The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, October 31, 2014


Brooklyn Museum to Open First Phase of Transformative Renovation of First Floor
The initial phase of renovation features the expansive, two-story-high colonnaded space with its original coffered glass-block ceiling. Rendering by Ennead Architects.
BROOKLYN, NY.- The Brooklyn Museum has completed an extensive renovation of its historic Great Hall at the center of its ground floor and has reclaimed additional space for a new gallery. This project, which is the initial phase of a major redesign of the first floor, marks the most transformative change to the floor since that portion of the Museum was constructed in the early twentieth century. The renovated space has been redesigned by the award-winning studio Ennead Architects, formerly known as Polshek Partnership. Ennead has been the architectural firm responsible for the transformation of the Museum over the past twenty-five years.

According to Arnold L. Lehman, Museum Director, "This major rethinking of the nineteenth-century McKim, Mead & White architecture will completely alter and enhance the experience of every visitor in a way that makes for a more exciting and logical introduction to the Museum. Because only one-sixth of the original design for the building was completed, circulation on the first floor has always presented a navigational challenge for our visitors. Through this exciting and engaging new design by Ennead Architects, these issues have been resolved in a manner that will completely transform the visitor experience."

The initial phase of renovation features the expansive, two-story-high colonnaded space with its original coffered glass-block ceiling. For many years, this room served to display the Museum's holdings of pre-Columbian, Native American, and Oceanic art. Now to be known as the Great Hall, it is a rare example in New York City of a hypostyle hall, with a dense grid of columns. Designed to form the core of a series of galleries, the space now features four monumental freestanding walls, which define a central gallery. The renovation has also created a new South Gallery, restoring to public use an area previously used for back-of-house functions.

"The goal in this first phase of renovation has been to create a grand central gallery that gives focus to this tremendous space," states Susan T. Rodriquez, a partner of Ennead Architects who led the design effort for the transformation. "The entire project, when completed, will provide a more porous, transparent, and accessible experience. It reimagines the Great Hall as layers of galleries surrounding the central space and provides a dramatic visitor sequence that will showcase the Museum's collections."

The new freestanding walls allow for the display of art while concealing climate-control systems within. Their crisp, diagonal edges facilitate and reinforce movement from the Lobby into the Great Hall. The central gallery features a new terrazzo floor. The entire gallery volume has been technically upgraded to become a state-of-the-art museum environment, complete with new sprinkler and lighting systems.

The lighting, designed by the Renfro Design Group, features a flexible track system integrated into the historic coffered ceiling, with LED lighting in the central bay. Natural light filters down to the Great Hall through McKim, Mead & White's glass-block ceiling, which forms the floor of the Beaux-Arts Court. A new glass floor was introduced over the existing glass-block floor in the Court renovation by Ennead Architects in 2009. The Gilbane Building Company was the construction manager for that project.

The renovated space will be inaugurated on March 4 with a site-specific architectural installation, reOrder: An Architectural Environment by Situ Studio, which will engage the existing monumental columns with a series of suspended fabric canopies and furniture that relate to the details of the McKim, Mead & White structure. It will be on view through January 15, 2012, after which the space will become an introductory gallery to the entire permanent collection.

The first exhibition to be presented in the new South Gallery will be Thinking Big: Recent Design Acquisitions, also opening on March 4 and on view through May 29, 2011, after which it will be given over to a new installation of selections from the Museum's holdings of African Art. Current plans for additional enhancements to the Hall and the first floor are anticipated to begin in the fall of 2011 and be completed in 2013.

The next phase of the first-floor transformation will include a Museum Café, a bar, and an outdoor dining terrace located directly off the lobby. The design will include the Williamsburg murals, on long-term loan from the New York City Housing Authority. The café will feature a formal dining room that can be used for special functions and a casual dining area overlooking the Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden. There will be direct access to the dining areas from adjacent parking.

The Museum Shop will be relocated to the area currently occupied by the Robert E. Blum Gallery near the main lobby. The new shop will be redesigned by Visbeen Associates, Inc., an award-winning architectural firm based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, whose projects include several of the Metropolitan Museum of Art satellite stores, as well as the Peabody Essex Museum shop. Important new features to enhance the visitor's experience will be a wider entrance that will open onto the Grand Lobby, providing greater visual access to the galleries in the Great Hall and assisting with circulation patterns, as well as a new signage system.

The space that has been occupied for decades by the Museum Café, as well as offices and art-storage areas, will be reclaimed as a special exhibition gallery, which will replace the existing Robert E. Blum Gallery. The final phase of the first-floor transformation will include the renovation of gallery space currently occupied by the African galleries, which will be deinstalled on June 26, 2011, and will reopen in the South Gallery on August 12, 2011.

