Metropolitan: Chipperfield Named Architect for Redesign of Modern Wing


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David Chipperfield Named as Architect to Redesign
Metropolitan Museum’s Modern and Contemporary
Art Wing and Adjacent Areas

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Project is First Phase of Long-term Plan to Sustain and Enhance the Museum for the Future

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that David Chipperfield Architects (DCA) has been selected to develop a new design for the Southwest Wing for modern and contemporary art, and potentially for adjacent galleries for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, as well as additional operational spaces. The announcement followed a year-long research and selection process led by a committee of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. The committee’s recommendation was approved by a vote of the full Board on March 10.

In making the announcement, Mr. Campbell said: “We based the final selection of an architect on three criteria: vision, experience, and compatibility. David Chipperfield’s global architectural experience and sensibility, along with his commitment to the collaborative aspect of creating architecture, make him a perfect partner on this milestone project. His museum projects are brilliantly coherent, elegant, and accessible—from the Neues Museum in Berlin to Museo Jumex in Mexico City, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and The Hepworth in Wakefield, England.”

“The goal in our work with David and his team is to take a giant leap forward in the presentation of modern and contemporary art at the Met within the broader context of our collections across different cultures and more than 5,000 years of history, and to be able to better tell the multiple narratives of the art of our time,” Mr. Campbell added.

“The project will run concurrent with the Met’s installations in the Marcel Breuer-designed building that formerly housed the Whitney, allowing us to regenerate our permanent spaces in the Met’s main building while maintaining a vibrant program for modern and contemporary art just blocks away.”

Part of a comprehensive long-term plan to support and enhance the Museum’s ongoing vitality, the renovation and redesign will enhance gallery configuration and visitor navigation throughout the Southwest Wing, and support a more open dialogue between the Museum and Central Park. The project will increase gallery space for the collection, double the size of the Roof Garden, and create accessible on-site storage. Work on the wing will coincide with the Met’s programming in the Marcel Breuer-designed building that formerly housed the Whitney Museum of American Art. The programming will launch in spring 2016.

David Chipperfield commented: “We are delighted to have been selected for this extraordinary commission. During the competition we developed an understanding and fondness for this amazing institution and we look forward to working with Tom Campbell and his colleagues on the development of the design.”

David Chipperfield and his team will begin work immediately on developing the scope for the redesign, working closely with Mr. Campbell and his internal management team, with oversight by the Trustees. This initial phase of internal review is expected to take several months, followed by a comprehensive presentation process to all community stakeholders and relevant city agencies. All necessary approvals and other legal requirements will be obtained and completed before any construction is initiated.

David Chipperfield Architects

Since it was founded in 1985, David Chipperfield Architects has developed a diverse international body of work including cultural, residential, commercial, leisure, and civic projects as well as masterplanning exercises. Within its portfolio of museums and galleries, projects range from private collections such as the Museo Jumex in Mexico City to public institutions such as the revitalized Neues Museum in Berlin. Practices in London, Berlin, Milan, and Shanghai contribute to the firm’s wide range of projects and typologies.

Ongoing projects in the cultural sector include the Nobel Center in Stockholm; a new building for the Kunsthaus Zurich in Switzerland; the restoration of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin; the James Simon Gallery, a new entrance building to Berlin’s Museum Island; the Ansaldo City of Cultures in Milan; and the integration of London’s Royal Academy and 6 Burlington Gardens buildings in time for the RA’s 250th anniversary in 2018.

The practice has won more than 100 international awards and citations for design excellence, including Royal Fine Art Commission (RFAC) and American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards, as well as the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2007, and the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture–Mies van der Rohe Award in 2011.

David Chipperfield was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2004 and was knighted for his services to architecture in the U.K. and Germany in 2010. He was also awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2009 and received the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts the following year. In 2011 he received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, and in 2013 the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association, both given in recognition of a lifetime’s work.

Building the Met of the Future

Since 2013, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has engaged New York-based design firm Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP to help create a holistic conceptual plan supporting the Museum’s future, following the conclusion of its 1970 Master Plan, which most recently saw the opening of the new galleries for Islamic art in 2011, the American Wing in 2012, and the Anna Wintour Costume Center in spring 2014. The goal of the new conceptual plan is to maintain the character and mission of the Museum, while incorporating state-of-the-art, sustainable methods and infrastructure for presenting and preserving the collections, and for improving circulation and the visitor experience in the galleries. Beyer Blinder Belle will act as executive architect on the Southwest Wing project. The Museum is initiating an environmental review to study the full scope of future work.

The first series of projects was launched with the renovation of the Fifth Avenue Plaza—the David H. Koch Plaza, which opened in September 2014—and includes the renovation of the wing for modern and contemporary art, adjacent galleries, and additional back-of-house spaces.

During the selection process, the architecture and design committee considered nearly 50 firms in the U.S. and internationally with museum architecture experience. A select number of firms were invited to submit proposals, and the process led to the final selection of David Chipperfield Architects.

The architecture and design committee was chaired by Daniel Brodsky, the Museum’s Chairman. Its members included Trustees Russell L. Carson, Richard L. Chilton, Jr., Blair Effron, Mark Fisch, Hamilton E. James, J. Tomilson Hill, Joyce Frank Menschel, Samantha Boardman Rosen, Bonnie J. Sacerdote, Alejandro Santo Domingo, Andrew M. Saul, Andrew Solomon, Ann G. Tenenbaum, Lulu C. Wang, Shelby White, and Barrie A. Wigmore. Serving in advisory roles were David H. Koch, Cynthia H. Polsky, and Henry B. Schacht, as well as Victoria Newhouse, and Peter Lehrer. Mr. Campbell and Emily K. Rafferty, the Museum’s President, were ex-officio members.

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