Whitney Museum of American Art

Whitney Museum of American Art


So much happens through the Whitney that uplifts… This museum has made a point of being an open door.

Mayor Bill de Blasio

The Whitney Museum’s programs and needs outgrew its existing 61,000 square foot Marcel Breuer-designed building. Cooper Robertson completed an analysis of the existing Museum’s program, assessed the desired program, analyzed the zoning/landmark district implications, provided bulk/area design options, and made recommendations for expansion. Although our scheme for expansion received Landmarks approval, the limitations of the site and the cost of the project led the museum to ultimately develop a new building. The Whitney selected a site adjacent to the High Line in the Meatpacking District and selected Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Cooper Robertson as architects for the project.

Located on Gansevoort Street, the new building places the Whitney at the epicenter of New York’s newest cultural district. The building stacks the program in six stories and responds to its low-rise neighbors with a series of terraces that step back from the adjacent elevated High Line park. A public plaza creates a vibrant street-level entrance with generous outdoor gathering space and an adjoining restaurant. The design features 50,000 square feet of bright, double-height galleries overlooking the Hudson River, education center and research library, art storage and conservation labs, office/support space, a museum shop, an informal cafĂ©, and a 200-seat theater for public programs. The new building anticipates a LEED-NC Gold rating. The museum opened to the public on May 1st, 2015.



Whitney Museum of American Art

New York, New York
Site Area
220,000 square feet
Completion Date
  • 2016 AIA New York Award of Merit in Architecture
  • 2016 MASterworks Design Awards Winner
  • 2015 AIA New York State Design Award of Merit
  • 2015 PCI Design Award
  • 2015 Society of American Registered Architects Special Award
  • 2015 Greater New York Construction User Council Award, Cultural Category
  • Renzo Piano Building Workshop Design Architect

  • Gardiner & Theobald Owner’s Rep

  • Turner Construction Construction Manager

  • Jaros, Baum & Bolles MEP Engineer

  • Arup Lighting/Daylighting

  • Robert Silman Associates Structural Engineer

  • heintges Building Envelope

  • Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architect

  • Karin Jobst Timothy Schenck Ed Lederman Nic Lehoux Photographers