DS+R Hired for MoMA Expansion

John Hill
Published on
May 13, 2013

Photo: John Hill/World-Architects 
Ever since the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) announced it would raze the former American Folk Art Museum, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and completed in 2001, the local, national, and even international architecture community has decried the decision. A couple petitions on change.org have received over 6,000 votes each, a tumblr devoted to alternative scenarios to demolition was launched, a number of big-name architects signed the Architectural League of New York's open letter to MoMA, and critics have almost unanimously panned the decision as shortsighted and insensitive.

So it comes with some relief to hear that Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) has been selected to plan MoMA's future expansion, which could possibly involve the integration of the former Folk Art Museum. The architects said in a statement: "We have asked MoMA, and they have agreed, to allow us the time and flexibility to explore a full range of programmatic, spatial, and urban options. These possibilities include, but are not limited to, integrating the former American Folk Art Museum building, designed by our friends and admired colleagues, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien."

Given DS+R's sensitive transformation of Lincoln Center (a much less beloved architectural landmark), it's easy to be optimistic about MoMA's selection and the designs that will be forthcoming.