James writes:

The Whitney Museum of American Art is moving to the foot of the Highline–just below 14th Street on the Hudson River. The Renzo Piano-designed facility will open in a year. Yesterday, the museum took the press on a hardhat tour of the new building.


The Piano design "rhymes" with the museum's Marcel Breuer building on the Upper East Side: a tiered shape, and a huge indoor elevator (with designs by the late Richard Artschwager) for moving both art and patrons through the building.


Missed opportunity: even though the museum abuts the Highline, you must still descend from the park and walk half a block around a new Danny Meyer restaurant (which will be titled) before entering the museum lobby. Rumor is, static over an elevated connection came from Highline and the city, not the museum. Time for a reevaluation? (Additionally, Whitney, since you are on the Hudson River bike path, what about a free bike valet?)



Piano designs from the inside out, maximizing light and views; so the insides look great, the outsides...not so much. His outer forms can be both bulky or spindly (here, it is the former). One good think about the new Whitney is that, from the street, at least, you can't easily step back to see the whole thing. IMAG1994


But what a view from inside! 




Whitney director Adam Weinberg met the press on the top floor.


The museum was sited and under construction when hurricane Sandy hit, sending floodwaters from the Hudson down the block. Fortunately, the hurricane allowed Whitney to consider its flood plans before completion. The solution: with enough warning, a ring of portable barriers stored in Queens can be trucked in and bolted to a concrete foundation ringing the entire site. The barriers would prevent the full surge force, but some water may still enter the ground floor and basement mechanical areas. In an emergency, art in the lobby will need to be relocated higher floors. IMAG2000


Unfortunately, I did not get to keep the hat.