New York City's Studio Museum in Harlem just revealed plans for a major new expansion. It's the first in the museum's nearly 50-year history, The New York Times reports: a $122 million building designed by David Adjaye, a British architect.
One feature that jumps out in descriptions of the design is the building's entrance, which Adjaye describes as a "reverse stoop," according to the report. It will be a wide staircase that leads from the front area down to the lower level, and it will serve as a public gathering space.
The Times' report discusses how Harlem inspired Adjaye's concept for the new Studio Museum:
In creating his design, Mr. Adjaye said he was inspired by the surrounding Harlem vernacular: the detailed window framing of brownstone homes coupled with the airy volume of the neighborhood's churches. "I wanted to honor this idea of public rooms, which are soaring, celebratory, and edifying—uplifting," he said. "Between the residential and the civic, we learned the lessons of public realms and tried to bring those two together."
Without passing judgment on the design, it's commendable that a major black architect is drawing on African-American vernacular architecture for a significant museum commission. And New York isn't the only place where this is happening.