Cooper Robertson's Erin Flynn explains MOMA's "3D puzzle" of creating space

It's a phasing programme – this space needed to move over here in order to make room for carpentry to move over and all that. So it was really like a three-dimensional puzzle, trying to maximise the area for exhibition and planning.
– Erin Flynn

Plenty has been written about the newly opened Diller Scofidio + Renfro expansion of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, but there's been work going on behind the scenes too.

With 38,000sq ft (3,500sq m) of new gallery space and 21,000sq ft (2,000sq m) of new public space, there's much more for visitors to explore.

But front-of-house spaces need new back-of-house spaces to support them and that was commissioned as a project in itself for long-time MOMA collaborators Cooper Robertson.

Among the work they have delivered for MOMA, the New-York-based studio authored a 25-year masterplan in 1996 and supported Yoshio Taniguchi's renovation of several galleries in 2004.

For this latest expansion, the firm was tasked with helping to renovate the Taniguchi galleries and renovating, reconfiguring and reordering the back-of-house spaces including storage, carpentry and framing workshops, locker rooms and break rooms – work that for the most part, unbeknown to most, is only just getting underway.

Erin Flynn, whose promotion to partner at Cooper Robertson was announced earlier this week, explained to CLAD: "We couldn't do the construction while the expansion was going on because all efforts were going towards that project. So, now that museum is back open and there's a minor break in the exhibitions schedule, we have a window of opportunity to do the construction."

"MOMA is such an iconic museum. They have such a wide range of modern art and they have a really aggressive exhibition schedule, so they are constantly racing to change exhibits and new installations. It's great for visitors because the museum's always new, but it's tough on the building."

Despite this work just commencing, Flynn explained that Cooper Robertson were planning it for close to a year because it's not just a programme of construction, but one of timings too.

"It's a phasing programme – this space needed to move over here in order to make room for carpentry to move over and all that. So it was really like a three-dimensional puzzle, trying to maximise the area for exhibition and planning. Carpentry and framing, for example, if their work hasn't doubled it's close to doubled with the expansion."

Offices that had otherwise been scattered throughout the museum are to be consolidated in the museum tower that was part of the Taniguchi expansion and a subcellar was discovered during the back-of-house study that will be cleared out and repurposed.

Ultimately, the project is one of making better use of spaces, reconfiguring spaces themselves to be more efficient and, on occasion, finding new spaces.

Cooper Robertson's work is due for completion in early 2020.

Cooper Robertson  MOMA  Erin Flynn 
Related stories
15 Oct 2019

MoMA's $450m Diller Scofidio + Renfro renovation is unveiled

06 Feb 2019

Reimagined Museum of Modern Art to open its doors in October

15 Aug 2018

Cooper Robertson appoint new director of architecture

Plenty has been written about the newly opened Diller Scofidio + Renfro expansion of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, but there's been work going on behind the scenes too. With 38,000sq ft (3,500sq m) of new gallery space and 21,000sq ft (2,000sq m) of new public space, there's much more for visitors to explore. But front-of-house spaces need new back-of-house spaces to support them and that
CLD,AAC,ARC,DES
Flynn, now partner at Cooper Robertson, explained that the work had to be fitted around MOMA's aggressive exhibition schedule
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7385     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7385     
 
 
 
latest jobs
Circa £40,000 per annum
Job location: Manchester, UK
company profile
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Unrelenting drive to be the best at what we do underpins activity throughout our vertically integrated business life cycle.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
CopenHill urban ski centre
"It was born from the sheer anxiety of having to submit something brilliant in a very short timescale"

How a moment of desperation led to BIG’s CopenHill, the clean power plant that’s doubling as a skiing and leisure destination. Magali Robathan speaks to the architects that made it happen

Houston’s Memorial Park is being restored following hurricane damage
Thomas Woltz
"I am very proud of stewarding the largest public space to be built in Manhattan in a century"

