Originally published in Interiors & Sources

01/15/2014

MoMA Expansion Spells End for Folk Art Museum

The American Folk Art Museum building by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien will be demolished for new MoMA space.

 
The American Folk Art Museum building, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

The American Folk Art Museum building, designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. (Photo courtesy of David Shankbone/Wikipedia)
View larger

The decision is now final: New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has announced it will proceed with a major expansion on West 53rd Street in Manhattan, a project that will result in the demolition of the acclaimed but short-lived American Folk Art Museum building by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

The plan to raze the Folk Art Museum was originally proposed by MoMA in April of 2013, two years after it purchased the building to help the folk art institution pay off $32 million in debt. MoMA officials claimed that the existing building’s distinctive bronze façade would not match the glass aesthetic found throughout the rest of its interior, but architects and preservationists pushed back, arguing that the façade made the Folk Art building a modern city landmark. (New York Times critic Herbert Muschamp called it a “Midtown icon” in his 2001 review of the building, among other glowing language.)

In an effort to address the criticism and explore other options, MoMA subjected its expansion plan to a six-month study by architecture firm Diller, Scofidio & Rendro, but the final recommendation, revealed in early January, remained unchanged.

“The analysis that we undertook was lengthy and rigorous, and ultimately led us to the determination that creating a new building on the site of the former American Folk Art Museum is the only way to achieve a fully integrated campus,” said MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry.

In the Folk Art Museum’s place will be a glass-enclosed building linking MoMA’s current space on West 53rd Street, and a coming 82-story tower by French architect Jean Nouvel, of which the art museum will occupy three floors. According to Lowry, the goal is to “transform the current lobby and ground-floor areas [of the Folk Art building] into an expansive public gathering space, open to the public and spanning the entire street level of the museum.” By the time the expansion project is complete in 2018, MoMA will have approximately 40,000 square feet of new galleries and public spaces.

Even though MoMA’s stature within the New York arts community means that the expansion is now certain, critics around the web continue to voice their displeasure with the loss of the Folk Art Museum building. “A city that allows such a work to disappear after barely a dozen years is a city with a flawed architectural heart,” wrote Paul Goldberger on Vanity Fair.com. Jerry Saltz, senior art critic for New York magazine, took to Twitter with a short yet powerful message: “Stop. The. Project.”

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 


 
comments powered by Disqus

Related Products

Vertical Transportation
Interiors

Sponsored Links