Hirshhorn Museum to be enlivened with temporary structure
Who said you can’t wake up the dead? The Hirshhorn Museum, once described by the New York Times “as a fortress of a building that works as a museum”, is about to get a stunning new makeover that will dramatically alter its appearance. Conceived by the ever thoughtful New York architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the proposed addition consists of an inflatable structure in the form of a blue bubble that oozes of the museum’s top and side allowing it to expand on a seasonal basis.
Under the current design, the larger bubble will rise 145 feet through the building’s top enclosing a four-storey courtyard below. To be visible from all sides of the museum and at points along Washington’s historic National Mall, it will house an auditorium with up to 1,000 seats for new media offerings. From the interior, visitors will be able to view people in the galleries above through transparent areas provided in the fabric structure. The smaller bubble, located to the side, will house a public lounge with a café overlooking the mall.
The project, which is estimated to cost $5 million, is in the early conceptual stage. The museum is hopeful to open the pavilion in May 2011. However, if approvals by the Fine Arts Commission and the National Capital Planning Commission are needed, it could delay the project by a couple of years.