Brooklyn Children’s Museum
With its glittering envelope of 8.1 million yellow
ceramic tiles the new building is a landmark attraction in the
ethnically diverse residential neighborhood of Crown
Seeking expanded capacity to serve a growing audience of children and families, the Brooklyn Children's Museum wanted a new public presence that would contribute to the vitality of the surrounding community.
The singular structure differs from its context, in both color
and physical form, yet remains welcoming and deferential to the
museum's existing built fabric.
Two stories of new construction adds a library, exhibition galleries, café, and classrooms to the existing 1977 museum. The design provides access to the existing rooftop terrace and outdoor theater, linking these spaces directly to a second-floor Kids' Café.
The design of the Brooklyn Children's Museum is a force for shaping the creativity of young minds. Its expanded presence in the neighborhood elicits a visceral, instinctive response in children that is exciting to see.
The expanded plan and second-floor galleries are integrated with
the existing structure through open staircases and vertical
circulation cores, providing visitors with a wider array of
Throughout the building, specially designed features ensure that
the architecture remains child-accessible. Additional wooden
handrails are mounted at a low level, and porthole windows
punctuate the building envelope at a variety of heights and angles,
yielding a series of unique elevated perspectives on the
The Brooklyn Children's Museum is slated to be New York City's
first LEED-certified museum and the first to tap geothermal wells
for heating and cooling purposes. Wherever possible, construction
utilized rapidly renewable and recycled materials and incorporated
high-performance/sustainable features. Photovoltaic cells on
exterior walls convert solar energy directly into electrical power,
and energy-saving sensors control the interior lighting and
Facts about Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Philip Habib & Associates
Shen Milsom & Wilke, Inc.
Excavation and Foundation:
Urban Foundation/Engineering, LLC
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects
Viridian Energy & Environmental, LLC
Lam Partners, Inc.
Photographed by Chuck Choi
Last updated: December 17, 2012