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Oct 11, 2011 5:14 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Parrish Art Museum Expected To Open Next Fall

Oct 12, 2011 9:41 AM

Natural light is intended to be one of the highlights of the new Parrish Art Museum being built off Montauk Highway in Water Mill—and, indeed, plenty of light currently pours into the still-incomplete 34,500-square-foot structure.

During a hard hat media tour of the facility on Thursday, October 6, museum officials and representatives from the Swiss architectural firm Herzog and de Meuron discussed the design of the $26.2 million museum, where work is expected to be wrapped up and the first exhibits available for viewing by next fall.

Donning a white hard hat and framed by the still exposed entrance to the building’s north side, museum director Terrie Sultan reiterated to an assemblage of mostly journalists that the changing sky played a key role in the building’s design and its angled direction. “You are having the same experience that artists had when painting them,” Ms. Sultan said of museumgoers enjoying future installations in natural light.

Speaking at times over the din of nearby construction equipment, Ms. Sultan spoke of how “aggressive cars” will be obscured from the view of passing motorists on Montauk Highway, since parking will be to the north of the building. At the moment, the parking lot is an expansive dusty lot; on the other side are the Long Island Rail Road tracks.

Pierre de Meuron, one of the co-founders of Herzog and de Meuron, and Ascan Mergenthaler, a senior partner with the firm, spoke of the solidity that the concrete walls will provide.

The exterior concrete walls are complete, as are the permanent cast-concrete benches lining the exterior walls and running the 615-foot length of the building on both sides. Plans call for porches and terraces. Native wildflowers and grasses are intended to beautify the space. Still to be completed is the 
long, white corrugated metal roof to top the wooden rafters and the placement of north-facing skylights designed to filter out ultraviolet rays.

To the west sits a terrace that museum officials intend to use for their annual midsummer party, one of its major events of the year. In the past, the gala has been held under tents at the museum’s current site on Jobs Lane in Southampton Village.

Preparations began late last month to widen the highway at the entrance to the new museum, which sits at 279 Montauk Highway. The road widening is being done to create a center turning lane for traffic heading into and out of the site. A curb and sidewalk, drainage and pavement markings are also in the works.

The museum is expected to vacate its village-owned Jobs Lane site this summer. Plans for that space are not yet firm, but village officials hope to retain an artistic use for it.

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butt ugly architecture - doesn't fit in the Hamptons.
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Oct 12, 11 11:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
A) your opinion likely does not reflect that of everyone in the Hamptons
B) it's an artistic design for an art musuem - a common theme and I'm sure there are lots of other art musuems you would call ugly (guggenheim?)
C) It absolutely "fits" in the hamptons. The hamptons have a strong history of being both home and inspiration to artists and people who think outside the box (or the cliche "barn" look of so many hamptons structures). Take a drive around some Hamptons back roads and you'll ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Oct 13, 11 9:10 AM
Hopefully they plan on blocking off that hideous giant box from the highway with mature trees, shrubs and other plantings.

By C Law (354), Water Mill on Oct 13, 11 12:49 PM
I fiddled while Rome burned.

Water MIll can now advertise that it has the largest "Billboard for Excess" on the East End.
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Oct 13, 11 1:35 PM
" .....spoke of how “aggressive cars” will be obscured from the view of passing motorists on Montauk Highway"...if only the view of one of the last beautiful fields near Montauk Highway could have been saved from that "aggressive" structure.
By bambi (76), bridgehampton on Oct 17, 11 7:17 AM
Have you driven by this project recently?

Very slow progress before winter hits in my opinion. Where is the labor person-power to close this in ASAP?

No wonder they asked to extend their lease in the current Southampton Village location.
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Oct 30, 11 4:07 PM