1988년 뉴욕에 건립된 영상박물관 리뉴얼 작업이 드디어 끝났네요.
박물관이 가지고 있는 랜드마크 때문에 입구의 파사드 또한 작은 부분만을
영상이라는 특수성의 박물관이다 보니 트랜드의 변화와
영상의 발전속도에 맞추어 리뉴얼을 했어요.
비물질적이며 가장 빠르게 변화,발전하는 영상(미디어)과
가장 더디게 트랜드를 반영하며 구축적인 건축적공간의
만남은 어쩔 수 없이 대응의 폭이 한정적 일 수 밖에 없을 것 같아요.
이런 프로그램의 만남 일 수록 건축적 공간을 상당히 플렉시블하게
계획해 주는 것이 중요합니다.
지금의 트랜드를 맞추면 결국 몇년안의 다시 예전것이
되어 버리는 현실에서 유니크하며 특수성이 있는 공간은
오히려 영상이라는 프로그램과의 조우에서
트러블을 일으키게 되겠죠.
공간을 균질하며 플렉시블하게 설계 해줌으로써
프로그램의 변화와 다양성을 존중해주고 대응의
폭을 넓게 해주는 것이 적합한 방법인 것 같습니다.
내부 투어중 가상과 현실을 넘나드는 체험은 또다른
건축적 공간의 깊이를 보여주고 있네요.
The Museum of the Moving Image reopens on Saturday, January 15, after doubling its space in an expansion by Leeser Architecture. For some background on the design, check out my weekly dose on the project and a blog post on its exterior addition. Much attention on the design, here and elsewhere, has focused on the triangular metal panels of the rear addition, but it's clear from a visit on the occasion of a press preview that it's all about the interior. Below is a photo tour of the addition/renovation, mostly of the inside, since the rear addition and courtyard won't be complete until the Spring.
The museum is located on 35th Avenue, spanning from 36th Street to 37th Street, with the main entrance halfway down the block on 35th. Since the existing building is a protected landmark, the entry design is minimal, three bays of storefront in the old facade with small triangles of mirrored glass and the museum's name written in clear glass outlined with bright pink lines. In reality the glass is all the same, but a film applied to it creates the various effects of translucency and transparency. (The top photo is actually from inside the lobby, flipped so the name of the museum can be read.)
This first interaction with the building may seem like applique, yet it fits in with the rest of the design, not just because it is composed of triangles but because it is one of a number of ways the architecture tries to relate to film, one of the media that is the museum's focus. Here notions of sight and reality are brought to the fore, a complex plane of glass the visitor breaks through by entering the museum.
As the second email illustrates, just steps within the front door, angles predominate. The walls angle back in section and in plan, the ceiling follows roughly perpendicular, slipping past a ceiling sloping another direction. A video installation is projected on the long wall opposite the gift shop and ticketing; the wall's subtle angle seems to highlight it as something special, something to be looked at (a long canvas) not just stood in front of. This wall leads back to the cafe that overlooks the courtyard (still under construction) and access to the main areas of the building: the galleries (up the stair above), the main theater (behind the photo), and the education area (down the corridor in the middle of the photo). In effect the building on the first floor is a double-loaded corridor, extending from the front door to the rear courtyard with the program spaces flanking on both sides. It is a simple parti activated spatially by the angled walls.
Access to the galleries is via the centrally located stair with a gentle rise that brings visitors to a gallery/screening area with a ramp that zigzags between benches (left in below photo). This is a stopover between the lobby and the two types of galleries: permanent and temporary; the former occupies two floors in the existing building and the latter is on the third floor, up the stairs in the below photo. At the moment this second floor space is home to a film and installation by artist Martha Colburn, occupying the opposite walls of the long space. There is great potential in this space, and future commissions will no doubt exploit this.
Like the main entrance, the stair from the second floor to the third floor is articulated like a portal, with the walls apparently cut from a solid container. The contrast when entering the dark space upstairs is jarring. The first exhibition in the museum's gallery for changing exhibitions is Real Virtuality, six installations that "create simulated worlds that extend, augment, or disrupt the physical environment of the museum space."
One of the six installations (below) is RealTime Unreal by Belgium's Workspace Unlimited. Visitors don 3-d goggles and immerse themselves, visually and physically, in a virtual model of the museum that turns, breaks, and reconfigures itself in relation to the visitor's movement around the screen. The planes of the digital environment overlap with the surrounding reality as live video is fed into the model. More than one person can occupy the space around the screen, but only one person at a time "drives" the interaction with the virtual model, something that needs to be experienced to be appreciated.
ack downstairs in the lobby, opposite the stair to the galleries is a blue portal that leads to the main theater, below. Both the floor and ceiling in this area slope, the latter as the underside of the theater.This ramp gives the impression that the space is cutout from the white container, so inside is blue; it also looks very sci-fi, as if it is an entrance to a spaceship. The first impression though is fairly accurate, since the inside of the theater is lined with the same "Yves Klein blue."
Of the new spaces the main theater is easily the highlight. Over 1,000 triangular panels cover the walls and ceiling. They are composed like the exterior addition (last two photos) into larger triangular areas. Here they curve to follow the space but also peel away for lighting and other fixtures, since the theater is set up for performances as well as film screenings.
The curtain by Cindy Sirko is a perfect foil to the blue panels. Color seems to leap from the fabric towards the audience, radiating from the center. Below, architect Thomas Leeser gave a few words to the press, though he admitted that with the building (basically) done he didn't have to say much, the architecture could speak for itself.
Just as entry into the theater is like entering some unique sort of world, leaving it is a slow acclimation in reverse, back to the museum's white walls. Yet these spaces with video projections, splashes of color, and angled walls aren't completely overwhelming. It as if a visit to the museum is an adventure, a respite from "reality," an immersion into the world of film and other moving images. So once inside the spaces are varying degrees of reality, immateriality, image, and so forth. It's a carefully controlled series of spaces that work together fairly seamlessly without being repetitive or direct in cinematic references. It's a great start to 2011 in New York City.
Outside, the light blue triangular metal panels now seem subdued, especially relative to the main theater. The addition's opposition to the existing facades is still striking, but it can be read as a solid wrapper to the interior spaces free of natural light. Their geometric regularity recalls a wireframe, as if the elevations are a canvas for something else, perhaps a metaphor for the production of moving images in digital environments.
When the courtyard is complete in the Spring an outdoor theater will accompany the three spaces inside the museum. (The slope in the bottom right corner of the last photo is the rake of the seating, with the screen to be installed perpendicular to the facade.) A light blue artificial turf will echo the metal panels and tie it to the floor inside.
Behind this last photo is a new facility for the Kaufman Astoria Studios, what I thought was an unfortunate situation architecturally when I saw it initially. Yet earlier tonight I learned that their presence on both sides of 36th Street has led them to work with the Department of City Planning towards decommissioning the one-block stretch of the street north of 35th Avenue. The plan is to use the street as a lot for the studio, to film exterior scenes for movies and television, like a Hollywood backlot. If this happens, it would be great for the museum as well, knitting it with the Studios into a two-block campus of sorts for making and celebrating the moving image. What better way to visit the Museum of the Moving Image than to see filmmaking in action?