Work Architecture Company, New York

In the face of a global urban fabric that is increasingly privatized, where glass towers dominate skylines (making them both homogenous and ironically opaque) we propose a more open model for the contemporary museum


Historically, balconies transformed and thickened the Modernist curtainwall, allowing interior lives to spill outside, and bringing life to the vertical urban landscape. The Open Museum appropriates the balcony to create 94 outdoor 'project rooms' of different scales and shapes, allowing new kinds of art to be commissioned, displayed and experienced. The balconies act independently of the perfectly proportioned flexible interior galleries, creating a new gradient of public spaces.

The combination of specificity (the balconies) with neutrality (the galleries) offers a new kind of flexibility, one that avoids the recent bloatedness of museums by registering the broad historical range of exhibition spaces - from the flexible galleries of the Centre George Pompidou, say, to the exquisite sequences of the Hermitage.

The Open Museum borrows from the Modernist vernacular of the city to transform the museum typology and create a new hybrid - public and private, iconic and generic, large and small - that offers new flexibility through the broad range of scales, types and experiences of rooms it enables.
Photo Credits to WORK Architecture Company, New York