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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
|Location Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States|
|Commission2014||First Phase Complete1st June 2017||groundbreakingFebruary 2016|
|Completed2019||opening21st October 2019|
|Partners||Elizabeth Diller,Charles Renfro,Ricardo Scofidio,and Benjamin Gilmartin|
|Project Directors||Zoë Small,Kevin Rice,and Alberto Cavallero|
|Project Architects||Chris Andreacola and Andrea Schelly|
|Core Design Team||Mario Bastianelli,Chris Kupski,Daniel Markiewicz,Jess Austin,Michael Hundsnurscher,and Fareez Giga|
|Design Team||Lilian Fitch,David Mayner,Jonathan Parker,Sean Rowe,Heng-Choong Leong,Charles Blanchard,Sanny Ng,Derrick Benson,Ben Johnson,Roy Peer,Jason Buccheit,Chris Hall,Amber Foo,Jack Solomon,Andreas Kostopoulos,Michael Robitz,Barry Beagen,and Alice Colverd|
|Jean Savitsky||Director, Real Estate Expansion, MoMA|
|Turner Construction Company||Construction Manager|
|Lumsden Design||Retail Consultant|
|Tillotson Design Associates||Lighting Designer - Public Spaces|
|Renfro Design Group||Lighting Designer - Gallery Spaces|
|Jaros Baum & Bolles (JB&B)||MEP/FP/IT|
|Heintges Consulting Architects & Engineers P.C.||Façade|
|Van Deusen Associates (VDA)||Vertical Transportation|
|Fisher Dachs Associates (FDA)||Theater Planning & Design|
|Boyce Nemec Designs||Theater Audiovisual|
|Cini-Little International, Inc||Foodservice|
|Dante Tisi, DAMTSA||Steel Fabricator—Blade Stair|
|M Cohen||Steel Fabricator—Retail Stair, Counters|
|Frener+Reifer, Germany||Steel Fabricator—Canopy|
Architectural Digest 10/11/2019
New York's Iconic Museum of Modern Art Reveals Its $450 Million Makeover
Minimalistische Moderne: Erweiterung des Museum of Modern Art von Diller Scofidio + Renfro
MoMA re-opens Architecture & Design galleries as new Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed expansion prepares for its public debut
The MoMA Will Soon Reopen Following Extensive Renovations. Here's What to Expect From the Revamped Museum
Interior Design 02/09/2019
The MoMA is Closing—Temporarily—for a 40,000 Square-Foot Expansion by Diller Scofidio+Renfro
The Architectural Review 07/07/2021
Museum of Modern Art extension, New York, by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The Globe and Mail 10/19/2019
Museum of Modern Art expansion successfully marries art and architecture
Arch Daily 02/07/2019
MoMA Releases Opening Date and New Images of Major Diller Scofidio + Renfro Expansion
The Architect's Newspaper 10/17/2019
MoMA reopens with a $450 million mega-expansion and slick renovation
Los Angeles Times 02/21/2020
Commentary: LACMA caught the teardown bug. But the architectural cure isn’t a bulldozer