Ennead: Brooklyn Museum Sackler Center for Feminist Art
This is one in a series of books, each of which tells the story of a single building. It is our hope that as these books accumulate alongside our body of work, they, in their aggregate, will form a profile of our design intentions. -Ennead Architects
The Center's realization would be a significant step toward eradicating the all-too-often dismissive attitude towards women and their contributions to society. Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party, notable for elevating "female achievement in Western history to a heroic scale traditionally reserved for men" would form the centerpiece of the project, giving the artwork its first permanent home.
Responding to the art - its grand scale, provocative content, intricate detailing, sequential movement pattern and triangular geometry - was a unique design challenge. In the past, temporary installations of The Dinner Party were events in themselves. I felt that as the heart of the new Center, the artwork could be made even more influential if the piece was encountered in a variety of ways. The design strategy intentionally apposes the "white box" gallery approach typically applied to housing contemporary art. Instead the architecture actively engages the art, with the distinct purpose of deepening the visitor's appreciation of and connection to it. Essential to this is the reinforcement of the triangular geometry of the piece.