Children’s Museum Lightweight Structures

Staten Island, NY

The project engages the maritime history of Snug Harbor campus in support of the Children’s Museum and its underserved urban neighborhood
At the Staten Island Children’s Museum (SICM), a series of Lightweight Structures challenge the limits of traditional approaches to sustainability, employing renewable energy sources and innovative technologies to engage, educate, and delight museumgoers of all ages. These translucent forms act as icons, identifying SICM within the Snug Harbor campus, while showcasing the integration of environmental systems.


The Meadow Structure is a 2,200 square foot freestanding tensile structure with a translucent, photovoltaic fabric roof that collects solar energy to power low voltage lighting. It provides a flexible, weather-protected outdoor gathering and program space, acting as an anchor for physical activity.


At the Museum’s roof, two existing skylights are replaced by a Windscoop and a Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine. The Windscoop passively ventilates the main stairwell, while a colorful translucent rotating drum extends down from the scoop to signal wind direction and animate the interior space. The Wind Turbine powers an exhibit that demonstrates the potential of wind, while providing visceral evidence.
Completion Date


NYC Department of Design and Construction
Client: Staten Island Children’s Museum
Structural Engineer: Weidlinger Associates
MEP Engineer: Plus Group
Tensile Structure: Birdair, Inc.
Wind Scoop: Goetz Composite
Wind Turbine: Oy Windside
General Contractor: Mongiove Associates


Garrett Rowland


Special Mention, Architizer A+ Awards
Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Excellence Award for Exterior and Green Building
NYC Design + Construction Excellence Program, High Performance Pilot Project