2017-10-11 08:08:03
New Museum Selects Rem Koolhaas for Expansion on the Bowery

The New Museum may have a relatively modest budget for its expansion — $85 million — but the institution has selected a big-name architect to design it: Rem Koolhaas.

The museum is to announce on Wednesday that Mr. Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu of OMA will design a new building on the adjacent property at 231 Bowery, which the institution purchased in 2008. This would be the first public project in New York City for OMA, the firm founded by Mr. Koolhaas.

“I’ve admired Rem’s work and the firm for a long time — he’s a top thinker, he’s an urbanist, he’s got his finger on the pulse of the city and has thought about New York more than many people,” Lisa Phillips, the museum’s director, said in a telephone interview. “He’s also a futurist; he thinks very much about the new.”

The structure, which will connect to the museum’s Sanaa-designed building, will double the museum’s footprint on the Bowery, providing an additional 50,000 square feet for galleries, improved public circulation, and flexible space for the institution’s more experimental programs like its business incubator and the urban-policy think tank that it runs.

The OMA addition is meant to honor the museum’s original building, Ms. Phillips said, but to have its own identity and extend the institution’s campus. “We have this iconic image that telegraphs the mission of the museum so beautifully,” she said, referring to the Sanaa building. “That’s not something we’re going to be looking to repeat.”

Ms. Phillips said the museum has raised more than 50 percent of the cost, which includes endowment funds, and that the project is to break ground in 2019.