FXFOWLE has unveiled their design for a new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island in the New York Harbor. Set into a new landscape and lighting plan, the 26,000 square foot (2,415 square meter) museum will feature an exhibition experience by ESI Design, giving the island’s 4.3 million yearly visitors an opportunity “to learn about and honor the Statue’s history, influence, and legacy in the world.”
The new museum will be completely integrated into its surroundings, featuring a green roofscape and bird-safe glass exteriors. Both interior and exterior surfaces will be built using materials either native to Liberty Island or used in the construction of the statue, including granite, bronze, plaster and native vegetation. In accordance with the new FEMA Executive Order on floodplain management and resiliency, the museum will sit above 500‐year flood levels and will be capable of withstanding hurricane force winds.
"From the start, the design of the Statue of Liberty Museum was conceived as an extension of the park," said Nicholas Garrison, Partner and Project Designer, FXFOWLE. "The goal was to engage with the park's formal, axial plan and respond to its spectacular setting. The island’s landscape is lifted and merged with the architecture to create space for the Museum in a new geology. The building's angular forms and spaces are shaped by its views and the irregularity of the water’s edge, celebrating liberty."
“Rising upwards, and in a nod to the island’s classical master plan, monumental steps are arranged to engage and activate this formal, circular flag plaza,” said Garrison at the unveiling and groundbreaking ceremony. “They will provide sitting, climbing and viewing spaces towards the Statue and activities in the plaza. Visitors can meet here to rest or eat, and we imagine Park Rangers using the steps for educational talks. They will also work as a stage, where performers can be seen by spectators assembled in the plaza below.”
“At the top, a large observation terrace was created to echo the Promenade experience atop Fort Wood. From there one will enjoy sweeping views of the island, the harbor, the city, and of course, of Lady Liberty herself.”
The current museum, located inside the Statue of Liberty, underwent massive safety upgrades following the events of September 11, 2001 which significantly reduced the museum’s occupancy and programming. Inside the new structure, FXFOWLE and ESI’s design will allow for an expanded display of artifacts and exhibits on the history of Liberty, her original concept, design, construction, and her 1986 centennial restoration while exploring the philosophical concept of liberty. Highlights of the exhibition experience will include a virtual flythrough of the monument and immersive storytelling from the statue’s history.
“Our goal is for visitors to take away a richer picture of what the Statue of Liberty has meant to people throughout her history – not only in this nation but around the world – and to see themselves as part of the amazing story of liberty’s future,” said Edwin Schlossberg, President and Principal Designer of ESI Design.
At the museum entrance, a mural envisioned by fashion designer and museum fundraising chair Diane von Furstenberg will be constructed from Gustave Eiffel’s original hand‐forged iron bars, which supported the Statue of Liberty for 100 years and were removed and preserved during her 1986 centennial restoration.
Access to the museum will be included in the purchase of a ferry ticket to visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Liberty Island will continue to be open to visitors throughout construction of the new museum. The museum is expected to open to the public in 2019.
News via FXFOWLE.