Children's Museum unveils design for new location at former Kellogg's plant
Published Friday, December 14, 2018 4:30PM EST
It's a first glimpse of what the future holds for the new Children's Museum in London.
On Friday, museum officials released four conceptual drawings and gave stakeholders some insight on themes planned for the museum.
The vision is for eight immersive and interactive zones that reflect the London region’s history and natural environment.
Museum Executive Director Amanda Conlon says consultation started with the hands-on users, “We gave kids the floorplan and said, 'What do you want this to look like.’"
Conlon says they then went to community partners to get a sense of what they felt were important elements for the new space planned for the former Kellogg's plant at 100 Kellogg Lane.
"This is about a three year project. We expect to have over 100,000 visitors through the door. And so, the design and fabrication is really important to ensure that we get it right and do it well for this community."
The museum has partnered with California-based Gyroscope Inc., a planning and design firm that specializes in educational environments. Gyroscope prepared the drawings based on consultations over the last six months.
Gyroscope Inc.’s Chief Action Officer Tasha Leverette says the concept brings in some new concepts and builds on existing themes in the current museum.
“Re-envisioning the caves and the dinosaur dig, thinking about the opportunities of the local river, and how kids can start to explore that in a water exhibit focused on the river."
Started in 1975, in a former school at 21 Wharncliffe Road South, the museum has adapted to the space but has also been restricted by the space, which features narrow halls and immovable brace walls.
In the former Kellogg’s plant, the Children's Museum will start with a large, open space and they will be able to manipulate and integrate exhibits in ways the feel will work best.
One key supporter of the new vision is Children’s Museum founder and honourary board member, Carol Johnston, who says it’s, “Absolutely an evolution of the concepts that we started with. From dinosaurs and dig sites; to the river; to the sky; they've caught it. They've caught it, these dreamers. And the dream continues."
Conlon says the museum has raised $4 million of a $14 million fundraising goal needed for the new facility.
Children's Museum Interactive Zones
• BRANCHING OUT - A network of trees and tree houses offers a full body exploration of a more literal “Forest City.” This space inspires wonder and serves as a portal to adventures waiting deeper within the new Children’s Museum.
• WONDERLAB - This space is equipped for all types of creativity and promotes innovation and collaboration at multiple levels. Visitors engage in project and problem-based learning through tinkering, making, crafting, designing, experimenting, and hacking.
• BELOW & BEYOND - A light in the dark invites us to discover the wonders just beyond our day-to-day experience through twinkling stars, glittering gems, and sparks of inspiration. Visitors can dig up creatures from the distant past or bring to life entirely new ones.
• SHOOTS & CHUTES - Discover how Londoners connect with local agriculture and industry, as well as how agriculture and industry connect Londoners to the region and the rest of the world. Plant, dig, harvest and bring your crop to the factory or market.
• COMMUNITY ROOTS - A mini main street sets the stage for imaginative play immersed in local architecture and culture. Visitors act out roles and scenes in familiar community spaces. A town circle becomes a hub for communal gathering and storytelling.
• STREAM - Every river tells a story, and this one sweeps us along on a journey from the forests to the cities. Visitors pump, channel, splash and squirt, and dive headfirst into an exploration of water in its many forms.
• ROOFTOP GARDEN - A garden patio up on the roof is the interface between the built environment and the natural. Visitors befriend the elements and engage in experiences that span the seasons.
• THE GROVE - As a flexible space, The Grove adapts to fit a variety of needs. It will house temporary exhibits, pop-up programs, cultural performances, and special events.