Childhood should be a wonderful journey, and the Children’s Museum of the East End helps make the trip even better with a discovery-themed approach to the familiar and the unknown, the real and the imagined, and environments both natural and urban. Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership provided complete architecture and exhibit design services for the Long Island museum.
In the lobby, an abstracted forest beckons children into the exhibit space. Toddlers can enter through a fallen log filled with animal sounds. Overhead, a treehouse perched in the branches invites visitors in to explore a child’s bedroom that is in transition from indoor to outdoor, suggesting a journey beyond the familiar. A floating bed, a treasure map carpet, picture-book murals, and a glowing, star-filled constellation make the trip a wondrous one.
Beyond the bedroom are other new places to discover. Kids can explore the East End’s local and natural history through immersive role-play environments including a storybook garden for toddlers; an agricultural area complete with a windmill, farm stand, and potato chip factory; a library reading room and firehouse; a musical forest filled with wildlife; an artist’s studio; and a two-level fishing dock alongside a lighthouse. Each turn of a corner provides new worlds to journey through—a little like life itself.
Lee H. Skolnick (principal in charge); Jo Ann Secor (director, museum services); Scott Briggs (project manager/design lead); Maja Gilberg (senior interpretive specialist); Ellen Leerburger (interpretive development); Julie Chung and Bernardo Zavattini (exhibit design); Christina Lyons, Effie Chou, Carolyn Crowley, Anita Sheth (graphic design)
Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership
Melanie Freundlich Lighting Design (lighting); RBH Multimedia, Barking Fish Productions, Forever Films (audio/visual); Susan Bachemin, Rob Dunlavey, Sharen Dykeman, Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher, David Lafleur, Megan Montague Cash, Melissa Sweet (illustrators/artists); Paul Rosenthal (label copy); Daniel Gonzalez, Michael Ruggiero (photography); Jane Bloom (content development)
Tangram International Exhibitions (exhibit fabricator); Coastal Construction (construction management); Jeff Nishinaka (paper sculpture); Paul Orselli Workshop (wind machine); Work With Your Brain LLC (potato chip machine); SafeScape Concepts (giant library books)