Elizabeth Diller walked away from last night’s presentation and panel discussion on the expansion (sponsored by two of her critics—the Architectural League and the Municipal Art Society of New York, as well as the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter) with a long round of strong applause ringing in her ears.
Her intelligent, poised presentation (with numerous slides of conceptual renderings and floorplans) detailed the results of her firm’s failed attempts to find a design solution that would “serve the museum’s mission and curatorial goals” while preserving the Tod Williams Billie Tsien-designed American Folk Art Museum. (Those architects were notable by their absence.) “We were unable to find an adaptive reuse solution,” Diller said.
During the question-and-answer period, Glenn Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, stated flatly that, notwithstanding pleas by some that the knockdown be delayed and reconsidered, “we’ve worked through a lot of options and we’ve made our decision”