Saturday, October 12, 2019

NYC’s MoMA gets an experiential upgrade!

By Ar. Vinita Wagh
Photography: Iwan Baan & Brett Beyer; courtesy DS+R
Read Time: 2 mins 30 secs
"MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Diller Scofidio+Renfro and Gensler undertake the renovation and expansion of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, presenting the museum as an experiential laboratory for all visual arts across our time.

Taking inspiration from Alfred Barr’s original vision, the expansion curates a spatial experience that interacts with art in new and interdisciplinary ways. This multi-year expansion project increases gallery space – a net increase of one third, up to 165,000 sq. ft. - enhances visitor experience and connects the museum to Midtown Manhattan’s urban fabric. The overall expansion of the east and west wings allows the museum to showcase its renowned collection on a better platform, through paintings, sculptures, media, photography, film and installations, among others, to bring art closer to the people.

"MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
"ticketing platform MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
Ticketing platform
"MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"

The design optimises existing spaces to craft flexible, technologically sophisticated layouts and introduces intuitive circulation routes with areas for visitors to pause and reflect, even connecting the east wing to the west. The network knits together the expansion spaces with the lobbies, theatres and sculpture garden to create a continuous public realm.

Converting the main lobby into a light-filled, double-height volume with a new custom entry canopy, connecting the west 53rd and 54th streets, the design marks the front façade with a dramatic, clear glass wall and 3,900 sq. ft. of street level galleries - all offering increased transparency to passers-by and coercing an open dialogue with the interior and exterior spaces.

"blade stair and retail stair MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
Blade stair and retail stair
"flagship museum store MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
Flagship museum store
"retail stair MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
Retail stair
"west connector MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
West connector bridge

The design reengineers the iconic Bauhaus staircase of the original lobby to extend to the upper floors. The retail stair and the blade stair add a sculptural quality to the interior spaces through minimal expressions and structural innovations. The 5,950 sq. ft. museum flagship store at the cellar level opens to the lobby above and visually connects the street, while the first floor flaunts a lounge. The existing galleries on the second, fourth and fifth floors expand westward, adding 11,500 sq. ft. per floor, and the sixth floor hosts a 3,600 sq. ft. lounge and an outdoor terrace. The third floor reconfigures 15,000 sq. ft. into two spacious exhibits.

"sixth floor cafe MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
Sixth floor cafe
"MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"
Visitor's lounge

The architectural expression relates disparate elements through strategic interventions, reflecting historic relevance through the balance of existing and new materials, and yet portraying aspects of 20th century modernism and achieving synthesis with a minimalist use of materials.

As such, the expansion establishes fluid, interconnected narratives of modern and contemporary art, and accommodates a global view and new perspectives on the metabolic medium.

"galleries MoMA Diller Scofidio+Renfro gensler indiaartndesign"

The Museum of Modern Art will open its expanded campus to the public on October 21, 2019.

Fact File:
Director, Real Estate Expansion: MoMA Jean Savitsky
Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler
Location: 11 West 53 Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Sustainability: Targeting LEED Platinum

Museum net dimensions:
Total existing Museum 606,000 sq. ft. 
Total after expansion 708,000 sq. ft.
Total existing gallery space 128,000 sq. ft.
Total gallery space after expansion 166,000 sq. ft.
Total new and renovated galleries 47,000 sq. ft.
Existing public space 83,000 sq. ft.
Post-expansion public space 104,000 sq. ft.

Building Milestones:
1929: The Museum of Modern Art is founded
1939: Goodwin-Stone Building opened
1964: Philip Johnson Extension completed
1984: Cesar Pelli Extension completed
2004: Yoshio Taniguchi Extension completed
2014: Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, commissioned for the expansion of MoMA
2016: Expansion groundbreaking
2017: Phase 1 Renovation completed
2019: Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler Expansion completed

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