At the completion of the renovation of the first floor, all gallery space will be climate controlled, and non-exhibition spaces will be air-conditioned.

The Brooklyn Museum, as designed by McKim, Mead & White in the late nineteenth century, was built in many stages, and only one-sixth of the original design was completed. It has undergone several subsequent changes. In 1897 the West Wing (now known as the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing) was completed. Construction continued through the early twentieth century, and the large first-floor hall that housed the Museum's non-European art collections opened in 1925, serving as the focal point of a series of galleries dedicated to various cultures of the world. Until the staircase in front of the Museum was removed in 1934, a large portion of the first floor contained an auditorium. Another major change took place in 1965, when four massive case structures were constructed and the space, showcasing North Central and South American collections, was renamed the Hall of the Americas (now to be called the Great Hall). The addition of the glass Rubin Pavilion on Eastern Parkway in 2004 reenergized visitor circulation on the first floor.

The current first-floor renovation continues a major redesign of the Museum's ground level that began in 2004 with the opening of the Rubin Pavilion, the Ennead-designed, critically acclaimed front entrance, as well as the renovated lobby, redesigned front plaza, new South Entrance, and expanded parking facilities. It continues a Master Plan created in 1986 by the partnership of Polshek Partnership (now Ennead architects) and Arata Isozaki & Associates to improve and expand the Museum building, with a strong emphasis on making all gallery spaces climate controlled. Subsequently, they affected a number of significant changes to the building, including the 1993 renovation of the entire Schapiro Wing, as well as the creation of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium and new art-storage facilities in the early 1990s. Ennead also designed the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, which opened in 2007. The recently completed Service Extension building for the reception and processing of art and the complete renovation of the entire basement for staff and support spaces were both designed by Ewing Cole.





Today's News

February 25, 2011

British Artists Gilbert & George Take Their "Jack Freak Pictures" Exhibition to Hamburg

Rijksmuseum Acquires a Terracotta Sculpture by the Italian Master Tommaso Porlezza della Porta

Sotheby's London to Sell One of the Greatest Venetian View Paintings Ever Executed

Magnificent Early Renoir and an Extraordinary Story of Jealousy at TEFAF Maastricht

Brooklyn Museum to Open First Phase of Transformative Renovation of First Floor

Exceptional Collection of Artwork by the Renowned Swiss Artist Albert Anker to Sell at Hôtel des Ventes

'Scream Collection Part II' Featuring; Buffet, Dali, Dine, Jones, Miro, Jones and Vasarely

British Council Appoints West Kowloon Cultural District Authority CEO as New Director for Arts

Artist Collective to Create New Work for Guggenheim Museum's Intervals Contemporary Series

Famous Movie Theater in Alabama Inspires Robert Cottingham for New Exhibition at Forum Gallery

Last Book by Isaac Newton on God, the Bible and Kosher Food, for Sale at Bonhams

Posters of the Russian Revolution 1917-1921 from the Lenin Library at Nassau County Museum of Art

Sir Claude Francis Barry Exhibition at The Royal Cornwall Museum Reveals Masterful Work

Earliest Human Remains in United States Arctic Reported by Scientific Researchers

Controversial Egypt Diplomat's Rare Copy of Roberts 'Holy Land' for Sale at Bonhams

New Bird to Science Emphasizes the Critical Need to Conserve the Remaining Dry Forests of Madagascar

Jamie Wyeth Dog Portrait to Be Auctioned in NYC

Prehispanic Wooden Lintels Recovered at Tlatelolco to be Shown for the First Time

Marlborough Gallery Presents an Exhibition of Recent Work by Tom Otterness

Thomas Lawrence Retrospective Showcases Dazzling Portraits of High Society in Regency London

Three Images of Alexander the Great in Sculpture and Jewelery in Bonhams Antiques Sales

First U.S. Survey of Blinky Palermo's Work Travels to the Hirshhorn in Washington

National Gallery of Australia Opens the First Solomon Islands Art Exhibition in Australia

Collections from Leicestershire and Worcestershire on Sale at Christie's South Kensington

Sotheby's to Offer Iconic Piece of Space History That Paved the Way for Yuri Gagarin's Historic Flight

Kestnergesellschaft Presents a Solo Exhibition of Works by Photographer David LaChapelle

More than 100 New Photographs by Yossi Breger Exhibited at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

New 'Thunder-Thighs' Dinosaur Discovered; Fossils in Sam Noble Museum Collection

New York City Sale of Jazz Singer and Actress Lena Horne's Belongings Nets $316,000

Art Contest Draws Google into Another Privacy Flap

Hollywood Royalty in Beverly Hills: The Paul Gregory-Janet Gaynor Collection at Heritage Auctions

Luigi Presicce Wins 2011 Emerging Talents Award

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site