A first look at the $45 million redesign of the Storm King Art Center

The Storm King Art Center in upstate New York will embark on a transformative $45 million redesign this fall that aims to enhance the visitor experience and environmental biodiversity of the beloved park 500 acres sculptures.

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

“The advent of social media and our growing programming and exposures have helped bring Storm King more fans and friends,” says Stern. The Art Journal. “We already have this unparalleled collection and beautiful landscape in the heart of the Hudson Highlands, so this project was about considering how we could somehow make the experience even better for our visitors.” .

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

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

Rendering of the new Conservation, Manufacturing and Maintenance Building at the Storm King Art Center. © Storm King Art Center.

A major facet of the project includes the construction of a 7,200-square-foot conservation, manufacturing and maintenance building, which will have 22-foot ceilings and five large entry doors, a 1,000-square-foot wood shop , a carpentry of 800 square meters. .ft paint booth and other work spaces. The intentionally understated structure, the first purpose-built building on the site, will be “instrumental in continuing our work with artists on the scale that we do,” says Nora Lawrence, Storm King’s artistic director and chief curator.

He adds: “We have preserved some large-scale sculptures over the past few years that have had to travel to Virginia to be painted, which is obviously not an ideal situation in terms of costs, logistics and the preservation of the sculpture in Yes. . There is always an active rotation of works that need different types of attention, so being able to do some of these large conservation and maintenance projects on site will be a game changer for us and what we can offer the public .”

The building will be able to accommodate artists in residence, especially artists participating in the center perspectives program, an initiative launched in 2013 to temporarily showcase the work of emerging and mid-career artists, which this year supported the site-specific commission of American sculptor Brandon Ndife. Shade trees (2022). Next year, he will facilitate a commission from the German artist RA Walden.

Rendering of the new welcome area at the Storm King Art Center. Right background: Alexander Calder, The Arch (1975). Ralph E. Ogden Foundation Purchase and Gift Fund © 2021 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. © Storm King Art Center.

Another branch of the project involves consolidating the downtown parking lots into a single 580-space parking lot, which will open up 4.5 acres of landscape for more art and programming. The lot will feature charging stations for electric vehicles, easier access for buses and shuttles, and dedicated parking for shared vehicles. It will lead to a welcome center with a ticketing pavilion, a 4,700 square meter outdoor lobby and other services.

“We wanted to sequence the arrival so that people would leave the traffic behind, move to a service area and then go down to Storm King proper and not see any other lots or roads,” says Róisín Heneghan, co-founder of Heneghan Peng. Architects “We also wanted to minimize the installations that needed to be placed as much as possible.”

Claire Weisz, the founding director of WXY Architecture and Urban Design, adds: “Every building, whether it’s the conservation building or the gender-neutral toilets or the information booth, is playing into a shared holistic plan to not separate the architectural landscape. Rather, it’s about creating a bridge between indoor and outdoor space that wasn’t previously present in Storm King, and making sure those spaces are contributions to the environment.”

In the future, visitors will enter Storm King through an S-shaped path and encounter Alexander Calder’s seminal biomorphic sculpture for the first time. The Arch (1940/1975) before seeing pieces by Mark di Suvero, Mark Dion, David Von Schlegell and Robert Grosvenor.

Rendering of the new South Meadow, reclaimed from an old parking lot, at the Storm King Art Center. © Storm King Art Center.

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

“We wanted to think about what might help bring Storm King further into the 21st century in terms of landscape principles, or how to make it more resilient by examining how water moves through the site and how the planting could be increased and diversified.” says Beka Sturges, director of Reed Hilderbrand. “It is also interesting to think how the landscape can attract more attention to works associated with water or forest, which feel much more secondary than those of meadows and grass.”

The project is due for completion in 2024. It is being funded in part by a $2.6 million grant from New York State; $2 million from Empire State Development; and $600,000 for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority through a program dedicated to carbon neutral development.

“There have been so many positive changes at Storm King as our profile has grown and continues to grow,” says Lawrence. “The kinds of projects we’ve been able to produce with artists have grown 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 feature a permanent work by renowned American sculptor Martin Puryear, the U.S. representative at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which takes 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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