Design workshops begin this week on the larger, permanent home for Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The new, larger museum will be built on top of the Wallace Plaza rooftop and to be designed by Frank Harmon Architect. The design team will also include two other firms: The Portico Group from Seattle Washington and MIG from Berkeley California.
Kidzu is founded on the premise that early learning experiences are critical to later life success, and that children learn best through play. The organisation will be able to increase the size of its facility substantially, both inside and out, with ample room for future growth. Harmon will facilitate a series of design workshops, beginning this week, so that museum staffs, community members and children all have opportunities for input.
The Harmon/Portico/MIG team is now challenged with accommodating a variety of design imperatives including creating an iconic facility that serves as a centrepiece for downtown Chapel Hill. Other elements to be included are connections to nature, both inside and out, and the creation of a flexible environment (building, exhibits and site) to allow the museum to serve as many functions as possible and to meet unanticipated future needs. The Board of Directors anticipates completion of the new museum by 2015.