Cleveland Museum of Art Unveils Rafael Viñoly Wing
Opened to the public on June 27, the East Wing is the first of three planned for the museum.
Nicholas Tamarin -- Interior Design, 7/27/2009 12:00:00 AM
It seems like each week brings a new Rafael Viñoly Architects project. This week's episode stars the Cleveland Museum of Art, where the prolific firm recently completed the new East Wing, the first of three planned for the museum.
Opened to the public on June 27, the 139,200-square-foot wing connects the original 1916 Beaux-Arts buildings by local architects Hubbell & Benes with a modern 1971 addition by legendary architect Marcel Breuer. These and other subsequent additions had created a disjointed warren of spaces that left visitors confused, so the firm's challenge was to better unify the museum into a singular composition.
Their plan restores focus to the original 1916 building, conceiving it as a jewel set within a continuous ring of space that includes the renovated Breuer building. Later additions are being demolished to make way for an indoor, sunlit piazza, topped by a curving canopy of glass and steel, which the entire museum will be organized around.
The new two-story wing features double-height special exhibition galleries, and an entrance lobby on the lower level. The second level houses new galleries for the museum's collection of 19th-and-20th-century European, modern and contemporary art, and photography collection.
The new East Wing and a planned West Wing will enclose the piazza and taper toward the original building, where they will culminate in a glazed galleries and pedestrian bridges. The stone cladding of the new gallery wings feature alternating bands of granite and marble, bridging the differing aesthetics of the 1916 and Breuer buildings.
Photos by Brad Feinknopf.