The Met has chosen Mexican architect Frida Escobedo to design the new Oscar L Tang and HM Agnes Hsu-Tang wing, taking over from David Chipperfield Architects
Photography by Carlos Torres
Words by Sonia Zhuravlyova
Philanthropists and trustees of the museum Tang and Hsu-Tang have recently pledged $125 million to help with the renovation of its Modern Wing, which will be named after them. The wing, which the Met has been seeking to revamp for more than a decade, will house the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art, including photographs, drawings and prints.
The Met said that it expects a ‘building that respects and connects with the museum’s archipelago of architectural styles as well as its spatial organisation and infrastructure’. The project will create 7,400 square metres of flexible gallery and public space, which will emphasise the interconnectedness of space and time while presenting a non-chronological narrative.
Frida Escobedo, whose eponymous architectural practice is in Mexico City, is a bold move for the museum. Her practice works on everything from buildings and experimental preservation projects to temporary installations, public sculpture and exhibition design. She was the youngest architect to ever design the Serpentine Pavilion in 2018 and in 2019 she became an International Fellow at the Royal Institute of British Architects
‘Frida Escobedo is an outstanding architect of our time,’ said The Met director Max Hollein. ‘In her practice, she wields architecture as a way to create powerful spatial and communal experiences, and she has shown dexterity and sensitivity in her elegant use of material while bringing sincere attention to today’s socioeconomic and ecological issues.’
‘The Met is one of the most relevant sites for culture on a global scale, and it is an honour to be selected for this historic architectural reimagining,’ said Escobedo. ‘The Tang Wing presents an opportunity to celebrate the dynamics we can find within art of different times, geographies and ideologies; and to uncover new spaces for self-reflection and connection with others.’
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