Scheduled to begin on-site in the summer of 2014, the American Folk Art Museum will be razed in order to make way for the new structure designed by studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) for MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art).
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum, inaugurated in 2001, despite the protests from architects and preservationists, will be replaced in order to expand and reorganize the current New York site. MoMA bought it in in 2009 to alleviate the 32 million USD debt and the museum’s collection was relocated to Lincoln Square. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien expressed their sadness via their website.
we have learned of MoMA’s final decision to raze the former American Folk art museum building and replace it with a new structure. This action represents a missed opportunity to find new life and purpose for a building that is so meaningful to so many. The Folk art museum was designed to respond to the fabric of the neighborhood and create a building that felt both appropriate and yet also extraordinary. Demolishing the human-scaled, uniquely crafted building is a loss to the city of New York in terms of respecting the size, diversity and texture of buildings in a midtown neighborhood that is at risk of becoming increasingly homogenized.
However, the DS+R architectural design will provide 30% more floor space, 40,000 square feet of new galleries allow the museum to offer a cohesive and integrated display of its works from many different disciplines.