A first look at the $45m redesign of the Storm King Art Centre

The Storm King Art Center in upstate New York will undergo a $45m redesign this fall that aims to enhance the visitor experience and environmental biodiversity of the beloved 500-acre sculpture park.

Storm King President John P. Stern (grandson of arts patron Ralph E. Ogden, who founded the center in the 1960s with Stern’s father, its former president H. Peter Stern) says that increased attendance over the past decade and projections for the future have necessitated a redesign.

“The advent of social media and our growing programming and exhibitions have all contributed to Storm King’s many fans and friends,” says Stern. Art magazine. “We already have this unmatched collection and beautiful landscape in the heart of the Hudson Highlands, so this project was about considering how we can make the experience even better for our visitors.”

Visitor numbers at Storm King have grown rapidly over the past decade, from about 80,000 visitors in 2012 to about 222,000 last year and a projected attendance of 240,000 visitors in 2022.

Several international architecture and landscape design firms are involved in the project, including Dublin-based firm Heneghan Peng Architects; New York-based WXY Architecture and Urban Design, which worked closely with London-based firm Gustafson Porter & Bowman; and landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut.

A rendering of the new Conservation, Construction and Maintenance Building at Storm King Art Center. © Storm King Art Center.

A major aspect of the project includes the construction of a 7,200-square-foot building dedicated to conservation, construction and maintenance, which will have 22-foot ceilings and five large access doors, a 1,000-square-foot wood shop, an 800-square-foot roof. ft. paint booth and other workstations. The deliberately ambiguous structure, the first purpose-built building on the site, “will be instrumental in continuing our work with artists at the scale we do”, says Nora Lawrence, Storm King’s artistic director and chief curator.

She adds, “We’ve conserved some large-scale sculptures over the last few years that had to travel to Virginia for painting, which is clearly not an ideal situation in terms of cost, logistics, and preservation of the sculpture. . There is always an active rotation of jobs requiring different types of care, so the ability to do these major conservation and maintenance projects on site will be a game changer for us and what we are able to offer the public. .”

The building will also be able to accommodate artists in residence, especially those participating in the center. Outlooks The program, an initiative launched in 2013 to temporarily showcase the work of emerging and mid-career artists, supported a site-specific commission by American sculptor Brandon Ndiff this year. Shade trees (2022). Next year, it will feature a commission by German artist RA Walden.

A rendering of the new reception area at the Storm King Art Center. Background right: Alexander Calder, Arch (1975). Purchase funds and gifts of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. © Storm King Art Center.

Another branch of the project involves consolidating the center’s parking lots into one 580-space lot, which will open up 4.5 acres of landscape for additional art and programming. The lot will have recharging stations for electric vehicles, easy access for buses and shuttles, and dedicated parking for rideshare vehicles. It leads to a ticketing pavilion, a 4,700-square-foot outdoor lobby and a welcome center with other amenities.

“We wanted to sequence arrivals so that people would leave traffic behind, go to the services area and then move right into Storm King and not see any other lots or roads,” says Roisin Heneghan, co-founder of Heneghan Peng. Architects. “We also wanted to minimize all the features we needed to keep as much as possible.”

Claire Weisz, founding principal of WXY Architecture and Urban Design, added: “All buildings, whether it’s a conservation building or a non-gender toilet or an information booth, are playing into a common overall plan to not isolate the landscape. Architecture. Rather, it’s about creating a bridge between indoor and outdoor spaces that weren’t previously present in Storm King, and ensuring that these spaces contribute to the environment.

In the future, visitors will enter Storm King through an S-shaped passageway and encounter Alexander Calder’s seminal biomorphic sculpture for the first time. Arch (1940/1975) before looking at pieces by Marc Di Suvero, Marc Dion, David von Schlegel and Robert Grosvenor.

A rendering of the new South Meadow reclaimed from the old parking lot at the Storm King Art Center. © Storm King Art Center.

More than 600 trees will be planted to increase shade and increase biodiversity on the grounds, including dogwoods, redbuds, sweetgums, tulip trees, red maples and poplars. Upgraded water management systems will also be installed to ensure there is water on site.

“We wanted to think about how we could help bring Storm King more into the 21st century in terms of landscape principles, or how to make it more flexible by examining how water is moving through the site and how plantings can be increased and diversified.” says Beka Sturges, principal at Reed Hilderbrand. “It’s also interesting to think about how landscape can bring more attention to works related to water or forests, which feel more secondary than works on grass and lawns.”

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024. It is funded in part by a $2.6 million donation from New York State; $2 million from Empire State Development; and $600,000 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority through the Program Dedicated to Carbon Neutral Development.

“There’s been a lot of positive change at Storm King as our profile continues to grow and grow,” says Lawrence. “The types of projects we’ve been able to produce with artists have ramped up and changed, and now we’re better equipping people for their tours.”

Storm King is currently hosting a major exhibition by Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu. Next year, it will unveil a permanent work by renowned American sculptor Martin Puryear, the US representative at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which will take the form of a 20-foot-tall curved brick dome. The piece will join more than 100 permanent sculptures at the center, including pieces by Andy Goldsworthy, Henry Moore and Isamu Noguchi.

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