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New Museum unveils new, Rem Koolhaas-designed addition

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The expansion will break ground in 2020, with a projected opening of 2022


Say hello to the new New Museum.

The cultural institution has unveiled the design for its forthcoming 60,000-square-foot addition, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu of OMA, which will sit next to the museum’s current blocky building on Bowery. The new structure will replace an existing six-story building that the museum acquired more than a decade ago.

The expansion, first announced in 2016, will add much-needed space to the museum. It’ll double the square footage of its galleries, with three levels that will connect to the existing galleries in the original SANAA-designed building. It will also address some of the spatial issues with the current building—namely, the fact that the ground-floor lobby can become cramped on busy days, and the need for more elevators. The lobbies of the two buildings will be joined into one, much larger space, with a new bookstore and an 80-seat restaurant.

And thanks to the design of the OMA addition—set back from the street, with a cut out that moves away from the SANAA building—there will also be a new public plaza in front of the two buildings on Bowery. The facade, made from glass and a mesh-like metal, is intended to complement SANAA’s design while also letting light and air into the space.

“The OMA design will provide seamless connectivity and horizontal flow between the two buildings, expanded space for our world renowned exhibitions, and access to some of our most innovative programs that the public currently cannot see,” Lisa Phillips, the museum’s executive director, said in a statement.

The museum expects to break ground on the addition next year, with a target opening date in 2022. Plans for the new building were filed with the DOB earlier this spring. It’ll cost $63 million, and a large chunk of that—$20 million—has been acquired through a gift from longtime patron Toby Devan Lewis, for whom the new structure will be named.