Our Work

Children's Museum of South Dakota

Brookings, South Dakota

Confluence was an integral part of a multi-disciplinary design team that was tasked with developing South Dakota’s first children’s museum. The project involved transforming the existing 1930’s Brookings Central Elementary School and adjacent site into a premier children’s museum that rivals the best children’s museums across this country. The project included more than 30,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on interior exhibits and over 60,000 square feet of additional exterior exhibit space.

Goals of the new museum were to build a fun and interactive place for children to embrace curiosity, creativity, imagination and innovation; to give Brookings a regional attraction; to create a downtown gathering place; and to give the City of Brookings a marketing attraction.

“Nature Play” was a unified theme of the outdoor exhibit space. Our team of landscape architects worked closely with the owner and exhibit design consultants to develop a site plan that reflected the unique goals of the project. The site exhibit space included an interactive stream and fountain, dig pits, a hill and tunnel, a “mud pie kitchen”, stacking and climbing elements, a maze, a winter skate pond, and a large equipment display area.  All site design was planned with sustainability in mind, incorporating large areas of native plantings, pervious aggregate pathways, and a landscape that has a low dependence on supplemental water.