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AQ

Baan, Iwan

SANNA: Sejima and Nishizawa. New Museum New York

When the New Museum, long a champion of downtown New York culture and unconventional art, announced that it would build itself a new home on the Bowery--a mostly bleak strip of flophouses and restaurant-supply storefronts--the art world wondered what this move would mean for the museum, and, just as important, how the museum would look. Tokyo-based architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA (winners of the 2010 Pritzker Prize) received the commission in 2002; their new New Museum, which opened in December 2007, looks like a dramatic tower of seven rectangular boxes, stacked irregularly atop one another with edges protruding to the sides and front, and clad in a seamless anodized-aluminum mesh that dresses the whole of the building in a delicate, filmy, softly shimmering skin. With windows just visible behind this porous scrimlike surface, the building appears as a single, coherent and even heroic form that is nevertheless mutable, dynamic and animated by the changing light of day--an appropriate visual metaphor for the openness of the New Museum and the ever-changing nature of contemporary art. This monograph treats the institution´s design and construction in depth, through images, writings and an interview with the architects.

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