New Curious Kids’ Architectural Plan

Design Concept Approved for St. Joseph Museum

Oct 12, 2022 | Architecture

CARMI Design Group unveils new plans to help re-energize an educational staple in St. Joseph, Michigan. Our design team was tapped by Curious Kids’ Director, Lori Marciniak, to review the existing Curious Kids’ Museum architectural plans, after the children’s museum sustained smoke and fire damage this past summer. The site and existing architecture were fairly challenging, and the option to increase new exhibit space provided our architectural design team with several opportunities.

By placing the addition in the ‘front yard’ we hoped to create a dramatic, new, two-story structure that grabs the attention of patrons traveling from either the North or South along Lake Boulevard while showcasing the dynamic exhibits within. Our design addition pairs new and modern concepts with the historic brick structure. The original building, built circa 1915, was a fraternal lodge: GAR Memorial Hall. The building is currently owned by the City of Saint Joseph and leased to the Museum.

Additionally, square foot increases were incorporated in the space behind the ’97 portion of the existing building. Both of the expansions incorporate a lower level to maximize the impact of the new construction. In total, the proposed addition would add approximately 4,000 sq. ft. to the existing 7,000 sq. ft, museum exhibit space, bringing the new total to 11,000 sq. ft. The renovation includes new offices and restrooms, a new mechanical system to provide heating and cooling to all spaces, as well as an exterior patio, which will be used both for visitors and staff or possibly leased to private groups for after-hour social meetings.

We at CARMI Design Group are excited to see what happens next in the process of fundraising and donations that will help transform this long-standing destination for multiple generations of children in Saint Joseph; and the Southwest Michigan area. We hope to continue the development of this design as the project progresses through the next phase of design and construction of the Curious Kids’ Museum

Read More on how St. Joseph City Leaders viewed the new plans from the Herald Palladium