Chicago Children’s Museum / Krueck & Sexton Architects

Chicago Children’s Museum / Krueck & Sexton Architects
exterior plaza

Chicago Children’s Museum’s mission is to create a community where play and learning connect. The museum’s primary audiences are children up through fifth grade including their families, along with school and community groups that support and influence children’s growth and development. In its current location at Navy Pier, the Museum lacks meaningful connections to the outdoors and is challenged with the heavyly commercial environment of what has become Illinois’ most popular tourist attraction.

Follow the break for more drawings of this projected Leed Gold project.

Architects: Krueck & Sexton Architects Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA MEP Engineers: Environmental Systems Design Environmetal Design Consultants: Atelier Ten Structural Engineers: Thornton Tomasetti Renderings: Courtesy of Krueck & Sexton Architects

Based on the winning competition entry, Krueck + Sexton designed a low profile, organic and permeable building that is elegantly integrated into Grant Park, akin to the inseparable relationship between tree root and ground. The new Children’s Museum will replace a portion of an existing underground parking garage, thus allowing the entire project footprint to remain park land. Conceived as a gateway to Grant Park, and on axis with Buckingham Fountain, the parkscape on the roofs of Chicago Children’s Museum offers a graceful, universally accessible new path leads into the Park, which is 16’ below street level.


Inside the museum, the weaving of architecture and landscape combined with ideal South orientation of the main building facade offers abundant openness and exposure to daylight. Fourteen learning and play experiences make up the museum galleries, which are placed along a spiraling series of ramps and level floor areas. Atria extending over all gallery levels offer opportunities for climbing structures and exhibit designs which target physical child activity.


Sustainable systems will be integrally incorporated throughout the museum, and made visible to museum visitors as part of the exhibit design where possible. This includes such age-old and proven methods as natural ventilation and windows that open.


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Cite: Kelly Minner. "Chicago Children’s Museum / Krueck & Sexton Architects" 18 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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