Studio Museum in Harlem

Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists, and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is the premier center for contemporary artists of African descent, the principal visual art institution in Harlem, and a magnet for visitors from around the world. The Studio Museum retained Zubatkin in 2011 to help develop a preliminary Master Plan for a major renovation of its existing building—a hundred-year-old commercial structure that had been renovated for the Studio Museum’s use in the early 1980s by the late African American architect J. Max Bond, Jr. — as well an option to develop an entirely new building on the site in the heart of Harlem on West 125th Street. Following the Museum’s decision to pursue the new building option, Zubatkin continued on the project to oversee design and construction of a new facility designed by Adjaye Associates with Cooper Robertson. The first building created expressly for the institution’s program, this new home is designed to enable the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its program of world-renowned exhibitions, effectively display its singular collection, and strengthen its trailblazing Artist-in-Residence program. The new 82,000-square-foot building will provide an increase of approximately 115 percent in space for exhibiting art and conducting the Artist-in-Residence program, approximately 47 percent more indoor space for education and public programs, and approximately 105 percent more outdoor space. The new structure will consist of a lower level for presentations, with a welcome center, a cafe, and public amenities; a porous, welcoming presence at street level, with a light-filled core that soars up through the entire interior; a variety of gallery spaces on the second, third, and fourth floors, with an education center on the third and dedicated spaces for the Artist-in-Residence program on the fourth; staff offices on the fifth floor; and a roof terrace spanning the entire building.

Role + Responsibilities

Following the preliminary Master Plan phase, and the Museum’s decision to build a new home for their organization, Zubatkin managed a team selection process, resulting in the engagement of Adjaye Associates with Cooper Robertson as the Architect and Sciame Construction with McKissack & McKissack as the Construction Manager. Zubatkin has since overseen the design and preconstruction process for the new facility. Our team has worked closely with the Museum to define the project scope, put in place the project management structure and governance, as well as support the Museum’s fundraising efforts. Our team is responsible for day-to-day management of the project, including direct client interaction and team coordination, as well as oversight of the project schedule, budget, and general project administration, including reporting to the Owner and the Museum stakeholders.

Related Projects

  • Client Studio Museum in Harlem
  • Location New York, NY
  • Size

    82,000 sf

  • Architect
    • Adjaye Associates
    • Cooper Robertson
  • Construction Manager
    • Sciame Construction, with McKissack & McKissack

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