FreelandBuck has designed a permanent site-specific ceiling installation at Museum Lab, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s expansion into the former Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side. The installation was commissioned as part of the restoration of the historic building, which provides a new museum for older kids offering cutting-edge experiences in art tech and learning, as well as activities and spaces for a new charter school.
‘Over View’ is a three-dimensional drawing of the space it occupies, the central lobby of the former Carnegie Library space, in its original state. The 34-foot x 38-foot installation, made of printed and cut textile suspended over an aluminum frame, depicts a leaded glass ceiling that once enclosed the room before it was removed during a previous building renovation in the 1970s. “The intricacy of the original ceiling allowed us to create a dense cloud of lines overhead while clearly evoking the ornamental style of the original building,” said Brennan Buck, partner at FreelandBuck.
Like Renaissance-era trompe l’oeil ceilings, Over View uses the illusionary depth of perspective to create spaces beyond the existing architecture. Standing at the center of the room, the intricately patterned original ceiling can be seen projecting upward away from you. From other points of view, the installation becomes an abstract pattern of lines projecting down toward the floor. “Museum Lab is designed for older children, and the project presents them with a visual puzzle to solve, one that they can control and manipulate as their viewpoint changes when they move through the room,” explained David Freeland, partner at FreelandBuck.
Photography: Courtesy of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh