Minnesota Children’s Museum unveils US$28m expansion plans

by Tom Anstey | 21 Jan 2015

Minnesota Children’s Museum has revealed new renderings for its US$28m (€24.1m, £18.4m) expansion, designed to reimagine existing galleries, plus add new amenities and engaging activities for visitors.

The expansion will increase the museum’s size to around 74,000sq ft (6,874sq m) and will include new interactive exhibits for children. Additional exhibits will include expanded air and water play space, as well as a new obstacle course comprising a four-storey climbing structure, including a maze of bridges, slides and ladders. In addition, the renovated museum will feature a café, new entrance, new reception, additional toilets and easier navigation throughout the facility.

Minneapolis-based Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MSR) Design – the same firm which designed the museum’s first two sites – has been appointed as lead architect for the renovation and expansion. According to a statement on MSR’s website, “the key challenge for this renovation and expansion project will be to create an authentic experience for the children and their parents who visit the museum. Both physical and emotional, this experience should be sensuous and body-centred more than conceptual and intellectual.”

The city of St Paul has committed US$1m (€864,000, £658,000) to the project, while the State of Minnesota has provided US$14m (€12m, £9.2m) in capital support. The museum has also received donations from Target, 3M and Best Buy, securing around 82 per cent of the necessary investment. Construction work is tentatively scheduled to begin in Q3 2015, with a completion date of January 2017.

The museum, which aims to spark learning through play, is one of St Paul’s top-drawing visitor attractions and welcomed more than 433,000 visitors from July 2013 to July 2014. The museum has also launched two temporary exhibits to offer a taste of what’s to come following the expansion.

Minnesota Children’s Museum has revealed new renderings for its US$28m (€24.1m, £18.4m) expansion, designed to reimagine existing galleries, plus add new amenities and engaging activities for visitors. The expansion will increase the museum’s size to around 74,000sq ft (6,874sq m) and will include new interactive exhibits for children. Additional exhibits will include expanded air and water play space, as well as a new obstacle course comprising a four-storey climbing structure,
VAT,HAM,ARC,DES,CLD
The expansion is hoped to be complete by January 2017 / Minnesota Children’s Museum
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