Axis Mundi apparently didn’t like Renzo Piano’s design for the Whitney Downtown museum and decided to come up with their own. The design takes inspiration from the original Whitney and the geometric window cuts are replayed but in a much larger version. To create large, column free galleries, Axis Mundi creates a perimeter superstructure to contain the staircases, escalators, elevators, and mechanical rooms. This structural lattice allows the galleries to float and large interstitial windows flood the interior with natural daylighting.
The museum will be located at the beginning of the High Line at the intersection of Washington and Gansevoort Streets. Views out of the building were organized around a series of sight lines extending to 10th Avenue, the Empire State Building, the Whitney on Madison, and the location of the original Whitney on West 10th Street. The ground floor level is meant to be an extension of the street level urban fabric and features large-scale sculptures, an outdoor cafe bridge, an info kiosk, and a performance area. The museum has a direct connection with the elevated park and extends the landscape into and around the building with plantings and vegetation.
Images © Axis Mundi