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El Museo Del Barrio

Seeking to open a new face on NYC’s Museum Mile, IBI Group designed the renovation for El Museo Del Barrio, a prominent Hispanic organization located in the historic Heckscher Building.

NYC Department of Design and Construction
Manhattan, NY
25,000 sq ft Size
2009 Completed

The City of New York’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) was looking to transform a 1920’s institutional building into a vibrant public space and community magnet. It commissioned IBI Group to provide master planning, programming, conceptual design, design development, and construction administration services as architect for the renovation and redesign of El Museo Del Barrio.  

The building is located at the north end of New York City’s famed 5th Avenue Museum Mile, in close proximity to such venerable institutions as The Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt, the Guggenheim, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Located in the historic Heckscher Building, the El Museo courtyard faces the beloved Central Park Conservancy Gardens. The design is comprised of four main components: the courtyard, the 5th Avenue lobby, the cafe/multipurpose area and the gallery, with its curatorial support spaces. Gut renovation was performed in all spaces to create a new image for El Museo del Barrio. NYC Department of Design and Construction requested the space to have a greater presence in the neighborhood, in order to make the museum more inviting and better known.

The IBI design team worked closely with the client to fulfill its goal of creating an open, inviting, new public face for the museum by comprehensively rethinking the facility, most significantly through the redesign of the courtyard, lobby, gallery, museum store and the addition of a café. Our work resulted in a 25,000 sq. ft. renovation on a 60,000 sq. ft. site on Manhattan’s Museum Mile.

El Museo del Barrio
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Award for Design Excellence


By The Art Commission of the City of New York

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Design Award of Merit


Adaptive Reuse,
By AIA NY State

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Honourable Mention


MASterworks Category,
By Municipal Art Society

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