The Whitney Museum of American Art is developing plans to build a six-floor, 195,000-square-foot building in downtown Manhattan. Located in the Meatpacking District on Gansevoort Street between West Street and the High Line, the new building, designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano, will provide the Whitney with essential new space for its collection, exhibitions, and education and performing arts programs in one of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
However, the self proclaimed “architectural provocateurs” at Axis Mundi recently released an alternative design which is meant to be “as bold in spirit as the original Breuer building.”
The design calls for a structural exoskeleton, shaped by the sight lines and street grid of the city, imbedded with the circulation and mechanical systems. Column-free galleries would be suspended from the skeleton with distinctive projecting windows, reminiscent of Breuer’s at the Madison Avenue Whitney. The Axis Mundi proposal mentions nothing of costs, which is one of the biggest hurdles facing the Whitney, given the museum’s relatively modest endowment.