The New Museum has announced plans for an $89-million expansion that will see it erect a new building and double its exhibition spaces. The tapering, trapezoidal new building, designed by Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas of OMA, in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, will feature a façade of laminated glass and metal mesh. It will replace 231 Bowery, the building just to the south of the New Museum’s distinctive, SANAA-designed headquarters that the institution acquired in 2008, leading to the eventual displacement of one of the neighborhood’s restaurant supply stores.
The OMA building will feature 60,000 square feet over seven floors. It will add 10,096 square feet of exhibition spaces; its second, third, and fourth floors will connect to the equivalent levels in the SANAA building, creating continuous, expanded galleries. The new building will also provide more space for the museum’s education programs, host its NEW INC incubator, and create larger lobby and bookstore areas.
The museum says it has already raised $79 million toward its $89-million goal for the capital campaign, with construction costs estimated at $63 million. The OMA building is expected to open in 2022, with the New Museum’s SANAA building expected to remain open throughout construction.
Meanwhile, New Museum management and members of the institution’s newly formed union are still in negotiations following their sixth bargaining session, held on June 19th. Union members told The Art Newspaper their working conditions are no longer aligned with the vision set out by curator Marcia Tucker when she founded the institution in 1977. One member told TAN: “If you are going to put that sort of narrative in the galleries, we want that to be reflected in the working life of the museum as well.”