Give a little respect...

James Forryan
Tuesday 19 May 2009

Unique museum pays tribute to pioneers of human rights

The educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the MOT is a hands-on experiential museum focusing on the dynamics of racism and prejudice through unique interactive exhibits.The renovation program transformed the outdated museum into a destination that reflects its humanitarian outreach.

The Museum of Tolerance (MOT) focuses on issues of tolerance, rights and diversity, promoting a dialogue on these issues in a hands-on interactive manner. To build upon its initial success, the MOT aimed to reposition the Museum from an experiential learning center into a cultural center for the west side of Los Angeles.

The renovation program includes exhibit spaces, two theaters, a children’s multi-functional learning center and multi-purpose rooms. On the ground floor, the Peltz Theater provides the MOT with a modern theater space—allowing for generations of revenue through rentals and private screenings. The 300-seat theater includes custom designed seating with a state-of-the-art speaker system—producing a three-dimensional array of sound. The LED lighting system creates multiple effects, programmable to complement the sound.

The exhibit level features new entry, lobby and donor wall—all leading to the 36-seat Wosk Screening Theater. Formed from a curvilinear interior wall, the designers used the existing theater walls as a basis to create a more comprehensive architectural gesture. All A/V, mechanical and lighting fixtures were integrated and concealed in the custom fabricated felt strip wall. New exhibits on this level include a rotating history wall as well as showcases for museum artifacts.

The second floor features a modern resource center for children and other groups. The new spaces include a children’s multipurpose area, featuring a series of large, backlight, pivoting media walls which highlight portraits of civil and human rights’ pioneers. On the reverse side, quotes from these historic leaders are displayed. The pivoting walls allow for a variety of configurations to support varying sizes of groups. Additional features include updated classrooms, a 24-seat viewing room and two exhibits highlighting the crusade of Anne Frank.

Key Facts:

Architecture
United States
Civic Buildings

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