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New Museum of Contemporary Art

SANAA Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa

Anodized, expanded aluminium clad boxes, stacked in an irregular fashion. These distinctive forms are not an art work but the New Museum’s new building in New York.
The first of its kind ever to be built in Manhattan south of 14th Street, it opened in the Bowery on the east end of Prince Street on 1 December 2007. The Bowery is both the name of a district and a street.
At the end of the 18th century it was the most elegant in all Manhattan, but from the 1940s to the 1970s was the City’s Skid Row, notable for its Bums (people who were homeless, often alcoholic) and later, home to the CBGB club, which kickstarted punk rock in the States. Although the area has been gentrifying since then with high-rise condomiums, the street, lined with kitchen equipment shops, remains gritty in appearance. There has been very little conspicuous intervention by contemporary design in its dense...

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