THE
MUSEUM
OF
MODERN
ART

RENOVATION
&
EXPANSION

Project Goals

The goals for the project are threefold: to increase gallery space and allow the Museum to exhibit significantly more of its diverse collection in deeper and more interdisciplinary ways, to provide visitors with a more welcoming and comfortable experience, and to better connect the Museum to the urban fabric of midtown Manhattan.

East End Renovation

The completed renovation of the east end includes the reconfiguration of 15,000 square feet to create two spacious galleries on the third floor that allow more flexibility for installing the collection and special exhibitions; the extension of the historic Bauhaus stair to the ground level to restore and enhance access to the second and third-floor galleries; and the addition of a new first-floor lounge facing The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. On the second floor, a new lounge and an espresso bar overlook the Sculpture Garden. The overall expansion will yield a net increase in MoMA’s gallery space of one third. The design optimizes current spaces to be more flexible and technologically sophisticated, and creates more areas for visitors to pause and reflect. It enlarges and opens up the main lobby into a light-filled, double-height space and creates intuitive circulation routes through the Museum, including a connector that seamlessly links the new galleries to the renovated east side of the building.

  • Renovated Bauhaus Stair
    Renovated Bauhaus Stair

West End Expansion

The new western portion of the Museum will be dedicated almost entirely to the display of art. The expansion to the west end of the site will feature a stack of vertically interlocking galleries of varying heights. It will include engaging new street-level galleries comprised of a dedicated Projects Room and a gallery for contemporary design, a new fully customized studio space for media, performance, and film, and a sixth-floor lounge with an outdoor terrace facing 53rd Street.

A new custom entry canopy welcomes visitors into a double height space from 53rd street with an uninterrupted view between 53rd and 54th street, liberated by re-configuring ticketing and coat check off this central axis. The open lobby is equipped to host installations of art, on a ground floor free and open to all.

  • 53rd Street Entrance Canopy
    53rd Street Entrance Canopy

The Flagship Museum Store will be lowered one level, making it a new double-height space, allowing for the reconfigured lobby to be visually connected to the street and directly woven into the fabric of midtown Manhattan. Museum visitors can look down into the store from the Night Entry, West Connector Lounge, and Blade Stair in passing. There is a dedicated street entrance, bridge, glass elevator and stair enabling shoppers to bypass museum patrons if desired.

  • View of West Connector from 53rd Street
    View of West Connector from 53rd Street

The blade stair marks the threshold to the new expansion of the museum and acts as a palette cleanser. The stair is a vibrant urban sculpture, combining a monumental physical presence with intangible structural lightness. This stair’s minimal expression was achieved through a number of structural innovations – a six-inch thin vertical spine hangs from the roof structure to structurally support the stairs and landings, leaving the structure free of any lateral bracing. Glass balustrades on the seven-foot wide risers are cantilevered and held in place with pins to express the intersection of the two materials, a detail and dimension that echoes the renovated Bauhaus stair where the stair is embedded into the terrazzo.

  • Blade Stair, Level 3 Landing
    Blade Stair, Level 3 Landing

The overall expansion yields a net increase in MoMA’s gallery space of one third, to approximately 165,000 square feet, allowing the Museum to exhibit significantly more art in new and interdisciplinary ways. The expansion to the west end of the site will feature a stack of vertically interlocking galleries of varying heights, which will enable MoMA to realize a long-held aspiration: to present significantly more of its collection through a series of fluid, interconnected narratives of modern and contemporary art across all mediums. The expansion will engage new street-level galleries comprised of a dedicated Projects Gallery and a gallery for contemporary design, which will be free and open to all, a new fully customized studio space for media, performance, and film, and a sixth-floor lounge with an outdoor terrace facing 53rd Street.

