Details

Keywords Change this

Museum

Project timeline

2005 – 2007

Type

Museum

Location Change this

235 Bowery
10002 New York
USA

Current state

Original

Architect Change this

New Museum of Contemporary Art Change this

New York, USA
by SANAA Change this
1 of 9

Description Change this

This is the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York designed by the Japanese collective Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / S A N A A and completed in 2007.

The New Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1977 by Marcia Tucker, is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to presenting contemporary art from around the world. The museum originally opened in a space in the Graduate Centre of the then-named New School for Social Research at 65 Fifth Avenue. The New Museum remained there until 1983, when it rented and moved to the first two and a half floors of the Astor Building in the SoHo neighborhood at 583 Broadway.

Design

The building, a dramatic stack of six rectangular boxes, is clad in a seamless, anodized expanded aluminum mesh to emphasize the volumes of the boxes while dressing the whole of the building with a delicate, softly shimmering skin.

With windows just visible behind this porous scrim-like surface, the building appears as a single, coherent form that is nevertheless mutable, dynamic, and animated by the changing light of day.

The distinctive form derives directly from the architect's defining solution to the fundamental challenges of their site and an ambitious program, including the need for open, flexible gallery spaces of different heights and atmospheres, that had to be accommodated within a tight zoning envelope on a 71 feet wide and 112 feet deep footprint.

In order to address these conditions without creating a monolithic, dark, and airless building, SANAA assigned key programmatic elements to a series of levels (the six boxes), stacked those boxes according to the anticipated needs and circulation patterns of building users, then drew the different levels away from the vertebrae of the building core laterally to the north,
south, east, or west.

"The solution of the shifted boxes arrived quickly and intuitively. Then through trial and error we arrived at the final, ideal configuration. Now we have a building that meets the city, allows natural light inside, gives the Museum column-free galleries and programmatic flexibility, and expresses the program and people inside to the world of New York outside." SANAA

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