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Architecture Research Office Tapped to Renovate Rothko Chapel

The New York–based Architecture Research Office has been selected to renovate Rothko Chapel—a windowless, octagonal-shaped building located in Houston, Texas that houses fourteen monumental panels created by American painter Mark Rothko.

Commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil, Rothko Chapel opened its doors in 1971. Since then, it has served as an interfaith and human rights gathering place that attracts around 55,000 people annually.

“For more than forty years, the Chapel has been a deeply moving experience of personal contemplation that furthers the Chapel’s mission of social action,” Stephen Cassell, partner at Architecture Research Office, said. “We feel enormous responsibility toward its future.”

The firm plans to improve the Chapel’s skylight, interior light baffle, electric lighting, and acoustics and will work with lighting design firm George Sexton Associates. ARO will also be charged with evaluating the layout of the site, which includes an outdoor plaza and a reflecting pool as well as several bungalows, in order to access whether any other renovations need to be carried out.