The Storm King Art Center expands with a  million renovation

The Storm King Art Center expands with a $45 million renovation

The Storm King Art Center, the 500-acre art mecca in the Hudson Valley, announced this week that it will undergo a $45 million expansion and redesign. Plans include a completely redesigned entrance with new parking and expanded space for art, construction of a nearly 20,000-square-foot building where art can be preserved and cared for on-site, and a change in the museum’s approach to environmental sustainability.

The project is expected to break ground later this year and be completed by 2024. And according to Amy Weisser, associate director of strategic planning and projects at Storm King, it won’t bother anyone or put them off visiting in the meantime.

“We think about how our visitors enter and how they begin to experience Storm King,” Weisser told Gothamist. “We think about how we serve our artists. and [we want to show] that these museum buildings can allow and facilitate the experiences without drawing attention, because Storm King is all about the people, the art and the landscape.”

According to Weisser, the plan has been in the works for over a decade, but the pandemic has increased understanding of what needs to be done immediately to improve visitor experiences — and what Not need to be added.

“When you come to Storm King, you come dressed for nice weather, for a hot day, for a cold day, so we don’t necessarily have to build a facility to welcome you inside,” Weisser said. “When we build [anything], these facilities can interact with the outside world – they may provide more shade or a modest amount of heating – but they don’t have to be fully enclosed buildings as we are an open-air museum. And one of the things that allows us to build much more efficiently.”

Much of this planning is fueled by the museum’s explosive popularity. In 2012, Storm King had about 80,000 visitors; In 2021 it had almost 222,000 visitors, projections assume around 239,000 visitors this year.

To accommodate the increasing number of visitors, Storm King had to add more and more different parking lots on its main campus. But now, unused land across the street from the entrance is being taken over and converted into a dedicated parking facility that can accommodate 580 cars, with more space for public transport stops and electric car charging stations. That will then lead to a 4,700-square-foot outdoor lobby and welcome center that will have a ticket pavilion, eight bathrooms, 122 lockers for visitors, and more.

“If you come to Storm King, you’ve probably had a long drive; immediately you might need a toilet or a trash can or something very functional,” Weisser said. “We can provide them to you, and after you’ve taken care of that need, you can get your bearings there.”

She added that visitors will be greeted and given cards. “One way we’ve really talked about it is that it’s a much more accessible experience, especially for people who might not be that familiar with art museums, or it might be their first visit to Storm King,” she said.

In addition, 4.5 hectares of former parking lots will be transformed into a landscape for art and programming, and more than 650 new trees of 20 different species will be planted.

Storm King currently has an extensive conservation and manufacturing program in place to preserve the art on display, but lacks a dedicated facility. These tasks were mostly done in the dead of winter in an unheated tram garage, which Weisser admits was not an ideal situation for either the artists or the staff.

To remedy this, there will be a new 19,375 square foot Conservation, Fabrication and Service building located on the south-most side of the site. It will include a 7,200 square foot flexible workspace, wood shop, paint booth and more. This will prove particularly helpful for the Outlooks series, which since 2013 has been showcasing the work of emerging and mid-career artists.

The new building will allow Storm King to “conserve a sculpture, service a sculpture, service a tram, create a new work. Now, in that space that we have there, we can just be more thoughtful in the way we work with our artists and allow our artists the space to be more exploring, less purposeful.”

Weisser says the project’s vision was guided by sustainability principles: keeping everything all-electric to contribute to carbon neutrality; encourage more carpooling, public transport and the use of electric cars by making more space for them in the parking lot; Only use sustainable and durable materials for the new facilities. and build only what is necessary, taking advantage of the museum’s outdoor nature – for example, using trees and ceiling fans instead of air conditioning to cool rooms where possible.

Ideally, she hopes the new spaces will “feel like they’ve always been there, they’ll feel so intuitive.”

Storm King’s architectural partners in the redesign include Dublin-based Heneghan Peng Architects; WXY architecture + urban design from New York; London-based landscape architects Gustafson Porter + Bowman; and Reed Hilderbrand of Cambridge, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut.

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