Having fun should be a given for a project as playful and stimulating as the creation of a children’s museum. Our renovation process presented challenges that were addressed collaboratively, creatively, and with quirky good humor. It’s easy for an architectural firm to tell you that they work collaboratively but with this team, the collaborative process was a reality.
~ Susan Broad, Executive Director, DuPage Children’s Museum
Opening Doors To Learning
Building a vibrant home for a children’s museum in a discarded retail lumber warehouse demonstrates an important philosophical message of value. By transforming a commercial eyesore into a welcoming, safe environment for play and learning, the DuPage Children’s Museum practices what it preaches.
Great care and thought went into the museum’s architecture, its imagery and its playfulness. Recycled into something extraordinary, the building architecture uses iconographic elements children understand and appreciate. The Big Red Door welcomes everyone and has become the museum’s identity, emblematic of what the museum stands for opening doors for children to learning. The building and its integrated exhibits were a factor in attendance doubling the first year, rising to over 300,000 visitors annually.
Distinguished Building Award, American Institute of Architects Chicago, 2003. Recognition of significant achievement in design, planning and execution; DuPage Children’s Museum conveys a strong message of value and vitality.
Accessibility Award, Western DuPage Special Recreation Association, 2003.
Best Museum of the Western Suburbs Award, West Suburban Living Magazine, 2002.
Best Chicago Museum Award, Nickelodeon Parents Picks, 2010.
Owner: DuPage Children’s Museum
Architecture, Interior Architecture & Exhibit Design: Architecture Is Fun, Inc.
Architect of Record: Nagle Hartray Architecture
Status: Completed 2002
Photography: © Doug Snower Photography