Next month, the Parrish Art Museum will open a new building on the Montauk highway in New York. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the finished museum is not what the architects originally intended to build. That initial design was much more complex and nearly triple the budget of the long and low structure that now stands. Not too surprisingly, the budget was axed back in 2008 when the economic crisis was reaching fever pitch. Things did not look great for the building. However, the paring down has made the building better. The formal complexity eschewed by the realized design has not lessened how impressive the standing structure is. According Architectural Record:
Inside, it’s one success after another. From a circulation spine that resembles the nave of a very elegant cathedral, roof beams rise to heights that make the galleries feel grand, but never grandiose. Most of those galleries have the kind of perfect proportions that create a sense of calm, and at the same time a feeling of exhilaration. And they are large enough for big works, including John Chamberlain sculptures, yet intimate enough to make even small, 19th century paintings feel cossetted.
Not bad for a building that only four years ago had one foot in the grave.