Kahler Slater and Ennead Team to Design Future Home for Milwaukee Public Museum and Betty Brinn Children's Museum

January 27, 2021

After an extensive international search, the Milwaukee Public Museum today announced the team that has been selected to bring the vision of its new museum to life in the coming years, as well as that of the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, which will be co-located on the site. Expert consultants chosen to design and oversee construction of the new museum include the teams at Thinc Design, Ennead Architects, Kahler Slater, Mortenson, and ALLCON.

“As designing and building a new museum will have national and global significance and will be a point of pride for Wisconsinites for generations to come, we searched for the best talent both locally and globally,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, President & CEO of the Milwaukee Public Museum. “We are thrilled with the group we’ve assembled and feel they will capture the interconnection of nature and culture through time and space using design as part of this exciting process.”

Ennead Architects and Kahler Slater will make up the architecture team, bringing together national and international expertise with local knowledge and creative ingenuity. “We are honored to be chosen by MPM as a partner who will help bring to life their vision for the future museum. As a firm that has designed significant civic buildings around Milwaukee and the State for over 110 years, we at Kahler Slater understand the importance and impact this once-in-a-lifetime project offers our community. Along with the rest of the team, we see this as a catalytic opportunity for the Museum to establish a unique center for culture, diversity, and science. We are especially excited to partner with Ennead and MPM to design a space which will spark innovation and opportunities for Milwaukee and the entire State,” said Kahler Slater CEO George Meyer, the Principal-in-Charge for the project.

After reviewing dozens of applications and following a thorough interview process, MPM leadership selected the expertise of this qualified, creative team. They were chosen based on their outstanding museum portfolios, their experience engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders, their ability to reflect accurate depictions of the unique and diverse cultures of individual communities in the work they produce, and their ability to work collaboratively toward a final vision.

Designers will embark on a process that builds on the conceptual work the museum has been doing and centers on the heart of the museum experience — the four million objects and specimens that tell the interconnected history of our natural and cultural worlds. The design teams will work collaboratively to create a museum experience in which the exhibits and building complement each other throughout the visitor’s journey in understanding the intersection of nature and culture. The Ennead and Kahler Slater team will additionally be focused on designing a vibrant space to house the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum within the complex.

Choosing the consultant team is the most recent milestone in what is a carefully crafted, long-term plan for creating a new home for the Museum. The museum has been working with the Milwaukee Development Corporation to identify a suitable location and is expected to close on the acquisition of the site, located at the Northeast corner of 6th Street and McKinley Avenue, in February. The design will incorporate sustainable practices and exhibit planning will actively move forward. Final cost estimates will be determined during the design phase.

For more information on the project, please see: