When the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York confirmed plans in January to raze the American Folk Art Museum by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects as part of an expansion plan designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), there was significant public backlash. Today The New York Times has reported that MoMA has decided to preserve the main facade, at least in storage.
The folding planes of the 53rd Street facade of the folk art museum, which opened in 2001, are comprised of 63 unique copper-bronze alloy panels. Many critics had pointed out that demolishing the building and this unique facade would prove wasteful.
“We will take the facade down, piece by piece, and we will store it,” Glenn D. Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art, said in an interview last week. “We have made no decision about what happens subsequently, other than the fact that we’ll have it and it will be preserved.”
DS+R claims that the facade will be easy to disassemble because its three-eighths-inch panels are hung on a supporting armature. There are no indications that MoMA intends to reuse the panels as part of its expansion. They will be wrapped and stored at an undisclosed location.