Whitney, Allen, Obama, and the pavement of Pine

Founded by Whitney, used by Allen, inaugurated by Obama and you can enjoy the works of American art.

Woody Allen y Diane Keaton en 'Manhattan' en el Museo Whitney de NYC
Museo Whitney, NYC. Foto: wikipedia
Whitney Museum Art, NYC. (Photo: wikipedia). Click for more information

Hi, the vitality printed by the geniuses in his works isn’t appreciated, in the majority of the cases, by their immediate environment. These geniuses end up imposing its will through a strange, or, as it is called today, a patron who discovers the hidden genius, gives him a chance to hatch, and of course, collecting the fruits. In my family, of ancient lineage, we are very used to detect this type of persons, which help you grow the humanity making a leap in quality.

Woody Allen is the genius par excellence, the friend of the wit, from the imagination and, at the same time, of the real. The greatest work he has done (no doubt) is the film «Manhattan,» a success in 1979 and a pleasure for the senses. One of his famous scenes is when Isaac (Allen) meets with Mary (Diane Keaton), takes place in the Whitney Museum Art, located at 945 Madison Avenue, whose building was designed in 1966 by the architect Marcel Breuer, a construction that broke moulds in its time, with a solid volume and a reverse staggering, most typical of  the architecture brutalist than of the architecture modernist.

The Museum was founded by the sculptor and, later, patron Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, from whom he inherited his popular surname. The idea was to promote American art and safeguard it for future generations. Over time, this museum has become one of the big four in New York, next to MoMa, the Metropolitan and the Guggenheim. But the success has made that the fantastic building is obsolete and, above all, small for the large number of works of art which possesses, which were only 700 when the museum began his journey by 1929 (it rained) and which currently reach 21,000. 

I am not going to deny that I, Rodolfo, had something to do with the idea of a new Museum, my suggestions smart and altruistic were enough, part of my personality, as you know. Thus, the direction of the Museum, with Adam D. Weinberg at the head, commissioned the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the design of the new building. After a while looking for a convenient location for the new construction was chosen the number 99 of the Gansevoort Street, in New York, of course.

Inauguración del Museo Whitney por parte de Michelle Obama
Inauguration of the Whitney Museum by Michelle Obama

The building opened its doors may 1 and was inaugurated a day before, nothing more and nothing less than by the first American Lady (Michelle Obama), she inspired us tenderness remembering their own childhood, in which, places like a Museum seemed very far from she, Michelle encouraged that these spaces are open to the thousands of children in the country, really, I was enormously thrilled by his speech. They also spoke the Mayor of New York (Bill de Blasio), the director of the Museum (Adam D. Weinberg), the architect of the building (Renzo Piano) and the granddaughter of the founder (Flora Miller Biddle).

The Connoisseurs say than the building resembles a boat from the West and a factory from the North, as if will mimic the environment that the «anchor» (do you understand?), I seems a notable presence with strength bordering also the brutality, without losing sight of the elegance of the materials (glass, steel and concrete of the façade). At the entrance a large cantilever welcomes you to enjoy of 2.590 square metres of public space, and the view of the Hudson River.

Museo Whitney de NYC. Foto:
Museo Whitney de NYC. Foto:

With 60.500 square meters built in 9 floors, the building has 15,200 meters of interior galleries, 3,960 meters of exhibition space at the outdoors and terraces with views to the High Line. The largest Gallery without columns in a Museum in the city of New York of 5.480 square meters, includes a lobby with free access, two floors of a permanent collection, Gallery and a special exhibit on the top floor. The building weighs around of 30,000 tons (excluding the works of art) and nearly cost the 422 million dollars (377 million euros). The construction company, Turner Construction has made available to the public a print 3D (its parametres), I rub the hands just thinking about it.

Renzo has respected the rules of the game, the Museum is not a building with striking facades or strident colors, it is a volumetric place that it merges with the environment without going unnoticed, in addition, it offers the possibility of enjoying several terraces in a staggered fashion (making a nod to Breuer?) and that leaves part of stair in outdoor turning it into an unexpected viewpoint. It has an education centre that provides classrooms with the latest technology, an outdoor Gallery, a theatre with 170 seats and overlooking the Hudson River, distributed in two floors, a laboratory and a library (the old Whitney did not have classrooms, theatre or study center). You can buy in a shop at the retail, to eat in its restaurant (ground floor) and enjoy of a cafeteria (top floor) which are directed by Danny Meyer.

Museo Whitney en NYC
Museo Whitney en NYC

But the best thing is the interior, where the rooms are used to the maximum and its lifts open their doors from the lobby to the right of the galleries, maintaining the privacy and the priority between the spectator and the work, in addition, the elevators have works by the painter and sculptor Richard Artschwager. In the roof (within of the room) the rails allows to play with an endless ways to combine the stay, subdividing it according to the needs of the sample. And, when you look down, you’ll see a pavement recycled, pine wood brought from other factories, following the same speech that began outside, sublime.

The pine is a tree with more than 120 different species distributed in several continents, mainly in America, Asia and Europe (in Africa, there are very few). In the build are used as a structural element, as exterior cladding and interior and decorative elements. The burning does not produce toxic fumes, has excellent physical strength and, a more than remarkable, acoustic and thermal behavior. The great variety of species allows the use of different textures within the construction. Of course, is a recyclable material to one hundred percent (ask the Whitney).

Museo Whitney en NYC
Museo Whitney en NYC

We must keep in mind that the wood is an organic material and, therefore, it is attacked by insects, their protection is mandatory. When we are going to use the solid wood flooring, make sure that the carpentry is settled, that the thermal differences are not very radical (avoid winter and summer) and that the surface on which it is placed have adequate moisture, must prevent the wood receive excessive moisture or that can absorb aqua, this cause drying and cracking.

With all, a solid wood floor is always an excellent choice, with proper environmental management and energy efficiency tested, ah, and if it is pine, better! Bye bye.

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