We partnered with architecture firm Kuth-Ranieri on the Randall Museum, which they described so well in their recent blog post “Community Museums: Resisting the Institutional, Welcoming the Public“. Here is an excerpt:
Community museums can play a vital role in helping children (and adults) build connections with nature, especially in cities. The Randall Museum has been doing this since its founding in 1937. Located in a 16-acre park and owned and operated by the city’s Recreation and Parks Department, the Randall Museum offers youth and adult opportunities for active involvement and recreation in an integrated program of arts and sciences, with a focus on the cultures and environment of the Bay Area. Admission is free. The current building, built in 1951, offers great views of San Francisco, but needs upgrades to the existing facilities in order to provide the content for which is has become recognized
The Randall Museum received grant funding from the State of California. So our firm in Joint Venture with Pfau Long Architecture (PLA/KRA) was hired for the renovation of the existing museum. The building is poured-in-place concrete, which makes reconfiguration a bit of a challenge, but the redesign nearly doubles the amount of space dedicated to exhibits and programming, making much more of the collection accessible to the public. The expanded programming includes renovating the live animal room and adding new interpretive geology and zoology exhibits to deepen understanding of the natural world around us.
In the Internet age, access to information is just a click away. But information on its own doesn’t necessarily provide knowledge. That’s why community museums are more important than ever—they provide an experiential quality that’s not replicable by any other means.