For more than a year, New Yorkers have waited to learn the outcome of a forthcoming expansion of the Frick Collection, the beloved Manhattan institution known for its intimate scale as much as for its collection of works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Turner, and other masters. Today, after a global search for the right designer, the museum announced that Selldorf Architects would be taking the reins of a revised expansion.
The announcement comes after the Frick, following pressure from preservationists, architects, and historians, scrapped an unpopular scheme by Davis Brody Bond last June that would have dwarfed the original Carrère and Hastings-designed classical-style building with a 100-foot-tall addition and eliminated a Russell Page-designed garden.
The Frick says it considered 20 architects for an improved plan, but the choice of Selldorf Architects would seem to be a no-brainer: in 2001, the firm oversaw the conversion of a townhouse—also built by Carrère and Hastings in 1914—into Neue Galerie New York, just a fifteen minute walk up Fifth Avenue.
Firm principal Annabelle Selldorf assures the firm will develop “a gracious design befitting a great institution.” Regarding the controversial elimination of the garden as put forth by the Davis Brody Bond scheme, Selldorf told the New York Times, “There is no question that we’re not going to disturb the garden.”
The Frick hopes to reveal its new concept next winter.