Founded in 2005, the Bronx Children’s Museum existed for almost 18 years without a permanent, stationary home. The museum eventually found a potential home on the second level of a decommissioned 1925 powerhouse on the north bank of the Harlem River, which the design team transformed into an interactive discovery center. Most of Silman’s work involved three key areas: the western exhibition space, the southern exhibition space, and the performance space.
The western exhibit space features a mezzanine level raised approximately five feet above the existing floor slab. The raised platform is framed with cold-formed metal framing, including 6” joists supporting a 3” thick concrete slab-on-form-deck. The southern exhibit space has a mezzanine level raised approximately three feet above the floor slab; this platform is framed with cross-laminated timber (CLT) planks.
The performance space mezzanine is suspended from the existing roof framing. Hot-rolled steel beams create a framework of structure within which cold formed joists span to create the floor of the performance space. The “cloud” is enclosed in curved glulam panels. The ramp and stairs to the mezzanine are made of steel framing with curved glulam panels, railings, and a glulam floor system. This project is LEED Gold certified.