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|Location||New York, New York map|
|Building Type||art museum|
|Construction System||site-cast concrete|
|Notes||"Whitney Museum of American Art". massing stepping out above sculpture court. A controversial addition design proposal by Michael Graves was not built.|
|Discussion||Whitney Museum Commentary
"For its third building in 35 years, the Whitney Museum chose a 100 x 125 foot site in the art gallery district of mid-town Madison Avenue where, among an environment of tall apartment buildings, a new, distinctive, and significant home was to be located. The housing of changing exhibitions rather than a permanent collection has determined the new museum's philosophy, planning, and details. Three of its floors have large, open gallery spaces with suspended precast concrete open grid ceilings, detailied to receive movable wall panels and flexible lighting that can be rearranged for each new show. Outside, the cube-like building is sheathed with granite."
Tician Papachristou. Marcel Breuer: New Buildings and Projects. p122.
"This distinctive museum makes the most of its small corner site. Upper floors, affording maximum gallery space within, cantilever outward, importantly over its shadowy forecourt; seven windowsirregularly spaced trapezoids that vary in sizemark its granite facade like symbolic eyes."
from Sylvia Hart Wright. Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern. p15-16.
The Creator's Words
"What should a museum look like, a museum in Manhattan? Surely it should work, it should fulfill its requirements, but what is its relationship to the New York landscape? What does it express, what is its architectural message?
"It is easier to say first what it should not look like. It should not look like a business or office building, nor should it look like a place of light entertainment. Its form and its material should have identity and weight in the neighborhood of 50-story skyscrapers, of mile long bridges, in the midst of the dynamic jungle of our colorful city. It should be an independent and self- relying unit, exposed to history, and at the same time it should transform the vitality of the street into the sincerity and profundity of art."
Marcel Breuer. from Tician Papachristou. Marcel Breuer: New Buildings and Projects. p14-15.
Whitney Museum of American Art
Sources on Whitney Museum
Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. subtraction diagram, p174. Updated edition available at Amazon.com
Tician Papachristou. Marcel Breuer: New Buildings and Projects. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970. LC 71-136743. NA737.B68P3 1970b. discussion p14-15, 122.
William S. Saunders. Modern ArchitecturePhotographs by Ezra Stoller. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3816-2. exterior photo, p50. interior photo, p51. A wonderful & inspiring book of beautiful photographs by the master of architectural photography.
Helen Searing. New American Art Museums. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1982. ISBN 0-520-04896-2. plan and section drawings, p59. exterior photo, p60.
Sylvia Hart Wright. Sourcebook of Contemporary North American Architecture: From Postwar to Postmodern. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1989. ISBN 0-422-29190-6. LC 89-5320. NA703.W75 1989. discussion p15-16.
Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.
Links on Whitney Museum
Article at Architecture magazine.
The museum's official web site.
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