Get excited New Yorkers - the new and improved Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum at the historic Andrew Carnegie mansion will be opening its doors in just six months! For the past year, the museum has been undergoing a major overhaul that has not only expanded the pristine exhibition space, but has painstakingly refurbished the original ornate details that were installed by Carnegie during the Gilded Age. The museum, which is set to open on December 12, 2014 (the same day Carnegie moved in back in 1903), will be poised to excel as the world’s only museum exclusively devoted to historic and contemporary design thanks to the visionary work of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, Gluckman Mayner Architects and Hood Design. Inhabitat recently had the chance to get a sneak peek of the museum's interior before thousands of design artifacts are moved back in. Come along on our photo tour to check it out for yourself!
New Yorkers and visitors alike will benefit from Cooper Hewitt’s new look, whether they’re design fans or not. The restored gardens (originally designed by Richard Schermerhorn Jr.), grounds and museum café will now be open to the public – not just museum-goers – to enjoy. The walled-in yard along Museum Mile is just across from Central Park, but is an idyllic oasis in its own right, and will undergo a green makeover by Hood Design.
Inside, the incredible woodwork throughout the original mansion has been cleaned, restored or refurbished, and Carnegie’s original wood floor pattern has been mimicked with reclaimed wood. The revamped space also includes the former media archives on the top floor, which have been moved to townhouses adjacent to the museum. The sprawling interior will now be an additional exhibition space. The renovation also includes a new “secret” pivot door that will allow the museum to move in large pieces without having to use the front door, which in the past, required a full museum shutdown.
The $91 million renovation is expected to receive LEED Silver certification. In addition to the expansion and opening of the grounds to the public, the museum will introduce The Pen, an interactive tool that will allow visitors to create designs while inspired at the museum, and save their work to be accessed later.
Check out more images on our Flickr stream!