Museum of modern art, geffen wing

GBA commissioned a major renovation and expansion of this significant cultural facility in Midtown Manhattan.

Entrance, Geffen Wing, Museum of Modern Art, New York City

The Objective

This large-scale renovation and addition project, later named as the David Geffen Wing, encompassed 120,000 square feet, including a 50,000-square-foot expansion, increasing overall gallery spaces by 30% and bringing the total facility size to 708,000 square feet.

GBA provided LEED fundamental and enhanced commissioning services for the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, fire protection, and controls systems of the renovations and new construction at the museum cam- pus. A long history of major additions (1964, 1984, and 2005) added complexity to the work.

The $450 million,  three-phase renovation/expansion was completed in late 2019.

The Response

All three phases of the project relied on the existing chilled water plant, condenser water plant, and Con Edison steam to serve cooling and heating loads. Before the main commissioning project, GBA retro-commissioned the chilled water plant, resulting in recommendations leading to MoMA’s decision to expand the plant to ensure adequate capacity for the new spaces.

Each phase also incorporated design requirements for the air-handling units, as well as interior heating and cooling conditions. The chilled water and condenser water plants were rebalanced at end of phase completion. GBA also performed a supplemental project to test the existing atrium smoke control system and recommend adjustments.

  • Phase 1 of the expansion/renovation project involved infrastructure upgrades and fit-out of West 53rd Street, mostly comprising gallery spaces and mechanical equipment spaces.
  • Phase 2 included construction of a new ground-up building at 45 West 53rd Street. Renovated spaces comprised gallery spaces, storage areas, and an expanded Museum Store, library, and generator plant.
  • Phase 3 involved renovation of several spaces within the Main Building (11 West and 25 West 53rd Street). Renovated spaces consisted of lobby areas, the MoMA retail store, temporary exhibition spaces, and extension of the Bauhaus staircase, a signature feature.
  • Though the project initially targeted LEED Gold, Platinum was achieved.
  • The work led to an ongoing sustainability consulting and code compliance collaboration between MoMA and GBA, including master planning and design of capital improvements.

Exterior photos: Brett Beyer

Gallery photo: Iwan Baan

Preliminary chiller plant RCx led to a plant upgrade to support the expansion

Spaces commissioned included sensitive galleries and storage, plus public areas

LEED Gold targeted; Platinum achieved

Ongoing sustainability consulting and long-term capital planning

Exterior view of bookshop, Geffen Wing, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Interior of a gallery in the Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Entrance, Geffen Wing, Museum of Modern Art, New York City