Barkow Leibinger

Barkow Leibinger
Schillerstraße 94, D–10625 Berlin
T +49(0)30 315712 -0 F -29

1014 Fifth Avenue, New York - Competition

Our approach to the conversion of 1014 Fifth Avenue, the former Goethe-Haus in New York City, has been to “adopt and adapt”. No sentimental restoration – rather, we aimed to restore this historical building while projecting it architecturally to the future for new possibilities. From front to back and from below to above, one moves through the spaces toward a re-imagined rear, to a terraced-landscape or to loft-like upper levels. The existing building design is organized as a series of rooms that open into one another; our design retains this condition while enhancing the original paradigm with modern, code-compliant interventions. Our intent was to restore the building through upgrades (ADA, egress codes, etc.) – disturbing as little as possible in the process.

We also planned to restore the historical façade including the original windows and their divisions as well as the original front door stoop (an important New York typology and a significant gesture to the MET across the street). The rear façade (the historically “informal” face) is to be given a new identity by eliminating the greenhouse and filling in the irregular volumes to create a more incremental and coherent cascade of stepping terrasses.

One of the driving ambitions undergirding the design was to draw out the communicative performance of the building (for a visiting public as well as visiting scholars) through an insistence on visual and spatial continuity: a place for encounter and exchange. 

Project Information


Barkow Leibinger, Berlin

Frank Barkow, Regine Leibinger


Martina Bauer (Principal), Julien Kiefer, Romain Odin Lepoutre, Stefan Sauter, Pablo Sequero


Exhibition, Office, Studio, Residential



New York, USA



2021, 2nd prize


Federal Republic of Germany

Local Architect

Romines Architecture, New York

Structural Engineer
Knippers Helbig, New York