Expansion planned for The Frick

16 Jun 2014

The Frick Collection to renovate its museum and library with Davis Brody Bond

The Frick Collection in New York City has announced plans for an expansion project that will enhance and renovate its museum and library. The focus of the project is to provide greater public access to the Fricks works of art and educational programs and to improve the visitor experience. Plans call for construction of a new addition and the opening of the private quarters on the Mansions second floor to the public for the first time.

The project marks the return of Davis Brody Bond to the Frick, which transformed the museums exterior loggia into the Portico Gallery in 2011. They will covert several of the Fricks second floor rooms into galleries and design the new addition on the East 70th Street side of the museum. To be consistent with the style, history and design of the original 1913-14 mansion and previous expansions, the addition will provide 42,000 sq ft of space for galleries, an expanded entrance hall, new classrooms, an enhanced reference library, and a 220-seat auditorium. Plans also call for updated conservation laboratories and a new rooftop garden terrace with views of Central Park.

The challenge of the project will be maintaining an intimate visitor experience while increasing the buildings size to provide more programs. Since the Frick opened as a museum nearly eighty years ago we have been guided by Henry Clay Fricks mandate that his home and exquisite collection offer inspiration and enjoyment to the public, said Frick Director Ian Wardropper. To improve services to our audiences, we wish to make an already great institution even better, said Margot Bogert, Chair of the Frick Board of Trustees. We occupy a structure and property that has evolved numerous times since the passing of Henry Clay Frick in 1910, with each occurrence conceived to better meet the needs of the institution and its public.  We are driven by our mission once more with this plan

The project will be reviewed by numerous agencies, including the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYCLPC), which will ensure that it is executed with the highest level of sensitivity to the historic structure and the surrounding neighborhood. NYCLPC defeated the nearby Whitney Museums expansion plans prompting it to relocate to a new soon-to-open facility in Downtown NY designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

We approach this project with reverence for the 1913-14 Frick mansion and the 1935 additions, including the Frick Art Reference Library, said Carl Krebs, a partner at Davis Brody Bond. The evolution of the Frick has been marked by a combination of a consistent design vocabulary, high architectural quality, and respectful additions and alterations. Our design speaks to all of these themes.

Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2017 with completion as early as 2020. 

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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