The new Whitney museum will open to the public on May 1, 2015. Designed by architect Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, the building will vastly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, providing the first comprehensive view of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.
The Whitney Museum is building itself a new home in downtown Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Due to open in 2015, the project will substantially enlarge the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, enabling the first comprehensive view of the Museum’s growing collection, which today comprises more than 19,000 works of modern and contemporary American art. According to Mr. Piano, “The design for the new museum emerges equally from a close study of the Whitney’s needs and from a response to this remarkable site. We wanted to draw on its vitality and at the same time enhance its rich character. The first big gesture, then, is the cantilevered entrance, which transforms the area outside the building into a large, sheltered public space. At this gathering place beneath the High Line, visitors will see through the building entrance and the large windows on the west side to the Hudson River beyond. Here, all at once, you have the water, the park, the powerful industrial structures and the exciting mix of people, brought together and focused by this new building and the experience of art.”
The modern and contemporary art museum, whose blockbuster shows have ranged from Yayoi Kusama to the smashingly successful Jeff Koons, shuttered its Upper East Side Marcel Breuer space to the public on October 19, leaving New York’s art scene to wait with bated breath for updates on the new location. The highly anticipated structure is intended to hold the same architectural importance as its predecessor, with approximately twice the exhibition space. The asymmetrical, industrial-style building, with its dramatic, cantilevered entrance will sit between the High Line and the Hudson, the newest fixture on New York’s fashionable West Side.
Mr. Piano’s design takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form—one that responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and overhead railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence. The upper stories of the building overlook the Hudson River on its west, and step back gracefully from the elevated High Line Park to its east.
After the opening of the new Whitney this spring, the Metropolitan Museum of Art plans to present exhibitions and educational programming at the Whitney’s uptown building for a period of eight years, with the possibility of extending the agreement for a longer term.