The New Museum And The New York Museum

1940 Words 8 Pages
In New York museums are buildings whose histories are tied into the fabric of the city. While some buildings of a different program might slide under the radar, a new museum could not be commissioned in the city without fanfare or skepticism or protest. The controversy can be credited to the fact that even in our contemporary time critics, architects, artists, and the sponsoring agents, and even the public all have different expectations on what a museum should be. It has been a challenge to break from the formula set by the neo-classical fine arts museums while still adjusting to changes in: program, what modern art is, and how it is viewed. And not just anyone is privileged enough to receive such an honor; firms commissioned to designs …show more content…
The New Museum is located in the Lower East Side on Bowery and opened its doors in 2007 after expanding and relocating from its previous home in SoHo. Likewise, the Whitney by Renzo Piano Workshop was the result of a need of expansion that saw the museum vacate its old largely residential neighborhood in the Upper East Side and into the Meatpacking District neighborhood of Lower Manhattan on Gansevoort Street in 2015. The neighborhoods that these buildings reside in are important because in a way they help dictate the type of building the museums came out to be. Bowery was an area with mostly small and mid-scale buildings but the neighborhood itself was gritty back in 2002 when SANAA received the commission. So immediately the site and context dictated the physicality of the building in size and height. Renzo Piano almost had the opposite predicament in 2007 when he landed his commission; the previous Whitney’s efforts at expansion were thwarted by among other things the neighborhood in which it was in, residents and preservationists kept it at a stalemate. The Meatpacking District is mostly commercial and while that broadened the potential of the new building its exact location, sandwiched between the Hudson River and the Highline, a highly used, widely loved public space would hold some challenges. The New Museum fits into its rectangular plot between two other buildings from edge to edge. It repeats the shape of the plot to create its form – six stacked boxes that shift off axis. The concept of staggered boxes was also inspired by the New York wedding cake towers which stepped back, and by the desire to pull natural light into every space on a tightly confined site. The Whitney was lucky to have an no surrounding buildings impede its upward or outward growth but

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