Jacques Herzog's new design for The Parrish Art Museum
Herzog & de Meuron's reworked design for The Parrish Art Museum's new building has been unveiled. To be constructed on the 14-acre site in Water Mill, Herzog & de Meuron’s design embodies responsiveness to the indigenous landscape, an emphasis on the natural northern light and a dialogue with the local architecture of the East End, especially the many artists’ studios in the area. The proposed design, which has received the unanimous support of the Parrish’s Board of Trustees, is now under review by the Planning Board of the Town of Southampton.
“The new project is in a way a more radical and simplified version of our original design for the Parrish,” said architect Jacques Herzog. “Its clarity in concept, in combination with straightforward construction details and building materials, can be seen as a process of purification in immediate response to the Museum's newly defined brief. Our proposal to collaborate from the beginning with local contractors on the realization of our ideas proved to be an extremely efficient and rewarding process for us as well as for the project.”
The building will provide more than 37,300 sq ft of highly efficient space, which is nearly twice the size of the existing museum. With 12,000 sq ft of unencumbered flexible galleries, including the first galleries dedicated to displaying the museum’s important permanent collection, the design more than doubles the Parrish’s current exhibition space. The museum will also include educational and multi-purpose spaces, a spacious and light-filled lobby, and a café and kitchen. The design incorporates administrative offices and onsite space for storage and care of the permanent collection.
Located on the north side of Montauk Highway, the proposed new Parrish will be a horizontal structure nestled discretely in the landscape, consisting of two parallel wings joined by a central circulation spine running the length of the building. To take advantage of natural northern light the building is placed on the site in a strict north-south orientation. The poured-in-place concrete walls are deeply recessed under a long and elegant white corrugated metal roof and will incorporate large sections of glass that permit views through the museum and into the surrounding landscape.
Like the building itself, the landscape will evoke the heritage of the East End. The site will be reshaped into a meadow with grasses and native wildflowers, rising toward an oak and blueberry woodland at the northern boundary. A special feature of the new design is a shaded porch surrounding the entire building and expanding to a large covered terrace, providing public areas for rest and contemplation. Conceived as a single, integrated work, the architecture and landscape will offer the public a unified and cohesive experience year-round.