Queens Museum of Art

Queens, NY

The Queens Museum resides in a building that has been a museum, an ice skating rink, a World’s Fair Pavilion, and the home of the United Nations. The New York City Building has a presence as artifact and memory. We were inspired by the possibilities of an art museum that has the experimentation of a world’s fair and the collective involvement of the General Assembly. A building of choreographed versatile spaces and encounters can serve as active catalyst for diverse and relevant programming. Our design proposed a hybrid of theatrical, exhibition, study, and circulation space drawing into question the traditional categorization of art forms and the passive neutrality of museum space. Our strategy in the central area was to fold together the primary activity areas and establish an intuitive circulation element that traverses and activates the joined spaces. These include reception and ticketing, central convocation and assembly, flexible exhibition space, the Panorama of the City of New York, and a rooftop café and sculpture garden. These distinct yet interconnected versatile spaces allow simultaneous, separate and/or contiguous eventsᅠ of a wide spectrum of physical, visual, and acoustical diversity. The design prioritizes bringing diffuse natural light into all of the central interior spaces while incorporating shading devices to allow light-controlled media and activity.


Additional required functions were effectively housed in the building’s perimeter: administration and education; light-controlled temporary galleries and permanent storage; a sun-filled gallery, and the permanent exhibit galleries. The Panorama of the City of New York remains in its current location, but we envision it in a more celebratory home — visible from its edges, the circulation bridge, and permanent exhibit galleries.



January 2002 - Second Place


100,000 sq. ft.