Feature —

Taniguchi wint MOMA competitie

Redactie

Niet Wiel Arets, niet Rem Koolhaas en – ondanks hardnekkige Internet-geruchten – niet Bernard Tschumi heeft de prestigieuze opdracht voor de uitbreiding van het Museum of Modern Art in New York verworven, maar de relatief onbekendere Japanse architect Yoshio Taniguchi. ArchiNed citeert het nieuwsbericht in The New York Times en publiceert twee korrelige foto’s.

De besloten prijsvraag in twee ronden heeft vooral in New York al voor heel wat ophef gezorgd. Zo werd het voorstel van Koolhaas, die evenmin als Arets doordrong tot de eindronde, in de New York Times paginagroot geroemd. Ook de gedoodverfde winnaar Tschumi en de derde finalisten Herzog & De Meuron hebben over media-aandacht niet te klagen gehad. Uiteindelijk gaat de opdracht dus naar een outsider. Gezien de beschrijving en foto's gaat het niet om een radicaal nieuwe architectuur voor de 21ste eeuw, de oorspronkelijke ambitie van de prijsvraaguitschrijvers, maar om een teruggehouden en sereen plan in de laat-moderne traditie.

Herbert Muschamp in de New York Times van 9 december:

The Museum of Modern Art announced yesterday that it had selected the design of Yoshio Taniguchi, an architect based in Tokyo, for its expansion. The plan will double the midtown museum's exhibition space. Museum officials said they expected to begin construction in two to three years but declined to estimate the cost or date of completion. Money has not been raised for the project.

Mr. Taniguchi has designed a cool, crystalline composition, faced with glass, aluminum and black slate. A deceptively simple solution to the expansion's highly complex requirements, the design should set the museum confidently on track for the next century. And its lucid integrity should go far toward raising the standards of architecture in New York City.

Despite its serene appearance, the expansion radically reconfigures the Modern. It retains some existing features, like the sculpture garden and the two facades at 11 West 53rd Street, but galleries, offices and other interior spaces have been thoroughly reconceived.

The choice of Mr. Taniguchi ends a long and sometimes bumpy process that began in September 1996, when members of the museum's architect-selection committee inspected the work of promising candidates worldwide. In January, 10 firms were invited to submit sketchbooks outlining general concepts for the expansion. The three finalists were chosen on the basis of these offerings. Mr. Taniguchi, at age 60 was the oldest of the architects who submitted plans. Trained at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, he has built extensively in Japan but never before outside it. Best known for museums, Mr. Taniguchi designed the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art in Toyota City in 1995 and his Gallery of Horyuji Treasures at the Tokyo National Museum is under construction.