Creating a new home connecting nature and culture

Milwaukee Public Museum
Future Museum

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Since their inception in 1882, the Milwaukee Public Museum has been mission-led: inspiring curiosity, exciting minds, and increasing desire to preserve and protect our world’s natural and cultural diversity. Needing significant repair and investment, the Museum determined their current home threatened their financial stability, the safety of more than 4 million objects and artifacts in their collections, and their ability to retain accreditation. MPM determined a new location and facility was required to secure the Museum’s future. 

The design team of Kahler Slater, Ennead Architects, and Thinc Design are partnered to create an engaging state-wide asset that explores the interconnectedness of nature and culture. The new location is adjacent to other entertainment and dining experiences in the Deer District. Community engagement, inclusive design, and sustainability are significant factors in the development of the design.

Heavily influenced by Wisconsin’s ecologies, the structure of the new museum will be reminiscent of the geological formations of Mill Bluff State Park and an homage to the area’s history, ecological diversity, and resilience. Inspiration was also pulled from Milwaukee, namely the three rivers—the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic and Menomonee—that converge in the city. The new Museum is planned to open in 2026.