Unveiling Renzo Piano’s New Whitney Museum Expansion


Back in February, James S. Russell was talking about how boring and repetitive Renzo Piano‘s work had become and how it was likely to be more of the same later in the year when his plans for the Whitney Museum‘s expansion were revealed. Now that said plans have been released, we have no idea what Russell thinks of them, but we think it all looks pretty cool (though we’re sure it’s “too Piano” for some). And really, when you have someone of his stature working on a project as large as this, you have to starch your shirts pretty tightly to not at least want to check it out and be impressed at least a little. Here’s from the Whitney’s press on the unveiling:

Mr. Piano’s design takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form – one that responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence. The upper stories of the building will spread freely beyond the base, stretching toward the Hudson River on the west side and stepping back gracefully from the elevated park of the High Line on the east side.

“The first big gesture of the design is its cantilevered entrance, which transforms the area outside the building into a large, sheltered public space,” said Mr. Piano. “In this way, beneath the second-story level of the High Line park, the Whitney adds a street-level gathering place of its own. From this public space, visitors will be able to see through the building entrance and a series of large windows on the west side of the building to the Hudson River and beyond. This is one of several ways in which we respond to this remarkable site, drawing on its vitality and trying to enhance it at the same time.”