Re-designed DuPage Children's Museum receives 3 awards

By Dee Dee McDevitt
DuPage Children’s Museum
Posted5/31/2016 1:56 PM

The spring brought DuPage Children's Museum shares in three prestigious awards: 2016 Chrysalis Remodeling Award, American Institute of Architects Chicago Small Projects Awards 2016 Citation of Merit, and Naperville Education Foundation's Celebrating Inspiration Award.

The museum also received an honorable mention in the education category for Vision Design Awards 2016.


In January 2015, DuPage Children's Museum was forced to close temporarily when a water pipe burst and caused extensive damage to all three floors of the museum. The museum turned its three levels of flood damage into an opportunity to re-imagine and redevelop many of its most popular custom-designed exhibits.

Industry professionals, including Architecture Is Fun, Graycor Construction Company and Chicago Scenic Studios Inc., were instrumental in the redevelopment and reconstruction of a re-imagined museum.

Architecture Is Fun and Graycor Construction Company won the 2016 Chrysalis Remodeling Award for their collaborative effort in restoring the museum, designing at high-speed, phasing construction, maintaining safety and structural integrity, and staying true to the original high quality of the early learning institution.

Together, they designed sustainable, branded learning environments and integrated beauty and art with the help of artists Emmy Star Brown, Molly Z, and Luftwerk.

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More than 80 entries were judged on overall design, the creative use of space and materials, and the degree to which the project enhanced the original structure. Ken Kanline, director of the awards program, which recognizes the nation's best remodeling and renovation work, commented, "To win an award in this highly competitive category is quite an achievement."

Then, as part of AIA Chicago's Small Project/Small Firm awards program that recognizes high-quality work from small architectural firms and exceptional small local projects, DuPage Children's Museum received an AIA Chicago Small Projects Awards 2016 Citation of Merit for its Pyramid Bench.

Collaborating closely, Architecture Is Fun designed and fabricator Chicago Scenic Studios constructed the super-scaled Pyramid Bench, which creates unique spatial understandings for the many visitors to DuPage Children's Museum. A juror noted that the bench, which is part public space and part public engagement, was "an active object that encourages exploration and movement."

The goal of this award program, which is presented by the AIA Chicago Small Practitioners Group, is to raise public awareness of the value that architects bring to small projects and to promote small practitioners as a resource for design excellence.


The museum also was notified that it had received an honorable mention in the education category for Vision Design Awards 2016 in Floor Focus Magazine's April 2016 edition. The Vision Design Award for Education is awarded for design innovation and excellence on a unique application of flooring materials.

Architecture Is Fun's commitment to technology and sustainability is reflected in the design of trusted products from Forbo linoleum. The new public thoroughfare increases visibility and keeps the museum clean, while the fuzzy flooring, Flotex by Forbo, delineates zones of interactivity, absorbs sound, and captures allergens and dust.

Finally, DuPage Children's Museum was presented with the Celebrating Inspiration Award at the Naperville Education Foundation Spring Breakfast: Building a Passion for STEM.

"This has been another 'winning week' for this amazing early learning institution. During the reconstruction of the museum in 2015, we were faced with many incredible challenges and it took massive amounts of talent with a very aggressive timeline to rebuild the re-imagined museum," said museum President and CEO Sarah Orleans.

"We all know the saying, 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,' and the lemonade just keeps getting sweeter. DCM is honored to be part of the incredible recognition and we are so proud of all of the industry leaders that contributed to the reconstruction."

Learn about DuPage Children's Museum at