the new museummanhattan’s only dedicated contemporary art museum — has revealed plans for its second building: a seven story, 60,000 square foot structure conceived by OMA. the project will adjoin the institution’s existing SANAA-designed building, which opened in december 2007. ‘our new building establishes its own distinct identity yet it is highly connected to the existing museum,’ says OMA partner shohei shigematsu, who led the design. ‘we wanted to create a highly public face — starting from the exterior plaza and atrium stair to terraced multipurpose rooms at the top — that will be a conduit of art and activities that provides an openness to engage bowery and the city beyond.’

OMA new museum
the new structure is situated at the terminus of prince street | image © OMA and bloomimages



the building, which OMA designed in collaboration with cooper robertson, will include three floors of galleries, doubling the new museum’s exhibition space. additional room will also be provided for the institution’s community and education programs, a permanent home for NEW INC, as well as increased public amenities and improved vertical circulation. the structure will replace the current 50,000 square foot building at 231 bowery which was acquired by the museum nearly 12 years ago.

OMA new museum
the translucent façade reveals the building’s inner workings | image © OMA and bloomimages



adding a total of 10,096 square feet of exhibition space, the new galleries connect with the existing galleries on three levels (second, third, and fourth floors). the ceiling heights align on each story, creating expanded space for exhibitions and horizontal flow between the buildings. the spaces can be used singularly across the floor-plate to host larger exhibitions or separately for diversity and curatorial freedom.

OMA new museum
circulation and programing | image © OMA



using a laminated glass with metal mesh, the distinctive and translucent façade has been designed to provide a simple, unified exterior alongside the SANAA building. deliberately aligned with the terminus of prince street opposite, the new structure seeks to communicate the activities of the museum outwards while creating a more inviting presence for the general public.

OMA new museum
the current appearance of the site | image by dean kaufman



‘the building gives us the opportunity to continue to experiment with new formats and models around various areas of programmatic focus,’ explains massimiliano gioni, edlis neeson artistic director. ‘these areas include new productions and ambitious new commissions; contextual exhibition presentations; studio space for artist residencies; and international partnerships and collaborations with peer institutions around the world.’ groundbreaking is set to take place in 2020, with completion scheduled for 2022. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.



project info:


project: new building connected to the existing museum designed by OMA/shohei shigematsu
client: new museum
status: groundbreaking 2020; expected completion 2022
site: 231 bowery in lower manhattan


program: total square footage of new building: 61,899 sf
galleries: 10,096 sf
NEW INC: 5,079 sf)
education/artist studio: 2,896 sf
total gallery space in both 235 and 231 bowery: 20,710 sf
total square footage of existing + expansion: 115,277 sf


lead design architect: OMA new york
partner-in-charge: shohei shigematsu
associate: jake forster
project architect: jackie woon bae, ninoslav krgovic
team: richard nelson-chow, clement mathieu, kaegan walsh, jan casimir, carly dean, vincent parlatore, tamara jamil
executive architect: cooper robertson
project and cost management: gardner and theobald
pre-design services: f.j. sciame construction, co., inc
structural engineer: ARUP
mechanical systems: ARUP
façade: front
geotechnical: langan
civil engineer: philip habib & associates
graphics: 2×4