NEW art, NEW ideas

This post was written by Andrea Paoletti

NEW Museum | New York | USA

When I first visited this museum I was impressed by two things: its name and the site where it was build. I had never visited before a museum called NEW museum and they chose a site just in the middle of two old and lower buildings. Something really interested that speaks about adjacent buildings layers and temporal scanning. Evolution. The New Museum, designed by Tokyo-based architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA is a seven-story, structure located at the Bowery in New York.

It had the power to change the perception that people had inside that area. That is the first art museum ever constructed from the ground up in downtown Manhattan. Architects have said: “The Bowery was very gritty when we first visited it, we were a bit shocked, but we were also impressed that a contemporary art museum wanted to be there. In the end, the Bowery and the New Museum have a lot in common. Both have a history of being very accepting, open, embracing of every idiosyncrasy in an unprejudiced manner.” It is a building for the future, the next generation, unlike most museums, which are a place to see the past. The New Museum is clad in a seamless, anodized expanded aluminum mesh chosen by SANAA to emphasize the volumes of the boxes while dressing the whole of the building with a delicate, filmy, softly shimmering skin. With windows just visible behind this porous scrim-like 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. “We didn’t want to hide things behind gyp board, we wanted to show what the building is made of and maximize the feeling of openness. This is why the building’s structure and guts are exposed— the ducts, the sprinklers, the fireproofing material—and the view from the street includes everything on the ground floor.” Sejima and Nishizawa have stated.  The New Museum building is a home for contemporary art and an incubator for new ideas , an intriguing place because it is always asking questions.


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