Living Museum

Abigail Kaage, Deirdre Nolan, Giuliana Vaccarion-Gearty


( Concept )

Museums are often understood as static spaces, but what if a museum created a visitor experience that is neither fixed nor climate controlled? Can a museum question what is preserved for posterity, and how? Instead of showcasing artifacts, could a museum make space for animate materials free from human control?

With a rich array of wildlife, Living Museum is both a catalogue of, and monument to, the diversity of New York’s coastal ecosystem. It demonstrates how museums can proactively respond to our changing climate. An open-air tower of scaffolding and metal mesh, its materials are repurposed from nearby construction sites and serve as a habitat for native species. Its foundation is amphibious, with a hollow concrete slab attached to telescoping pylons that rise and fall with sea levels. With the exception of the occasional researcher, the museum is free from human interference. Visitors engage with it from a travelling educational centre that also serves as a gallery and research facility. Living Museum questions the notion of our traditionally static institutions, reimagining them as active participants in preserving our environment.

Project Team
Abigail Kaage, Deirdre Nolan, Giuliana Vaccarion-Gearty
Project Name
Living Museum
Team Location
United States, New York City
Architecture & Design