Queens, New York
During the summer of 2001, MS&R participated in this design competition for the expansion of the Queens Museum of Art, located in the New York City Building within Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The original building was built for the 1939 World's Fair and converted into the Queens Museum of Art after the 1964 World's Fair. Current space constraints have prevented the museum from becoming both a major player in the fast-changing contemporary art world and cultural arts center for the local Queens community. The museum, together with New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Design and Construction, invited firms to present designs to expand the museum into the ice rink, currently co-occupying the building. MS&R's design responds to the ever-changing artistic, public and curatorial interests of our time. Four overarching principles guided our proposal: 1) physically active and responsive architecture; 2) implicitly active architectural form and space; 3) the action of human experience; and 4) active and interactive QMA programming. Moveable walls, rooms, stairs, ceilings, roofs, floors, and lighting can be attuned to the needs of specific events, environments and experiences. The design frames, overlaps, and interpenetrates indoor and outdoor spaces to reveal and conceal the insights and mysteries of various objects, spaces, installations, and performance venues. Timing, sequencing, and experiential action-one's own movement and that of other visitors; outside pedestrian, air and highway traffic; and seasonal changes-all become part of the active staging and interpretation of art.