As a cutting edge institution on the move, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is constantly looking to expand its cultural footprint and engage the community. A long-abandoned vacant lot located directly across Lafayette Avenue from BAMís stately home in the Peter Jay Sharp Building was in need of a serious makeover. The BAM Bike Park turns a lemon into lemonade by pairing an urban scale mural by Brooklyn-based artist KAWS with an installation of custom bike racks designed by Talking Heads front man and cycling enthusiast David Byrne, creating a unique blend of art and amenity. As a temporary structure on a city-owned parcel, the 20-foot wide by 24-foot high wall and support structure are configured to tread lightly on the abandoned lot, with precast footings and standard scaffolding components that require minimal site preparation. The art wall itself employs standard billboard panels and will feature a rotating series of mural installations by local artists. The bike racks accommodate a unique alphabet of interchangeable letters, allowing them to make a statement all their own.
Photography by Chris Cooper.