Museum of Modern Art
New York City
Joshio Taniguchi, in his redesign of the MoMA, (originally by Philip Johnson and Cesar Pelli) desired "to create an ideal environment for art and people through the imaginative and disciplined use of light, materials, and space." The finished museum on 54th street in Manhattan, with its minimalist façade, is the culmination of this vision. The structure is regular and linear with massive rectangular stone slabs aligned with mirrored windows which elegantly and effortlessly envelope the museum’s extensive collection of modern art and the Sculpture Garden within. The museum’s entrance reflects the vertical dimension of Manhattan and cleverly reveals the garden’s sculptural work to the city. The solid, linear stone presence constitutes a reassuring bank for the open air sculptures and, in the constant homogeneousness of vague sky-bluish gray tones, matches the fluidity and stillness of the architecture sought by the Japanese designer. It also serves as a backdrop for visitors touring the garden. Simultaneously, from the museum’s various internal levels, it is the base from which panoramic views of the magnificent skyline of New York can be enjoyed. The external paving plane contributes chromatically to the success of the liquid image of the neutral background to art. Concealing all visual support to simulate physical detachment from the ground, volumetric pedestals, net and efficacious, arise from this broad horizontal surface. They complete the presence of sandstone inside the Sculpture Garden – in this case the stone becomes one with the art and raises each work to its best visual fruition.