Renderings of MOCA's New Home Unveiled

John Hill
8. April 2022
Museum of Chinese in America Exterior Rendering - Centre Street Day (Visualization © Maya Lin Studio, 2022)

Since 2009, MOCA has been housed in the ground floor and cellar of a six-story building at 215 Centre Street on the edge of Manhattan's Chinatown, a 12,000-square foot space renovated by architect Maya Lin with Bialosky + Partners. The new plans, which will see Lin's studio working with Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) to renovate and add three floors to the same building, indicate an area of 70,000 sf, or an increase of five times more space for the institution. MOCA currently rents the space for its current home but is planning to buy the building as part of the $118 million project. The Architect's Newspaper reports that the museum will close in 2023 for construction, with completion and grand reopening slated for 2025.

(Visualization © Maya Lin Studio, 2022)

According to the MOCA website, and as illustrated in the exterior renderings included in the unveiling of the design, "the museum’s design captures the spirit of a Chinese tangram and Chinese vertical landscape painting, creating a sense of movement upwards through natural elements of stone, metal, trees, and clouds."

Museum of Chinese in America Interior Rendering - Lobby (Visualization © Maya Lin Studio, 2022)
Museum of Chinese in America Interior Rendering - Atrium (Visualization © Maya Lin Studio, 2022)

In addition to galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions, the future home of MOCA will include: a Genealogy Center, billed as "a unique center of learning where individuals and families can advance their understanding of their family’s history and the role their ancestors played in shaping American history, contemporary America, and their own lives"; a museum shop and tea room on the ground floor; classrooms and an event space; and a 199-seat double-height theater for performances, lectures, and events.

Museum of Chinese in America Interior Rendering - Temporary Gallery (Visualization © Maya Lin Studio, 2022)
Museum of Chinese in America Interior Rendering - Events (Visualization © Maya Lin Studio, 2022)

Watch Maya Lin in a short film from MOCA talk about the institution, her studio's design for its new home, and the layout of the spaces being designed with RAA:

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