American numismatic society

New York, NY | 18,000 SF | 2008

The American Numismatic Society (ANS) is the oldest and largest organization dedicated to the study of coinage in the Western Hemisphere, with a collection of over 800,000 coins and medals, and a library containing over 100,000 reference works, rare books, and documents. The Society’s existing headquarters was no longer meeting their needs, and they faced the choice of either renovating their existing space or exploring options for a new location.

PBDW’s analysis of the existing six-story, 25,000 SF headquarters established the cost for renovations that would be necessary to make the building suit the Society’s needs. With the benefit of this analysis, ANS sold the building and leased 15,000 SF in a former printing building in lower Manhattan. This strategy allowed increased efficiencies and lower operating costs, positioning the Society to ensure their mission for the future.

Our design for the new headquarters organized the key components of the Society’s program—spatially and architecturally—into distinct and visually legible precincts. We positioned public programs and exhibits in interconnected galleries, and lecture rooms near the entrance. Flexible backstage office areas provide administrative staff with efficient and semi-private workspace, while the Society’s coin collection is protected behind a high-security perimeter.