The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), based in Manhattan in New York, New York, is a center for the collection, preservation, study, and display of contemporary handmade objects in a variety of media, including: clay, glass, metal,fiber, and wood. It accommodates 300,000 visitors per year, however, touring exhibitions, outreach efforts, and off-site programs effectively double that audience.
The museum was founded in 1956 by the American Craft Council together with philanthropist Aileen Osborn Webb, as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts. In 1986, it relocated to 40 West 53rd Street and was renamed the American Craft Museum. In 2002 it changed its name again to the Museum of Arts and Design. In 2008, the museum moved to 2 Columbus Circle.
El museo abre sus puertas en 1956 como Museum of Contemporary Crafts, con una misión original de reconocer el trabajo artesanal de artistas estadounidenses contemporáneos. Desde sus primeros años el museo es un importante defensor de los artistas emergentes, y se vincula el arte y la industria.
Mr. Hartford with Robert Moses, outside of his Gallery of Modern Art shortly before its opening in 1964.
2 Columbus Circle, ca. 1964
The Museum of Arts and Design sits on an unusually small block that limits the building’s footprint and the size of each floor plate. After subtracting the existing elevator core, egress stair, loading, and retail from the footprint, the public ground floor lobby is reduced further. Working within these tight conditions, the museum’s feature stair was designed to be as light and airy as possible, minimizing visible mass. The solution is a stair delicately suspended by a veil of stainless steel cables gracefully floating without diagonal structure or support. A thin folded steel plate rises along the veil supporting a thickened, curving layer of white oak for the stair’s treads and risers.
The upper gallery floors reconcile the serpentine horizontal and vertical cuts seen on the building’s exterior with the galleries on the interior. The apparent composition of the elevation is revealed to be a more complex spatial operation as the cuts move through the floor and ceilings, allowing diffuse light to pass between levels and providing a sense of the spaces beyond. The design relationships established through the alignments, tangents, and detailing of the cuts further the sense of spatial abstraction and structural ambiguity.
Bryan Young was a Designer for the Museum of Arts and Design at Allied Works Architecture; Brad Cloepfil (AWA) was the principal in charge of the project.