the world's most visited architecture website

ArchDaily Editors Select 20 (More) Amazing 21st Century Museums

In honor of International Museum Day we’ve collected twenty compelling museum projects. In this round up you’ll find a truly global selection; from Wang Shu's Ningbo Historic Museum in China and Tod Williams + Billie Tsien's Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia to Monoblock's Contemporary Art Museum in Buenos Aires, see all of our editors’ favorites after the break!

Tod Williams Devastated Over Folk Art Museum's Fate

Tod Williams has broke his silence in his first interview since the Museum of Modern Art announced their decision to raze the former Folk Art Museum, expressing devastation that the building will be “reduced to a memory.”

“Yes, all buildings one day will turn to dust, but this building could have been reused,” Tod Williams. “Unfortunately, the imagination and the will were not there.”

Though MoMA has promised to preserve the building’s iconic copper-bronze facade, Williams is concerned it will forever stay in storage. 

Proposals are being suggested on how to resurrect the facade, as the New York Times reported, including a concept from Nina Libeskind, chief operating officer of Studio Daniel Libeskind, and AIA New York executive director Fredric M. Bell that will be presented to MoMA next week. However, Williams expressed disinterest at the idea of installing fragments of the building elsewhere. 

Dear MoMA, Couldn't the Nouvel Tower Save the American Folk Art Museum?

In this Metropolis Magazine post on MoMA's planned demolition of the American Folk Art Museum, Karrie Jacobs asks a strangely unasked question: How has the Nouvel Tower - in its day the most controversial of MoMA's expansion plans - not been brought into the debate? The Jean Nouvel-designed tower was predicated up a circulation plan that, by necessity, ignored the (then occupied) Folk Art Museum entirely. Why is this plan no longer possible? Read the fascinating argument here.

Win a Copy of Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's Newly Released "Wunderkammer"

Thanks to our friends at Yale University Press, one of our readers has the opportunity to  win a copy of the newly released book Wunderkammer by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Design Ice Rink for NYC

After sitting derelict for years, the Kate Wollman Memorial Rink in Brooklyn's Prospect Park is poised for something of a rebirth. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's plans for a sports complex, known as Lakeside, is expected to restore the rink's role as the park's chief attraction. Michael Kimmelman recently stopped by the site to explore the project as it nears completion - click here to read his thoughts on what he calls one of the last "parting gifts of the Bloomberg era to the city."

AIA 2013: Conscious Capitalism and the Future of Business

Thousands have flocked to the Mile High City in Colorado to attend the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2013 National Convention. The three-day event was enthusiastically kickstarted this morning by AIA president Mickey Jacobs who honored Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with the 2013 Architecture Firm Award; highlighted this year's theme of leadership; and featured words of advice from TOMS founder and chief shoe giver, Blake Mycoskie.

Learn TOMS Founder Mycoskie’s top advice for architects after the break. 

Designers React to Folk Art Museum's Imminent Demolition

As we reported yesterday, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has announced their plans to demolish the 12-year old American Folk Art Museum, designed by Tod Williams & Bille Tsien. The MoMA, which has planned a new expansion on either side of Williams & Tsien’s building, claims that the building will prevent the floors from lining up and thus must be demolished. Moreover, officials claim that the building's opaque facade isn’t in keeping with the MOMA’s glass aesthetic.

Designers and architects, outraged by the MoMA's decision to destroy such a young and architecturally important part of New York's urban fabric, are now challenging the validity of the MoMA's claim. Not only has a petition been started to prevent the demolition, but many are pleading with MoMa to consider how the Folk Art Museum could be integrated into the new expansion. In fact, a Tumblr - crowdsourcing ideas for potential re-designs - has even been set-up. 

See more designers' reactions & suggestions on how to save the American Folk Art Museum, after the break...

After 12 Years, Tod Williams & Billie Tsien's NYC Gem To Be Demolished

“There are of course the personal feelings — your buildings are like your children, and this is a particular, for us, beloved small child. But there is also the feeling that it’s a kind of loss for architecture, because it’s a special building, a kind of small building that’s crafted, that’s particular and thoughtful at a time when so many buildings are about bigness.” - Billie Tsien, quoted in The New York Times 

After only 12 years, the Tod Williams & Billie Tsien-designed American Folk Art Museum is slated to be demolished. Despite the acclaim it has received from critics, including high praise from the likes of Paul Goldberger and Herbert Muschamp, and the importance it has been given in New York's architectural landscape, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, which bought the building in 2011) reports that it must tear down the building to make way for an imminent expansion. 

At the time of its construction, the building was of the first new museums built in New York in over thirty years. Unfortunately, the building will more likely be remembered for its short life, taking, in the words of The New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin, "a dubious place in history as having had one of the shortest lives of an architecturally ambitious project in Manhattan."

Read more about the American Folk Art Museum's imminent demolition, after the break...

Museum Closure Exposes Financial Risk of Signature Architecture

© Michael Moran
© Michael Moran

NEW YORK–Although the American Folk Art Museum has avoided dissolution thanks to a cash infusion from trustees and the Ford Foundation, the institution’s ongoing financial troubles raise difficult questions about the relationship between signature architecture and cultural capital.

The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien

© The Barnes Foundation
© The Barnes Foundation

The last chance to see the Barnes Foundation’s artwork in its original setting has passed. It is now being prepared for the move to its new home in downtown Philadelphia. Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien designed the new building for the Barnes Foundation with respect for its strong history and as a reflective addition of the foundation’s mission. The building is scheduled for completion in late 2011.  More after the break.

American Folk Art Museum / Tod Williams + Billie Tsien

© Michael Moran
© Michael Moran

“You do not have to look at it for long before you realize that this is as sensual a building as New York has seen in a very long time,” stated Pulitzer-prize winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger of the American Folk Art Museum. Completed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien in 2001 the museum is 40 feet wide and 100 feet long and is surrounded by the Museum of Modern Art on three sides. It was the first new museum built in New York in over three decades.

More on the American Folk Art Museum after the break.

Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, University of Chicago / Tod Williams Billie Tsien & Associates

Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, © Tod Williams Billie Tsien
Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, © Tod Williams Billie Tsien

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, a renowned practice with expertise in public/cultural buildings, just unveiled the details for the new Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Chicago.

This new building will offer 170,000sqf for studios, rehearsal space, director’s cut screening rooms, state–of–the art acoustical theaters, lecture rooms and set–building shops, that will be shared by many departments including visual arts, theater, music, as well as cinema and media studies.

The project includes a 11-story tall tower, which will become a new landmark at the south of the campus. At the top of this tower we find the Performance Penthouse, a tall space for performances and rehearsals with an amazing view over the city (see render below).

The rest of the complex is distributed on smaller buildings, with an interesting set of skylights to naturally lit the interiors.

As usual in Tod Williams Billie Tsien works, such as the American Folk Art Museum in New York, the Phoenix Art Museum and the East Asian Library at Berkeley, the simplicity of the materials (stone and glass) give the building a contemporary yet ageless look, a building that will stand over time, not just a fad.

More renderings after the break.