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New York’s Grimshaw-designed Queens Museum completes

[FIRST LOOK + PROJECT DATA] Grimshaw has completed the first phase of its expansion of New York’s Queens Museum

Grimshaw’s refurbishment has doubled the size of the New York art gallery, which is housed in the historic New York City Building in Queens, to 9,750m2.

The scheme features a new ‘multi-media façade’ to the original 1939 building which is the only surviving building from the US 1939 World Trade Fair. The façade is back lit with programmable LEDs, allowing the creation of a ‘dynamic canvas’ for commissioned works of art.

Grimshaw partner Mark Husser said: ‘We approached the architectural design as a series of interventions devised to take advantage of the historical assets of the pre-existing structure.

‘By keeping with the Museum’s original philosophy of openness, we were able to provide spacious galleries for temporary exhibitions while improving the overall circulation of the building.’

The practice won the job back in 2005 through the Design and Construction Excellence program administered by the New York City Department of Design and Construction.

Phase two of the project is expected to complete in 2015.

Grimshaw Queens

The architect’s view

‘Several skylights allow natural light to filter inside the museum through a hanging glass lantern, diffusing natural daylight to the central large works gallery and surrounding temporary exhibition spaces. A fluid glass staircase responds to the existing geometry of the panorama, the 1964 model of New York City, and invites visitors to the second floor where gathering spaces overlook both the park and galleries.

‘Known for its educational outreach and community engagement, the new Queens Museum expansion comprises several new classrooms and support spaces, further positioning the Museum as a cultural venue where the world of art and community can engage in open, meaningful dialogue.’

Grimshaw Queens

Project data

Location Queens, New York
Type of project Gallery  
Architect Grimshaw
Executive architect Ammann & Whitney
Structural engineer Ammann & Whitney
Specialty structures M. Ludvik Engineering
Services engineer Buro Happold
Museum consultant Lord Cultural Resources
Landscape architect Mathews Nielsen
Completion date March 2014 (phase one), 2015 (phase two)
Gross internal floor area 9,750m2

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