Frida Escobedo is the new architect in charge of the Met’s Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery
Escobedo will be the first woman to design a wing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s history.
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Mexican architect, Frida Escobedo, will take over the Met’s modern and contemporary galleries project, becoming the first woman in history to design a wing in the Met, as well as one of the youngest architects to do so.
Escobedo started her studio in Mexico City in 2006. She gained recognition in Mexico for projects like El Eco Pavilion in 2010 and the expansion of La Tallera Siqueiros in Cuernavaca two years later. In 2018, she was picked to design the annual Serpentine Pavilion in London’s Kensington Gardens.
In addition to her work, she also teaches. She has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the Architectural Association of London, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and Rice University. She currently teaches at Yale University.
Of the Met project, Escobedo said, "The Met is one of the most relevant sites for culture on a global scale, and it is an honor to be selected for this historic architectural reimagining. The Tang Wing presents an opportunity to give new life to the Museum's art from the 20th and 21st century; to celebrate the dynamics we can find within art of different times, geographies, and ideologies; and to uncover new spaces for self-reflection and connection with others. I look forward to working with The Met's teams on this remarkable project."
The estimated cost of the renovation will be $500 million. When completed, it will be 80,000 square feet of galleries and public space. The project has already cost the museum $800 million and seven years under architect David Chipperfield. He was selected for the project by former director Thomas Campbell.
The wing will be named after Oscar Tang, a Met trustee, and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang. They donated $125 million to the museum to complete the project. This is the largest capital gift the museum has ever received.
The Tang Wing will feature works from the Department of Modern and Contemporary, the Department of Photographs, and the Department of Drawings and Prints.
The press release stated that design-wise, “the reimagination of the wing for Modern and Contemporary Art will enable The Met to approach 20th- and 21st-century art from a global, encyclopedic, playful, and surprising perspective.”
Jhaelen Hernandez-Eli, Head of Construction for the Museum said, “The Museum has several key mandates that drive this project and that have guided our search for an architect. Frida understands how to create an enduring space for art while reconciling the wing’s relationship with the existing building and park. Additionally, her work draws from multiple cultural narratives, values local resources, and addresses the urgent socioeconomic inequities and environmental crises that define our time.”