The Whitney Museum put on a show this morning to celebrate the groundbreaking for their new home, and what an extravaganza it was. Drums sounded and images of the new museum flashed across big screens. The Whitney's new galleries, designed by Renzo Piano, will rise alongside the High Line, a terraced palazzo clad in metal and glass. Renzo displayed a styrofoam model of his plan, and compared the building's form to a meteorite that has fallen from the sky, resting atop a framework of glass. Also on hand for the show were Mayor Bloomberg, Whitney Director Adam D. Weinberg and Flora Miller Biddle, granddaughter of Whitney founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. They all donned protective eyewear for a groundbreaking performance by artist Elizabeth Streb (previously known as the Evel Knievel of dance) and the STREB Extreme Action Company, who shattered glass and braved cascading streams of sand. Then Renzo and friends pulled out red shovels, dug out the artist and ground was broken.
The Whitney's new outpost, climbing up nine stories and topping out at 270 feet overlooking the Hudson River, will open in 2015. Inside will be "essential new space for its collection, exhibitions, and education and performing arts programs" spread across 200,000 square feet, with the largest column-free gallery in NYC. In anticipation of today's groundbreaking, new building applications have been filed at the Department of Buildings by executive architect Cooper, Robertson & Partners. Has anybody told the Whitney that their plans have been disapproved, and the needed zoning changes are still pending?
· New Building Project [Whitney.org]
· Article Headline [Cooper, Robertson & Partners]
· Whitney Downtown coverage [Curbed]