The Whitney's Downtown Groundbreaking: Renzo Piano's Meteorite Museum

Last week I was invited to join the Whitney Museum for their downtown building ground/glassbreaking ceremony. And what a ceremony it was! The Whitney brought the show to the south end of the High Line with an all-star cast: Mayor Bloomberg, architect Renzo Piano, and the Streb Exterme Action Company. Here's a mashup of photographs from the event.

Click above to see LARGE.

Enjoy this video of Steb in action--co-starring me! Your's truly is the silhouetted figure in the lower middle of the frame taking photographs from next to the stage stair handrail. They actually provided safety glasses to the first few rows of the audience. We photographers were on our own, with just lenses to protect us from the flying sugarglass!

I'm excited about the building design and what the Whitney will bring to the neighborhood. I think the partnership, location, and timing are genius. Curious about the design? Check out the stats over on the Whitney's website. Renzo described the building as the Whitney's "meteorite".

If you like sketches and renderings, I've gathered the best the web has to offer from various stages of planning--enjoy!

And to round out this post, here's the introduction video that was played at the groundbreaking. I was amazed at the level of realism in the rendings and flythrough, but considering those rendering guys use all the Hollywood tricks and tools, I shouldn't be surprised. The piece really brought the building to life.

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