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The Museum of Modern Art announces a major donation of material representing nine innovative built and unbuilt projects developed and realised between 1994 and 2018 by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron. The works have been given to the Museum by the Jacques Herzog und Pierre de Meuron Kabinett, Basel, a charitable foundation established by the architects in 2015. The 23 physical objects and accompanying digital assets—sketches, study models, presentation models, and architectural fragments, as well as digital drawing sets, photographs, and videos—were carefully selected in close collaboration with the architects to demonstrate not only the final design output, but also the design process behind each project. These works join four Herzog & de Meuron architectural projects from 1988 to 1997 and one design object from 2002 already in the Museum’s collection.

For more than three decades, Herzog & de Meuron’s practice has been a singular and defining voice in the discourse of contemporary architecture,

“For more than three decades, Herzog & de Meuron’s practice has been a singular and defining voice in the discourse of contemporary architecture,” said Martino Stierli, The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA. “Thanks to the generosity of the office and the Jacques Herzog und Pierre de Meuron Kabinett, we will be able to include these key works of contemporary architectural production in our changing collection displays when the Museum opens its newly expanded galleries in 2019.”

The nine projects entering MoMA’s collection demonstrate the breadth and depth of Herzog & de Meuron’s contributions to contemporary architecture. As with most of their work, some of these projects have challenged conventions of architectural materiality (Dominus Winery, Yountville, Napa Valley, California, 1995–98), structure (1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Florida, 2005–10) and typology (Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany, 2001–16; 56 Leonard Street, New York, New York, 2006–17). Herzog & de Meuron have looked beyond the confines of traditional practice to enrich their architectural work, which is often the result of close collaboration with artists.

In the projects showcased in the recent gift, these collaborations have involved artists Thomas Ruff (Eberswalde Technical School Library, Eberwalde, Germany, 1994–99), Michael Craig-Martin (Laban Dance Centre, London, UK, 1997–2003), and Ai Weiwei (National Stadium, The Main Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China, 2002–08). Finally, Herzog & de Meuron’s long engagement with Basel’s vital art world and with artists such as Joseph Beuys and Rémy Zaugg has decisively informed their large repertoire of architectural projects designed to allow visitors to experience modern art in novel ways. Two such projects, one private residence (Kramlich Residence and Collection, Oakville, Napa Valley, California, 1997–2018) and one museum (CaixaForum, Madrid, Spain, 2001–08), are included in this selection.

Herzog and de Meuron were both born in 1950 and established their architectural office in 1978 in Basel, Switzerland. Their work includes an impressive number of award-winning projects, varying in scale from small residences to large urban design schemes, and is distributed across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. They have frequently taught at Harvard University since 1994, and at the ETH Studio Basel of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich from 1999 until 2018. In 2001, they were awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize for their complete works. In 2006, they organised the MoMA exhibition Artist’s Choice: Herzog & de Meuron, Perception Restrained, and their overall contribution to architecture has been recognised with the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Royal Gold Medal and the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale, both in 2007. Today, the office’s partnership is led by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron with senior partners Christine Binswanger, Jason Frantzen, Ascan Mergenthaler, Stefan Marbach, and Esther Zumsteg.

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