MoMA has announced the completion of the first phase of its major renovation project at the east end of the museum’s campus. the new york institution has simultaneously revealed the full design of a multi-year expansion project, conceived by diller scofidio + renfro in collaboration with gensler. the vast project is designed to increase gallery space, enhance overall visitor experience, and better connect the museum with midtown manhattan’s urban fabric.

MoMA museum renovation
the marlene hess and james d. zirin lounge
image by iwan baan / video © diller scofidio + renfro

 

 

after 15 months of renovation work, MoMA’s east section now features enhanced galleries and public spaces on three floors. on the third story, DS+R and gensler have reconfigured the existing layout to create two spacious galleries, while the historic bauhaus staircase has been extended to ground level to enhance access to the second-floor galleries. a first-floor lounge has also been added, while the café on the second floor has been renovated, and is now adjacent to a new museum store and an espresso bar overlooking the sculpture garden.

MoMA museum renovation
terrazzo, glass, and steel have been used throughout the refurbishment
image by iwan baan

 

 

the overall expansion project will increase MoMA’s gallery space by one third, bringing it to a total of 175,000 square feet. the design seeks to optimize the museum’s current space, making it more flexible and technologically sophisticated. the scheme will transform the main lobby into a light-filled, double-height space that creates more intuitive circulation routes. in turn, this will allow the new western portion of the museum to be dedicated almost entirely to the display of art.

MoMA museum renovation
the new first floor lounge faces the sculpture garden
image by iwan baan

 

 

as part of the development, the MoMA design and book store will be lowered one level and made visible to the street through a glass wall — helping to make the building more open and connected with the surrounding urban fabric. the entire first floor will continue to be open to the public free of charge, including new gallery spaces. meanwhile, existing exhibition venues on the second, fourth, and fifth floors will be expanded westward through the  jean nouvel-designed 53W53, which is currently under construction.

MoMA museum renovation
view of the restored bauhaus staircase, with oskar schlemmer’s bauhaus stairway (1932)
image by iwan baan

 

 

‘the museum of modern art’s renovation and expansion project will seek to reassure and surprise,’ says glenn d. lowry, director of the museum of modern art.our curators and the architectural team have spent more than two years in conversations about the nature of our collection, the history of our installations, the continually changing nature of art, and our opportunities and responsibilities for engaging our audiences. the outcome of these discussions is a design that accommodates a global view and new perspectives on modern and contemporary art, and that embodies the metabolic and self-renewing nature of our institution.’

MoMA museum renovation
the second floor looking east with new museum store, espresso bar and the daniel and jane och lounge
image by iwan baan

 

 

‘this project has called on us to work across MoMA’s rich architectural history, incorporating the museum’s existing building blocks into a comprehensible whole through careful and deliberate interventions into previous logics, as well as the construction of new logics that arise from MoMA’s current aspirations,’ explains elizabeth diller of DS+R. ‘this work has required the curiosity of an archeologist and the skill of a surgeon. the improvements will make the visitor experience more intuitive and relieve congestion, while a new circulation network will knit together the expansion spaces with the lobbies, the theaters, and the sculpture garden to create a contiguous, free public realm that bridges street to street and art to city.’

MoMA museum renovation
the louise reinhardt smith gallery
image by iwan baan

 

 

to mark the opening of the expanded MoMA in 2019, the entire building will be dedicated to exhibitions and installations from the museum’s collection. MoMA will remain open to the public throughout the construction process.

MoMA museum renovation
stacked plans highlighting the new and renovated spaces at MoMA
image © diller scofidio + renfro

MoMA museum renovation
north/south section-perspective through the new gallery spaces at MoMA, looking east along 53 street
image © diller scofidio + renfro

MoMA museum renovation
elevation of MoMA on 53 street with cutaway view below street level
image © diller scofidio + renfro

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  • Renovation? This project destroyed The Folk Art Museum, one of the most iconic projects done by Williams and Tsien. I see zero remnants of of the existing space and zero mention of the existing space. I understand MOMA needed more space, DSR is the obvious choice to make the space cool and trendy, but it’s a shame to see the folk art museum go. I would be interested to see how Williams and Tsien would have remodeled the space. The facade from Folk Art belongs in a museum. It’s a shame to see DSR and MOMA totally discard an amazing piece of art done by W and T for what? More lobby space and coat storage? Shouldn’t this project be focused on art? Architecture is a public art.
    Thanks for the article db, but this project disappoints me. DSR disappoints with this project and every lecture or talk I have heard from E Diller disappoints.

    Miami says:
  • venturi was right; “less is a bore” 🙂

    Rich says:

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