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New Parrish Art Museum Plans Scaled Back, Architects Sigh

[The latest plans; Image courtesy Herzog & de Meuron via NYT]
Fresh off the news that starchitects Meier and Stern think Hamptons architecture is rather stale, the Times reports that the Parrish Art Museum is looking at new, scaled back plans by Herzog & de Meuron for its expansion project. Another hit to proponents of 'creative experimentation'. The Southampton museum had originally accepted the firm's rendering of an $80 million design, featuring interlocking galleries that, much to the Times dismay, would also serve the cocktail party circuit well. When the money could not be raised, Herzog & de Meuron came back with a more modest proposal at a third of the cost. The end of architecture as we know it? Maybe.
True, a spirited design would now never see the light of day. But given the context, wouldn’t a dumb shed — a barn, maybe, or a Quonset hut — serve just as well? And wouldn’t the architects’ considerable talents best be concentrated elsewhere? I was wrong. The new design, budgeted at less than a third of the original $80 million, will be a perfectly nice place to view art — or host a party.
Now everyone's mildly pleased. The new plans feature a 'serene', 'low-key' structure to be built in a field in Water Mill. They are decidedly less exciting than the first offering, which found inspiration in the artists' studios that pepper the East End, but the new space is cost-conscious and creative, all the museum could ask for in 2009. Plans were filed with the town last week for a 94'x634' barn-like building with galleries 'arranged in two rows along a central corridor' and with temporary walls that can be moved for whatever exhibit, or cocktail party, there may be. · When Creativity Diminishes Along with Cash [NYT]

Parrish Art Museum

279 Montauk Highway , Water Mill, NY 11976 631 283 2118