ennead architects + kahler slater reveal renderings for new milwaukee public museum

ennead architects + kahler slater reveal renderings for new milwaukee public museum

milwaukee public museum unveils new building

 

Ennead Architects and Kahler Slater have unveiled renderings for the new Milwaukee Public Museum in Wisconsin, US. Drawing from the ecological histories of greater Wisconsin, the design forms a natural and human history museum reminiscent of the geological formations contained in Mill Bluff State Park, a symbol of the region’s diversity of landscapes created by the movements of water over time. With more than 200,000 square feet of space and a footprint spanning over 2 acres, the project is scheduled to be Milwaukee’s largest cultural venue to date. The new building is expected to begin construction in late 2023 and open in 2026.

ennead architects + kahler slater reveal renderings for new milwaukee public museum

all images courtesy of Ennead Architects and Kahler Slater

 

 

drawing from Wisconsin’s rich natural history

 

Community, nature, education, and the preservation of the museum’s extensive collections were the four concepts that guided the design by Ennead Architects (find more here) and Kahler Slater (see more here). In addition to establishing a warm new community center and an educational destination for learners of all ages and backgrounds, the teams also wanted to create a design that symbolizes Wisconsin’s rich natural history. The result sees an organic structure made primarily of concrete and glass with its exterior texture mirroring the ancient sea stacks present in Mill Bluff State Park. Meanwhile, its rounded corners evoke the erosion and weathering of the glacial landscapes that shaped much of Wisconsin and evolved over time. The convergence of Milwaukee’s three rivers —the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic, and Menomonee— inspire the museum’s interior common rooms whose three distinct entrances welcome visitors into a dynamic gathering space.

 

‘We wanted to create a space that gave the feeling of wonder, like what we experienced throughout our trip around the state, as we saw these exceptional landscapes and met so many different people with stories to tell. There was much more to see and understand beneath every surface. We thought about this layered experience of discovery when designing the building. We wanted to make a museum that would reveal more with every visit and let people take their own journeys through the space, led by curiosity,’ notes Ennead Architects Associate Principal Jarrett Pelletier AIA, senior designer on the project.

ennead architects + kahler slater reveal renderings for new milwaukee public museum

 

 

 

The new museum takes shape as a five-story, 200,000-square-foot structure. The exhibit spaces designed by Thinc (see more here) include permanent and changing galleries of multi-sensory exhibits. ‘It’s thrilling to see the vision for the new museum building, including the inspiration our collaborative team of designers has drawn from the community and the interconnected natural ecosystems of Wisconsin. This architectural design will create a beautiful foundation for immersive, engaging, and educational exhibits,’ says principal and founder of Thinc, Tom Hennes.

 

The first floor consists of a naturally lit common atrium for guests and the general public to convene, similar to a community center. The fluid layout of the building will enable visitors to preview different exhibit floors and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at collection spaces, objects, and specimens that have typically been concealed behind closed doors.

ennead architects + kahler slater reveal renderings for new milwaukee public museum

ennead architects + kahler slater reveal renderings for new milwaukee public museum ennead architects + kahler slater reveal renderings for new milwaukee public museum

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