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Designed in response to its setting amongst warehouses, railway lines, and loft buildings. The Whitney Museum as photographed by Karin Jobst.
Italian Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano has completed his new building for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York’s Meatpacking District.
Founded in 1930 by artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbuilt Whitney, the museum holds the world’s foremost collection of American Art.
The museum’s new US$422 million building has been under construction since May 2011, and resembles a sculptural stack of asymmetric steel and concrete blocks.
The nine-storey structure will be the largest column-free exhibition space in New York, and features 4645 square metres (50,000 square feet) of indoor galleries, 1208 square metres (13,000 square feet) of outdoor exhibition space, and an art conservation laboratory.
“The design of this building emerged from many years of conversations with the Whitney, which took us back to the museum’s origins,” says Piano.
“We spoke about the roots of the Whitney in downtown New York, and about this opportunity to enjoy the open space by the Hudson River. Museum experience is about art, and it is also about being connected to this downtown community and to this absolutely extraordinary physical setting,” adds Piano.
Piano designed the museum as a response to the character of its setting amongst warehouses, railway lines, and loft buildings. Terraces overlook the planted surface of the high line, while external staircases resemble fire escapes.
Time-lapse courtesy of EarthCam.
Drainage is often the forgotten workhorse of the building and design function. Yet drainage maintains a simple albeit vital purpose.