Sunday, July 03, 2011
Half Dose #88: MoMA PS1 Entry Kiosk
Yesterday I visited MoMA PS1 in Long Island City to check out Interboro Partners' Young Architects Program (YAP) installation Holding Pattern in the courtyard before the kick-off Warm Up later that afternoon. I'll post pictures and thoughts on that installation on my weekly page in a couple days (link here), but here I'm featuring the entry kiosk designed by Andrew Berman Architect.
Those who have previously visited the museum that inhabits an old public school probably remember the old entry sequence: A gap in the concrete wall at Jackson and 46th Avenues opened to a small rectangular courtyard; moving to the left through a small opening brought one to the large triangular courtyard; at the far end were steps leading to the museum building proper and the entry desk with admissions. In numerous ways this sequence gave an openness to the museum. Everything was open to the sky, and while the courtyards could be secured when the museum was closed, visitors could still experience the courtyard and, in the summer months, the YAP installation without paying to visit the museum.
Now the corner at Jackson and 46th is a closed, interior space, marked by a concrete canopy and, at the start of this summer's Warm Up series, a lot of security. Inside the small space are the counters for paying to visit the museum. The sequence is now marked by a series of large glass doors that slide or swing to gain access.
Where this corner was light and open, now it is dark and closed. Light enters this entry space via clerestories on the north side and two slots in the concrete ceiling that paint stripes of sunlight on the floor. The space, a mix of old and new concrete, is designed to feature artwork as well as serving its utilitarian purpose as a checkpoint. In and of itself, it is a decent space of minimal architecture, but it leaves me longing for the openness of what was there before. Approaching the museum I was struck by how dark the entry appeared; this effect no doubt arises from the ceiling but also the sizable canopy, black frames, and the type of glass Berman selected.
In between the rectangular entry space and the large courtyard is a small triangular space that serves (at least yesterday, it did) to separate incoming and outgoing traffic. This space, previously open to the sky, is actually closed from each adjoining space by glass doors. I like how the large swinging door opens towards the courtyard and continues the perspective of this triangular space. Note the plywood arc on the ground, an indication that the entry kiosk has some minor work still to be completed.