August 19, 2010

Oh, to be a kid again

Boston has a wonderful children's museum.  At least that is what I had heard.  I had never been…because I never had a kid to go with.  So once I had my son a year ago, I jumped at the opportunity to join a friend and her 18 month old on a trip to the Children's Museum. 

The very first thing you see when you walk through the door is a three story climbing structure in the glass atrium at the entrance to the museum.  It was Columbus Day, so the place was T-E-E-M-I-N-G and you could barely see through the climbing structure there were so many kids inside of it.  It was awesome!  And I found it so surprising how beautiful it was. 

Designed by Tom Luckey, a Yale trained architect, who works with his son, Spencer, the sculptures are made of curved plywood and steel cable mesh.  Kids skilled enough to climb to the top of the structure in Boston are rewarded with a gorgeous view of the entire city skyline.  But each piece works for little kids, too.  Since you can only climb as high as your skill level allows, it truly is a piece for kids of all sizes.

I especially love this design at the Children's Museum in Houston.  The contrast of the sleek white orbs with the complexity of the structure is inspiring:


This climbing structure at the Memphis Children's Museum is one of the only ones to use flat plywood pieces.  The design relies on the graceful linear curves or the platforms to create a beautiful experience:


I gasped when I first saw this gorgeous design at the Jasmine Moran Children's Museum in Seminole, Oklahoma:


And I seriously wish my mall had one of these when I grew up (Oviedo Marketplace, Oviedo, FL):


Though the Luckey's aim is to create pieces that aren't as literally translated as these next two in St. Louis and Bloomington (respectively), the whimsey of these designs really makes me wish I was a kid again!


Are you lucky enough to live near a Luckey?


(all photos courtesy of Luckey Designs)

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