Noguchi Museum to expand LIC campus, open the sculptor’s studio to the public for the first time
Rendering of the Noguchi Museum campus by Büro Koray Duman
The original studio and pied-à-terre of Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi will open to the public for the first time as part of a new unified campus, the Noguchi Museum announced earlier this month. The Long Island City museum plans to expand its existing museum and sculpture garden, founded by Noguchi in 1985, by adding a new 6,000-square-foot building and restoring the sculptor’s studio.
Renderings of the Noguchi Museum campus by Büro Koray Duman
In the first phase of a two-phase project, New York City-based architects Büro Koray Duman will create a two-story building made of brick and concrete, with anodized aluminum panels. Measuring nearly 6,000 square feet, the building will hold art and archives of the museum. The new space will sit next to Noguchi’s original studio and across the street from the existing museum.
The climate-controlled archive center will provide researchers and museum staff a dedicated space to review original documents and materials. Consolidation of the archives comes after a three-year project to digitize archives, which will launch online this fall.
Koray Duman, the founder of Büro Koray Duman, said the firm created a design that would be respectful of the current complex. “The museum’s architecture strikes a perfect balance between being impactful and quiet simultaneously,” Duman said in a statement. “With the new expansion and building design, we aspired to create a strong architectural statement that embodies this essence.”
Isamu Noguchi in his 10th Street studio, Long Island City, 1966. Photograph by Kaz Inouye. The Noguchi Archive. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS).
Isamu Noguchi’s 10th Street studio, Long Island City, c. 1960s.The Noguchi Archive. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS).
As part of the project, the museum will restore Noguchi’s combined pied-à-terre and studio. The artist first moved to Long Island City in the early 1960s to be near stone and metal workers. With the space open to the public for tours for the first time ever, the museum intends to fill the studio with objects from Noguchi’s time and use the space for events.
Construction on the first phase of the project is expected to begin in January 2020 and take 12 to 18 months. According to the New York Times, the renovation of the studio will start the following year and wrap up by the end of 2022.
Brett Littman, the director of the Noguchi Museum, said the larger campus will allow the museum to further explore the artist and his influence on the art world.
“Isamu Noguchi was a fearless, category-defying, cross-disciplinary polymath, and our new Noguchi campus, which will include the Art and Archive Building and the renovation of his 10th Street studio and apartment, will allow us to better reflect on the complex nature of Noguchi’s work and life.”
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Renderings by Büro Koray Duman; Images courtesy of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum/ Artists Rights Society