The Bronx Museum of the Arts calls for architects to structure its South Wing overhaul

Before this month, the New York Town Economic Advancement Corporation (NYCEDC) on behalf of the Section of Cultural Affairs launched a request for proposals for the newest overhaul at the half-century-old Bronx Museum of the Arts: a new South Wing Atrium and entrance at the southwest corner of the acclaimed cultural hub, abutting 165th Street and Grand Concourse. For each the NYCEDC, the recent atrium space will be demolished and replaced by an “iconic new multi-tale entrance and foyer.”

As in-depth in a press release announcing the RFP, the main planned renovation phone calls for the development of a “spacious foyer that incorporates seating, collecting area and huge avenue-going through walls for artwork.” The artwork-showcasing new house is envisioned as an extension of the sidewalk, connecting with the group, engaging passersby to stop by the museum, and “offering a number of prospects for art and general public programming to be noticeable from the road.”

“As we rejoice our 50th anniversary and look to the subsequent 50 this job offers a exceptional opportunity to imagine and realize what a 21st century, community-based mostly, world-spanning museum need to be,” explained Klaudio Rodriguez, executive director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, in a assertion. “The renovation will strengthen our capability to fulfill our community’s demands, by amplifying our skill to teach, have interaction and accommodate our readers. The job will simultaneously reflect our values and priorities, like our commitments to accessibility, fairness, and transparency.”

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a person of a small number of New York Town museums that has “removed economic limitations to entry and participation in programs” by presenting free admission. Instituted in 2012, the new admission plan yielded quadrupled attendance within just a several decades. The museum very first opened in Could 1971 within the artwork deco very first-floor rotunda of the Bronx County Courthouse and a series of satellite galleries across the borough. In 1983, the museum’s present-day household at the aged Young Israel Synagogue, a mid-century composition developed by Simon B. Zelnick in the Concourse section of the South Bronx, opened to the community next a multi-million-dollar conversion. 5 a long time later on, the atrium-anchored South Wing enlargement built by Castro-Blanco, Piscioneri & Feder was completed to accommodate the museum’s escalating assortment. Nevertheless, the sleek glass and steel addition, afterwards described as “awkward” and possessing the “feel of a suburban mall” by New York Situations critic Nicolai Ouroussoff, was markedly quick on new exhibition space.

Yet another enlargement adopted in 2006, this a single helmed by Miami’s Arquitectonica. The new, 3-tale North Wing debuted with a next-story sculpture garden, new gallery place, instruction-devoted spaces, and an idiosyncratic pleated aluminum facade likened to an accordion. Reactions to Arquitectonica’s North Wing were mainly good. “[…] the addition is a reminder of how architecture can have a profound public effects when its values are in the correct spot,” wrote Ouroussoff in his exact same evaluation for the Times. “And it demonstrates how very simple it can be to bridge the divide amongst art and its audience at a time when much bigger, far more superior-profile museums and their ultra-wealthy boards can look baffled by their cultural roles.”

view of a modern museum building with glass atrium
Road perspective of the South Wing Atrium/entrance at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. (Jim Henderson/Wikimedia Commons/Community Area)

In May perhaps 2016, it was declared that Mónica Ponce de León, the Venezuela-born architect and dean of the Princeton University College of Architecture, would lead a $15 million South Wing overhaul/atrium reimagining undertaking envisioned as the 1st section of a much larger $25 museum facelift. That project was slated for completion in 2020. Though the museum vowed to forge in advance with the planned atrium overhaul following a controversial inner shake-up that came just a few months just after the capital campaign was declared, all those precise options, similar in overall scope to the types just announced, hardly ever arrived to fruition. The involvement of Ponce de León is not mentioned in the most current revamp announcement/cash marketing campaign update.


With over 2,000 works on its long lasting collection, the Bronx Museum of the Arts has garnered popular recognition for its focus on showcasing up to date and 20th-century artwork, especially is effective produced by Bronx-based and -born artists, artists of African, Asian, and Latin American ancestry, and other creators “not commonly represented inside common museum collections,” for every the NYCEDC. Recent exhibitions include things like the group clearly show Born in Flames: Feminist Futures and Amerika. God Bless You If It is Good To You, an exhibition of new operates by Harlem-primarily based artist Wardell Milan.

“The Bronx Museum is a real jewel of our borough, and 1 of the most crucial cultural institutions in our metropolis,” stated Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This new proposal will allow for a much-expected expansion of this essential artistic place for our neighborhood. As we recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic, the arts will participate in a essential purpose in this procedure, that is why I am proud to have allotted over two million bucks in funding to this venture.”

RFP submissions from interested get-togethers can be submitted no later on than August 2.

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