Last Fall, we introduced the collaborative effort between the Guggenheim and BMW to create a modern day public form exploring a variety of urban issues. The New York Lab, designed by Atelier Bow-Wow, has just opened in the East Village on a leftover 2,000 sqf plot squished between two existing buildings. With the ground level open to passersby, the museum focuses on creating a transparent and welcoming atmosphere to house discussions, lectures and the like. “We wanted the Guggenheim Labs to be in the middle of an urban environment where people live, work and hang out,” Mr. van der Leer, a curator for the Guggenheim, told the Times.
More about the Lab, including a video courtesy Atelier Bow-Wow, after the break.
So, just what happens inside this carbon fiber lightweight structure? According to the Lab’s website, this new type of museum serves as a “mobile laboratory traveling to nine major cities worldwide over six years…The Lab addresses issues of contemporary urban life through programs and public discourse. Its goal is the exploration of new ideas, experimentation, and ultimately the creation of forward-thinking solutions for city life.”
While the building may seem like a work-in-progress, as its hovers above the first level exposing the graffiti edges of its neighboring buildings, don’t be followed by its simplistic aesthetics. “Everybody expects an iconic building from the Guggenheim, but we specifically said we did not want that,” Mr. van der Leer told the Times. “We wanted to tread lightly, to be neighborhood friendly.”
The open bottom level’s flexibility allows it to be easily configured for any of the Lab’s programs, while the second level’s semitransparent mesh wraps a rigging system that may be lowered or raised from the canopy according to the Lab’s programming needs, transforming the ground space into a formal lecture setting, a stage for a celebratory gathering, or a workshop with tables for hands-on experiments, explained the Lab.
If you happen to be in the Village, plan your visit and stop by the Lab. Let us know what you think of the museum!
Images via BMW Guggenheim.
Atelier Bow-Wow, Tokyo, Japan Principals: Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima Project Team: Mirai Morita and Masatoshi Hirai
Fabrication and Structural Engineering
Superstructure and Installation: NUSSLI Group, Switzerland/USA Structural Engineer: Arup, Tokyo, Japan
New York Design, Engineering, and Construction
Architect of Record: Fiedler Marciano Architecture, New York, USA Structural and Civil Engineer: Arup, New York, USA Site Preparation Construction Management: Sciame Construction Co., New York, USA