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Thread: MoMA Expansion - Tower Verre - by Jean Nouvel

  1. #46

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    I'm quite saddened we will lose this building. American Folk Art, the LVMH Building and AMNH's planetarium were the pioneers that helped bring New York's architecture out of the banal trenches it wallowed in throughout the 80's and 90's.

    I remember taking a sketching trip there in architecture school.

  2. #47

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    The facade is great but I don't think the interior is anything to write home about. Preserve the facade and I am happy. Even if not, Torre Verre is worth it.

  3. #48

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    I agree. Between Ver're and the Hudson Yards towers, we Will have some great super tall towers. Hopefully, some superb rises at 225 W 57th.

  4. #49
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    We keep forgetting another player in this part of the skyline, 220 Central Park South.

  5. #50

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    I have a feeling that 220 CPS will be a nice, but simple, 800 foot limestone tower and similar to Larry's downtown 4 Seasons (I.e., nice but no Verre). Zeckendorf's 60th St tower by Stern will probably be similar.

  6. #51
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    MoMA the Demolisher

    The Modern makes the "painful" decision to scrap Williams and Tsien's Folk Art building.

    by Virginia C. McGuire


    Dan Nguyen / Flickr

    The Museum of Modern Art is in the unenviable position of destroying a relatively new building by a respected architecture firm. The former American Folk Art Museum building sits between the MoMA’s existing building and a planned tower designed by Jean Nouvel. The folk art museum’s former home, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsein Architects, was completed in 2001 and sold to MoMA only ten years later, in 2011, relieving the folk art museum from a heavy debt burden.

    According to MoMA’s director, Glenn Lowry, the folk art museum initiated the transaction. “We entered into the process with an open mind,” he said a statement. “However, it was also with the understanding that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to integrate a building that was designed for a very specific purpose and as a discrete structure with the Museum’s plans for expansion.”

    Barry Bergdoll, chief curator of MoMA's architecture and design department, told AN that the decision was an administrative, rather than a curatorial one. He called the decision “painful” for architects and others who appreciate Williams and Tsein’s work, and acknowledged that museums have a responsibility to the art in their care—including architecture. But, he said, the building “was designed as a jewel box for folk art,” and could not reasonably be altered to fit a different collection and a different purpose. Bergdoll added that some possible solutions, including retaining only the facade of the former folk art museum building or drastically restructuring it, would violate its architectural integrity and “denature its total design aesthetic.”

    Facade of the American Folk Art Museum (left). Interior of Williams and Tsien's building shortly after it was vacated by the American Folk Art Museum (right).
    Giles Ashford

    Williams and Tsien’s firm has been inundated with press inquiries since news of MoMA’s demolition plans broke, but a public statement on their website expresses their sadness over MoMA’s decision. “The Folk Art building stands as an example of a modest and purposefully conceived and crafted space for art and the public; a building type that is all too rare in a city often defined by bigness and impersonality,” read the statement.

    Williams and Tsein are no strangers to museum design. Their design for the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia was completed in 2012, and they have undertaken two expansion projects for the Phoenix Art Museum. Their website lists several other cultural organizations as clients, including the HoodMuseum at Dartmouth College and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    Meanwhile, the American Folk Art Museum, thriving in its scaled-back home on Lincoln Square, presents a cheerful public face. They have also issued a public statement via their website. “We remain grateful for the purchase of the building by our good neighbor, the Museum of Modern Art; the sale of the building was a necessary step for our resurgence.”

    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=6601

  7. #52

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    Heard the CM award is down to two possible candidates (both with history of dealing with the tallest buildings in the city shall we say). 5 year construction schedule for this, including 14 months alone for the foundation.

  8. #53

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    Great news! Thanks for the update.

    Why will this take so long though?

  9. #54

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    It's a beast in terms of constructability. Several usual bidders are shying away from it. The foundation alone has major caissons in close proximity to MTA that will be a challenge.

  10. #55

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    But apparently, it is still getting built it appears.

  11. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    But apparently, it is still getting built it appears.
    Definitely. The Hines coffers are well stocked with the rapid sales at 56L.

  12. #57

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    Great news. Until recently, we built so much crap here. 250 W 55th and 432 Park are prime examples. The cheapening of 3 WTC is consistent with this, as are the lame boxes (with a soft curve on one side) that Brookfield plans.

    However, there is a lot of great architecture planned. Verre would be among the best projects in the world. Related went from horrific boxes at the Yards to grandiose towers. 400 PAS, 56 Leonard, and the Pyramid are landmarks. I hope that Extell builds a landmark at 225, as well.

