flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

The Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo completes

Museums

The Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo completes

CAW Architects designed the project.


By David Malone, Managing Editor | December 7, 2021
JMZ entrance
Photos courtesy CAW Architects

The Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo (JMZ) has completed, CAW Architects recently announced. Located within the Palo Alto Arts and Recreation District, the project replaces the original JMZ facility. The project area spans three acres and includes a 15,200-sf building and the 18,800-sf zoo (including back-of-house spaces).

CAW Architects worked with Studio Hansen Roberts to design a new children’s museum and zoo that rethinks how to capture a child’s wonder and curiosity for the natural world and create interactive learning experiences throughout. Organized around an exhibit hall, education center, and outdoor zoo, the new design creates a strong visible presence through a large entrance porch and a variety of free outdoor exhibit spaces. The exhibit spaces extend into the adjacent surroundings and include the stump maze, the rainbow tunnel, and porch swings.

JMZ exhibit area

The building forms fit a residential and agrarian vernacular with simple clean forms and shed roofs, which echo the surrounding neighborhood. The building shapes fit in and around existing mature oaks and feature trees, where the buildings create theme-based outdoor courtyard spaces, such as the Jurassic courtyard, for specific educational opportunities.

The exhibit hall contains a variety of interactive and kinesthetic exhibits in which children can interact. Several large windows and skylights directly link the zoo with the exhibit hall, with some exhibits extending from the zoo directly into the museum.

JMZ zoo area

The entire zoo is designed as a large aviary, allowing a wide range of birds to directly interact with the children. The exhibits within the zoo are layered vertically to give kids an opportunity to view the natural environment from different vantage points. The design allows children to experience the natural environment of spaces below such as tree roots and water ponds, while also creating spaces above, for children to explore up in the central tree to then look down on the various zoo experiences. A tree house runs through the center of the zoo and connects all the spaces with rope bridges, ladders, net tubes, and platforms to create a play-based experience for children.

CAW Architects' work on the project included the site masterplan, including the museum, zoo, and education center to integrate it into the overall city complex; architectural design and interior design of the museum, education wing, and administrative support spaces; and site design including exhibit spaces around the museum exterior, zoo exhibit spaces, and zoo support spaces.

In addition to CAW Architects and Studio Hansen Roberts, the project team also included:

  • Landscape Design: Vallier Design
  • General Contractor: Vance Brown Builders
  • Structural Engineer: Hohbach Lewin
  • Specialized Structural Engineer: Coffman Engineers INC.
  • Giotechnical Engineer: Silicon Valley Soil Engineering
  • Civil Engineer: C2G
  • Mechanical/Plumbing: ACCO Engineered Systems
  • Electrical Engineer: H.A. Bowen Electric
  • Project Arborist: HortScience, Inc.

Tags

Related Stories

Giants 400 | Feb 8, 2024

Top 40 Museum Construction Firms for 2023

Turner Construction, Clark Group, Bancroft Construction, STO Building Group, and Alberici-Flintco top BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest museum and gallery general contractors and construction management (CM) firms for 2023, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2023 Giants 400 Report.

Giants 400 | Feb 8, 2024

Top 40 Museum Engineering Firms for 2023

Arup, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Alfa Tech Consulting Engineers, Kohler Ronan, and Thornton Tomasetti top BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest museum and gallery engineering and engineering/architecture (EA) firms for 2023, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2023 Giants 400 Report.

Giants 400 | Feb 8, 2024

Top 70 Museum Architecture Firms for 2023

SmithGroup, Gensler, Ayers Saint Gross, Quinn Evans, HGA, and Cooper Robertson head BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest museum and gallery architecture and architecture/engineering (AE) firms for 2023, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2023 Giants 400 Report.  

Museums | Jan 30, 2024

Meier Partners' South Korean museum seeks to create a harmonious relationship between art and nature

For the design of the newly completed Sorol Art Museum in Gangneung, South Korea, Meier Partners drew from Korean Confucianism to achieve a simplicity of form, material, and composition and a harmonious relationship with nature. The museum is scheduled to open on February 14. It is the firm’s first completed project since restructuring as Meier Partners.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | Jan 17, 2024

Waterproofing deep foundations for new construction

This continuing education course, by Walter P Moore's Amos Chan, P.E., BECxP, CxA+BE, covers design considerations for below-grade waterproofing for new construction, the types of below-grade systems available, and specific concerns associated with waterproofing deep foundations.

Museums | Jan 8, 2024

Achieving an ideal visitor experience with the ADROIT approach

Alan Reed, FAIA, LEED AP, shares his strategy for crafting logical, significant visitor experiences: The ADROIT approach.

Cultural Facilities | Nov 21, 2023

Arizona’s Water Education Center will teach visitors about water conservation and reuse strategies

Phoenix-based architecture firm Jones Studio will design the Water Education Center for Central Arizona Project (CAP)—a 336-mile aqueduct system that delivers Colorado River water to almost 6 million people, more than 80% of the state’s population. The Center will allow the public to explore CAP’s history, operations, and impact on Arizona.

Giants 400 | Nov 6, 2023

Top 65 Cultural Facility Construction Firms for 2023

Turner Construction, Clark Group, Whiting-Turner, Gilbane, and Holder Construction top BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest cultural facilities sector general contractors and construction management (CM) firms for 2023, as reported in the 2023 Giants 400 Report. Note: This ranking includes revenue from all cultural building sectors, including concert venues, art galleries, museums, performing arts centers, and public libraries. 

Giants 400 | Nov 6, 2023

Top 60 Cultural Facility Engineering Firms for 2023

KPFF, Arup, Thornton Tomasetti, Tetra Tech, and WSP head BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest cultural facilities sector engineering and engineering architecture (EA) firms for 2023, as reported in the 2023 Giants 400 Report. Note: This ranking includes revenue from all cultural building sectors, including concert venues, art galleries, museums, performing arts centers, and public libraries.  

Giants 400 | Nov 6, 2023

Top 110 Cultural Facility Architecture Firms for 2023

Populous, Gensler, HGA, DLR Group, and Quinn Evans top BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest cultural facilities sector architecture and architecture engineering (AE) firms for 2023, as reported in the 2023 Giants 400 Report. Note: This ranking includes revenue from all cultural building sectors, including concert venues, art galleries, museums, performing arts centers, and public libraries.  

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

Giants 400

Top 40 Museum Construction Firms for 2023

Turner Construction, Clark Group, Bancroft Construction, STO Building Group, and Alberici-Flintco top BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest museum and gallery general contractors and construction management (CM) firms for 2023, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2023 Giants 400 Report.


Giants 400

Top 40 Museum Engineering Firms for 2023

Arup, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Alfa Tech Consulting Engineers, Kohler Ronan, and Thornton Tomasetti top BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest museum and gallery engineering and engineering/architecture (EA) firms for 2023, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2023 Giants 400 Report.


Giants 400

Top 70 Museum Architecture Firms for 2023

SmithGroup, Gensler, Ayers Saint Gross, Quinn Evans, HGA, and Cooper Robertson head BD+C's ranking of the nation's largest museum and gallery architecture and architecture/engineering (AE) firms for 2023, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2023 Giants 400 Report.  


halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021