Oculus - Summer 2017 Design Awards - 38
THE MET BREUER
BEYER BLINDER BELLE
NEW YORK, NY
Originally designed for the Whitney Museum of American
Art, Marcel Breuer's iconic 1966 building has been restored and
transformed into the new home for The Metropolitan Museum of
Art's modern and contemporary art program. The 82,000-squarefoot building is bold and intimate at the same time, with an integrity, beauty, and honesty of design, materials, and execution
that makes it one of the most distinguished mid-century buildings in the United States. The restoration was approached carefully, preserving the authentic patina of aging materials.
The reconsidered lobby includes discrete interventions to enhance
circulation and bring back its original spaciousness and drama.
Retail is minimized and guests have free access throughout the lobby
and lower level. A specially designed ticketing desk and kiosks reduce
The architects' conservative approach to all of the public interior spaces and exterior sunken garden is visible in their respect
for building's signature attributes: its concrete walls and gallery
ceiling grids, bluestone floors, bronze fixtures, wood handrails,
and lighting. Inappropriate or obsolete interventions made by
the Whitney were removed, while new elements are limited and
capture the spirit of Breuer's aesthetic and intent. Discreet contemporary elements inspired by Breuer's use of sculptural forms
and natural materials complement the restored interiors.
The restrained palette for the new restaurant and café on the
lower level consists of wood, leather, and bronze, materials that both
complement and soften the museum's robust concrete interior.
Beyer Blinder Belle Design Team
John H. Beyer, AIA, AICP, Brett Gaillard, Assoc. AIA,
Miriam Kelly, ARB, Margaret Kittinger, AIA, Elizabeth
R. Leber, AIA, LEED AP, Henry P. Miller, AIA, LEED
AP, Lars Moestue, LEED AP, Bob Stern, Carolyn
W. Straub, Miriam Kelly, ARB, Margaret Kittinger,
AIA, Elizabeth R. Leber, AIA, LEED AP, Henry P.
Miller, AIA, LEED AP, Lars Moestue, LEED AP,
Robert Silman Associates, Kohler Ronan, Vogt
Landscape Architects, Future Green Studio, Susan
Brady Lighting Design, Shawmut Design and
Construction, Cultural Heritage Conservation,
Seibold Security, Sam Tell Companies, Big Show,
Flora Bar and Flora Coffee, David Sullivan