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The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation

MBB’s design of The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation office created a new home for the 93-year-old foundation in a setting that provides a new venue for public gatherings and engagement. The design celebrates the ample natural light and views of midtown Manhattan and the building’s waffle slab construction that was previously hidden from view. Visitors encounter a compressed, dark vestibule with integrated shelving designed to showcase the Foundation’s publications. The light filled office beyond has a large open reception lounge area and book lined conference room space, separated only by a glass partition. Private offices line the exterior wall to the west and are separate from the shared spaces by glass partitions with a gradient pattern that provides views of the city beyond, while allowing the occupants to work undisturbed.

The Lounge and Conference Room were designed to work together to create a flexible space for book readings, lectures, social events, meetings, and conferences and are separated by large sliding glass doors with applied text-based graphics that reference the Guggenheim Foundation’s mission. The bookcase that defines two walls of the conference room is designed to reflect the importance of the research of the foundations’ grantees. A red diagonal slice forms each bookcase, inviting visitors to contemplate what is inside the books.