- Architects In Charge: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Gensler
- Director, Real Estate Expansion, Mo Ma: Jean Savitsky
- Retail Consultant: Lumsden Design
- MEP/FP/IT: Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)
- Façade: Heintges Consulting Architects & Engineers P.C.
- Security: DVS Security
- Acoustics/Audio Visual: Cerami Associates
- Theater Planning & Design: Fisher Dachs Associates (FDA)
- Theater Audiovisual: Boyce Nemec Designs
- Waterproofing: Vidaris
- Foodservice: Cini Little
- Signage/Wayfinding: Gensler/Wkshps
- Steel Fabricator—Blade Stair: Dante Tisi, DAMTSA
- Steel Fabricator—Retail Stair, Counters: M Cohen
- Steel Fabricator—Canopy: Frener+Reifer, Germany
- Millwork: MillerBlaker
- FP: Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)
- Audio Visual: Cerami Associates
- Theater: Boyce Nemec Designs
- Retail Consultant: Lumsden Design
- Theater Planning And Design: Fisher Dachs Associates
- Steel Fabricator Blade Stair: Dante Tisi, DAMTSA
- Steel Fabricator Canopy: Frener+Reifer, Germany
- City: New York
- Country: United States
Text description provided by the architects. The Museum of Modern Art has completed a renovation and expansion designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, which has increased gallery space by 30%, provides visitors with a more welcoming and comfortable experience, and better connects the Museum to the urban fabric of midtown Manhattan.
The overall expansion yields a net increase in MoMA’s gallery space of one third, to approximately 165,000 square feet, allowing the Museum to exhibit significantly more art in new and interdisciplinary ways. The design optimized current spaces to be more flexible and technologically sophisticated, expanded and opened up the main lobby into a light-filled, double-height space that connects seamlessly between West 53rd and 54th Streets, and created a multitude of circulation routes with more areas for visitors to pause and reflect. The state-of-the-art Studio in the heart of the Museum and an innovative second-floor Creativity Lab invite visitors to connect with art that explores new ideas about the present, past, and future. The flagship Museum store has been lowered one level and made visible to the street through a dramatic glass wall and a new sixth-floor café includes an outdoor terrace facing 53rd Street. The clear glass façade, new street-level galleries, and a ground floor free and open to all offer increased transparency and bring art closer to people on the streets of midtown Manhattan.
The architectural expression is a restrained conversation between the existing palette and new materials within The Museum of Modern Art. The design taps into the historic DNA of the building, relating disparate elements through a series of strategic interventions that reflect aspects of twentieth-century modernism: purity of material expression, the abstraction of space, and thinness. Synthesis is achieved with a minimalist use of materials which correlates with the existing building fabric.
A new custom entry canopy welcomes visitors into a double-height space from 53rd street with an uninterrupted view between 53rd and 54th street, liberated by reconfiguring ticketing and coat check off this central axis. This primary entrance is complemented by a secondary entrance in the east lobby, which features a dedicated film desk and reception and coat check for members. Visitors can access the retail store and ground-level galleries through two entrances in the west lobby. The open lobby is equipped to host installations of art, on a ground floor free and open to all.
The 5,950 square foot flagship Museum store is located at the Cellar Level, open to the Lobby above. This allows the reconfigured lobby to be visually connected to the street. Clear street-level glazing allows views into the store from the exterior sidewalk above. The lowered elevation provides a high degree of visibility without interfering with the lobby and art spaces beyond. Museum visitors can look down into the store from the Night Entry, West Connector Lounge, and Blade Stair in passing. There is a dedicated street entrance, bridge, glass elevator and stair enabling shoppers to bypass museum patrons if desired.
The 3,900 square foot street-level galleries, including the dedicated Projects Gallery, are free and open to all on the expanded ground floor. The double-height Projects Gallery (26’- 6”) is responsive to variable media and scale, integrating roll-up shades for projections and blackout shades to enable variable lighting control for projections. The custom-designed LED light fixtures can be reconfigured within the light track system. They provide an even wall-wash of light, ideally suited for mixed-media installations.
The 53rd Street entrance canopy is a thin 42’ plane weighing 95,500 pounds, which appears to slice through the glass facade and float above the main entrance doors. The canopy is comprised of steel plates and concealed ribs, suspended on steel rods. The canopy cantilevers 26’ beyond the facade of the building, out to the sidewalk to mark the main entry point for visitors.
The 53rd Street façade is conscious of the Museum’s architectural history in the existing Goodwin and Stone, Johnson, and Taniguchi buildings but shaped by the new demands of its adjoining spaces behind. The Studio and the Daylight Gallery share a frameless suspended glass wall with a black dot frit outer surface to delicately modulate daylight and reflection. The Studio features an additional interior glass wall with metal mesh interlayer, as the inner wall of the box-in-box, acoustically isolated construction 3’ behind to control outside sound migration and further filter daylight and view. The façade of the public spaces – the lobby, the suspended blade stair, the Street Level Gallery and the retail space below – employ frameless glass panels that are structurally clamped to function as glass beams both vertically and horizontally to maximize visibility from the street to activities inside the museum. Four of the Street Level Gallery façade panels can open up to the sidewalk to facilitate loading and unloading work to the Projects Room Gallery.