The Randall Museum is a treasured San Francisco community museum and recreation center. Originally opened in 1951, the concrete structure was designed by architect William Merchant. The renovation included a reorganization of the museum’s programs to provide the public with a state-of-the art museum exhibits, learning spaces, art studios and labs. and multisensory educational experience. The renovated Randall Museum reopened in 2018 to offer its international visitors a multisensory educational experience to explore science, nature and the arts. The main feature of the redesigned exhibit spaces is the Live Animal Room. Enclosed by a “tree wall,” crafted from laminated FSC wood, the enclosure serves as a home for numerous programmatic elements: avian habitats, study carrells, artifact display cases and seating. Exhibit spaces, art studios and science labs / classrooms were expanded at the lower level. A new skylight was introduced at the main level to daylight the lower level’s geology and oceanography exhibits. Early in the design process, high standards were established for occupant comfort and environmental health. All selected materials are low- or no-VOC content and air quality was increased by localized fresh air systems incorporated to compensate for the absence of a central air system in the building. The team led the stakeholder engagement process, coordinated multiple groups including San Francisco’s Recreation & Parks, Museum staff, Board of Directors, and Friends of the Randall, a non-profit. The team designed a wide range of interactive educational exhibits using strategic architectural design, coordination of existing MEP/S systems, and interpretive graphics.
In Joint Venture with Pfau Long Architecture
Photography by Bruce Damonte