Among NYC art museums, the New Museum has generally been seen as the scrappy upstart with a bleeding-edge program dedicated to the latest in contemporary art. But in the last decade or so, the New Mu has been steadily achieving major institution status, especially since it relocated in 2007 from Soho to a bold, purposed built seven-story structure on the Bowery.
Designed by the Tokyo architectural firm Sejima + Nishizawa/SANAA, it’s quickly became a Lower East Side landmarks as well as a magnet for visitors, whose numbers have swelled by 100% since the move.
But now things are about to get bigger still, as the New Mu just announced a major expansion. Projected to open in 2020, the design is the handiwork of the firm OMA, which is headed by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas. Koolhaas, of course, is the one of the world’s most recognized architects—thanks in part to his book, Delirious New York, a treatise on the dizzying ambitions of Gotham, and how they shaped the city landscape. In that respect, The New Mu addition fits right in: Rising from a site next door to the museum’s current location, the building takes on a dynamic, faceted form which complements the stacked boxes of the SANAA design. And it will add a lot more room, packing in a total 61,899 square feet of space. The building will also feature a central atrium staircase with views of the surrounding neighborhood, an expanded lobby and bookstore and an 80-seat restaurant. In all, the addition effectively doubles the size of New Museum. It will probably re-double the size of its audience, too.