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The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Whitney moved to its current Madison Avenue home in 1966. The new museum, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, approximately doubles the Whitney’s exhibition space and provides extraordinary possibilities for artists, curators and audiences. The building includes several firsts for the Whitney: space for education programs, as well as for film, video and performance. With striking views of the Hudson River and into the city, the new building is designed to engage a lively and diverse local, national and international audience in one of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
The 20.500 m2 nine-story building takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form and it includes 4.600 m2 of indoor exhibition space. The Whitney also includes a restaurant on the ground floor and the eight-floor Studio Café.
“The design of this building emerged from many years of conversations with the Whitney, which took us back to the Museum’s origins” Renzo Piano commented. “We spoke about the roots of the Whitney in downtown New York, and about this opportunity to enjoy the open space by the Hudson River. Museum experience is about art, and it also about being connected to this downtown community and to this absolutely extraordinary physical setting”.
The project has been curated by iGuzzini North America. We illuminated the public spaces. Le Perroquet lights the internal and the external lobbies; Woody and Maxiwoody were used to illuminate the terraces and the external ares. For the staircases we designed a special product.