The design for the New Museum, which the Tokyo-based firm Sejima + Nishizawa/Sanaa first revealed in 2003 for New York City’s only all-contemporary art institution, layers six off-kilter white boxes above a formerly grungy block on the Lower East Side. That striking shape led many people to expect a show-offy building. But its architects hope that when the $50 million, 60,000-square-foot museum officially opens this weekend, visitors and passersby will instead be struck by its neighborly spirit. The shift of each box creates space for a terrace or skylight, providing views of surrounding buildings from each stairwell, while its ground floor engages the street with transparency.
Photo © Dean Kaufman