The Wall Street Journal’s Design Innovator of the Year on designing the gardens at Hudson Yards and looking to the Native Americans for ideas on how to create a resilient future

Profile: Daan Roosegaarde
"I want to demonstrate that creativity is our true capital as humans "

Rather than feeling fearful and helpless about the future, we must design a way out of the environmental problems we have created, argues the innovative Dutch designer, artist and inventor Daan Roosegaarde

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
The family enlisted Keith Summerour to design the resort
"Sam was such a champion for the team, and my goal is simply to carry that same torch"

As Blackberry Mountain resort opens in Tennessee, we find out why the project is a deeply personal one for owner Mary Celeste Beall

Polizzi worked closely with architect and designer Tommaso Ziffer on Hotel de la Ville in Rome
Olga Polizzi is director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels and also owns two of her own hotels
"On Via Sistina, everything breathes history. At the same time I wanted to reflect the modern hunger for the fantastical - Tommaso Ziffer"

Following the highly anticipated launch of Rome’s Hotel de la Ville, Rocco Forte’s director of design reflects on a fascinating project

features
"Further hotels have been confirmed for Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Seattle, Chicago and Houston"

Rockwell Group and Joyce Wang on the inspirations behind the guest rooms, public spaces, spa and gym at Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards

Last word: Tina Norden
Tina Norden
"We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional"

Conran and Partners’ Tina Norden on playing with colour at Prague’s newly redesigned Hotel Maximilian

cladkit product news
Canteen collection combines nostalgia with modern aesthetics
The Canteen collection was inspired by post-war British design techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Very Good & Proper (VG&P), a British furniture brand, has curated a new dining collection that combines traditional woodworking techniques ...
Space Popular creates video installation for the Gwangmyeongmun Gate in South Korea
Gate of Bright Lights was designed to show visitors how screens and digital interfaces have replaced physical objects the gateway between us and the rest of the world.
Lauren Heath-Jones
Multidisciplinary design firm Space Popular has created a video installation for the Gwangmyeongmun Gate at the Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, ...
John Pomp Studios expands Tidal collection
The Eclipse Pendant light was inspired by the lunar eclipse
Lauren Heath-Jones
John Pomp Studios, a design practice based in Philadelphia in the US, has expanded its Tidal collection to include five ...
cladkit product news
Naval architect launches solar-powered floating pods
The Anthénea pod is a luxury floating suite that could be used as a spa or treatment suite
Lauren Heath-Jones
Naval architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle has designed a solar-powered floating hotel suite aimed at offering an eco-friendly and nomadic place for ...
Tino Seubert x Theodora Alfredsdottir lighting collection inspired by mid-century furniture making traditions
The Corrugation Lights were inspired by midcentury and post-war furniture making techniques
London-based designers Tino Seubert and Theodora Alfredsdottir have teamed up to create Corrugation Lights, a lighting collection inspired by midcentury ...
BIG partners with Louis Poulsen for new lighting collection
The Keglen collection is made up of four different pendants
Lauren Heath-Jones
BIG Ideas, the technology arm of renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), has partnered with Danish lighting manufacturer Louis ...
cladkit product news
XTU concept imagines life in the clouds
XTU's X Cloud concept is part of the Future and the Arts: AI, Robotic, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo
Lauren Heath-Jones
XTU Architects, a Paris-based architecture firm, has released images and renderings of X Cloud, a new concept that showcase a ...
Daniel Svahn creates furniture collection using repurposed table tops
The Goodies But Oldies collection features three pieces made from repurposed MDF table tops
Lauren Heath-Jones
Daniel Svahn, a Stockholm-based furniture designer, has created a new range of sustainable furnishings, made from recycled MDF tabletops. Svahn, ...
Pelle DVN Table inspired by traditional Japanese carpentry
The DVN Table was created using Japanese joinery techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Jean and Oliver Pelle, the husband and wife team behind New York-based design studio Pelle, have created the DVN Table, ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates