This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Bronx Museum, the only museum in New York City that offers contemporary art free to the public. To celebrate, the institution tapped award-winning architecture and interiors studio Marvel and strategy and design practice Team to refresh the museum’s architectural and digital design in a way that pays homage to its roots as an institution founded by community leaders and activists, as well as the diversity and creativity of the borough. Slated for completion in 2025, the modern and accessibility-focused redesign marks a new era for the museum dedicated to even more robust social justice programming and an educational ethos.
Inspired by the Bronx as a hub for different cultures, the building’s new design is informed by unity. The south and north wings will be elegantly integrated through a spacious, sun-drenched lobby that will act as a seating area, gathering place and home for street-facing installations. Outside, post-modernist glazed concrete will sit cohesively underneath bronze-panel roofs which honor the neighborhood’s art deco influences. Inside, the metal panels will be stripped to reveal the welcoming brick walls underneath that will be surrounded by windows and light, blending the barrier between the museum and street and letting pedestrians know they are welcome inside.
The museums website has been re-launched following a similar through-line of accessibility. Along with the bold new font that graces the screen, the website features a bilingual user experience with the option for Spanish translation. Additionally, the website highlights education, including the Teen Council program which offers paid internships to young people to engage with contemporary art, interview artists and curate exhibitions.
The new physical and digital design language underscores The Bronx Museum as a critical site for art, activism and the community. It’s dynamic, open and spirited; everything the Bronx is and then some.
Images courtesy of Marvel