Protecting Art from Natural Disasters:
The NY Times describes it, it is “a glittery emblem of a new urban capital.” The new Whitney Museum in Manhattan has been lauded for its cutting-edge architecture, but the most intriguing feature is the one that kicks in in case of emergency. The new Whitney’s most intriguing feature might be one that’s gone largely unnoticed: it’s a custom flood-mitigation system, which was designed halfway through the museum’s construction, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, when more than five million gallons of water flooded the site. The Whitney, whose lobby is 10 feet above sea-level, is now designed to be water-tight against a flood level of 16.5 feet—seven feet higher than waters reached during Hurricane Sandy.
Now other Museums are looking into ways to also make their buildings more protected. The MoMA’s chief operating officer, “and we have more backups, as anyone would have.” Gara said the museum was considering other investments, looking ahead to the possibility of even more catastrophic events that could cause a longer-term loss of power.
I believe this is great that all these museums are more aware and also raising awareness of our climate emergency through architecture. These museums are incorporating innovative design strategies to raise more awareness of climate urgency. Reflecting on the demands of a warming world and what it might mean for design. “Do we have to completely rethink our infrastructure? Do we have to completely rethink everything?”