The Real Deal New York

Selldorf tapped to design Frick Collection renovation

Architect says her design will not alter the museum's garden
October 21, 2016 08:35AM

Annabelle Selldorf (credit: Selldorf Architects)

Annabelle Selldorf (credit: Selldorf Architects)

More than a year after plans for a six-story addition to the museum were scrapped, the Frick Collection board has selected Annabelle Selldorf’s architecture firm to renovate the building.

The board selected Selldorf TRData LogoTINY from a group of 20 architects it had solicited to propose a redesign of the Upper East Side museum, the New York Times reported. There is no design yet, but the renovation is expected to include improving circulation in the building while preserving its character. The museum, at 1 East 70th Street, was designed from 1912 to 1914 by Thomas Hastings for American industrialist and union antagonist, Henry Clay Frick.

Selldorf, who designed the renovation for the Neue Galerie in Manhattan, was selected for her approach, said Ian Wardropper, the Frick’s director.

“She’s somebody who has a clear vision of respect for historical buildings but at the same time has a clean, elegant, modernist aesthetic that is very much about welcoming visitors today,” Wardropper told the Times.

In June of last year, the Frick’s board agreed to abandon controversial plans to replace the museum’s garden with a six-story addition. A community group of architects, designers and former members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission vehemently opposed the plan. Selldorf said her design will not alter the garden. [NYT] Kathryn Brenzel