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Museums And Libraries: The Latest Architecture and News

Studio KO's Yves Saint Laurent Museum Opens in Marrakech

A new museum dedicated to the life and work of French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent has opened in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. Designed by Studio KO, the building sits a short distance away from Jardin Majorelle – the home acquired by Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980. With a large permanent exhibition space designed by scenographist Christophe Martin, showcasing the collections of it's namesake, the museum also features temporary exhibition spaces, a research library and archives, an auditorium, bookstore, and a terrace café.

musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech. Image © Nicolas Mathéus Scenography. Image © Christophe Martin Architectes musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech (auditorium). Image © Nicolas Mathéus musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech (Interior Visualization). Image © studio KO + 5

AOR Win Commission to Extend Public Art Galleries in Finnish City of Tampere

Designs by Helsinki-based practice AOR have been selected following an open competition for the extension of Tampere Art Museum, in Finland. The existing building which the museum currently occupies was formerly used as a granary, designed by C. L. Engel and completed in 1838. Most believe it to be the third oldest building in the country. AOR's winning proposal seeks to create "a landmark for the museum" by articulating the urban landscape between nearby Pyynikintori square and adjacent parkland, connecting to and with the existing gallery spaces.

Model. Image © AOR Site Model. Image © AOR Elevation. Image © AOR Model Drawing. Image © AOR + 11

Louvre Abu Dhabi Announces November Grand Opening

The Ateliers Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi is ready to make its grand first appearance, as the museum announced it will open to the public on November 11th.

Opening celebrations will take advantage of the unique structure, with a series of concerts, performances and events planned for a variety of spaces beneath the building’s 180-meter geometric dome. Comprised of nearly 8,000 arabic motif stars, the steel pattern will filter sunlight into a dramatic ‘rain of light’ on the museum’s walls and floors that calls to mind shadows created by overlapping palm trees.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s exterior. Image © Mohamed Somji Louvre Abu Dhabi’s exterior with Abu Dhabi’s skyline (night). Image © Mohamed Somji Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ‘rain of light’. Image © Mohamed Somji View overlooking the sea. Image © Mohamed Somji + 5

A Sneak Peek into Jean Nouvel's Louvre Abu Dhabi as It Prepares for Fall Opening

The long-awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is getting ready for a grand opening, with images showing the metal-domed building in the final stages of construction. Officially started in 2009, work on the museum is nearly complete, with a rumored opening date scheduled for this November.

Studio Gang's American Museum of Natural History Expansion Set to Begin Construction

After receiving approval by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission last fall, Studio Gang’s expansion of the American Museum of Natural History is preparing to begin construction, reports New York YIMBY, as permits for the project have been filed with Department of Buildings.

To be known as the “Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation,” the expansion will consist of 245,000 square feet across six floors, approximately 80 percent of which will be located within the current museum footprint. Three existing museum buildings/wings will be reduced and adapted to accommodate the Gilder Center, which will house a variety of new exhibition and educational spaces, while enhancing connections to existing galleries. In total, approximately 203,000-gross-square-foot will be added to the Museum, already one of the largest natural history museums in the world.

The new Central Exhibition Hall, which also serves as the Columbus Avenue entrance. Image © AMNH/D. Finnin The view of the exterior façade of the Gilder Center from 79th Street and Columbus Avenue. Image © AMNH/D. Finnin Model of the American Museum of Natural History’s complex incorporating the Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. Image © AMNH/D. Finnin Section revealing "connections" throughout. Image © AMNH/D. Finnin + 10

Kengo Kuma & Associates Unveils Stacked Timber Museum in Turkey

Kengo Kuma & Associates has unveiled their design for the Odunpazari Modern Art Museum, currently under construction in Eskisehir, Turkey, a city well-regarded for its university and young, lively population. Borrowing from the scale and materiality of traditional Ottoman wooden houses, the museum seeks to become a new cultural venue that both stands out and integrates into the existing streetscape.

Courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates Courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates Courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates Aerial view of the project site. Image Courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates + 5

MVRDV Breaks Ground on Reflective Public Art Depot in Rotterdam

MVRDV’s public Art Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen has broken ground on the northern edge of Rotterdam’s Museumpark in the heart of the city’s cultural campus. The 15,000-square-meter reflective vessel will store the esteemed collection of over 70,000 art and design objects, adding a new cultural landmark to join the nearby Kunsthal, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Chabot Museum and Sonneveld House.

Officially breaking ground this past Friday, the BREEAM Excellent-planned “Collection Building” will combine restoration facilities, exhibition spaces, offices, logistics, a bar, restaurant, public roof terrace and private collectors facilities alongside a specially commissioned atrium that will allow visitors to experience 90% of the collection, including artworks in storage.

BIG's LEGO House Tops Out, Gets September Opening Date

The BIG-designed LEGO House has topped out and is headed toward completion ahead of its just-announced grand opening date on September 28. Located near LEGO’s corporate campus, in the heart of Billund, Denmark, the LEGO experience center will provide an estimated 250,000 yearly guests with a variety of LEGO-themed activities within its 12,000 square meters, inviting visitors of all ages to play and unleash their creativity.

Courtesy of LEGO Courtesy of LEGO Courtesy of LEGO Courtesy of LEGO + 12

Fly Through Mecanoo's Final Designs for Washington D.C.'s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

The District of Columbia Public Library authority has unveiled a fly-through video tour of the final design for the renovation and intervention of its main downtown branch, the Martin Luther King Jr. Public Library. According to the architects, Mecanoo and D.C.-based Martinez+Johnson Architecture, it shows "a modern library that reflects a focus on people, while celebrating the exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture." Slated for reopening in 2020, the designs will add 9,300 square feet of additional space for the public, including a rooftop event space and a landscaped terrace.

Exterior Bird's Eye. Image © Mecanoo Exterior Corner View. Image © Mecanoo Inside the lobby. Image © Mecanoo East Entrance. Image © Mecanoo + 14

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Design New Shanghai Library

With nearly 25 million inhabitants the Chinese city of Shanghai is currently the most populous city in the world and, in addition, has a central library system that dates back to the mid 19th Century. A new city library, designed by Danish practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen and won following a two-stage international competition, will provide 110,000 square meters of space in the Pudong District and adjacent to Century Park – the largest green space in the city.

© D&W / Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects © Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects © Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects © BATB / Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects + 13

Asymptote’s Designs for Moscow Contemporary Hermitage Museum Revealed

Update: We've amended the post with new images from Asymptote Architecture and new quotes from Asymptote Co-founder and Design Partner Hani Rashid.

Asymptote Architecture has revealed renderings of their design for a new Contemporary branch of the Hermitage Museum, to be located adjacent to a new residential district in the area of the former ZIL automotive plant in Moscow. Presented at the V Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum by Asymptote Co-founder and Design Partner Hani Rashid, the museum will house a collection of contemporary art from 20th and 21st centuries.

Inside Zaha Hadid Architects' Mathematics Gallery for the London Science Museum

This week London's Science Museum will open The Winton Gallery, a new space dedicated to the study and exploration of mathematics, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. While this is the practice's first permanent public museum exhibition, it also represents the first UK project to open since the death of its eponymous founder and director.

Inspired by the Handley Page aircraft, the design of the space was conceived through observing equations of airflow used in the aviation industry. The layout and lines of the gallery therefore represents the movement of air that would have flowed around this historic aircraft in flight – a metaphor which extends from the positioning of the showcases and benches to the three-dimensional curved surfaces of the central pod structure.

CEBRA Designs New Museum Dedicated to Greenland and the Arctic

Danish firm CEBRA has released images of ARCTIC, a new museum and research center dedicated to the study and education of Greenland and the Arctic, to be located along the Hundested harbour in Halsnæs, Denmark. Although Greenland has been a part of the Kingdom of Denmark for over 600 years, ARCTIC will be the first museum or center that communicates the relationship between these countries through historic, contemporary and future perspectives.

