Grand Opening Of Glazer Children's Museum In Tampa Set For Sept. 25

Construction on the building for the new Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa has been completed. A grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 25 after the interior is completed. The 53,000-square-foot structure will house 12 galleries, three classrooms and ample space for traveling exhibitions within its three levels.

According to John Curran of GouldEvans architectural firm in Tampa, every effort was made to make the building environmentally sustainable. "It's as energy efficient as possible, and constructed using two products: marmoleum and carpet tiles, both of which are very sustainable products. And we used only non-toxic paints and other elements throughout the building."

In addition, the design takes advantage of as much natural light as possible. "Most children's museums try to control light," explains Curran. We did our best to maximize it."

Museum President and CEO Al Najiar says functionality was an important consideration in planning construction. "We really built it from the inside out. We wanted to consider the visitor's experience and mold the museum to fit that functionality."

Both say that the most important thing is that the design appeals to children. "The contemporary design is very simple," says Curran. It's colorful in such a way that kids naturally identify with it."

"It's a playful atmosphere. A really fun building," adds Najiar.

Curran says the Tampa Riverwalk neighborhood was another consideration in designing the museum. We all did our best to complement the existing surroundings as best we could. Our design contrasts with the existing building (the Poe Garage and the Tampa Museum of Art), but it's quite similar. The two, although quite different, co-exist quite nicely."

Glazer Children's Museum, located at 110 W. Gasparilla Plaza, joins an existing collection of museums in downtown Tampa, including the Tampa Museum of Art , Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and the Tampa Bay History Center.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Al Najiir, Glazer Children's Museum; John Curran, GouldEvans-Tampa

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