Mark
Charrette Submission for The Museum of Modern Art Expansion, New York, NY (Exterior perspective of Fifty-third street façade)
1997
Rem Koolhaas

OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture)
Mixed media collage on paper
8¾ x 13¼"


Moma Charette

Architecture is monstruous in the way each choice leads to the reduction of possibility. It implies a regime of either/or decisions often claustrophobic, even for the architect.

The notion of the Museum seems at the brink of a quantum leap. The very success of the museum as an institution - a pivtal center of contemporary society - threatens to engulf its prime function: the organised contemplation of art. A new conceptual framework must incorporate the additional roles and expectations that the museum has recently acquired.

Educational, media-related and production sections of the museum sponsor a variety of equivalent experiences from video to research to public programs and performances that are centered around the art without necessarily involving a direct confrontation with the art object.

Yet, electronic media are still tagged with the second-rate.
To save art, the prejudice against the mediated - the opposition between the Mass and the Cult - has to end. Our project is an urban apparatus that enthusiastically invites the recent era's unprecedented numbers of museum goers and explorers new conditions of artistic production without compromising traditional museum functions. To reflect the museum's new programmatic variety we do not offer an ascetic space that can accomodate different specifities, but a building that contains an almost unlimited number of conditions and situations to present, study, (re)contextualize, or even provoke the art(ist) that enters it, whatever form it takes.

Aperiod of new equalities must begin. —OMA





(Photo: MoMA & OMA)