Renderings have just been unveiled for the new Statue of Liberty museum, complete with a number of eco-friendly features such as bird-safe glass, a green roof and locally-sourced materials. The 26,000-square-foot museum, which was designed by FXFOWLE Architects, will include an interactive experience created by experiential design firm ESI Design that takes visitors on an immersive journey celebrating the long history and vast influence of Lady Liberty.
The 26,000-square-foot building will be the first new construction to be completed on Liberty Island since the 1980s. It will replace the current museum located inside the statue’s pedestal that is extremely limited on space and only accommodates a small portion of visitors to Liberty Island.
The new renderings show a modern, inviting, freestanding building that will give the over 4 million annual visitors a chance to experience the island’s history and relevance as a national landmark. The museum will be the heart of a general renovation plan for the island that also includes new landscaping and improved lighting.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation has had a lot of big name support, including fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, in fundraising for the museum, which will come at an estimated cost of $70 million. Von Furstenberg, who has become known as the “godmother” of the project, was also an integral part of the design process, making suggestions like a mural for the museum’s entrance. According to the press release, the mural will be an “artistic evocation” of the American flag made up of iron bars created by Gustave Eiffel that were removed from the statue during the 1986 centennial restoration process.
As far as the museum’s design, the building will have state-of-the-art features and numerous sustainable qualities such as a green roof and bird-safe glass exteriors. The building materials will be native to Liberty Island and also implement the same materials that were used to build the Statue of Liberty such as Stony Creek granite, bronze, and plaster. Additionally, in compliance with FEMA floodplain management and resiliency criteria, the building will be built above the 500 year flood levels and designed to withstand hurricance forcewinds.
The landscape architecture plan for the museum is being headed by Quennell Rothschild & Partners, who have designed a serene planting scheme for seating and observation terraces. They will also be in charge of the museum’s massive 20,000-square-foot green roof, which will be planted with native meadow species. Native vegetation will also be used in the surrounding landscaping and a rain garden will be used to absorb and cleanse stormwater.
Once inside the museum, ESI Design has created an immersive experience that will take visitors on a virtual tour of Lady Liberty’s history and influence on the world. “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.
The museum is slated to open to the public in 2019.
Images via ESI Design and Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.