The interactive Staten Island Children's Museum has a striking new outdoor shade structure that does more than just provide a cool place for a picnic. The PFTE tensile pavilion is topped with integrated thin-film photovoltaics that work to generate electricity for low-voltage lighting. Designed by Marpillero Pollak Architects in conjunction with Birdair, Inc., a tensile structor fabricator, the Meadow Structure is a playful space that also educates visitors about renewable energy.
The Meadow Structure at the Staten Island Children’s Museum is a 2,200 square-foot tensile roof featuring Birdair’s steel cable systems and PTFE and a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane combined with thin-film photovoltaic panels. The PFTE material is lightweight, UV resistant and is durable enough to last a long time. Thin-film panels were added to the south-facing sides of the structure to soak up the sun’s rays and generate electricity to power low-voltage lights. The shade structure will be used year-round as a flexible, weather-protected outdoor gathering and program space.
New York City-based Marpillero Pollak Architects designed the structure along with Birdair, Inc. and Weidlinger Engineers of New York City, and Mongiove Associates worked as the general contractor. Marpillero Pollak Architects also designed and installed a rotating wind scoop and vertical-axis turbine to existing skylights over the museum building. Now when visitors come to the museum they have a chance to learn about renewable energy while seeing it in action.
“The Meadow Structure, with its playful design and its innovative solar technology, strengthens the Children’s Museum’s identity as a place that is fun and educational at the same time. It helps the museum achieve the goal of more fully utilizing our wonderful outdoor space,” says Dina Rosenthal, executive director, Staten Island Children’s Museum.
Images ©Birdair, Inc.