A space-altering, site-specific architectural installation created by Situ Studio, a Brooklyn-based creative practice specializing in design and fabrication, will inaugurate the first phase of the Brooklyn Museum
s project for the 10,000-square-foot colonnaded hall on the first floor. The installation, ReORDER, reimagines the classically ordered space to serve as a hub, a place for Museum visitors to congregate, relax, view temporary exhibitions, and occasionally, see a performance. Situ Studios design, which engages the existing monumental columns, consists of a series of stretched fabric canopies and integrated furnishings that swell, expand, and augment the profile of the columns, transforming them from base to capital. This installation will be on view from February 4, 2011 through January 2012.
The renovated Hall will serve to better engage our visitors by creating space for the enhanced presentation of art that will serve generations to come, as this first phase of a major reworking of the first-floor galleries opens. Situ Studios dynamic and exhilarating installation makes exciting and dramatic use of the new Hall, states Museum director Arnold L. Lehman.
This project will be the first installation in the Polshek Partnershipdesigned, newly renovated Hall, which was built in the early twentieth century as a part of the McKim, Mead & White architecture. The space will include four freestanding walls reaching almost to the ceiling that will separate a central gallery from a perimeter circulation path. The walls will allow for the display of art while concealing ductwork for air-conditioning. The space will feature a new terrazzo floor, the installation of new track lighting, a sprinkler system, and air-conditioning. The renovation is the first phase in a program that will redesign and transform much of the Museums first floor beyond the Rubin Pavilion and Lobby, which opened in 2004.
Situ Studio was founded in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York, while its five partners were studying architecture at the Cooper Union. Concentrating on research, design, and fabrication, the firm works at the intersection of architecture and a variety of other disciplines to engage a wide range of spatial projects. Recent work includes the design and fabrication of six models for the exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outwardat the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Solar Pavilion seriesthree temporary structures created for the green arts and energy organization Solar One.
Adopting the century-old columns as central elements in the design, Situ Studios installation will embrace the unique details of McKim, Mead & Whites iconic architecture with the goal of transforming the scale of the hall and creating a series of spaces that alternate between the colossal and the intimate. The installation has been organized by Judy Kim, Head of the Brooklyn Museum Exhibitions Division.
The new installation will celebrate a space that has evolved through many designs since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For several years the gallery was used to display pre-Columbian and Native American material. When the Situ installation closes in 2011, the space will be used as an introductory gallery to the Museums comprehensive collections, which range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary works.