Museum of Modern Art
New York, 1997
Bernard Tschumi Architects was selected as one of three finalists for the expansion and renovation of the Museum of Modern Art. The project offered challenges not only in expanding and rethinking the Museum’s spatial needs for the next century, but also in developing innovative museological proposals to allow both for interdisciplinary exhibition frameworks and for the presentation of current and future art characterized by public content and media. However, the constraints of the site itself, marked by a collage of existing buildings and by complex zoning regulations, also presented challenges. The existing site conditions ruled against starting from the outside—from platonic or ideal volumes—and in favor of starting from the inside, carving a series of interior spaces that would function somewhat like an outside, but inside. In this interior “city,” the elevations would reveal the logic of the interior route rather than following esthetic compositional rules. more
A crucial dimension of the proposals was the concept of carving spaces into a solid: The solid would be made out of the existing buildings and notational envelopes defined by zoning regulations. The carved spaces would trace an urban route with “streets,” “squares” or “plazas” linking the exhibition spaces and functions. The building would be somewhat like a city carved into a mass of solid matter, with careful filtering and distribution of light into the core.
The elevations, therefore, provided an overall reading of its architectural history, providing a distinctive image of the new in the Museum’s impact on the urban fabric and on art practice. The spatial organization of the proposal for the new MoMA reflects a view that architectural considerations, particularly those involving cultural institutions, are never independent of urban circumstances. back
International Competition Finalist, 1997
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Kevin Collins, Gregory Merryweather, Peter Cornell, Rhett Russo, Frederick Norman, Ruth Berktold, Tom Kowalski, Kim Starr, Jimmy Miyoshi, Tyson Godfrey, John Cleater, Fiona Whitton, Megan Miller back