Dia Center to Build in Chelsea


Dia Art Foundation has announced plans for their long-awaited construction of a new home in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The Foundation, which has lacked a major New York exhibition space since 2004, will build on three adjacent lots on West 22nd Street, as reported in the New York Times.

“The time is now right for Dia to return to Manhattan,” Dia director Philippe Vergne told A.i.A. “We have learned a lot from Dia: Beacon and from Dia’s permanent projects, and we need to build on Dia’s legacy and to offer living artists the time and space to dream, create and realize projects that might not otherwise be possible.”

For Dia, which currently houses its permanent collection along the Hudson River in Beacon, N.Y., the road back to Manhattan since they closed their Chelsea facility has been slow, and not without setbacks. Designs on a space at the southern entrance to the High Line (now the future home of the Whitney Museum) fell through in 2006. The decision to build on West 22nd Street was initially announced two and a half years ago, but until now it seemed as though progress had stalled.

However, in the interim, Dia purchased the building at No. 541 (the former Alcamo Marble Works) which bridges the gap between its other possessions, No. 545 and No. 535, for $11.5 million. This additional site provides the organization with a substantial lot on which to build, making the latest announcement possible. The new Dia will measure a spacious 22,000 square feet, most of which will be gallery space and a rooftop exhibition area. Roger Duffy, partner at Skidmore, Owings  Merrill, has been named architect.

Dia’s triumphant return to New York is still a ways off, however: construction is not slated to begin until the spring of 2014, with a projected opening in late 2016 or early 2017.

Its former location, at 548th West 22nd Street, which it sold, has hosted art fairs including the Independent and the inaugural NADA New York.