Frick Collection Taps Selldorf Architects to Design Major Museum Expansion

Frick Collection Taps Selldorf Architects to Design Major Museum Expansion, A view of the museum's interior courtyard.. Image © flickr user gorbould. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
A view of the museum’s interior courtyard.. Image © flickr user gorbould. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One year after public outcry led the Frick Collection to abandon plans for a 6-story addition by Davis Brody Bond, the museum has announced its newest renovation plans: a major upgrade, enhancement and expansion of the institution’s facilities to be designed by Selldorf Architects.

The expansion plan will address the Collection’s needs to “accommodate the growth of its collections and programs, upgrade its conservation and research facilities, create new galleries, and—for the first time—allow for dedicated spaces and classrooms for the Frick’s educational programs,” while staying within the museum’s existing built footprint. Circulation throughout the Frick will also be redesigned to provide a more natural visitor flow through the building’s exhibition galleries, library and public spaces.

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The museum along 5th Avenue. Image © flickr user shinyasuzuki. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The museum along 5th Avenue. Image © flickr user shinyasuzuki. Licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The appointment follows a rigorous 18-month process that considered 20 architects from around the world with experience in restoration and expansion of historic buildings and cultural institutions. Selected by The Frick’s Architectural and Long-Range-Planning Committee, Selldorf Architects stood out for their “creativity, vision, and approach, which respects the institution’s core goal of amplifying opportunities for intimate engagement with great works of art while preserving the domestic scale and aesthetic of the original home and the gardens.”

“Annabelle Selldorf is a visionary who creates elegant designs that seamlessly integrate the historic with the modern,” said Ian Wardropper, Director of The Frick Collection. “The firm understands and appreciates the value of institutional mission and has clearly demonstrated in past projects—such as New York’s Neue Galerie and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown—how new designs can enrich, rather than overwhelm, already distinguished architectural spaces. Such an approach is essential to our project, which seeks to preserve the peaceful and contemplative experience that the Frick provides to its visitors.”

Selldorf Architects may be uniquely qualified for the project, considering their well-received renovation to the nearby Neue Galerie, which, like the Frick, was also originally designed in 1914 by Carrère and Hastings.

“We are honored to play a part in this critical moment of the Frick’s continued evolution,” said Annabelle Selldorf, Principal and lead designer at Selldorf Architects. “Success for the project will be a visitor experience that feels deeply familiar, authentic, and reassuring for those who know and love the Frick, and a welcoming and enchanting atmosphere for those visiting for the first time. We’re looking forward to working with the Frick to develop a gracious design befitting a great institution.”

The Frick and Selldorf Architects will now work together to develop conceptual designs for the project, with initial plans expected to be released in winter 2017–18.

News via the Frick Collection.

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