The P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, Queens is an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art and offers exhibition space for some of the most experimental modern art in the world, featuring over 50 different exhibitions annually, as well as various musical and performance programming. (One current exhibition features three works from Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.) P.S.1 was founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc., which installed art exhibitions in various abandoned and otherwise underutilized spaces across the city. After finding a permanent home in a former Long Island City school building in 1976, P.S.1 has grown substantially, and became an affiliate of MoMA back in 2000.
P.S.1 recently commissioned Danish energy consultants Leif Hansen to provide it with a renovation plan for becoming one of the greenest and most energy-efficient spaces in Queens. Engineer and Leif Hansen executive Flemming Kristensen called it a “unique challenge” to evaluate ways to conserve energy within the museum environment. “You have to redesign the lighting so that it will not damage the artwork,” he said. “It’s a bit like reinventing the light bulb.” Specific details about the results of the effort are not available, and it’s unclear whether PS-1 will implement any of the firm’s recommendations.
Leif Hansen only recently expanded its operations into the United States and consults primarily with ex-pat Danish businesses out of its headquarters here in New York City. The firm’s other projects in the U.S. include a production facility for Vestas, which is one of the largest producers of wind turbines in the world.