The new Harley-Davidson Museum recently opened it's doors to the public, and the architecture firm Pentagram designed both the enormous exhibit space and the outdoor public spaces that connect the museum to the grid.
"While attuned to the worshipful presence of Harley buffs, it also recalls such great retail spaces as the Galleria in Milan. And it symbolizes the key theme to the Harley-Davidson museum: it is not about exhibited objects so much as the social bonds inspired by Harley's culture and history. Despite declining sales numbers and rising customer age, the brand commands a cult-like loyalty.
The museum, which includes permanent and temporary exhibition space, a café, restaurant and store, is on a 20-acre reclaimed industrial site along the Menomonee River in Milwaukee.
According to the blog on Pentagram's Web site, the firm 'began with a few basic goals: integrate the site back into the city; respect and reflect the site's history; make the water an important recreational element and plan for future development. From these objectives, we developed an urban design that essentially restored the area's lost street grid and, by doing this, connected the site to the surrounding city by giving it a scale and ‘grain' that felt like a neighborhood within the city.'"