Parrish Art Museum

by | 05. Dec 2012

Cultural | Feature

Photo: Matthu Placek

Parrish Art Museum references the vernacular architecture of the East End, to emphasize the relationship of art to nature, and to be flexible and welcoming.

The placement of the building is a direct result of the skylights facing towards the north. This east-west orientation, and its incidental diagonal relationship within the site, generates dramatically changing perspective views of the building and further emphasizes the building’s extreme yet simple proportions. It lays in an extensive meadow of indigenous grasses that refers to the natural landscape of Long Island.


Photo: Matthu Placek

Our design for the Parrish Art Museum is a reinterpretation of a very genuine Herzog & de Meuron typology, the traditional house form. What we like about this typology is that it is open for many different functions, places and cultures. Each time this simple, almost banal form has become something very specific, precise and also fresh.
 Jacques Herzog

parrish_art_museum_3.jpgPhoto: Jeff Cully

An ordered sequence of post, beam and truss defines the unifying backbone of the building. Its materialization is a direct expression of readily accessible building materials and local construction methods.


Photo: Matthu Placek


Photo: Matthu Placek

The exterior walls of in situ concrete act as long bookends to the overall building form, while the grand scale of these elemental walls is tempered with a continuous bench formed at its base for sitting and viewing the surrounding landscape.


Photo: Matthu Placek


Photo: Matthu Placek

Large overhangs running the full length of the building provide shelter for outdoor porches and terraces.

A cluster of ten galleries defines the heart of the museum. The size and proportion of these galleries can be easily adapted by re-arranging partition walls within the given structural grid.


Photo: Matthu Placek


Photo: Matthu Placek


Photo: Matthu Placek

We set the basic parameters for a single gallery space by distilling the studio’s proportions and adopting its simple house section with north-facing skylights. Two of these model galleries form wings around a central circulation spine that is then bracketed by two porches to form the basis of a straightforward building extrusion. The floor plan of this extrusion is a direct translation of the ideal functional layout.
/ Herzog & de Meuron

Photo: Christopher French


Photo: Christopher French


Photo: Christopher French

The back of house functions of administration, storage, workshops and loading dock are located to the east of the gallery core. The public program areas of the lobby, shop, and café are located to the west of the galleries, with a flexible multi-purpose and educational space at the far western end.


Photo: Matthu Placek


Photo: Matthu Placek

The landscape, an important aspect of the Museum experience, consists entirely of native plants. The design evokes the iconic features of the East End – meadow, wetland, scrub woodland, and long views of expansive sky and horizon.


Drawing courtesy Herzog & de Meuron 
Site Plan


Drawing courtesy Herzog & de Meuron Floor Plan



Drawing courtesy Herzog & de Meuron Section

Rendering courtesy Herzog & de Meuron
North View Exterior


Rendering courtesy Herzog & de Meuron
 Seen from Montauk Highway


Herzog & de Meuron arcspace features


CITY Water Mill, New York
ARCHITECT Douglas Moyer Architect PC
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Reed Hilderbrand Landscape