It’s official: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is going to tear down the American Folk Art Museum in order to sprawl across New York City’s 53rd Street.
And no matter your opinion on the controversial demolition, the new plan from New York-based architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro is impressive, adding a whopping 30% more gallery space to the 125,000-square-foot building, according to Architect Magazine.
That’s exceptionally important for a museum that would need to triple in size to display its current art collection, not to mention contain its 3 million annual visitors.
On Wednesday, the press got an advanced look at the plans and mock ups of what the new building could look like. According to Architect Magazine writer Joseph Giovannini:
In the space of the Folk Art Museum, Diller proposed a cavernous “art garage” — to be called the Art Bay — open to the street with a liftable glass facade to allow visitors admission. The floor could elevate, creating seating facing a stage to an auditorium that would also open to the street (with free admission). She also proposed an east-west axis that would cross the existing ticket lobby and would stretch through the garden, which would be open off the axis and also off the street (again, free to the public).
The new wing will also connect to Jean Nouvel’s new 82-story residential tower, which is currently in-development with a planned three floors dedicated to MoMA space that The New York Times reports will add another 39,000 square feet to MoMA.
In addition to more space, the redesign will focus on improving the museum entrance and making traffic flow better between exhibits. MoMA has already moved the ticket scanners deeper into the lobby at the suggestion of Diller Scofidio + Renfro to try and eliminate congestion at the entrance.
MoMA plans to start construction on the redesign this spring or summer, aiming to finish the project in 2018 or 2019. Any delays would be due to cash flow problems that may arise given that the ginormous plan doesn’t even have a budget yet. MoMA officials said they would be raising all the money privately.
“This is now a much bigger project than we had envisioned,” Glenn Lowry, the director of the MoMA, told the Times. “We have to figure out how to cost it out.”
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