Bronx Museum of the Arts
Arquitectonica was the architect and interior designer for this new museum on Grand Concourse in the Bronx. The new building marks the beginning of an ambitious plan to expand and eventually replace the original museum structure. The first phase of the project includes new galleries and administration spaces and an outdoor sculpture court. The mid-block structure is part of a larger plan for which Arquitectonica has designed additional galleries, classrooms, an auditorium, a children’s art center and a residential tower that will anchor the corner at 165th Street where the original museum currently sits.
Arquitectonica’s first phase design emerges from the sidewalk as an irregular folded screen made of fritted glass and metallic panels. The panelization in diagonal components emphasizes the depth of the crevices. The resulting vertical zones of metal and glass angle and twist like an architectural origami, demystifying the streetwall and making it permeable. One can peek into the ground floor community gallery through the slivers of semitransparent glass that face the approaching pedestrians in their diagonal position. This curtain-like geometry dramatizes the vertical dimension of the otherwise modest structure, turning it into an unexpectedly monumental surface. The lack of expression of the interior floor levels renders the facade scaleless giving it a bold, graphic reading from the open long distance approach, a strategy characteristic of other Arquitectonica work.