advertisement
advertisement

High Culture, Hamptons Style

Swiss geniuses Herzog & De Mueron unveil designs for a contemplative museum in the backyard of some of the country’s fanciest real estate.

viewspan

advertisement
advertisement

The recession’s put a pall on a slew of plans to build new museums and museum expansions. But a few are going forward: Yesterday, the Parrish Museum unveiled the design of its new contemporary-art museum, by Swiss masters Herzog & De Mueron. Presumably, it’ll be catnip for the slew of art collectors with summer homes nearby, and one of the best advertisements going for the slate of New York galleries that regularly lend works to the Parrish.

The new building will sit on a pastoral, 14-acre plot in the small town of Water Mill, one of the tonier parts of Southhampton. True to the grassy, coastal landscape, it’s a soft-spoken building. To best show off the art, the building is oriented with northern exposures, which will create a bath of even, natural light throughout the day:

Parrish Museum

In all, it’ll have 37,300 square feet, and 12,000 square feet of gallery space. The museum’s layout will curl in on itself slightly (as you can see above), allowing expansive views across the land with the museum in the foreground. But from the highway, it’ll look merely like a silvery, low-slung shed:

Parrish Museum


The surrounding landscape will be reshaped into a meadow by landscape architects Hilderbrand, using indigenous plants and flowers. And to take advantage of the grounds, the perimeter of the building will be wrapped in a covered porch:

advertisement
Parrish Museum

Elegant though the museum might be, it’s presence actually reflects the current recession: As The New York Times reports, it was initially planned at $80 million. But the trustees had problems raising money, so the new, scaled-back design will cost a third of that figure. The grandest casualty of the new budget was a plan to create galleries echoing the dimensions of the nearby studios of Willem de Kooning and Roy Lichtenstein–though you can see the remains of it in the various canted angles of the new building’s roof.

[Via press release; all © Herzog & de Meuron]

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

More