Boston Children’s Museum

Boston, MA

A much-needed re-imagining of one of Boston’s most popular visitor destinations that frees up congested areas, improves visitor flow and fully engages the Harborwalk frontage.

Boston Children's Museum Architecture - CambridgeSeven
Boston Children's Museum Architecture - CambridgeSeven
Boston Children's Museum Architecture - CambridgeSeven

The Project

Boston Children’s Museum had become a popular family destination with a few problematic shortcomings, largely due to its success. At peak times, the main circulation became a frenzied traffic jam and key exhibits were hidden and tucked away. The renovation and expansion of the brick warehouse needed to turn the building from a game of hide and seek, to an explorer’s playground for adventure.

The Approach

Placing a robust new “frame” in front of the existing warehouse creates a new lobby, visitor center and rotating exhibit space, and succeeds in engaging the waterfront. Between the frame and the original building, a transparent circulation bridge connects patrons and pedestrians to activities both inside and out.

The Result

Drawing inspiration from a chest of drawers, the design re-imagines the warehouse façade addition as a series of such drawers and cleverly integrates flexible event space and storage. New exhibits and public areas were concentrated on the first three floors with clear circulation and space to play and maneuver, while administrative offices were moved to the fourth floor. A dramatic new entry and renovated plaza takes full advantage of the Harborwalk location and puts play on full display.

Total Area of Addition


annual visitors


museum items


Milk Bottle capacity (gal)


Green Museum in Boston


LEED Certification


2009 Sustainable Design Award

Boston Society of Architects

2009 Build New England Award

Association of General Contractors

2008 Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture

AIA New England

2008 Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Award

The Waterfront Center

2008 Winner, Cultural Institution

Mayor Thomas M. Menino's Second Annual Green Business Awards

2008 "Boston's Greenest"

AIA and Mayor Thomas Menino

2008 Preservation Achievement Award

Boston Preservation Alliance

2008 Award - Honorable Mention

Industrial Perforators Association

At a time when kids’ lives are more scheduled than ever and their eyes are glued to screens, the Boston Children’s Museum underscores the power of play as a vital teaching tool.

Peter Kuttner, FAIA, Principal, CambridgeSeven

Team Leaders

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