Whitney Museum OKs new downtown facility
On the move
Whitney Museum approves plan to build new downtown facility
The on-again, off-again decision to build a downtown branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art is back on again. The museum’s board voted Tuesday to begin construction of a new building in New York’s white-hot meatpacking district on a site next to the High Line entrance.
Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which also designed the Whitney’s now-cancelled uptown expansion, in collaboration with Cooper, Robertson & Partners, the new $680 million museum is expected to break ground a year from now with completion in 2015.
In concert with its decision to build downtown, the museum will be selling a group of brownstones adjacent its Marcel Breuer-designed Madison Avenue building, virtually precluding future expansion there. No word yet as to what will become of the uptown building, except to say that the Whitney Board is currently in talks with The Metropolitan Museum of Art regarding that institution’s use of the Breuer building as it undergoes a major renovation of its own.
The downtown Whitney will be a six-storey, 195,000-square foot, metal-clad building featuring a dramatic cantilevered entrance. It will house more than 50,00 square feet of galleries and 13,000 square feet of rooftop exhibition space together will classrooms, a research library, art conservation labs and multi-use indoor-outdoor space for film, video and performance art. It will also include a restaurant, café and bookstore.