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Grimshaw Chosen to Design Queens Museum

Nicholas Grimshaw has replaced Eric Owen Moss to renovate The Queens Museum, the historic former New York pavilion in the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs in New York’s Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Moss, who was dismissed after producing two redesigns of his original scheme, was the December 2001 winner of the first national design competition held by the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

Grimshaw, in collaboration with local firm Amman & Whitney, was selected from a group of architects, including Fox & Fowle and SOM, who have standing contracts with New York City under the DDC’s Design Excellence Program. Says Tom Finkelpearl, Executive Director of the museum since 2002, “We’ve been through a process of self-examination as an institution. We’re not looking for an instant design at the beginning, but someone we’re comfortable with in the process.” Andrew Whalley, director of Grimshaw’s New York office, notes that, “The museum’s objectives are different from their earlier work; the emphasis now has very much to do with the existing integrity that the building has. It’s a robust structure that’s stood the test of time.” The museum plans, as before, to begin construction in 2007 and reopen in 2009. Notes Finkelpearl, “We’re not starting from zero.”

Thomas De Monchaux