Landmarks Preservation Commission approves plan to add windows to the back of the Brooklyn Museum
Let there be light. Natural light.
Architects have drawn up plans to renovate the Brooklyn Museum’s education division, where art classes and workshops are offered.
The education division isn’t located in the original Eclectic-Roman-style museum building at 200 Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, which was designed by famed architecture firm McKim Mead & White and constructed in 1894 to 1924.
Instead, it’s in the back of the museum, in an addition constructed many decades later, whose architectural style is Brutalist. The addition, which is visible from Washington Avenue, currently has just a handful of windows.
The education division’s renovation plan calls for the removal of a section of the addition’s facade, specifically a precast curtain wall, and its replacement with a curtain wall made of glass windows and metal.
The new windows will form a band of glass of two different widths across the facade.
Because the Brooklyn Museum is an individual city landmark, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is required to pass judgment on the window-addition plan.
At a public hearing on Tuesday at the commission’s Lower Manhattan headquarters, architect Angel Ayon of Ayon Studio said the metal in the new curtain wall would be painted the same sandy-beige color as the rest of the rear facade.
Several commissioners expressed objections to the architect’s design.
Commissioners Adi Shamir-Baron and Michael Goldblum both said an all-glass curtain wall would be preferable to what Ayon was proposing.
But ultimately, the commission approved Ayon’s plan. The vote was not unanimous.
As a caveat, the architect was instructed to work with LPC staff members to choose a color for the new curtain wall’s metal panels that contrasts with the rest of the museum’s back wall.
Presentation materials that Ayon submitted to the commission, which are available online to the public, included renderings of the education division’s interior renovation plans. The commission did not discuss the interior renovation at the hearing.
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