GUEST BLOG—By Whitney.org--Opened last spring and designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new building includes approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line. An expansive gallery for special exhibitions is approximately 18,000 square feet in area, making it the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. Additional exhibition space includes a lobby gallery (accessible free of charge), two floors for the permanent collection, and a special exhibitions gallery on the top floor.
According to Mr. Piano, “The design for the new museum emerges equally from a close study of the Whitney’s needs and from a response to this remarkable site. We wanted to draw on its vitality and at the same time enhance its rich character. The first big gesture, then, is the cantilevered entrance, which transforms the area outside the building into a large, sheltered public space. At this gathering place beneath the High Line, visitors will see through the building entrance and the large windows on the west side to the Hudson River beyond. Here, all at once, you have the water, the park, the powerful industrial structures and the exciting mix of people, brought together and focused by this new building and the experience of art.”
|LOCATION, LOCATION--The new Whitney |
is located in the Meatpacking District at
99 Gansevoort Street, at the southern entrance
to the High Line, above.
The dramatically cantilevered entrance along Gansevoort Street shelters an 8,500-square-foot outdoor plaza or “largo,” a public gathering space steps away from the southern entrance to the High Line. The building also includes an education center offering state-of-the-art classrooms; a multi-use black box theater for film, video, and performance with an adjacent outdoor gallery; a 170-seat theater with stunning views of the Hudson River; and a Works on Paper Study Center, Conservation Lab, and Library Reading Room. The classrooms, theater, and study center are all firsts for the Whitney.
A retail shop on the ground-floor level contributes to the busy street life of the area. A ground-floor restaurant and top-floor cafe are operated by renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group.
Piano’s design takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form—one that responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and overhead railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence. The upper stories of the building overlook the Hudson River on its west, and step back gracefully from the elevated High Line Park to its east.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art plans to present exhibitions and educational programming at the Whitney’s uptown building for a period of eight years, with the possibility of extending the agreement for a longer term.
The Meatpacking District is a twenty-square-block neighborhood on the far West Side of Manhattan. Surrounding the meatpacking plants just north of Gansevoort Street are some of New York’s most notable restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, clubs, and hotels. The neighborhood is bordered to the north and east by Chelsea, renowned for its art galleries, cultural organizations, and educational institutions. To the south is the West Village and its nineteenth-century townhouses, charming streets, and unique shops. To the west is the Hudson River.
NEARBY AND OF NOTE:
The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located 30 feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. It features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.
ABOUT RENZO PIANO:
|Sketch by Renzo Piano|
THE PROJECT TEAM:
Owner’s Rep: Gardiner & Theobald, Inc.
Design Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Executive Architect: Cooper, Robertson & Partners
MEP Engineer: Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Lighting/Daylighting Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners
Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates
Construction Manager: Turner Construction, LLC
Landscape Architect: Mathews Nielsen
SUPPORT THE NEW WHITNEY
The Whitney is tremendously grateful to its donors, whose support will help maintain the vitality, renown, and success of the Whitney as the defining museum of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American art for generations to come.
For more information about the campaign and donor opportunities, please contact:
Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014
ABOUT GERTRUDE VANDERBILT WHITNEY:
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (January 9, 1875 – April 18,
1942) was an American sculptor, art patron and collector. She founded the Whitney Museum of American
Art in New York in 1930 after the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art turned
down her offer to give it her 25-year collection of more than 700 modern art
ABOUT GERTRUDE VANDERBILT WHITNEY:
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney
in her studio in 1920.
She was a prominent social figure and hostess, who was born into the wealthy Vanderbilt family and married into the Whitney family. Her husband Harry Whitney inherited a fortune in oil and tobacco as well as interests in banking. An accomplished sculptor, she is known for her public monument works. Her numerous works in the United States include:
--Aztec Fountain – Pan American Union Building, Washington, D.C., 1912
--Fountain of El Dorado – 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, California
--Victory Arch – Madison Square, New York City, 1918-1920
--Washington Heights-Inwood War Memorial (World War I) – Mitchell Square Park, Washington Heights, New York City, erected 1922
--Buffalo Bill - The Scout, William F. Cody Memorial – Cody, Wyoming, dedicated 1924
--Untermyer Memorial, Woodlawn Cemetery, New York City, 1925
--The Founders of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a memorial honoring the four founders – Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C., dedicated 1929; Gertrude was a member of the DAR.
--Women's Titanic Memorial – Washington, D.C., unveiled 1931
--Peter Stuyvesant Monument, New York City, 1936–1939
-- Spirit of Flight, created for the World's Fair in New York, 1939