Please Touch Museum – Case Study

PROJECT PROFILE
Please Touch Museum:
Memorial Hall

Philadelphia, PA

The Please Touch Museum needed a new home and Memorial Hall needed a new tenant.  A fitting name – the museum is geared toward children ages seven and younger to touch, explore and play.  First opened in 1976, the museum moved several times to accommodate both the growth of the exhibit spaces and museum popularity.  In 2008, the museum settled on its final destination – Memorial Hall, a National Historic Landmark.  It was a win-win for all.  This magnificent Beaux-Arts style building celebrated its grand opening as the Art Gallery for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, an event which coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  Following the exhibition, it re-opened as the first home of Philadelphia Art Museum and remained an art gallery and storage facility from 1877-1956, when it was converted to a recreation center for the city of Philadelphia.

Metropolitan Acoustics provided the room acoustics and mechanical system noise control services for this world class children’s museum renovation. The cavernous exhibition and gallery spaces were acoustically challenging as they filled with multiple hands-on displays and exhibits.

We measured the reverberation time and provided recommendations including product information to reduce buildup of sound in the exhibit spaces.  We evaluated the acoustical isolation between both the exhibit spaces and the administrative areas.  Finally, working with the mechanical engineers, we designed recommendations for the noise and vibration attenuation measures to ensure all design goals were met.

A beautiful space, filled with wonderful exhibits, cheerful sounds and happy children – a treasure for all to enjoy for many more years. While, as the saying goes, children should be seen and not heard – in this fun-filled space, they needed to be both!