See inside MoMA’s $450M revamped, expanded campus

Posted On Mon, October 14, 2019 By

Posted On Mon, October 14, 2019 By In Design, Museums

53rd Street Elevation; Photo by Brett Beyer, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Following the completion of a $450 million renovation project, the Museum of Modern Art is set to reopen next week on October 21. In addition to expanding gallery space by nearly 50,000 square feet, the project reorganized the layout of exhibits, which now will be displayed chronologically instead of by discipline. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, the new museum expanded west into the former site of the American Folk Art Museum and within the base of Jean Nouvel’s new residential tower, 53W53.


Exterior view of the Museum of Modern Art, Blade Stair Atrium, 53rd Street; Photo by Iwan Baan, Courtesy of MoMA

The first phase, which involved reworking 15,000 square feet on the east side in order to create two galleries on the third floor, was completed in June 2017. The historic Bauhaus staircase was extended to the ground floor level, improving accessibility to the second-floor galleries.

As completed under the project’s second phase, a new western section features vertically interlocking galleries of varying heights, including new street-level spaces that will be free to the public, increasing MoMA’s exhibition space by 30 percent. According to Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the stacked galleries allow MoMA to “present significantly more of its collection through a series of fluid, interconnected narratives of modern and contemporary art across all mediums.”


Installation view of David Geffen Wing gallery 206, “Transfigurations”; Photo by Iwan Baan, Courtesy of MoMA.


Installation view of “Fossil Psychics for Christa (2019) by Kerstin Brätsch in The Carroll and Milton Petrie Terrace Sixth Floor Cafe; Photo by Iwan Baan, Courtesy of MoMA.

There is a new studio space for media, performance, and film and a lounge overlooking the outdoor terrace on the sixth floor. A “Creativity Lab” on the second floor will be programmed by the Department of Education as a way to explore ideas about art and beyond.


Flagship museum store; Photo by Brett Beyer, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro


View of West Connector from 53rd Street; Photo by Brett Beyer, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro


Interior view of The Museum of Modern Art, West Lobby Lounge and Eli & Edythe Broad Ticketing Platform; Photo by Iwan Baan, Courtesy of MoMA

The famed MoMA Design and Bookstore came down one level, allowing for a double-height experience and a connection to the upgraded lobby. The store will also be able to be seen through a glass wall from the street and accessed via bridge, glass elevator, or staircase to allow shoppers to visit the store without paying museum admission. An impressive canopy cantilevers over the entrance on 53rd Street to welcomes visitors into the lobby, which also connects to West 54th Street.

The new and improved MoMA opens earlier at 10 a.m. with extended hours until 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month.

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Photos by Iwan Baan, courtesy of MoMA, Photos by Brett Beyer, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

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