The Met Breuer Opens

March 29, 2016
Credit: Peter Aaron

BBB worked in close collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to restore Marcel Breuer’s mid-century masterpiece and transform it into a new home for The Met’s expanding contemporary and modern art program.

Below is a selection of press coverage of the restored building:

The New York Times, A Look at the Met Breuer Before the Doors Open, By Randy Kennedy

“…in deciding how to reinvent it for a new museum and a new age, John H. Beyer, a founding partner of Beyer Blinder Belle, the architecture firm that restored the building, said that most of the decisions involved simple, originalist steps backward, to Breuer’s intentions…

“He loved the hard dignity of aging materials,” Mr. Beyer said. “One of the most important parts of restoration is in deciding what not to do. And we didn’t do a lot. But what we did, I think, gives you a clear understanding of the space as he created it.”

Vanity Fair, The Met Breuer Restores a Postwar Gem to Greatness, By Paul Goldberger

“It has an easy, natural sound to it: the Met Breuer…Calling it “the Met Breuer” underscores the extent to which the Met wasn’t just acquiring expansion space but buying fully into the architecture of one of New York’s greatest postwar buildings. Under the direction of the architects Beyer Blinder Belle, the Met has restored Breuer’s building magnificently. I think it is safe to say that it now looks much more like it did in 1966, when the Whitney moved in, than it did in 2014, when the Whitney moved out.”

Metropolis, Less Harsh, More Handsome: Breuer’s Whitney Gets a “Modest” Renovation, By Vanessa Quirk

Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of The Met, explained at the Met Breuer’s press preview that, in renovating the structure, the institution wanted to restore “the purity, the beauty it first had when it opened in 1966.” […] Central to that mission was the commission of Beyer Blinder Belle, a firm known for its conscientious renovation of mid-century Modernist buildings like Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal. According to John H. Beyer, one of Beyer Blinder Belle’s founding partners, the firm poured over Breuer’s works, leaning heavily on the photographs of Ezra Stoller, in order to achieve “total immersion” of their subject. “It’s like becoming an actor of a part,” Beyer says. “You had to learn how to think like Breuer. Our whole goal was to make sure that what we were doing, we felt, is what he would have done.”

ArchDaily, The Met Breuer: A Loving Restoration of a Mid-Century Icon, By Robert Landon

“The New York art world let out a collective cry of grief when the Whitney Museum of American Art abandoned Marcel Breuer’s iconic 1966 building on Madison Avenue at 75th Street. […] Now, thanks to a restoration led by New York City firm Beyer Blinder Belle, the iconic building has been transformed into the Met Breuer—the bold new showcase for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s renewed embrace of modernist and contemporary art.”

The Architect’s Newspaper, Nice To Met You, By Matt Shaw

“The iconic Marcel Breuer–designed Whitney Museum is set to reopen March 18, giving back one of the city’s most beloved architectural spaces… The Met’s in-house design group and architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB) had three main goals in mind at the outset: To create a welcoming visitor experience, to treat the building as a work of art, and to establish a Met identity within the building.”

Dezeen, Official photos revealed of The Met Breuer ahead of public opening this month, By Jenna McKnight

“New York-based Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners sought to preserve the “authentic patina of aging materials” in its subtle refurbishment of the former Whitney Museum, which will reopen this month as The Met Breuer… Beyer Blinder Belle – a firm well known for its preservation and restoration of architectural landmarks, including the Empire State Building and Grand Central Terminal – worked with the Met’s in-house design team on the project.”

ARTnews, When Titian Met Tuymans: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Elegantly Occupies the Whitney’s Breuer Building, By Andrew Russeth

“No matter what the Metropolitan Museum of Art decided to do, good or bad, the opening of its new branch, at the Whitney Museum’s Marcel Breuer–designed former home, was guaranteed to be the event of the year in the New York art world… Working with the architects Beyer Blinder Belle, the Met and the Whitney have completed a precise and thoughtful restoration of the building, confirming it as an absolute masterpiece, a work of art in its own right.”

Artdaily.org, The Met Breuer opens to the public on March 18; Expanding The Met’s modern and contemporary program

“On March 18, 2016, The Met will launch its inaugural season at The Met Breuer…an iconic building that has been restored with architect Marcel Breuer’s original vision in mind, supporting an integrated experience of art and architecture. Restoration work was completed under the guidance of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLC to maintain the unique character of the building’s signature attributes—including the textured concrete surfaces, bluestone floors, and bronze fixtures—with special consideration given to respecting the patina of history within the space by preserving the aesthetic of weathered areas.”

Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for The New York Times, shares his thoughts on Twitter: