During the summer months, Renzo Piano’s satellite design for the Whitney was in the midst of juggling a touch combination of obstacles (as we reported earlier) – the economic downturn, pressure from the community and of course, the indecisiveness of the museum board. Piano had been redesigning his original vision – a stone clad museum which floated above a glass lobby – to lower construction costs. After selling property, including six brownstones on Madison Avenue and two on 74th Street, for an estimated $100 million, the Whitney has raised $475 million of its $680 million goal. Finally, the expansion – an idea which has been 25 years in the making – will breakground on the 24th of May.
More about the updated museum after the break.
As Curbed.com shared, for the design of the museum, the newest feature includes the addition of fenestration along Gansevoort Street. The lobby will have glazing on three sides, providing great panoramas from Washington Street to Weehawken. Even the east and west exposures will feature expanses of glass opening onto galleries.
Although the museum is adjacent to the southern entrance of the Highline, the two projects will remain separate entities for both security reasons as well as to prevent pedestrians from entering the gallery in the middle of the exhibition rather than the beginning, as the WSJ reported.
With money still tight for the Whitney, it seems unlikely that it will be able to afford running two buildings. As the NYTimes reported, a unique collaboration between the Whitney and Met may result in the museums organizing shows together. This would allow the Met to display its collections over on Madison while its galleries on 5th undergo renovations. Further details will be discussed after the satellite Whitney is completed.
As for now, the timeline for the museum states that demolition will begin this February, groundbreaking in May, and completion in 2015.