Architects: Situ Studio
Photos: Keith Sirchio
Where: Brooklyn Museum, New York
The architectural transformations of the Brooklyn Museum over the past 120 years provide a singular history of an urban institution adapting to changing times. Unwilling to remain static, the museum has evolved continuously, physically reshaping itself to respond to a rapidly unfolding city.
At a transient moment within this complex architectural history, reOrder operates upon the ideals of proportion and ornament that figure so centrally in McKim, Mead and White’s original design of the Great Hall. Augmented by a new set of ordering principles that challenge the colossal scale and regularity of the gridded space, reOrder transforms the ornamental logic of the classical order in the service of the complexities of a contemporary institutional program.
This vision of a new, dynamic order is expressed through the lightweight and flexible language of fabric construction. Building on strategies developed in the textile industry for folding and gathering, the resulting variety of forms is generated without complex cutting or patterning of fabric. A system of flexible canopies, thermoformed benches and tables, and a configuration of internal plywood and steel armatures forms a new logic of the architectural order, one that creates a unique forum for public interaction and assembly within this ever-evolving institution.