Museum of Modern Art

Taniguchi's New Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Features Vermont Unfading Green Slate as Signature Stone

Fair Haven, Vermont - November 2004

On November 20th, 2004, the newly renovated MoMA in Manhattan will open its doors to the public. Early reports of the highly-anticipated United States debut of Japanese design architect Yoshio Taniguchi describe the building as a resounding success.

The most prominent interior flooring material in the new MoMA is honed finish Vermont Unfading Green Slate. Vermont Structural Slate Company quarried and fabricated a large quantity of Unfading Green Slate which was used throughout the Museum. The firm also supplied antique finish Janegrey Sandstone and honed finish Grafton Marble for the project. The medium gray, uniform Janegrey was used for exterior wall cladding and sculpture bases in the expanded Sculpture Garden, called the “heart of the Museum” by Taniguchi. The almost pure white Grafton was used for interior and exterior wall cladding.

“It’s been a long and fulfilling process”, says Craig Markcrow, president of Vermont Structural Slate. “Mr. Taniguchi selected our Unfading Green Slate as the signature interior finish at least three years ago. Then there was a series of trips to New England -- to visit our quarries and factories -- that was undertaken by MoMA and its key partners. We were impressed that the most senior people at MoMA came to investigate the stone including Glenn Lowry and Terry Riley. They really did their homework, closely studying the stone itself as well as our ability to produce the required material in accordance with their exacting standards and rigid timeframe. I am proud to say that we delivered on both counts and everyone involved with the project was pleased with our performance.”

Markcrow goes on to say, “Mr. Taniguchi’s architecture is known for its dramatic simplicity and restraint. His buildings are elegant in their serenity. In its own way, our Unfading Green Slate shares some of these qualities. It is an understated stone, deriving its character from its soothing, deep color and subtle textures.”

Taniguchi favors Vermont Unfading Green Slate not only for its aesthetic qualities but also for its performance characteristics. This time-tested material is well-suited for both interior and exterior applications. It is extremely dense and durable and has a very low absorption rate making it resistant to freeze-thaw cycles, acid and staining. It is also extremely strong (about 8 times stronger than granite) as evidenced by the fact that it can be split to 3/16” thick and last over 125 years on a New England roof.

The Museum of Modern Art will certainly introduce Taniguchi’s brilliant talent to the world. And in a smaller way, it will make a similar introduction for Vermont Unfading Green Slate. Taniguchi’s selection of this slate as the signature stone in the Museum signals a new era for the material. Vermont Unfading Green Slate is now fully recognized for its character and capabilities and has emerged as one of the most desirable stones in the world.

To obtain a sample of the Unfading Green Slate used at MoMA, or to receive our boxed full range of stones, please contact Vermont Structural Slate Company at the address below.

Museum of Modern Art designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, photo by Timothy Hursley