Bronx Museum of the Arts unveils $26M renovation plan and brand redesign
All renderings courtesy of Marvel
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York City’s only free contemporary art museum revealed a new design and revamped brand identity. Located at the corner of Grand Concourse and 165th Street in the Bronx, the Bronx Museum of the Arts will receive a new multi-story entrance and lobby design in its South Wing created by architectural firm Marvel using $26 million in city funding. It is the first time the museum has undergone such a significant transformation, which will wrap up by 2025.
The museum first called upon architects to redesign its South Wing in July 2021, selecting Marvel as the lead designer last December, according to Archpaper.
The renovation project is being supervised by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) on behalf of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and the Bronx Museum.
The renovation will connect the museum’s multiple buildings and create an accessible route throughout its galleries. Marvel will build off the 2006 addition of the museum’s North Wing, using folded copper bronze panels roofs to reflect warm tones from the surrounding brick and pay homage to the area’s Art Deco influence, according to a press release.
The redesign aims to “bring the street into the gallery and bring the gallery back to the street,” complementing the area’s active street life. The renovation includes a new central lobby with a seating area, gathering space, and rotating street-facing displays to keep community members engaged.
“The Bronx Museum was founded for the people of the Bronx, and has become a globally recognized institution. With the renovation of our entrance and new identity, we hope to further our mission to not only champion artists who are not typically represented within museums, but also amplify our ability to educate, engage and provide a critical gathering space for our communities,” Klaudio Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Bronx Museum, said in a statement.
The new lobby and main entrance will be located at the bustling intersection of Grand Concourse and 165th Street to “expand the experience to the sidewalk” and create programming opportunities on the street to increase the museum’s visibility.
Marvel’s careful redesign keeps accessibility in mind, prioritizing a design that removes any “visual interference” to the art and activities hosted inside the museum. The building will be glazed on all sides and equipped with “glass fiber reinforced concrete” walls to be used as interior gallery surfaces.
The architectural firm is paying respect to the former synagogue building from 1962 that the museum lies in by breaking down the dark metal panels that conceal the original building’s brick walls.
The New York-based design studio Team will refresh the museum’s brand identity and website which hasn’t been altered for over two decades. The new branding will create an identity that is “bold, distinct, and resilient” to reflect the Museum’s work of blending art and social justice.