Rafael Viñoly’s lemon yellow tile-covered Brooklyn Children’s Museum makes a big statement in a mostly brownstone neighborhood. A new rooftop canopy, designed by Toshiko Mori Architect (TMA), aims to make the three-year-old building even more active and accessible. The canopy with an EFTE skin covered in a dot matrix frit will allow the rooftop to be used for lectures, concerts, and other events, including the museum hopes, in the blazing hot summer months. The designers say the frit is meant to mimic the dappled light of a tree.
Starting from four points on the roof, the curved structure forms a perfect arch spanning 75 feet. “There’s a reason they used similar forms in cathedrals,” said Joshua Uhl, a senior associate at TMA. “They are incredibly efficient.” The structure, composed of six-inch diameter tubes, is light enough that the architects didn’t need to reinforce the roof. The four corners of the structure system form small seating areas arranged around circular storage bins. The bins house round yellow foam cushions that can be used for seating underneath the canopy.
Though the museum was only just completed in 2008, its bathrooms and a theater will also be renovated by Mori.