US music icon Bruce Springsteen could have a new museum dedicated in his honour after the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University announced plans for a 2,750-square-metre museum to be opened in 2026.
Designed by CookFox Architects, the mass-timber superstructure – with exposed ceiling and support columns – will house Springsteen’s Archives, the Center for American Music, exhibition galleries and a state-of-the-art theatre.
CookFox Architects is focused on high-performance, environmentally responsive, socially engaged design.
“The studio is known globally for innovative design that supports physical health and mental wellness at the highest environmental performance standards,” according to the Bruce Springsteen Archives.
Their most notable projects include the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, the Marymount School of New York, St. John’s Terminal, and 150 Charles.
Once delivered, the archive will house 35,000 items from 47 countries, spanning vinyl records, textiles, DVDs, promotional materials and more.
The collection will be “available for amateur and serious musical scholars,” according to the Bruce Springsteen Archives.
A campaign is now underway to raise US $45 million needed to develop the museum, with the building located on the grounds of Monmouth University, not far from where Springsteen wrote his landmark song, “Born to Run,” 50 years ago.
Known as the Boss, Springsteen has won 20 Grammys, an Oscar, and two Golden Globes and has sold more than 135 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists. In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame almost 30 years ago.
According to Monmouth University President and Chair of the Archives Board Patrick F. Leahy, the venue will help preserve Springsteen’s legacy.
“Monmouth University is excited to enrich our campus with a new home for one of the country’s premier cultural and educational institutions dedicated to preserving the legacy of Bruce Springsteen and the story of American music,” Mr Leahy said.
“This beautiful and functional facility will enhance cultural and educational opportunities in New Jersey and our region, expand academic scholarship, and position Monmouth University as a national leader in arts education.”
Known as the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, the museum “will celebrate the life, legacy, and art of Bruce Springsteen within the broader history of American Music”.
It will feature gallery spaces displaying highlights from Springsteen’s career interwoven with the history of American music and a performance theatre.
It draws inspiration from New Jersey’s industrial history and Springsteen’s “storytelling.”
“Storytelling, perhaps the motivation for Springsteen’s career as well as the formation of his archives, can also be experienced through the built environment,” according to the CookFox Architects design team.
The space will feature a wooden walkway leading to the building’s entry into a double-height entry hall. The performance theatre and galleries will be on either end, with additional galleries on the floor below, and Springsteen’s archives will be housed on the second floor.
Renderings show a rectangular building with a large glass curtain wall at one end and smaller windows distributed along its length.
The theatre will be close to the glass facade, pointing towards the university campus. Weathering steel plates will clad the exterior, rotated at different degrees to reveal a glass facade beneath.
The building and surrounding landscape will draw from New Jersey’s coastal environment, with native plantings used to improve local biodiversity and mitigate stormwater.
“The weathering steel mass, inspired by New Jersey’s industrial infrastructure, surfs above an undulating grassy meadow of native plantings, reminiscent of both the bridges and boardwalks that characterise the coastal region,” according to the design team.