Founded in 1897, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the U.S. exclusively devoted to design, both historic and contemporary. It’s been part of the Smithsonian since 1967—and has been closed for renovations since 2011. This Friday, December 12, the museum officially reopens to the public at 11 a.m, revealing a massive overhaul by a team of at least 13 firms.
The $91 million renovation created 60 percent more space, meaning a full floor can be dedicated to the permanent collection's 210,000 objects, something they’re never been able to do before, noted Caroline Baumann, the museum’s director, at yesterday's press preview.
“We are a design museum and we recruited a dream team of designers,” Baumann said, highlighting many of the 13 firms involved: Gluckman Mayner Architects (interior design), Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners (engineering, historic preservation), Diller Scofidio + Renfro (cases, shop, entrance canopy, fence lighting), Hood Design (garden, terrace), Thinc (exhibitions), Goppion (display cases), Local Projects (interactive media), Pentagram (graphic identity).
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