frida escobedo selected by the met to realize the new tang art wing spanning 7,400+ sqm
the metropolitan museum of art has recently selected mexican architect frida escobedo to realize its vision for the contemporary ‘oscar L. tang and H.M. agnes hsu-tang’ art wing. this comes as refreshing news for many since escobedo will be the first woman to design a wing at the met.
best known for her impressive 2018 serpentine pavilion design in london’s kensington gardens, the architect put herself on the map at a young age and currently operates across a wide array of scales and mediums, from buildings and experimental preservation to temporary installations, publications, and exhibition design. check out designboom’s interview with escobedo to learn more about her early career boom.
frida escobedo | image © designboom
re-Envisioning the museum’s past-century artworks and architectural narrative
the estimated $500M project will fully reimagine 7,432 sqm (80,000 sqft) of existing space to accommodate new galleries and a public hub. this reimagining of the contemporary art wing will enable the met (see more here) to elevate past-century artworks from a global, encyclopedic, playful, and surprising perspective. escobedo’s lead (see more here) will result in a building that respects and connects with the museum’s archipelago of architectural styles as well as its spatial organization and infrastructure. through flexible gallery spaces, the wing will also emphasize the interconnectedness of space and time and suggest a non-chronological narrative.
‘as we enter this next exciting phase in the reimagination of how we display the met’s collection of modern and contemporary art, we look forward to thinking beyond the existing spaces that have confined our ideas to date, to make possible a truly trans-historic and transcultural interpretation of art,’ shares sheena wagstaff, leonard A. lauder chair of modern and contemporary art. ‘this is a major turning point in how we can make relevant 122 years of modern art within the deep history of the met’s collections, and reckon with what the future might bring.’
escobedo’s 2018 serpentine pavilion design | image © designboom
in making the announcement, daniel H. weiss, president and CEO of the met, has commented, ‘the most generous gift of the tangs has enabled this next step forward. frida escobedo’s impressive and inspiring portfolio of projects and her creative engagement with our team has given us great excitement about this important chapter for the met.’
other museum members have joined weiss in praising escobedo, particularly for her ‘sensitivity’ and ‘dexterity’ related to architectural narratives and materials. max hellein, marina kellen french director of the met says: ‘already through her partnership, frida has demonstrated her vision to create enthralling galleries that will challenge the embedded hierarchies of our history and chart a more accessible trajectory for the new wing.’
escobedo’s temporary pavilion at the V&A courtyard | image © victoria and albert museum
wing name: oscar L. tang & H.M. agnes hsu-tang
location: the metropolitan museum of art
appointed designer: frida escobedo
total wing area: 7,432 sqm
estimated cost: $500M