Published On: Thu, May 9th, 2019

Turkish-American Architect’s Firm Chosen To Revamp The Noguchi Museum In Queens

By Janet Ekstract

NEW YORK-  Büro Koray Duman, headed by its namesake, is Noguchi Museum’s choice to create a new and creative architectural expansion for the Queens, New York landmark. Since the firm specializes in transforming urban spaces while balancing an innovative socially conscious design philosophy – Büro Koray Duman was a perfect choice from among seven design firms that were considered.

Koray Duman, a Turkish-born architect, collaborates with a seven-person team to transform previously nondescript spaces into what he explains is a design space that not only expresses a client’s needs but at the same time creates that ‘out of the box’ moment that he says, allows clients to “realize the true value of design.”

The firm is well known for specializing in research-based architecture whose goal is to configure a space that is able to seamlessly incorporate a fresh design concept while maintaining the integrity of the urban space it inhabits.  

Noguchi Museum located in Queens and named after the famous Japanese American artist and landscape architect, Isamu Noguchi – will be restored and opened as part of a plan to expand and unify its campus, according to its director, Brett Littman. A 6,000 square-foot building is planned as an addition to hold the museum’s collection and archives.

Littman, director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum said he really admired Noguchi for being one of the great 20th century “polymaths,” because as Littman explained, “he worked acrosss so many disciplines.”

As Duman explains, for the Noguchi Museum, the goal is keep the aesthetic of the space, he told the architecture-design magazine, Dezeen, in a recent interview. Architect Duman explained the concept: “With the design of the new art and archives building, and its relationship to Isamu Noguchi’s original 10th street studio, we wanted to be respectful of the existing complex.” Duman added, “The Noguchi Museum and its garden are much beloved spaces.”

Duman explains that “attention to detail” is the key that motivates his design concepts. The firm is a research-based architecture and design studio that is driven by the philosophy that architecture should be “functional and unexpected.” His firm, Duman explains, is also motivated by promoting architecture that is “engaging, poetic, experimental and affordable.”

The firm’s speciality is transforming urban environments by combining innovative design solutions with socially conscious ideals whose goal is to redefine the relationship between contemporary architecture and the complexity of urban intervention.

Duman’s firm is known for promoting awareness of cultural diversity through the participation of urban communities while navigating intricate, spatial constraints to activate underserved urban enviroments.

Buro Koray Duman is known for creating spaces to produce “emerging cultural narratives” all while striving to design “hybrid public spaces that perform in multiple ways.” As Duman commented, “We act as instigators of change, progress and innovation.”

One of the firm’s most prominent research based projects is a proposal for an Islamic cultural center in New York which earned Buro Koray Duman the 2015 Architect’s Newspaper Best of Unbuilt award.

Architect Koray Duman knows for sure what his design paradigms are: “We believe in the power of architecture to challenge our perceptions of everyday life and, at times to shock and surprise us.”

That’s why Buro Koray Duman seems like a perfect fit to bring the Noguchi Museum to life with their innovative urban design background.

Mr. Littman  is excited about the project and added: “My hope is, by building this art and archives building and opening up the studio building, we’ll now be able to tell more complete stories about Noguchi’s work.” There’s much more to it, he said, than the stone sculptures for which Noguchi is best known.

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