Located at the northern end of Museum Mile along Fifth Avenue, El Museo del Barrio has been experiencing growth in attendance and community programs. Two major open space goals were achieved in this project: to endow the museum with a more engaging presence on the street and to activate the entry courtyard to accommodate new activities.
The 4,600 sf courtyard is transformed using a shifted grid of colorful pavers and pigmented concrete that announces the new glass entry pavilion and modulates the scale of the space. Movable seating allows an indoor café and evening dance events to spill out onto the plaza while perimeter lighting rakes the historic facade and allows a soft glow to emanate from animated ground floor public areas.
A new steel and granite portal serves to frame the courtyard and provide an armature for art. The spatial enclosure simultaneously defines a dynamic facade and a forecourt that is part of both the streetscape and the museum experience.
“With this renovation, including its innovative designs for the renovated courtyard, façade and galleries, El Museo will continue to attract thousands of visitors from around the world." David Burney, Commissioner, NYC Department of Design and Construction, October 19, 2009.