The Bowery might be losing the International Center of Photography, but it’s gaining a starchitect. New Museum announced today that it’s tapping Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Japanese architect Shohei Shigematsu for its expansion into an adjacent space. Their firm, OMA, will design the new building at 231 Bowery, scheduled to break ground in 2019.
Koolhaas and Shigematsu are intimately familiar with the space, purchased by the New Museum in 2008. In 2011, OMA staged “Cronocaos,” a exhibition focusing on preservation, in its storefront. Just like Koolhaas famously kept the Guggenheim Soho’s old signage when he designed the Prada store on Broadway, he preserved half of the Bowery space as if it were still a kitchen supply store and converted the other half into a white-box gallery. The next year, Koolhaas was a keynote speaker at New Museum’s annual Ideas City festival.
Koolhaas has also previously collaborated with SANAA, which designed the New Museum’s iconic stacked-boxes building; the firm was tapped to design a theater in Almere, an Amsterdam suburb for which Koolhaas did the master plan. In a statement, Koolhaas said it was “a real honor to stand alongside their great work of architecture, one of my favorites in the city,” and called the New Museum “one of the most forward-thinking institutions for which I’ve always had a great affinity.”
As an urbanist, Koolhaas is best known for his 1978 classic Delirious New York, in which he outlined architecture’s influence on Manhattan’s “Culture of Congestion” and described the city as “an addictive machine from which there is no escape.” Though the treatise remains highly influential, this will be his first public building in the city.
The expansion will add 50,000 square feet to New Museum. Last month, the new space was inaugurated with Los Angeles filmmaker Kahlil Joseph’s first solo show, and a window installation by Philadelphia artist Alex Da Corte.