Brooklyn Childrens Museum New York, Crown Heights Building, Architect Design NYC, Picture

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Building

Crown Heights Architecture, NY, USA, design by Rafael Vinoly Architects

Jan 15, 2007

Location: Crown Heights, New York, USA

Date built: 2007

Design: Rafael Vinoly Architects

Brooklyn Children's Museum
image from Rafael Viñoly Architects

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Building, NY


Rafael Viñoly Architects’ expansion of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, located at the intersection of Brooklyn Avenue and St. Marks Avenue in Crown Heights, has reached substantial completion. It is applying for LEED certification at the Silver level, which will make it New York City’s first LEED-certified museum upon approval.

The museum was founded in 1899 and expanded on its current site in 1977. In 1999, it began to seek ways to increase capacity and to create a new public presence for the twenty-first century.

Rafael Viñoly Architects has achieved this by creating a distinctive L-shaped, two story structure that differs from its context in colour as well as physical form, yet remains welcoming and deferential to the museum’s existing built fabric. The plan doubles the museum’s space to 102,000 square feet and is expected to expand its annual visitor capacity from 250,000 to 400,000.

The architecture of the new building is compelling and inviting to children, its glittering envelope of 8.1 million yellow ceramic tiles creating a landmark attraction. Two stories of new construction integrated with the existing structure add a spacious lobby, exhibition galleries, classrooms, a library, a café, a gift shop, and incremental administrative space. Child-friendly features include low level handrails and porthole windows.

Whenever possible, construction utilized rapidly renewable and recycled materials and also incorporated high-performance/sustainable features. The museum will be the first in New York City to employ geothermal wells for heating and cooling purposes.

Throughout construction, the museum has largely remained open to the public, closing only for the final stages of construction. Its reopening is scheduled for September 20, following the installation of new science and cultural exhibits.

“The design of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is a force for shaping the creativity of young minds,” says Rafael Viñoly. “Its expanded presence in the neighbourhood elicits a visceral, instinctive response in children that’s exciting to see.”

Rafael Viñoly Architects’ project director for the museum’s renovation and expansion is David Rolland, who led the firm’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center project in Pittsburgh and Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art in Durham, North Carolina. The Department of Design and Construction served as the museum’s project manager for the City of New York.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum image / information from Rafael Vinoly Architects

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Building architects : Rafael Viñoly Architect

Location: Brooklyn, New York City, USA

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