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Adjaye reveals reworked design for Harlem museum

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Adjaye Associates has released images of revised plans for Harlem’s Studio Museum in New York City

In 2015, the practice revealed designs for a 6,595m² structure to be built on the site of the museum’s current building at West 125th Street, Manhattan.

At the time, work had been due to start on site this year. But this week new images for a 7,600m² facility were released showing tweaks to the main façade.

The gallery, which displays art by contemporary artists of African descent, has been located in a century-old commercial building renovated for it in 1982 by African-American architect J Max Bond.

Commenting on the changes, David Adjaye said: ‘Above all, we have sought to create spaces that celebrate the rich heritage of the institution, its relationship with artists and its role as a pillar of Harlem’s cultural life.’

The new scheme includes a café and shop, lecture halls, along with an expansive roof deck and a staff room on the fifth floor.

A statement by the museum said: ‘Taking its cues from the brownstones, churches, and bustling sidewalks of Harlem, David Adjaye’s design provides the Studio Museum with a dynamic, sculptural façade that contrasts strongly with the surrounding commercial buildings.

‘The building has a porous, welcoming presence at street level, a light-filled core that soars up through the entire interior, and a tiered public hall, which the architect has likened to an “inverted stoop” that invites people to step down from the street into a multiuse space that will be free and open to the public during museum hours and used for presentations and informal gatherings.’

The museum will close its doors in 2018 –  in the first week of its 50th anniversary year – with the new building now scheduled to open in 2021.

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