Publicly Accessible Buildings

OMA to expand New York’s ‘New Museum’

This new project marks OMA’s first public building in New York City

by Nick Myall 11 October 2017


The New Museum Board of Trustees in New York, USA, Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director, and Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, have announced that OMA / Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas have been selected as the design architects for the Museum’s next phase of expansion.

OMA will design a new building on the adjacent property at 231 Bowery that the Museum purchased in 2008. The new structure will complement and respect the integrity of the Museum’s flagship SANAA building as a singular, critically acclaimed work of architecture. The expansion, first announced in May 2016, will double the Museum’s footprint on the Bowery, providing an additional 50,000 sq ft for additional galleries, improved public circulation and flexible space for the institution’s continued exploration of new platforms and programs. The project is scheduled to break ground in 2019.

“OMA is a great choice for our next building,” said Lisa Phillips. “Koolhaas has thought deeply about the identity and landscape of our city going back to his landmark book Delirious New York, published in 1978, a year after the Museum’s founding. Though he is one of the world’s finest architects with a deeply civic and public spirit, this will be his first public building in New York City.”

Massimiliano Gioni said, “OMA has had an ongoing relationship with the Museum, having taken part multiple times in our IdeasCity festival, where Koolhaas was a keynote speaker in New York and in Arles, and as a co-curator with Shigematsu of ‘Cronocaos,’ an innovative exhibition on architectural preservation, presented at the New Museum in 2011. Together, Shigematsu and Koolhaas have demonstrated a keen understanding of the institution, an exceptional ability to meet our specific program requirements, and a deep sensitivity to the existing museum building.”

Funded by an $85m capital campaign, the New Museum’s expansion builds upon extraordinary institutional momentum achieved over the past decade. The only museum in New York City devoted exclusively to contemporary art and a leading international cultural destination with 400,000 visitors annually, the New Museum is respected around the world for the groundbreaking and adventurous scope of its curatorial program and exhibitions. The Museum has also expanded its scholarly initiatives and blazed new trails with innovative platforms like IdeasCity, NEW INC, and Rhizome—programs devoted to collaborative and cross-disciplinary experimentation between art, urbanism, and technology. This next phase of expansion will provide greater space for these activities and a closer integration with the Museum’s renowned exhibition program.

“Building upon four decades of fostering new art and new ideas, the Board embraces this next chapter in the Museum’s history, which will provide artists and curators the space to experiment and grow in new ways,” said James Keith Brown, President, New Museum Board of Trustees.

Shohei Shigematsu commented, “I am honored to be awarded this project in the city perhaps most central to OMA’s philosophy, and am thrilled to work with an institution that deeply values the practices of creative forward-thinkers. As a Japanese architect, I am very happy to engage in a unique dialogue with SANAA and build alongside one of their seminal works.”

“I’m particularly excited that our first public building in New York City will be for the New Museum, one of the most forward-thinking institutions for which I’ve always had a great affinity,” said Rem Koolhaas. “Having collaborated with Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa on a number of projects in Europe, it is a real honour to stand alongside their great work of architecture, one of my favorites in the city.”

Nick Myall

News editor

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team