The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), which opened in 1861, is America’s oldest performing arts center. It was destroyed by fire and replaced in 1908 by the new Academy of Music, now known as the Peter Jay Sharp Building, designed by architects Herts & Tallant.
This historic building was altered in an ad-hoc manner over the years, rendering it disjointed and confusing to patrons. As part of an overall renewal plan, our firm has designed and implemented several significant capital improvements over the past decade to upgrade and enhance audience experience, and create a unified whole including adaptation of the building’s original circulation patterns; creation of the BAMCafé as the primary lobby space; and transformation of the underutilized Helen Carey Playhouse into the four Rose Cinemas.
To complement the improvements that have taken place within, we completed the first major restoration of the building’s exterior, including restoration and replacement of all brickwork and terracotta details; replacement of the building’s cornice (removed more than forty years ago) with one that keeps with the historic design; refurbishment of stained glass windows above the entry doors; and installation of a new handicapped-accessible entrance.
Design of a new, undulating glass canopy completes the façade’s restoration and complements BAM’s historic legacy with contemporary vision.
CLIENT: Brooklyn Academy of Music
SIZE: 103,000 square feet
COST: $7.5 million