In collaboration with the America for Bulgaria Foundation, New York-based firm Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership (LHSA+DP) has developed the first children’s museum to be built in post-Soviet Eastern Europe, Muzeiko
Selected from a shortlist of international firms, the practice was selected to design a children’s science discovery centre for the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. As one of the United States’ foremost authorities on children’s museums and formative education design, the firm was tasked to transform a former college laboratory in the university precinct of Studentski-grad into an interactive learning destination for the children of the area.
The firm took inspiration from the surrounding topography of Sofia for the design, with a theme of “little mountains” being the overall subject. Multi-faceted buildings suggest geological formations that allude to the area’s major crafts: decorative woodcarving, glazed ceramics, and fabric design. Inside, guests will be treated to exhibits about Bulgaria, past, present and future. "As you move through the building, you are moving through time and through the world, or space," says Lee H. Skolnick, founding principal of LHSA+DP. "It's not just about bringing together different subjects and content, but weaving them together as part of a narrative experience, that tells a unified story about how the world works that children can appreciate and understand."
Officially opening to the public on 30 September, 2015, the design development phase has recently been completed. As well as a plethora of exhibits and interactive spaces, the three-levels of the museum incorporate an array of features such as a café, an outdoor green roof with exhibit areas, an outdoor amphitheater, and an outdoor science-themed play area.