New Queens Museum of Art


New Queens Museum of Art
Queens, New York

As contributors to the contents of culture, how can a museum be both a conservator and an innovator?

The conceptual approach to the New Queens Museum of Art constructs a set of scenarios that engage the immediate future of the institution as well as provide a provisional long view. We see the future of the museum not as an end  but as a means, as an emerging mission to grow and re-engage its identity. The expansion engages the (N)QMA’s desire to develop through the double role of conservator and innovator. By conceptualizing the museum as a place determined by the interplay between the past and an ongoing present, the (N)QMA will move from an identity based on static exhibition to one based on change and interaction.

Cultural institutions such as art museums are by nature resistant to change. This project develops a new model that moves from museum as archive to museum as interactive center of culture. The contemporary condition, inclusive and dynamic, requires a vessel that enables; the FAST museum. Three floors, interrelated in section, describe a spectrum of different conditions; mutable programs, multiple events, catalytic combinations. By capitalizing on the dual nature of the strategic plan, our scheme seeks to maintain NQMA’s role as a neighborhood hum (the model of the panorama of Manhattan, Corona Park) while simultaneously engaging its more contemporary, global future as a world class arts center.

Project credits:
Russell Thomsen, Eric Kahn, Ron Golan, Matt Evans.

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About Russell Thomsen

A founding partner in the award winning Central Office of Architecture (COA, 1987-2008) and IDEA Office (2009-2014), Russell Thomsen formed RNThomsen Architecture in 2015. He has been a licensed architect since 1989. The office provides a full range of architectural services. In addition to directing the practice, Russell is also a senior design studio faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in downtown Los Angeles. The work of the office has been internationally recognized, exhibited and published. The office has received several awards including the Architectural League Prize and Emerging Voices, both from the Architectural League of New York, and the Best In American Architecture Award for the Saitama Residence.