Prototype museum for baby boomers

Louise Braverman
Sunday 16 Aug 2009

Louise Braverman, Architect designs archetype museum for urbane elderly

The design for the recently completed 5000 sq ft Derfner Judaica Museum, located within the campus of the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, New York, establishes a sophisticated prototype for the design of cultural institutions in the era of the aging, urbane, baby-boom generation.

It is a forward-thinking yet humane environment comprised of accessible spaces that are architecturally comfortable, curatorially comprehensible and technologically equipped to meet the needs of both the current and future elderly.

The breathtaking site, overlooking the Hudson River, supported the architectural exploration of the role of nature in an art environment for the aged. At the same time the museum tackles the larger issue of how to create cultural institutions that complement the sensibilities of the upcoming baby boom generation. This peer group will choose to defy their chronological age and seek more sophisticated architectural surroundings. The urbanity of the Derfner Judaica Museum will address this desire, for it will allow boomers to experience the intellectual stimulation typical of the Manhattan art scene within their own immediate surroundings.

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