Hesam T. Rostami

Hesam T. Rostami

Toronto, ON, CA


WONDER BOX - Children's Museum of Louisville

Wonder Box tries to bring the excitement of discovery and exploration. An opaque simple layered facade shows enough of the extravagant mysterious inside to attract children to the new Cabinet of Curiosity.

Undulated surfaces are employed to make each level a playground while circular voids sliding over each other allow this landscape of fun to be continuous.

Lifting and pushing certain areas of these layers provide room for various functions. At the ground level a lifted corner defines the entrance, facing the library and visible from the park. At the opposite corner, the auditorium has been shaped by pushing the ground floor layer toward the basement. Gift shop has been placed at the important corner of Broadway and Third Street, and administrative offices enjoy the calm SW part of this level. On the more flexible second and third levels all museum galleries are positioned including story, science, music and toys exhibitions while the forth level is dedicated to the cafe, play-ground and natural exhibition with a small circular courtyard for outdoor activities. Narrow wooden bridges between two layers of facade allow curious kids to step in between and look at the street while being watched from both sides of facade.

The main structure is wooden webs leaning on top of each other getting help from CLT load bearing walls and steel columns, all sitting on a conventional array of concrete columns in basement. For double layered facade, recycled plastic with different opacity is used to create a passive solar heating system and control the natural light. On the roof, transparent solar panels generate electricity for the museum and operable windows along with central void enhance natural air ventilation.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Louisville, KY, US
My Role: Designer
Additional Credits: Bahareh Atash