Herzog & Herter on Stage. Herzog & de Meuron’s renovation of the Park Avenue Armory completed in New York.
Led by Herzog & de Meuron senior partner Ascan Mergenthaler, the process of restoring the room was one of “de-layering,” removing grime, earlier alternations, and repairing damage caused by time, neglect, and water (the rooms had been on the World Monuments Fund’s list of endangered cultural sites). Relying on the latest thinking in preservation practice, the design team meticulously restored existing finishes and inserted contemporary reinterpretations of the Herter designs where there were gaps. While this approach is sympathetic to the intentions of the original designers and draws a line between what is old and new, the results are so harmonious that the distinctions will likely be lost on visitors. Dazzling metal and glass chandeliers have been restored. Herzog & de Meuron’s most noticeable contemporary insertion is chainmail curtains, which moderate the light streaming through the massive windows.
[James Ewing / Courtesy Park Avenue Armory.]