Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection, announced today that the Board of Trustees has narrowed the search for an architect to design the Menil Drawing Institute (MDI). The four firms shortlisted for the project, which includes emerging and established architects, are: Tatiana Bilbao (Mexico City); David Chipperfield (London); Johnston Marklee (Los Angeles); and SANAA (Tokyo). The multi-year plan envisions improving and reconfiguring Menil’s serene campus with more green space, concentrations of art and amenities for the public, beginning with the construction of the MDI, the first freestanding facility in America dedicated to modern and contemporary drawing.
The new building and its program will enable the Menil to enhance its landmark experience of a direct encounter between each visitor and the work of the artist’s hand. Josef Helfenstein stated: “In the year, when we observe the 25th anniversary of our great museum building by Renzo Piano, we are pleased to begin realizing our vision for the future by selecting the next architect to design a major building on the Menil campus. By taking on the challenge of designing MDI - the only facility of its kind - the architect will create a home for our largest, fastest-growing but most delicate collection of artworks, while also providing an important new focal point for the entire campus.” Selection of an architect is expected by early June 2012.