As part of the Strong National Museum of Play’s $33 million expansion, the new Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden not only impresses with the colorful winged creatures inside of the garden, but also with the graceful wing-like shape of the structure’s unique roof.
More than 4,000 square feet of Birdair's PTFE tensile fabric membrane stretches 30 feet high and 50 feet in diameter to form the architectural equivalent of a butterfly’s wings. The fabric membrane allows an abundance of natural light to enter the space below where more than 800 free-flying butterflies delight visitors as they wind their way along the garden's paths.
Because of PTFE's translucent day-lighting characteristics, significant cost savings are achieved on supplemental interior lighting. In addition, the fabric membrane reduces thermal gradient differences between developed and undeveloped areas of the building -- known as the "heat island effect" -- minimizing the impact on human and wildlife habitats.
These features enabled the entire Strong National Museum of Play to earn LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Located in Rochester, N.Y., the Strong National Museum of Play is the second largest children's museum in the nation and the only museum in the world specifically devoted to the study of play. The Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden is the first and only year-round indoor butterfly garden in upstate New York.