Currently under construction, the new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island will offer its 4.3 million annual visitors a new venue in which to experience the history and the legacy this iconic landmark represents.
The Museum is the first new building construction undertaken by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (SOLEIF); a private sector effort established in 1982 to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
Designed by New York-based architecture firm FXCollaborative, the 2415-square-metre museum will feature exhibitions created by experience and interaction design firm, ESI Design, and will stand as the key element of the beautification plan for Liberty Island, which receives more than 4.3 million visitors annually.
The existing Statue of Liberty Museum, located inside the monument itself, is only accessible to a limited number of people at any one time, due to safety upgrades place following 11 September 2001.
Exhibits by ESI Design will provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about and honour the Statue’s history, influence, and legacy in 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,” explains Edwin Schlossberg, president and principal designer of ESI Design.
An immersive visual flythrough inside the monument will be the first exhibition experienced by visitors, with an overview of the story of Lady Liberty and the changes that have taken place around her during her time on the island, and how she philosophically serves not only as an American icon but as an interpretive and celebrated global symbol.
Visitors can then delve into stories about the statue’s construction, history, and global impact through historic artefacts, immersive media, and interactives. The culmination of the museum experience prompts visitors to consider their own roles in Liberty’s future through engaging activities.
The new museum will incorporate the best environmentally sustainable practices. A green roofscape has been included in the FXCollaborative design plan, along with bird-safe glass exteriors. While the greenspace section of the roof serves as an inaccessible meadow, the adjacent roof terrace offers panoramic views of the monument with a sweeping backdrop of lower Manhattan. Set above 500-year flood levels, the structure will withstand hurricane force winds.
“From the start, the design of the Statue of Liberty Museum was conceived as an extension of the park. The goal was to engage with the park’s formal, axial plan and respond to its spectacular setting. The island’s landscape is lifted and merged with the architecture to create space for the museum in a new geology. The building’s angular forms and spaces are shaped by its views and the irregularity of the water’s edge, celebrating liberty,” states Nicholas Garrison, project designer at FXCollaborative.
Images FXCollaborative & Diane Bondareff