Christopher Caillier

Christopher Caillier

New Building Proposal for San Antonio Children’s Museum
ARC 6126 Advanced Design Studio, Fall 2009
Taeg Nishimoto Studio


The new building proposal for the San Antonio Children's Museum responds to existing problems and presents a new concept of a children's museum.  Even though the museum owns their building in the heart of downtown San Antonio, the museum is looking for a new home.  The current facilities are too small, not located in a nice area and contain exhibits there are terribly out of date.

The precedence for the project is the of the New Children's Museum in San Diego, California.  The most interesting aspect of the museum, is not its new LEED gold building or its location in a vibrant tourist district.  What makes it a different kind of children's museum is the hybrid program, part art museum & part children's museum.  The museum works with contemporary artists to replace the exhibits and provide the museum with a new theme every 18 months.  This allows the museum to offer new and exciting attractions on a regular basis.

The concept of the project is to use both models for the exhibits.  Outdoor galleries will contain rotating exhibits that will focus on messy and hands on activities.  While, indoor galleries will provide the museum to reuse their existing exhibits and programs that they have found to be successful.  The emphasis of the outdoor galleries will give the museum an exciting and ever changing theme, but the traditional indoor galleries will provide the educational foundation and balance.  They will work together to provide the new museum with the best mix of operations.

The building is a product of the programming process which separates functions by levels.  The result was a tall, narrow building, with a workshop, public space, galleries and administration cleanly divided.  Emphasis is placed on the outdoor galleries by creating voids in the gallery floors.  Circulation is an evolving journey that allows children to progress through the galleries and up the floors catching glimpses of what lies ahead at certain points along the way.  A painted and stained reclaimed wood veneer will provide the fun and exciting image needed to excite the children.