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Children's Museum of the Arts renovated by Parsons School of Design students
Rendering of CMA’s new lobby and lounge. Image courtesy of Parsons.

NEW YORK, NY.- Children’s Museum of the Arts and Parsons School of Design at The New School announced the unveiling of the CMA’s new lobby and lounge on Saturday, August 26, 2017.

The Design Workshop at Parsons, an innovative design-build studio led by graduate architecture students, is leading the project with assistance from West Chin Architects and Conto and Sons contractors, and pro bono acoustic services provided by Arup. The lobby and lounge will be transformed into welcoming and interactive spaces that will help CMA further serve its creative community.

After studying the functionality of the lobby, Parsons students designed an inviting entryway by relocating the front desk, optimizing storage space for strollers and coats, and creating points of interactivity to engender a sense of excitement and playfulness. The design will also resolve issues with noise levels and in phase two, increase disability access by replacing a mechanical lift with a ramp.

The redesign will be conducted over a 3-week period from August 7 to 25. During the renovation, the museum will be closed for general admission, and the Fine Arts Studio will be transformed into an outpost for its WEE Arts classes for ages five and younger.

“The new lobby strengthens our ability to welcome all children and their families to make art at CMA,” says Barbara Hunt McLanahan, executive director of Children’s Museum of the Arts. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with students from The New School to create an innovative and inviting entry to the museum. We look forward to welcoming visitors into our new lobby and lounge when we reopen in late August.”

“Design Workshop’s partnership with CMA illustrates Parsons’ commitment to design-led civic engagement right here in New York City,” said Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons. “By improving some of our city’s most important public spaces, our students are improving the quality of life for thousands of New Yorkers.”

Founded in Lower Manhattan in 1988, the Children’s Museum of the Arts provides authentic hands-on art experiences for children, both in its art-filled museum and in the community. CMA’s mission is to introduce children and their families to the transformative power of the arts by providing opportunities to make art side-by-side with working artists. CMA works to fulfill its mission through four distinct initiatives: On-site public programming that includes interactive art stations and artist-led workshops, early-childhood arts workshops, after- school classes, intensive art camps and special family programs; school & community outreach programs throughout New York City; art exhibitions; and a permanent collection of 2,000 pieces of children’s art from around the world.

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