Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will reopen December 12 after a three-year transformation that will add 7,000 square feet of gallery space. Gluckman Mayner Architects developed the overarching design concept for the interior overhaul in collaboration with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, which as executive architect is overseeing engineering, architecture, and historic preservation.
Nancy and Edwin Marks Gallery (former Carnegie Mansion Music Room). Photo by James Rudnick. Copyright 2014 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
The museum’s home at Carnegie Mansion underwent a meticulous re-creation of the building’s teak floors and Andrew Carnegie’s former family library. In addition, a pivot system of cornices preserves historical detailing while also accommodating the installation of large design objects.
Enid and Lester Morse Gallery (former Dining Room). Photo by James Rudnick. Copyright 2014 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Galleries on the first floor will feature an interactive introduction to design, while second-floor galleries were expanded by converting office space. The 6,000-square-foot Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery on the third floor will be used for public exhibitions for the first time. Expanded and upgraded facilities for exhibition preparation will allow the museum to stay open year round.
Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery (third floor). Photo by James Rudnick. Copyright 2014 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
A digital pen — developed by Local Projects with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which also designed exhibitions, the Process Lab, and the new SHOP Cooper Hewitt store — will be given to each visitor so they can record their experience by accessing collections, learning more about designers and materials, and sketching their own designs.
Rendering of the new Process Lab, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Copyright 2014 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Additionally, Cooper Hewitt’s collection of wall coverings will be on display in the Immersion Room, where visitors can select digital images of wallpapers or draw their own, then project them onto the walls at full scale.
The museum also is rebranding as Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum with a new graphic identity.