  • Installation View of the Marie Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, The Museum of Modern Art
    Installation View of the Marie Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, The Museum of Modern Art

  • Installation view of Daylit gallery 212, Sheela Gowda’s of all people, overlooking Projects Gallery, featuring Projects 110: Michael Armitage, The Museum of Modern Art
    Installation view of Daylit gallery 212, Sheela Gowda’s of all people, overlooking Projects Gallery, featuring Projects 110: Michael Armitage, The Museum of Modern Art

A New Visitor Experience

Elizabeth Diller, co-founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, said, “This project has called on us to work across MoMA’s rich architectural history, incorporating the Museum’s existing building blocks into a comprehensible whole through careful and deliberate interventions into previous logics, as well as the construction of new logics that arise from MoMA’s current aspirations. This work has required the curiosity of an archeologist and the skill of a surgeon. The improvements will make the visitor experience more intuitive and will relieve congestion, while a new circulation network will knit together the expansion spaces with the lobbies, the theaters, and the Sculpture Garden to create a contiguous, free public realm that bridges street to street and art to city. The design integrates the various facets of the Museum’s architectural history, creating a distinct clear-glass façade on 53rd Street that complements the existing Goodwin and Stone, Johnson, and Taniguchi buildings and invites a more open dialogue between interior and exterior spaces.”

In collaboration with Gensler

  • North/south section — perspective through the new gallery spaces at The Museum of Modern Art looking east along Fifty-third Street.
    North/south section — perspective through the new gallery spaces at The Museum of Modern Art looking east along Fifty-third Street.
  • Elevation of The Museum of Modern Art on Fifty-third Street with cutaway view below street level.
    Elevation of The Museum of Modern Art on Fifty-third Street with cutaway view below street level.
  • 53rd Street Elevation
  • 53rd Street Entrance Canopy
  • Exterior view of The Museum of Modern Art, Blade Stair Atrium, 53rd Street
  • Interior view of The Museum of Modern Art Lobby, West Connector
  • Interior view of The Museum of Modern Art, West Lobby Lounge and Eli & Edythe Broad Ticketing Platform
  • Flagship Museum Store
  • Blade Stair, View from Level 6
  • Interior view of The Museum of Modern Art, Blade Stair
  • Installation View of Fossil Psychics for Christa (2019) by Kerstin Brätsch in The Caroll and Milton Petrie Terrace Sixth Floor Café, The Museum of Modern Art.
  • Installation view of Daylit gallery 212, Sheela Gowda’s of all people, overlooking Projects Gallery, featuring Projects 110: Michael Armitage, The Museum of Modern Art
  • Installation View of David Geffen Wing gallery 413, Breaking the Mold, The Museum of Modern Art
  • Installation View of David Geffen Wing gallery 206, Transfigurations, The Museum of Modern Art With view of Blackened Steel Portal
  • Installation View of David Geffen Wing gallery 207, Before and After Tiananmen, The Museum of Modern Art
  • No description
  • View of the second floor looking east with new Museum Store, espresso bar and The Daniel and Jane Och Lounge.
Project information
Location         Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States
Milestones
groundbreakingFebruary 2016First Phase Complete1st June 2017Completed2019
opening21st October 2019
Credits
PartnersElizabeth Diller,Charles Renfro,Ricardo Scofidio,and Benjamin Gilmartin
Project DirectorsAlberto Cavallero,Zoë Small,Kevin Rice,and Chris Andreacola
Project Architects Andrea Schelly and Michael Hundsnurscher
Lead DesignersChris Kupski,Daniel Markiewicz,Jess Austin,and Mario Bastianelli
TeamLilian Fitch,David Mayner,Jonathan Parker,Sean Rowe,Heng-Choong Leong,Charles Blanchard,Fareez Giga,Sanny Ng,Derrick Benson,Ben Johnson,Roy Peer,Jason Buccheit,Chris Hall,Amber Foo,Jack Solomon,Michael Robitz,Barry Beagen,and Alice Colverd
    Photography by Brett Beyer and Iwan Baan