Queens Museum Expansion Design Unveiled
The art museum will undergo a $37 million expansion to add more than 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. Also, a Westchester County college plans a new international student facility.
Plan to Expand Queens Museum
Design work is continuing on a project to expand and renovate the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows, an effort that will double the institution’s existing space.
The $37 million project, designed by Grimshaw Architects of London and Ammann and Whitney of New York, will give the museum full use of the 105,000-sq.-ft., city-owned building that the institution has shared with a public ice rink in the facility’s southern half. The plan calls for rebuilding and restoring two façades; creation of a new winter garden and galleries; and building a Queens Library system branch focused on art and media. To accommodate the plan, New York City is building a new ice rink set to open later this year.
The design phase is expected to run through the spring. Construction would start later this year, with the museum set to reopen in late 2009 or early 2010.
A transparent curtain wall on the east façade will mark the entrance to a new, double-height lobby, which will offer views of a new glass bridge linking the museum’s north and south spaces on the mezzanine level. The west façade will be a glass wall facing the Grand Central Parkway showing displays of information about the museum that change as viewers move closer and farther away.
The fully sky-lit winter garden will feature translucent glass on a framework suspended from the museum’s roof trusses. The seven galleries will be organized around the garden pavilion, using the courtyard for natural light.
In addition to the glass bridge, the design also calls for a new grand staircase and glass elevator. The project will also add classroom, administrative, and exhibit storage spaces.
The original building was designed by Aymar Embury II for the 1939 World’s Fair, and was transformed into an ice rink and theater leading up to the 1964 World’s Fair. The museum opened in the northern half in 1972.
The city’s Department of Design and Construction chose Grimshaw and its team under the Design Excellence Program launched by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It calls for high-quality designs in public works projects.
Westchester College Plans Facility
Westchester Community College plans to break ground this spring on a 70,000-sq.-ft. facility on its Valhalla, N.Y., campus that will serve foreign-born students.
Designed by Polshek Partnership of New York, the Gateway Center will feature classrooms, student activity space, a 175-seat auditorium, and conference rooms behind a glass, zinc, and stone façade. The building is designed to meet basic Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria.
When it opens in 2009, the $40.5 million center will primarily serve international students. It will house the college’s English Language Institute, which currently has 4,000 students, and International Student Services, among other departments. The design incorporates the results of a three-year study by the college and the local business community into the priorities of foreign-born students.
New Park Designs in N.J.
New Jersey state agencies have selected design teams for the first phase of a 10-year, $100 million project to create an urban state park in Trenton, as well as a new park in Paterson.
The state’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of the Treasury, along with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, conducted national competitions to select Wallace, Roberts, and Todd of Philadelphia to design the park in Trenton and Field Operations of New York for the Paterson park.
The planned Capital City State Park would reconnect Trenton to its surrounding waterways. Focusing on accessibility and the integration of natural and man-made environments, the selection panel favored proposals that would be able to link historic sites and existing parks, emphasizing the Trenton area’s significant role in the American Revolution.
In Paterson, Great Falls State Park would both showcase the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi and emphasize the area’s Native American and industrial past.
For each park, Gov. Jon Corzine has set aside $500,000 for the first phase of construction and the Garden State Preservation Trust has awarded $400,000 design grants.
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