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NEW YORK CITY-The new 54,000-sf Museum of Arts and Design at 2 Columbus Circle is readying to open to the public in September. The building will increase the museum’s total area and will double the gallery space currently available to the Museum at its present location at 40 W. 53rd St., which measures roughly 17,000 sf.

Total project cost was approximately $90 million. Funding for the project came from a capital campaign–launched in 2003—-which raised $80 million to date in support of the acquisition and redevelopment of the site.

Developed by Brad Cloepfil and his Portland, OR-based firm Allied Works Architecture, the design strategy of the new building is to open up the Museum to views and natural light as well as connections between gallery spaces. Linear cuts in the existing floor plates connect the galleries vertically. According to Allied Works, new vertical and horizontal openings in the existing exterior concrete wall provide views to the City and Central Park, as well as bring natural light into the gallery spaces.

Allied Works Architecture was chosen from a group of four finalists in the competition for the project after museum leadership and a selection committee reviewed the work of each candidate relevant to the redevelopment of Columbus Circle. The finalists also included Zaha Hadid, Toshiko Mori Architect and James Carpenter Design Associates, and Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects. The redevelopment of 2 Columbus Circle is Cloepfil’s first institutional commission here.

According to a Museum of Arts and Design statement, the move from 53rd Street to the redesigned facility at Columbus Circle “allows the Museum to advance its institutional vision and expand its reach to engage visitors, students, families, and artists from New York City and abroad with an increased diversity of programming.” The Museum will have dedicated space for its permanent collection, which includes more than 2,000 objects. The entire sixth floor will house educational programs and three artist-in-residence studios. The new Museum will also have a 155-seat auditorium and a ninth floor restaurant. The new gallery area measures 14,600 sf versus 7,256 sf at its previous location.

The building’s façade will be clad with custom-made terracotta tiles finished in a pale iridescent glaze that changes with the time of day and point of view. Through the use of glass and ceramic, two materials that figure prominently in the Museum’s collection, the new building design explores and interprets the craft traditions of the institution’s core mission.

The Museum has also launched a $20-million endowment campaign, which will continue beyond the opening of the building in 2008. Toward that goal, Board president Nanette Laitman has issued a $4-million dollar-to-dollar matching grant and given an additional gift of $5 million. The Museum has raised $13 million to date. Museum sources did not answer GlobeSt.com queries by deadline.

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