The brand new facility for the Thinkery houses 16,000 sf of inspirational and interactive learning environments, as well as an outdoor EnviroGarden with a unique climbing structure. As learning environment master planners and designers, Gyroscope developed a new vision for the Museum?s major expansion and relocation.
With this new vision, Gyroscope designed an original visitor experience that positions the Museum as an incubator for Austin?s next generation of scientists, artists, and innovators. This concept builds on the idea that children are natural explorers, full of curiosity and eager to learn. The design of the Museum?s learning environments create open-ended, interactive platforms where the seeds of discovery are nourished and sparks of curiosity ignite.
One of the most iconic features of the new Austin Children?s Museum is the outdoor learning environment, called the EnviroGarden. It features a tall sculptural climbing structure that ascends up to an enclosed orb 20 feet above the ground with nets, steps, rope ladders, and tunnels that eager children can use to climber from one level to the next and up to the high point. Designed to be accessible to children of various skills and ages by providing multiple routes and a variety of intermediate destinations, the Climber features special areas throughout including an early childhood area and a pair of large Cocoon swings. The whole structure encourages social play while getting kids to move themselves in many different ways; testing their courage, taking risks and solving problems.
The Museum?s other learning environments include Innovator's Workshop with a Build Landscape, Currents - a multi-sensory water interactive, Spark Shop's rocket launchers and Drawings with Wax, and a space designed for early childhood visitors.