The 35,000-square-foot Muzeiko children's museum and science center in Bulgaria's capital, scheduled to open in June, is an energy-efficient building that features some of the most up-to-date sustainable strategies. Solar arrays, geothermal energy, natural daylighting and LED fixtures, among other energy-efficient technologies, will allow kids to enjoy the space and learn about robotics, electronics, woodworking and 3D printing.
The project was commissioned in part by the Sofia-based America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) and aims to provide children with a unique space where they can learn about science. It was designed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership who collaborated with Sofia-based A&A Architects and a team of local engineers. Museum exhibit designer Paul Orselli was consulted for the science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) educational programs at the museum, which will allow kids to experiment with all types of “maker” activities such as robotics, electronics, woodworking and 3D printing.
The building design includes geothermal heating and cooling systems, a solar array on the roof of the “south wing” which augments the electrical and hot water needs of the facility, and LED fixtures which provide lighting, including in the exhibit galleries. Triple-glazed curtain walls with custom glazing patterns, and a green roof on the north end, protect the interior from excessive solar heat gain. Graywater is used for toilets and site irrigation. Dedicated electric car parking spaces and bicycle racks are located near the main entrances to the building. Thanks to an impressive combination of green features, the building aims to achieve LEED Gold certification.