Cooper-Hewitt Makeover Will Double Exhibition Space
With visitation up 35 percent, the design museum is ready to renovate.
Meaghan O'Neill -- Interior Design, 4/25/2007 12:00:00 AM
With visitation up 35 percent and public outreach, collections development, and fiscal strength getting heartier, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is ready to renovate. The Design Architect Selection Committee and the executive architect, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, have unanimously chosen Gluckman Mayner Architects to develop the interior renovation of the museum’s landmark home, the Andrew Carnegie Mansion in Manhattan.
The project is led by Richard Gluckman, principal of New York-based Gluckman Mayner Architects, who is well known for designing art-related facilities including the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the new downtown Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and the Perelman Building for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Richard Gluckman's inherent design sensitivity and experience with introducing contemporary elements to historic spaces, makes him the ideal choice to realize the transformation of Cooper-Hewitt," says Paul Warwick Thompson, director of the museum.
The recipient of the bulk of a $43 million capital campaign, the design will nearly double the museum's exhibition space, enhance educational services, help grow the permanent collection, and boost its endowment to support operating costs.
Increasing exhibition space from 10,000 to 18,000 square feet, the project’s major components will include a flexible new 7,000-square-foot gallery and a new stairway connecting both the second and third floors—as well as 21st-century design and the mansion’s Georgian style. The National Design Library will relocate to the nearby Miller and Fox townhouses, while facilities for exhibition preparation will be expanded and upgraded, enabling the museum to stay open during transition periods between exhibitions.
Following Beyer Blinder Belle’s two-year master plan, the renovation program will advance in stages, with Gluckman’s design being conducted this year. The renovation of the townhouses will begin in spring 2008, renovations to the Carnegie Mansion will begin in summer 2009.
In addition to the renovation and endowment, the capital campaign, which has already raised $21.5 million, will support the development of the Online National Design Museum, which serves as an educational resource. New offerings will include featured works from the museum's 250,000-object collection, expanded professional development programs for teachers, educational games, and a forum for design-school professors.
The museum has also announced that Cara McCarty will become the Cooper-Hewitt’s curatorial director, effective July 10. She was previously the curator and head of the department of decorative arts and design at the Saint Louis Art Museum.