Thursday, February 29, 2024

Mexican architect selected for renovation at New York’s Metropolitan Museum

New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced that Mexico City-based architect Frida Escobedo will design the US $500 million renovation of its modern and contemporary galleries.

The Met, the largest art museum in the Americas and one of the world’s most prestigious, said in a press release that Escobedo was selected after a comprehensive international search.

“The project will encompass a full reimagining of the current modern and contemporary galleries, which The Met has been seeking to revamp for more than a decade, creating 80,000 square feet of galleries and public space. The cost of the renovation is estimated to be $500 million,” it said.

Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of The Met, said that Escobedo’s “impressive and inspiring portfolio of projects and her creative engagement with our team have given us great excitement about this important chapter” for the museum.

Escobedo, 42, has had her own architecture studio in Mexico City since 2006 and has designed a number of competition-winning projects in Mexico, including the renovation of the Hotel Boca Chica in Acapulco and the expansion of the La Tallera museum in Cuernavaca.

Lobby of The Met
Lobby of The Met, one of the world’s most prestigious art museums.

She achieved global acclaim in 2018 when she was appointed to design the Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens, becoming the youngest architect at the time to undertake the annual project.

Escobedo, who is also an architecture academic, said it was an honor to be selected for the “historic architectural reimagining” of the Met.

“The Tang Wing presents an opportunity to give new life to the museum’s art from the 20th and 21st century, 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,” she said.

Met director Max Hollein said the new wing will be “a vibrant, exhilarating space” that meets the museum’s current and future needs.

Escobedo told The New York Times in an interview that it was too soon to discuss her specific ideas for the new wing but remarked that it was “important for it to connect to the rest of the museum, to connect with the park, to connect with the city and also to represent the cultural diversity of New York.”

Founded in 1870, the Met is located on Fifth Avenue on the eastern edge of Central Park on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It has a vast collection of art from all over the world and attracted some 6.5 million visitors in 2019 before attendance declined due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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