MoMA director outlines expansion plans

The New York Museum of Modern Art’s director Glenn Lowry has outlined expansion plans that will involve a host of design appointments for ‘interior detailing’ at the museum.

Lowry outlined plans for the museum’s expansion, part of a development owned by real estate giant Hines, while discussing MoMA’s upcoming art and design programme at a conference last week hosted by Tate director Nicholas Serota.

The design of the new building, which will be adjacent to MoMA’s existing Yoshio Taniguchi-designed building on 53rd Street, was unveiled last November and is awaiting approval before const ruction can begin, accord ing to a MoMA spokeswoman. It is expected to open after 2012.

The tower, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, will rise 75 storeys from a 5000m2 site between 53rd and 54th streets, and will provide between 12 000m2 and 15 000m2 of extra exhibition space.

The expansion will enable the museum to showcase more works of art from its permanent collection, as well as special exhibitions, says a MoMA spokeswoman.

The additional galleries, on the second, fourth, and fifth floors, will be integrated ‘seamlessly’ into the current exhibition galleries, creating an expanded visitor experience. MoMA’s design team, in collaboration with designer Bruce Mau, created signage throughout the Taniguchi building. Details of the new gallery space, and appointments for interior and graphics projects have yet to be determined according to a MoMA spokeswoman.

Hines is planning the separate development of a 100-room, seven-star hotel and 120 luxury condominiums within the tower.

MoMA sold the land being used for the development to Hines last year for £80m. Observers have noted that while MoMA has received £80m towards its endowment, Hines is gaining from the museum’s prestige.

One of the pressing questions now is how the new building will affect the organisation of the museum’s vast collections: the additional gallery space is an opportunity for MoMA to rethink its spaces, including its architecture and design galleries.

• MoMA’s most recent expansion was a £500m development designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, which opened in 2004
• Paola Antonelli heads up MoMA’s design and architecture department as senior curator
• Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling, a two-part exhibition, opening on 20 July
• MoMA’s in-house design team is responsible for all exhibition design at the museum

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