  13. #58
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    04.27.13

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  14. #59
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A little gem.

  15. #60
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    To Raze or Not? MoMA Rethinks Plan: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/10/ar...seum.html?_r=0

    AFTER impassioned protests from prominent architects, preservationists and design critics, the Museum of Modern Art said on Thursday that it would reconsider its decision to demolish its next-door neighbor, the former home of the American Folk Art Museum, to make room for an expansion.

    In a board meeting on Thursday morning, the directors were told that a board committee had selected the design firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro to handle the expansion and to help determine whether to keep any of the existing structure.
    “We’re going to try to create the best building we can create,” Jerry I. Speyer, the real estate developer and MoMA chairman, said in an interview. “Whether we include Folk Art or not, as is, is an open question.”
    That question, MoMA said, will be guided by the extension’s architects. “The principals of Diller Scofidio & Renfro have asked that they be given the time and latitude to carefully consider the entirety of the site, including the former American Folk Art Museum building, in devising an architectural solution to the inherent challenges of the project,” said Glenn D. Lowry, MoMA’s director, in a memo sent on Thursday to his trustees and staff. “We readily agreed to consider a range of options, and look forward to seeing their results.”
    In a statement, the Diller firm, which was responsible for the redevelopment of Lincoln Center’s campus, said MoMA had granted its request for “the time and flexibility to explore a full range of programmatic, spatial and urban options.”
    “These possibilities include, but are not limited to, integrating the former American Folk Art Museum building, designed by our friends and admired colleagues, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien,” the statement continued.
    In its original announcement last month, MoMA officials said the former Folk Art building needed to be razed because its opaque facade did not fit in with the glass aesthetic of the rest of the museum, and because the floors would not align.
    One person involved in the plans, who was not authorized to comment and therefore spoke on condition of anonymity, said that MoMA was still likely to arrive at the same conclusion.
    “Everybody likes the building, but it’s hard to keep it — the floors don’t line up,” the person said. “If I showed you the plans, you would say, ‘I don’t know how to do it.’ “
    The Folk Art building, at 45 West 53rd Street, was well received when it opened in 2001, partly for its striking bronze facade and partly because it signaled the city’s recovery from Sept. 11. But the museum was also criticized as a cramped place in which to view art, because of its narrow galleries.
    The MoMA expansion would consist of five buildings, including an 82-story residential tower just west of the folk museum. Designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, the high-rise is being developed by Hines, a Houston company, and will also include exhibition space for the museum.
    The museum’s initial decision to raze the building stirred dismay from its architects, Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien. “I do think it’s a one-of-a-kind building and I’m sorry that it couldn’t become part of MoMA’s collection,” Ms. Tsien said in an interview at the time.
    Ms. Tsien and Mr. Williams were traveling in Egypt on Thursday and unavailable for comment.
    Many prominent architects joined the outcry, including Richard Meier, Thom Mayne, Steven Holl, Hugh Hardy and Robert A. M. Stern. They added their names to a letter written by the Architectural League of New York, a nonprofit organization, and signed by members of its board of directors.
    “The Museum of Modern Art — the first museum with a permanent curatorial department of architecture and design — should provide more information about why it considers it necessary to tear down this significant work of contemporary architecture,” the letter said. “The public has a substantial and legitimate interest in this decision, and the Museum of Modern Art has not yet offered a compelling justification for the cultural and environmental waste of destroying this much-admired, highly distinctive 12-year-old building.”
    Many architecture critics also objected. “If a commercial developer were to tear down a small, idiosyncratic and beautifully wrought museum in order to put up a deluxe glass box, it would be attacked as a venal and philistine act,” wrote Justin Davidson in New York magazine. “When a fellow museum does the same thing, it’s even worse — it’s a form of betrayal.”
    MoMA’s 2004 renovation, designed by the Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, increased the museum’s gallery space, but the museum said it still needs more room for exhibitions.
    The expansion is expected to give the museum about 10,000 square feet of additional gallery space at the former folk art site and about 40,000 in the Nouvel building. The Modern wants its second, fourth and fifth floors to line up with those in the other two buildings. (The second-floor galleries are double height.)
    The content of these new galleries and the cost of the project are still to be determined, MoMA has said.
    The folk art museum had hoped the location next to MoMA would help stimulate its growth. But it struggled and ended up selling the property to MoMA to pay off $32 million it borrowed to finance an expansion. The folk art museum now operates at a smaller site on Lincoln Square, at West 66th Street.



    A version of this article appeared in print on May 10, 2013, on page C23 of the New York edition with the headline: To Raze or Not? MoMA Rethinks Plan .











    © 2013 The New York Times Company

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