The Whitney Museum of American Art Architecture Review

The whitney museum of american art architecture review

At nearly three times the size of its former home, the new Whitney Museum of American Art is practically another species. Where the Madison Avenue building (1966) by Marcel Breuer was compactly monolithic, the downtown Whitney (at 220,000 square feet) is multifaceted and bulky, punched with porthole windows and bristling with outdoor terraces. Since opening on Friday, visitors—some 30,000 of them—could be seen clambering up and down its marine gray, metal-grated exterior stairs much the same way that tourists swarm the decks of the Intrepid. Indeed, the new Whitney is as tough and ready for action as a Navy warship.

It was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, this millennium’s McKim, Mead & White. Mr. Piano understands that the brief has changed from the days when architects built neoclassical shrines to local cultural heritage. Museums today need to function smoothly at processing and provisioning large numbers of visitors at an efficient clip, sometimes fueling a lament from locals that they no longer feel a sense of ownership.

The key to Mr. Piano’s success in so many projects is that he is neither cynical nor condescending about translating the meaningful encounter to a much bigger scale. Where failure would mean bloated spaces with all the allure of an airport terminal, Mr. Piano can be counted on to avoid that dispiriting fate with two favorite strategies—a social mixing space at the entrance and the judicious use of highly crafted detail.

Both are executed with finesse at the Whitney. The lobby is vast, bright and impervious to heavy traffic. It is a sponge for people milling outside the ticket-punchers’ rope. They are absorbed by the gift shop in one open corner or the glassed-in restaurant, Untitled, in the other corner. On Sunday, lines formed outside but were efficiently directed toward an extra-long ticket counter with 10 registers. []

Continue Reading – Source: WSJ
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
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About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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