Whitney to extend with design by Piano

A necessary but non-invasive extension, able therefore to respect the existing buildings and surrounding area, one of the most elegant in the city, the Upper East Side. This is how the Whitney described last summer its intentions to renovate and extent the gallery. Renzo Piano was commissioned with the design and presented his scheme just a few days ago.

There are to be new galleries, both for the permanent collection (which has almost doubled in the last ten years) and for temporary exhibitions, an auditorium, a research centre, a library and new administration offices. The new building will be transparent and connected directly to the original building, realised by Marcel Breuer in 1963-66 via a series of suspended bridges, one for each level.

With a simple and geometric form, it will be slightly higher than Breuer’s building but will not change it in any way. Piano’s design is completely different to the scheme set out by Rem Koolhaas that instead planned to make substantial changes to the existing space. An idea, however, that for financial reasons was abandoned in the spring of 2003. E.S.

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