Play, Learn, Discover, Repeat: This Renovated Museum Engages Young Hearts, Hands, and Minds
On a late morning weekday, decibel levels at the Cayton Children’s Museum strain tolerable levels for the noise-sensitive. Every area of the 21,000-square-foot facility located at the third level of the Santa Monica Place mall — an early Frank Gehry project that’s subsequently been reimagined to adapt to a changing retail landscape — is already teeming with activity.
A toddler runs through a strip of slim posts in various shades of green that double as as donor plaques. The concept, dubbed the Generosity Garden, evokes an abstracted forest or blades of grass, and is built to be eye-catching and durable. “Those moments, you plan for it,” Christian Robert, partner and cofounder of OfficeUntitled (formerly R&A Architecture & Design), says. It’s a design approach that applies to anything and everything that might happen in a place made for the newborn-to-10-year-old demographic.