Detroit Design 139

Adaptive Reuse

African Bead Museum

A Community Beacon

The African Bead Museum is a multifaceted arts and culture campus in Detroit founded by artist Olayami Dabls, a visionary leader in Detroit’s artistic and urban rebirth.

Project Details

  • Location: Grand River & West Grand Blvd
  • Project Size: 7,200 SQ FT
  • Completion Date: January 2019
  • Architects:
  • Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects
  • Program: Museum

A Community Beacon

Located on a major boulevard, the African Bead Museum consists of Olayami Dabls’ extensive outdoor public art installations, the African Bead Gallery, and a significant collection of African art and historic artifacts. Connecting the resilience found in Africa with that of Detroit, the Museum weaves together the immense power of African heritage into a vital contemporary context that has engaged and attracted local and global audiences. Following the renovation of the corner building, an overall site masterplan - the three townhomes currently housing the Museum’s facilities and an adjacent empty building - provides direction for future phases. The proposed vision renovates all of the buildings and creates a new entry to unite the Museum complex, a gallery space for exhibitions, climate-controlled storage for Dabls’ significant collection of African art, visiting artist residences, and administration facilities.