Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts

Brooklyn, New York, 2012 (In Progress)

How architecture can begin to deconstruct the barriers of inaccessibility and exclusivity to establish a more accessible, inclusive, interactive and engaging experience is fundamental to the transformation of museum architecture in the 21st century. Transforming the scope and breadth of museum architecture and content to include a broader audience significantly increases the institution's impact upon society which is growing exponentially in cultural complexity and diversity. This is particularly true in areas around the world within and in proximity to cities where the museum becomes a place of cultural exchange and cultural intelligence.

New York City is one of the most culturally diverse and complex cities in the world. The Borough of Brooklyn in many ways is a microcosm and reservoir of New York City's cultural complexity. Recently, Brooklyn has been experiencing a cultural and architectural renaissance. The downtown BAM historic district represents the crossroads of that cultural transformation taking place. It is in this context that a 20,000 SF Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MOCADA) reflective of Brooklyn's cultural transformation and evolution is currently proposed. The Museum is inspired by the concept of "Diaspora dispersal and movement." A series of dynamically shifting volumes housing galleries, classrooms and offices hover over a transparent, open, accessible ground floor housing lobby, gift shop and cafe. The building rises to a height of seven stories and features an outdoor roof terrace with views of the downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines.