Wednesday, November 24, 2010

☞ ARCHITECTURE: The Original Ringgold Museum




The proposed Faith Ringgold's Children Museum  at 155th Street and St. Nicholas Place that will break ground at the end of the year now has a modernist, stacked-block design to it but the building originally went for a contextual direction.  We found an early rendering that took the terracotta elements of the existing ornate garage along with Manhattanville's 125th Street Viaduct's iconic arches to form the base of museum and the affordable housing up top.  The idea is quite interesting but the early computer drawings are not realistic enough to give a sense of what the structure would actually look like (that's supposed to be all glass on each level). Click on the top image to enlarge.   For more details, go to the following site for additional sketches: LINK.  See our past post on Harlem's new children's museum and the final design selected: LINK

5 comments:

  1. I'm not sure "contextual" is particularly relevant in this case where the actual context appears to be a gas station and a housing project.

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  2. Ms. Ringgold in the past has referenced her work "in context" to Harlem's history. That is why we referenced the 2nd two images so readers can know the train of thought behind this particular design.

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  3. So.. now Harlem can look like the rest of Manhattan- Glass, no character? Just adding characteristics of the bridge and building facade to slabs of glass does not necessarily contextualize something.. it looks like they were thrown onto an ugly modernistic building at the last moment, it doesn't blend very well...

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  4. The context you don't see are James Stroud's beautiful Queen Anne rowhouses across the street of St Nicholas Ave, and the limestone/brownstone 3-4 story residences all along the avenue. That's the context a lot of us see and care about. I think the parapets, bridge arches, and coloring are a much better neighborhood-sensitive match than the new design, which presumably won due to maximizing space/revnue?

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  5. Ms. Harlem Born & RaisedDecember 6, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    FYI: The view in that top rendering of the Children's Museum...shows that it is not St. Nicholas Avenue...it is St. Nicholas Place. Does that mean the museum will be between St. Nicholas Ave & St. Nicholas Place ?
    I was born to a Harlem Renaissance baby, she & her Dad felt it important that I knew my neighborhood, Manhattan & the rest of this city...they are my home. And when it comes to Harlem, we need to keep things...like history & locations correct...we don't want to lose it in this current gentrefication.

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