Project Team: Brittany Drapac + Kasey Josephs
Columbia University GSAPP: Advanced Studio / nArchitects, Mimi Hoang + Eric Bunge, with Seth McDowell
Kinne Traveling Fellowship: Tokyo, Japan
Date: Jan. 2011-May 2011
Site: 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY
Program: MoMA renovation competition, circa 1997
Size: 600,000 square feet
As the “fourth finalist” in the 1997 competition for a MoMA extension, we added an s to MoMA, creating five distinct experiences while retaining a cohesive sense of MoMA, the institution.
In Tokyo, the experiences of the alley exist simultaneously, as both independent conditions and moments of intersection. The alley acts a conduit between multiple, contrasting “worlds”. These spaces expand and fold within themselves but always reconnect with the alley. We applied our study of Tokyo’s “worlds within worlds” to architecturally re-examining the organization of MoMA.
Three new MoMAs wrap the existing buildings on the south facade: the Pelli tower (1984), the Goodwin and Stone MoMA (1939) and east wing by Philip Johnson (1964). Floors 6-9 of the tower become MoMA 4, and floors 3-4 of the original MoMA, including the east wing, become MoMA 5. The three MoMAs of the expansion have separate primary circulation entered through the vertical gaps between each structure. A secondary set of circulation fills the horizontal gaps, as well as glass-enclosed amenities such as cafes and bookstores that become a palette cleanser or “spatial sorbet” between MoMAs.
MoMA 1, on the second floor, is entered by a grand set of stairs and organized according to a 45 degree grid for more nuanced exhibits such as an artist retrospective. An escalator reaches MoMA 2, on the fourth floor, which houses the major works of the permanent collection. Its parallel walls and perimeter passageways create the sensation of the infinite. MoMA 3, on the sixth floor, is ideal for large-scale works, sculptures, and experimental exhibits. A catwalk constructs views to below, through the lens of the facade’s filtered light.