EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – On Thursday, El Paso City officials unveiled the final design of the El Paso Children’s Museum during a groundbreaking ceremony.
The museum will be located at 201 W. Main near the El Paso Art Museum in Downtown El Paso.
Snøhetta’s Elaine Molinar, a native El Pasoan and partner/managing director/architect, and Nick Anderson, director, and senior architect, presented an overview of the unique, four-story, cloud-like 70,000 square-foot museum. The base is wrapped in glass, providing enticing interior views. The building is topped by a rippling succession of barrel vaults that soar to a cloud-like crown, like the clouds that hover over the El Paso borderland.
“The new El Paso Children’s Museum will be a world-class venue, where not only the extensive exhibits but also the architecture itself and surrounding landscape will be a source of inspiration, education, and imagination that will be inviting for all cultures and ages from the borderplex region and beyond,” Snøhetta’s Elaine Molinar said.
Officials said the museum’s first floor is a light-filled open space and includes exhibitions, a café, and the entrance to the learning landscape. The 60-foot atrium also offers views of a spectacular climbing structure that spans the second to the fourth floors, with pathways that accommodate multiple forms of access and mobility needs.
According to officials, windows and lookout points provide introspection and views of the Franklin Mountains to the northeast and Sierra de Juarez Mountains to the southwest.
“The City of El Paso, in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation, is eager to build the El Paso Children’s Museum,” said Mayor Margo. “This museum will be a shining addition to El Paso’s vibrant downtown district.”
In 2012, El Paso voters approved a Quality of Life Bond program that included a new children’s museum. Since 2016, the El Paso Community Foundation has provided leadership on the public-private museum effort with the City of El Paso, including holding public forums, developing a master plan, conducting the international architectural design competition, and working with Snøhetta, local architects at Exigo, and the exhibit design firm Gyroscope Inc. to keep the museum on track.
The project is expected to be complete in 2022.
“This effort began back in 2012 and, as Board Chair, I am proud to honor the voters today for leading our city into a better quality of life and on to a more competitive level,” said Josh Hunt, Board Chair for the El Paso Children’s Museum. “Public-private partnerships work and this museum will be a prime example of that.”