2023 | Professional

MUSE Design Awards Silver Winner

The project name Brooklyn Children's Museum Auditorium

Entrant Company

Studio Joseph

Category

Interior Design - Cultural

Client's Name

Brooklyn Children's Museum

Country / Region

United States

Founded in 1895, The Brooklyn Children’s has always been an oasis for families. The need for an auditorium was identified through community outreach as a critical part of public programming. Therefore, it was a central feature in an extensive renovation and addition completed in 2009. However, the fit-out was not completed due to the failure of the original plans to meet egress requirements for the required seating capacity. Our inventive design solution made the auditorium viable. We added a balcony (hung from the existing roof trusses), enabling a new entrance directly from the museum’s 2nd floor. With this new egress path, we could achieve the desired 180 seats. We also provide ADA access to the control systems, additional ADA seating, and a place for staff supervision. Reflective of the institution’s focus on inclusivity, the auditorium functions for children, teens, and adults. Its high-quality theatrical lighting, projection equipment, and control systems permit increased public programming for performance, presentation, and education. We provide the infrastructure for lectures, movies, and a broad range of live entertainment. The auditorium interior is architecturally dynamic, aesthetically surprising, and technically clever. It features GFRG panels that shingle along the walls arching up fluidly while sloping in two directions. The space between the ribs forms light coves. Strips of LED lights with full spectrum color can be dimmed or programmed for dynamic effects. Hung from the existing roof trusses, the panels seamlessly integrate mechanical systems (supply and return air), fire safety, house lights, theatrical spots, and acoustic treatment. The architectural power of the light is straightforward yet uplifting, reflecting the joyful spirit of a family venue. A reduced palette of charred wood, black wool carpet, and seating with integrated aisle lighting is part of a robust materiality that is sustainable and easily maintained, emphasizing longevity and durability. Purple wool felt upholstery provides a fun pop of color. These materials, coupled with the mechanical systems, the design allows us to maintain a LEED Silver certification. BCM celebrated this Fall with a series of free Saturday breakfasts in conjunction with movies (Mignons!) as part of ongoing neighborhood outreach.

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