Brooks Downtown

The New Brooks

The New Brooks is inspired by the history and geography of Memphis and designed, to the smallest detail, to showcase Memphis' art collection. Located on the bluff, the New Brooks is part of a series of public-private investments that will make the riverfront shine while building a community that welcomes everyone. The New Brooks will connect the river to the core of downtown and will define a new public promenade for all Memphians.

Herzog & de Meuron conceptual rendering for the new Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Brooks Museum downtown floor layout rendering highlighting a space for gathering

Framing the Mississippi

Not only did the entire building and design team universally understand the importance of connecting to our river, they consistently looked to create spaces for gathering.

The River Window and Riverview Terrace will be some of the most compelling public spaces at the New Brooks with free access and unparalleled views. The River Window welcomes visitors with a beautiful, framed view of the Mississippi and is the magnetic connection between the completely enclosed parking area with the enormous courtyard above.

The Riverview Terrace on the roof of Your New Brooks frames a view of the progress of Memphis as well as a natural horizon unchanged for hundreds of years.

The Riverview Terrace celebrates and connects visitors to the horizon that inspired our great-grandparents and will do the same for generations to come.

Brooks Museum downtown layout rendering

More places to gather

Maximizing every inch of your museum, the architects placed the stunning New Brooks theater on a mezzanine above the lobby; that way, the first floor remains dedicated to galleries and education spaces.

The theater's floor-to-ceiling glass screen overlooks the courtyard and the Memphis skyline, an unmatched backdrop for concerts, classes, lectures, screenings, corporate events or... sunsets. The glass screen is equipped with shades that can make the theater light-tight to provide a prime viewing experience. And in the courtyard visitors can have their own viewing, of family films or art experiences, projected onto the exterior of the theater's screen.

The courtyard is the largest of the many free and public spaces at the New Brooks. It ensures that the large-scale programming Memphis loves - from Chalkfest to Día de los Muertos - remains a staple in the museum's lineup.

The next step in the design process will be to incorporate landscaping, making the courtyard an urban oasis for Memphis, a gathering place for individuals or groups of just about any size.

Brooks Museum downtown floor layout rendering highlighting a space for gathering

The Galleries

The museum has the region's largest collection of world art, with 10,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of art and cultures.

In the New Brooks, the art galleries and education spaces will seamlessly connect on a single floor. Visitors will enter the galleries on either side of the lobby and strategically placed "pause spaces" will allow them to view and reconnect with the courtyard and river. This single-floor and non-hierarchical approach, along with how artworks are placed, will ensure that no art form is privileged over another.

The New Brooks' democratized art experience will spur dialogue across time, geography, and cultures.

Education, for students and learners of all ages, is at the heart of museum programming. Accordingly, the education classrooms and the family interactive space immediately adjoin the galleries. And in the New Brooks new and exciting educational materials will also be woven into the galleries themselves.

Brooks Museum downtown layout rendering

The Front Porch

Your New Brooks will occupy an entire city block-with much (yet far from all) of what the museum offers being on the first floor and level with Front Street.

Thus visitors are seamlessly welcomed "home," into a light-filled space without barriers, real or imagined, to the museum experience. The Lobby connects the street to all the rest of the museum: from the much-expanded galleries and education spaces, museum store, and full-service café to the many places for public gathering, including the theater, courtyard, river window and on up to the rooftop with its vistas, framing Memphis, of the river and city.

Brooks Museum downtown layout rendering

Experience the Brooks downtown through Augmented Reality

Rendering courtesy of Whitt Mitchell

The New Brooks will transform this underutilized riverfront parcel into a civic asset that builds on the rich history, importance, and value of the Mississippi.

The architecture will be unrivaled in the city and region and will provide a beautiful community gathering place that both anchors and serves as a crossroad for public life. The New Brooks will attract residents and tourists alike, offering a world-class cultural experience.

Enhance your connection with the world of art

There are many ways for individuals, foundations, and corporations to support Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Ways to give