated through Herzog & de Meuron’s intervention, which will transform the space into a state-of-the-art room for intimate cultural encounters, including performances, recitals, lectures, and a range of other small-scale events. The project is expected to be complete in December 2015.
The work beginning on the Veterans Room marks the next phase in the ongoing $200-million renovation and restoration of the Armory’s five-story landmark building, which to date has included the Armory’s Board of Officers Room, and two period rooms on the second floor. Since being awarded stewardship of the building in 2006, the Armory has worked to transform its building into a groundbreaking cultural institution presenting outside-the-box artistic experiences within its historic and nontraditional spaces.
The room was initially built in 1880, and the current design team wants to retain its original feature while bringing the space decidedly into the 21st century. “What makes the Veterans Room different from all other period rooms of the Armory is its level of inventiveness and playfulness,” explained Herzog & de Meuron Senior Partner Ascan Mergenthaler. “It is a collage of diverse influences and inspirations, reflecting the collaborative efforts of an outstanding team of designers. Their approach on the decorative scheme goes beyond what was typical at that time and explores methods and means that are still fascinating today.”
In addition to advancements such as temperature regulation, the firm’s current work on the room will focus on the wallpaper, originally designed by Tiffany and Wheeler and removed in the mid-20th century, which will be reinterpreted in a conceptualized reconstruction; and the lighting, which will be upgraded in order to illuminate the space in its holistic quality, recreating and augmenting the radiance that was originally intended for the room.
“The Veterans Room is among the most significant surviving interiors of the American Aesthetic Movement—an opulent room resulting from the collaborative work of artists and artisans led by a young, visionary Louis Comfort Tiffany and including Stanford White, Samuel Colman, and Candace Wheeler. Our revitalization of this room brings into dialogue two of the most talented designers of the 19th and 21st centuries, Associated Artists and Herzog & de Meuron,” said Armory President and Executive Producer Rebecca Robertson.
— Anna Kats (@coldwarcasual)
Image via Wikimedia Commons.