2CC

The focus of this studio is twofold. On the one hand, to study museum typologies in combination or singly parallel to an investigation of geometric configurations that are inherently related. Among the types to be studied are the palatial residence, the linear picture gallery, rooms enfilade linearly arranged and around atria and the spiraling ramp. Among the geometries: projective geometry, spirals, helicoids, and minimal surfaces. On the other hand, there are tasks and problems at the institutional and architectural levels that are specific to the modification of the existing building, the former Gallery of Modern Art in New York designed by Edward Durell Stone, which is presently vacant and slated for a controversial face lift. Because the actuality of the original institution has long sense disappeared, we can infuse the building with our own interests and imagine other scenarios. Admittedly, this can be done with any cultural artifact. But, the Stone edifice is an extreme case due to a peculiar combination of factors: the size and shape of its constrained site, the non-communicative opacity of its facades, the retardataire character of its language and the fact of its persistence in an undeniably prominent urban position. The latter confers an inconcongruous monumentality on a building whose language is conspicuously dated. The gallery of Modern Art was a fusion of two institutional categories: the private collection and the public museum. It\'s founder, Huntington Hartford, was a wealthy executive with a pronounced hostility to all forms of the avant garde. What is anomalous about his museum is that its program consists of a reactionary critique of another obviously more prominent museum, the Museum of Modern Art and its self consciously progressive program. The Hartford museum occupied a culturally rear-guard position based on a dogmatic adherence to figurative canons that were in his view sufficiently up to date. Paradoxically, this is exactly what makes his museum worthy of note today; it is singular not in spite of but rather because of its regression and the obsolescence of its critique. It is significant moreover that this critique was accompanied by the figurative, historicist idiom of a particular phase of Edward Durell Stone\'s architecture after his design for the MoMA building. Viewed in terms both of its superannuated character and the fact that no durable function has been assigned to it over the years, it is surprising that it has not been demolished and that lately it has managed to attract expressions of sympathy and affection. Yet, it is also possible that stylistic marginality is not its most negative attribute: marginal works quite often reveal the assumptions of an epoch more effectively than canonized works. Poised between modernism, kitsch and naove historicism the building is irreducible to any one of these tendencies. The most disparate idioms — Venetian Gothic, decorative abstraction, and mid century corporate modernism — secure a specificity for this building that cannot be easily subsumed under the category of the Post Modernism.One of the central aims of the studio is to develop alternatives to the usual renovation strategies by excluding the customary tactics of reactive renovation or out and out demolition. To this end, the studio will begin by bracketing out the whole Hartford/Stone affair in order to focus on the most active part of the problem, the development of an internal organization. The problem is to establish a sufficiently continuous sequence by means of deftly arranged circulatory apparatuses and or circulatory exhibition spaces within the constraints of the site, a whole block so small as to illicit a rare single building solution. Among the most anomalous in Manhattan, this block is the result of the confluence of three basic configurations: the grid, the beaux arts circle at the corner of Olmstead and Vaux\'s plan for C