Designs revealed for refurbished MoMA set to open in 2019

Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Gensler are currently working on the expansion of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which will see its gallery space increase by 30%.

View of the second floor looking east with new Museum Store, espresso bar and The Daniel and Jane Och Lounge. Photo by Iwan Baan

Designs have been revealed for The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’s expansion, which will increase gallery space and allow the museum to showcase its collections in new formats.

The project is being completed by architectural practices Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Gensler.

Renovation for the east side of the New York-based museum was completed this month, and includes two new gallery spaces, a new café and museum store.

Present collections in “interdisciplinary ways”

The west side of the museum is now under construction. The aim is to present exhibits in “deeper and more interdisciplinary ways” and provide visitors with a “more welcoming and comfortable experience”, says MoMA.

The refurbished west wing will see a new lobby double the height of the previous one, alongside “intuitive” circular routes around the galleries and a connecting corridor between the east and west sides.

It will also include a gallery for contemporary design, a film and performance studio space and a lounge with an outdoor terrace.

Make the museum “more open”

The museum’s bookstore and some gallery spaces will be lowered to street level, to help the museum “be more open” and become “woven into the fabric of midtown Manhattan”, says MoMA.

Elizabeth Diller, founding partner at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, says: “The improvements will make the visitor experience more intuitive and relieve congestion, while a new circulation network will…create a contiguous, free, public realm that bridges…art to city.”

Materials have been used in construction that have “historical significance”, says the museum. Terrazzo, glass, steel and grand antique marble have been incorporated, mimicking the museum’s original lobby.

15,000m2 more gallery space

The redesigned MoMA is set to open in 2019, and will see 15,000m2 more gallery space in total; an increase of 30%. The first floor will continue to be free of charge, while other floors will hold an entry price. MoMA will remain open throughout the construction process.

It is not yet confirmed whether designers will be commissioned to work on exhibition spaces.

Elevation of The Museum of Modern Art on 53 Street with cutaway view below street level. © 2017 Diller Scofidio + Renfro
North/south section-perspective through the new gallery spaces at The Museum of Modern Art, looking east along 53 Street. © 2017 Diller Scofidio + Renfro
View of The Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin Lounge. Photo by Iwan Baan
View of the restored Bauhaus staircase, with Oskar Schlemmer’s Bauhaus Stairway (1932). Photo by Iwan Baan
View of The Louise Reinhardt Smith Gallery, including Lawrence Weiner’s Slow Corrosion Leading to a Loss of Inherent Dignity of the Object at Hand (1985). Photo by Iwan Baan
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