The renovated family gallery is “super chill,” designed to be worthy of a child’s curiosity and adult admiration, demonstrating everyone is hard-wired for creativity. The whiteness of the space serves as a blank slate for artistic expression and media exploration, from new-age technologies, including a Smart Table™, projector and iPads, to traditional art-making. It is an environment rich in evocative objects and commissioned art installations that inspire active learning, choices, and social engagement. Both orientation and terminus, the discovery gallery is “the place” that frames museum visits.
During envisioning sessions held with staff, curators, educators, and the museum director, the notion of reaching out became critical to programming. Visible from the outdoor sculpture park, the logo-embellished wall panel featuring a circular opening for nesting and the whimsical MADI geometric abstractions point to the entry. Removing interior partitions made room for commissioned artist installations that pop into the foreground, adding color, form, and content. An undulating all-white bench, atop a blue landing stripe, flows throughout the gallery, a clear line of interactivity and art-making. Custom-designed with enclaves, its continuous form enhances the gallery’s social atmosphere, offering a booth for face-to-face encounters and varied surfaces for expression.
Reusing existing walls, ceilings, and infrastructure with its embodied energies is the museum’s responsible strategy for sustainability. Other sustainable upgrades include recycled content flooring, using local craftsmen for installation, and repairing and reimaging the pin-press and portrait kiosk. Retrofitting track lighting with LED bulbs and UV filters lowered the gallery’s temperature, humidity and glare.
Owner: Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum
Interior Architecture, Branded Experience, and Public Space Design: Architecture Is Fun, Inc.
Prop & Décor: Fun Finders
Location: Miami, Florida
Status: Completed 2013.
Photography: Sharon Exley and Courtesy of FIU