Courtesy of CEBRA Courtesy of CEBRA Courtesy of CEBRA Courtesy of CEBRA + 7

OMA's Bibliothèque Alexis de Tocqueville in Caen Slated to Open in 2017

The official opening date for Caen's new public library, designed by Rotterdam-based practice OMA, has been slated for January 13, 2017. The Bibliothèque Alexis de Tocqueville will serve as the main library for the metropolitan region of Caen la Mer (in Normandy, France), with 12,000sqm of freely accessible multimedia space. Positioned on the tip of a peninsula that extends from the city to the English Channel, the site is part of a larger area of redevelopment. The ambition is for the library to become "a new civic center" for the city.

© Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault Axonometric + 10

Frick Collection Taps Selldorf Architects to Design Major Museum Expansion

One year after public outcry led the Frick Collection to abandon plans for a 6-story addition by Davis Brody Bond, the museum has announced its newest renovation plans: a major upgrade, enhancement and expansion of the institution’s facilities to be designed by Selldorf Architects.

The expansion plan will address the Collection’s needs to “accommodate the growth of its collections and programs, upgrade its conservation and research facilities, create new galleries, and—for the first time—allow for dedicated spaces and classrooms for the Frick’s educational programs,” while staying within the museum’s existing built footprint. Circulation throughout the Frick will also be redesigned to provide a more natural visitor flow through the building’s exhibition galleries, library and public spaces.

109 Architectes Proposes Beirut Museum Design Based on "The Little Prince" Book

109 Architectes has released its proposal for the Beirut Museum of Modern Art (BeMA), for which a competition was recently held. The proposal was shortlisted, but did not ultimately win. In this proposal, BeMA is a box—“a generic form that belongs to everyone”—based on a scene in The Little Prince, where a traveler is asked to draw a sheep. The Prince rejects each sheep drawing until the traveler draws a box, inside of which a sheep is hidden. “The cube is a neutral form in the Little Prince’s search for identity. Within it, he sees what he wants to see.”

Within this generic box, visitors will thus be able to project their views of Beirut—the city’s chaos, diversity, creativity, history, streets, people, and more.

Courtesy of 109 Architectes Courtesy of 109 Architectes Courtesy of 109 Architectes Courtesy of 109 Architectes + 6

NYPL's Stunning Rose Main Reading Room to Open After Two-Year Renovation

This article was originally published by 6sqft as "PHOTOS: After two-year renovation, NYPL’s historic Rose Main Reading Room will reopen October 5th."

After being closed for a two-year restoration, the New York Public Library’s historic Rose Main Reading Room and Bill Blass Public Catalog Room will reopen to the public ahead of schedule on Wednesday, October 5th at 10am.

The $12 million project, managed by Tishman Construction Corporation, came about in May 2014 when an ornamental plaster rosette fell 52 feet from the Reading Room’s ceiling. In addition to recreating and replacing this piece, all 900 rosettes in both rooms were reinforced with steel cables. Other work included the recreation of a 27′ x 33′ James Wall Finn mural on the ceiling of the Catalog Room and the restoration of the chandeliers. To mark the occasion, the NYPL has shared an incredible collection of photographs documenting the restoration work and the Rose Main Reading Room with nearly all scaffolding removed.

© Max Touhey Photography © Max Touhey Photography © Max Touhey Photography © Max Touhey Photography + 28

David Adjaye Discusses the Narrative of the National Museum of African American History

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Constructing a Narrative."

It’s rare for an architect to have the opportunity to design a building in which symbolism and form are as important as function, if not more so. But this was the task given to David Adjaye when he won the commission to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), which, when it opens in September, will be the final Smithsonian institution to take its place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Adjaye, whose work is marked for its extreme sensitivity to context, found himself challenged in ways he had never been before. On the occasion of the completion of Adjaye’s Eugene McDermott Award residency at MIT, Metropolis editor Vanessa Quirk spoke with the architect about the new institution, its symbolic significance, and the blurry boundary between monument and museum.

© Alan Karchmer © Alan Karchmer With no dense urban context to draw from, Adjaye eventually found inspiration in the classical vernacular. Indeed, the angle of the building’s facade matches that of the Washington Monument’s pyramid. Image © Alan Karchmer The three tiers of the building organize the spatial experience of the museum into past, present, and future. Image © Alan Karchmer + 8