New Museum Unveils Design of Second Building

New Museum Unveils Design of Second Building

231 Bowery, New York, NY, USA | View Map
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OMA | Shohei Shigematsu unveil design of second building for new museum

OMA en tant que Architectes.

June 26, 2019 – New York, NY – The New Museum announced today plans for its second building, designed by OMA / Shohei Shigematsu in collaboration with Cooper Robertson. This will be OMA’s first public building in New York City.


The new structure will complement and respect the integrity of the adjoining SANAA-designed flagship building, while asserting its own distinct identity. The seven story, 60,000 square foot building will include three floors of galleries, doubling the Museum’s exhibition space, along with additional space for the Museum’s many community and education programs, a permanent home for NEW INC, as well as increased public amenities and improved vertical circulation.


“Since the New Museum opened on the Bowery in December 2007, the Museum has become an international cultural destination welcoming millions of visitors,” said Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director. “We are thrilled to work with OMA to address our current and future needs, and selected them for their exceptional response to our brief, their civic passion, and future thinking. The OMA design will provide seamless connectivity and horizontal flow between the two buildings, expanded space for our world renowned exhibitions, and access to some of our most innovative programs that the public currently cannot see.”


OMA Partner Shohei Shigematsu said: “Our new building establishes its own distinct identity yet it is highly connected to the existing museum. The new New Museum will be a synergistic pair working spatially and programmatically in tandem, offering a repertoire of spaces to match the institution’s curatorial ambitions and diverse programs. A counterpart to the existing tower’s verticality and solidity, the new building will expand the galleries horizontally and reveal the vertical circulation through a transparent facade. We wanted to create a highly public face—starting from the exterior plaza and atrium stair to terraced multipurpose rooms at the top—that will be a conduit of art and activities that provides an openness to engage Bowery and the city beyond.”


The OMA building will replace the current 50,000 square foot building at 231 Bowery which was acquired nearly twelve years ago to provide additional space for expanded programs. During that time, the Museum has steadily used the building to capacity for a range of activities including additional gallery space, the Museum’s cultural incubator NEW INC, office space for Rhizome and IdeasCity, studio space for artists, archives, and back-of-house staging, prep, and storage.


Following extensive research and study of many options, including renovating the existing building, the Museum concluded that new, ground up construction would be the most efficient way, both spatially and financially, to fulfill the Museum’s needs and civic purpose.  The OMA building will improve vertical circulation with the addition of an atrium stair, which will offer views over the surrounding neighborhood. The stair and new entry align to the terminus of Prince Street, opening up the museum to the city. The building will also provide three new elevators (two of which are dedicated to galleries) and additional public spaces and services, including an expanded lobby and bookstore, an upper level forum connecting to the existing Skyroom, and a new 80-seat restaurant. The building also provides space for a more efficient organization of vital back of house, storage, and office space.


Adding a total of 10,096 sq. feet of exhibition space, the new galleries will connect with the existing galleries on three levels (second, third, and fourth floors), with the ceiling heights aligning on each floor, creating expanded space for exhibitions and horizontal flow between the buildings. The expanded spaces can be used singularly across the floor-plate to host larger exhibitions or separately for diversity and curatorial freedom. The organization of new galleries and program spaces will support a stronger integration between exhibition programs, education, research, residencies and community outreach programs will help expand the Museum’s audiences


“The building gives us the opportunity to continue to experiment with new formats and models around various areas of programmatic focus,” said Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director. “These areas include new productions and ambitious new commissions; contextual exhibition presentations; studio space for artist residencies; and international partnerships and collaborations with peer institutions around the world.”


The layout of the building program is as follows: lower levels devoted to back of house and storage; the ground floor to feature a new restaurant, expanded lobby, and bookstore, along with a public plaza set back at street level; second, third, and fourth floors for galleries; fifth floor for NEW INC; sixth floor for an artist-in-residence studio, as well as a forum for events and gathering, which leads to the seventh floor for Education programming and additional events; and an atrium stair on the west façade, connecting each of the floors, along with an elevator core at the front and rear.

The new building’s façade is another notable attribute of OMA’s design. Using a laminated glass with metal mesh, the façade will provide a simple, unified exterior alongside the SANAA building, with a material that recalls and complements the SANAA façade, yet allows for a higher degree of transparency. The OMA building will communicate the activities of the Museum outwards while creating a more inviting presence drawing the public inwards.


The New Museum has received a lead gift of $20M from longtime trustee Toby Devan Lewis, the largest gift in the Museum’s history. The Museum will recognize Lewis’s leadership role at the New Museum by naming the new building in her honor, as announced today by James Keith Brown, The New Museum’s Board President.


Project Info and Credits

Project: New building connected to the existing museum designed by OMA/Shohei Shigematsu
Client: New Museum
Status: Groundbreaking 2020; Expected Completion 2022
Site: 231 Bowery in Lower Manhattan
Program: 61,899 sf (Total square footage of new building)
10,096 sf Galleries
5,079 sf NEW INC
2,896 sf Education/Artist Studio
20,710 sf Total gallery space in both 235 and 231 Bowery
115,277 sf Total square footage of existing + expansion


Lead Design Architect: OMA New York
Partner-in-Charge: Shohei Shigematsu
Partner-in-Collaboration: Rem Koolhaas
Associate: Jake Forster
Project Architect: Jackie Woon Bae, Ninoslav Krgovic
Team: Richard Nelson-Chow, Clement Mathieu, Kaegan Walsh, Jan Casimir, Carly Dean, Vincent
Parlatore, Tamara Jamil
Executive Architect: Cooper Robertson
Project and Cost Management: Gardner and Theobald
Pre-Design Services: F.J. Sciame Construction, Co., Inc
Structural Engineer: ARUP
Mechanical Systems: ARUP
Façade: Front
Geotechnical: Langan
Civil Engineer: Philip Habib & Associates
Graphics: 2x4

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