- Project Name
- Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine
- Bruner/Cott & Associates
- Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 30,000 sq. feet
- Year Completed
- Shared by
- Madeleine D'Angelo
Jason Forney, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal-in-Charge
Greg Russell, AIA, Project Manager
Ken Guditz, AIA, Project Manager
General Contractor: Zachau Construction,Other: Acentech,Civil Engineer: Gorrill Palmer,Other: Code Red Consultants,Other: Hands On! Inc.,Landscape Architect: Lemon | Brooke,Other: Petersen Engineering, Inc.,Structural Engineer: Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates,Other: Nextstage Design
- Project Status
FROM THE FIRM:
The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine has been steadily growing its visitor audience and educational offerings for more than 25 years. But the physical limitations of its former downtown Portland space restricted its ability to expand programming and services for patrons and the community. The new home for this esteemed institution is designed to support its dynamic and growing programs. The building includes a 100-seat theatre, flexible exhibits, education and workshop space, meeting rooms and offices, and an outdoor play area set within the landscape.
Located along the Fore River west of downtown, the building and site engage the riverfront and burgeoning Thompson’s Point. The design of the new space incorporates visual and programmatic connections to Maine culture and creates an emerging, relaxing atmosphere for visitors of all ages.
The overall size, scale, and shape of the building is inspired by the industrial heritage of Thompson’s Point, previously home to shipping and railroad. Its proportions, rhythm, and solid-to-void ratio are compatible with the warehouses and sheds on the point, and steel cross bracing is a feature of the new structure.
The building is organized in a way that is welcoming and relaxing for adults, exciting for kids, and easy to navigate for both. This begins with a spacious, 20-foot high lobby, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass that connects the indoors and outdoors while bringing in abundant natural light.
Sustainable strategies employed in the project first addressed the challenges of an old brownfield site (a former railway repair yard). The project pre-loaded the building site to compact the existing soil and minimize off-site removal. Other sustainable design aspects include a well-insulated enclosure, low-wattage LED lighting throughout the building, a VRF (Variable Refrigeration Flow) system installed for heating and cooling, and a radiant floor in the main lobby. Healthier building materials and finishes were specified for this place where children and families alike will gather. Additionally, the site is within walking distance to local and regional public transportation.