Kid City Children’s Museum

Kidcity was the creative vision of an inspired client to children’s museum dedicated to encouraging creative play of children in an environment where everything can be touched and interacted with. The first phase reimagined an unwanted historic building to be the space where creativity broke through and flourished. Continuing to collaborate with the museum we designed phase two to double the size of the successful museum. The buildings were interwoven and created a new grand entry, which allow larger groups to gather on the continued historic porch for cuing. Transforming a connection into a front desk, coat and stroller room and a grand curving stair to bridge the two wings.

Phase One that was completed in 1998: NCA sought a new site for a Greek Revival two family house that occupied a corner lot for 160 years, which was slated for demolition by its owner. The City of Middletown subdivided a parcel from a municipal parking lot and gifted the property to the project. The new site visually improved a major gateway into downtown as well as traffic flow by eliminating a curb cut on a busy highway. At the same time, we were seeking a home for another new client: a children’s museum. Happily we were able to marry both efforts into one project.

Phase Two that was completed in 2002: Playful addition to a successful program housed in a historic structure. Acquiring the adjacent property, we were able to replace a used car lot with a new masonry structure that completes the street scape and more than doubles the functional area of the museum. Mimicking the cubic massing of the original with an Italianate “mansion,” as if it followed the first building by a generation, they were joined with a transparent porch–like connector.