Douglas Heaton

Douglas Heaton

Los Angeles, CA, US


2002 Toy Town Toy Museum

Between Little Tokyo and the Los Angeles River--across from a
Japanese temple along the south side of First Street--is the site
of Megatoys owned by the founder of the toy industry in Los
Angeles, Charlie Woo.
On the North side of this site along First street, is then proposed as
a Toy Museum in conjunction with Toy industry sponsors and the
equivalent of toys with an adults sensibility (cars, entertainment
systems, etc). Among the many other museums on First street
this museum would announce the presence and identity of the
world of toys along First Street.
The museum would enable children and adults to find relative
grounds to play. With regard to the toy, the museum should
feature the toy of the adult against that of the child. Contrasting
the two, the exhibits should enable the adult to see their work as
play and their belongings as toys, while the child may see their
play as possible professions and their toy as a tool for living.
The museum itself would perpetuate this idea with its notions of
spatial design. Its varying heights of space and levels of natural
or artificial light would both serve the playful characteristic and
also assist the museum curator as an instrument of many various
opportunities or senarios of exhibit design.
Visitors to the museum park in the subterranean parking and proceed
to the sidewalk level facing the opposite Japanese Temple.
Proceeding to the main entry level one would pass along display
casings announcing current exibits, and exterior benches with
lighting for night. Children might find joy transgressing between
the four foot level change and side walk level through small
spaces separating exterior display casings.
This zone of play, below the larger facade of frosted glass, serves
as introduction to the playful world within the building without
distracting attention from the opposing temple. Also along the
First St. facade is the toy store entry and the changing exhibit hall
entry for large exhibit material.
The main circulation atrium serves to connect all the public to
each bay of museum exhibits. All the while the ramps of circulation
is supported by custom designed display casings of steel
framing and drywall skin. The casings may feature current toy
designs or those accustomed to the surrounding culture, and may
also serve as surfaces for the projection of images.
Within each bay the child or adult may transgress laterally through
the structural walls / halls of approximately five to six feet in width.
These walls serve also as the location of the ventilation ducts and
electrical servicing.
Further exploration and design would lead to creating more options
and choice in circulation. Relative to play, the choice of a
slide might appear beside the common ramp or stair. Or the size
of entry would vary to suit the adult and or the child.

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Status: School Project
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: University of Southern California


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