The Studio Museum in Harlem

2014–Ongoing | New York NY

Client The Studio Museum Harlem
Architect Adjaye Associates
Associate Architect Cooper Robertson
Structural Engineer Guy Nordenson and Associates
Associate Structural Engineer Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Having outgrown its previous building, the 70,000sf Studio Museum in Harlem will provide a new home for the museum to showcase its permanent collection, accommodate larger temporary exhibitions, and provide ample space for public programs, artist studios and classrooms. The design includes a glass-fronted lobby with a “reverse stoop” that opens the building to the street and leads visitors down into the museum. The five-story structure rises above the lobby with stacked galleries of different volumes that provide versatile exhibition spaces and are organized around a light-filled atrium and central stair. A roof terrace will provide space for sculptures and views of Harlem and the city beyond.

The structure consists of steel framing with slabs on metal deck. The galleries are column free, which requires up to 48ft spans. The lateral stability system is a combination of moment frames and braced frames carefully coordinated with the architecture. The façades are cladded with large custom precast concrete panels with multiple setbacks and embossing separated by reveals, which together give the impression of sculpted stacked volumes.