Over View by FreelandBuck
Architects & Firms
At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, 2017 Record Vanguard firm FreelandBuck is teaching a lesson in trompe l’oeil. Its installation, Over View, lives on the first floor of the institution’s new addition, MuseumLab, a hands-on learning space within a renovated Carnegie library dating to the 1890s. For the piece, the firm created a new version of the historic building’s leaded-glass ceiling, which had been torn out, using 3,000 square feet of a plastic-based printed fabric stretched across an aluminum frame above a multipurpose gallery. The three intricately cut layers create the perception of a soaring atrium when, in actuality, the feature dips down into the room several feet, lower than the original ceiling height. While the majority of the museum (comprising both renovated structures and new construction by Koning Eizenberg Architecture) caters to younger children, the new expansion—which also houses a middle school—was designed to appeal to adolescents. “We were aiming for something more mature in terms of how it engages the kids,” says Brennan Buck, principal at FreelandBuck, hoping that “the idea of illusion and representation” would capture their attention.