Michigan Science Center
Our design concept addressed damage as well as future maintenance issues while doubling the Center’s size.
After years of neglect, Neumann/Smith was selected to renew and reinvent the Science Center as one of the finest exhibit spaces in the region. Funded through a capital campaign, the expansion and renovation had a very tight budget. Our design concept addressed damage as well as future maintenance issues while doubling the Center’s size – all for roughly one-third the dollars per square foot used to build most contemporary museums.
Bold geometry, vibrant colors and industrial materials were utilized to create a unique yet cost-effective character within midtown Detroit’s cultural center. A new 3-D planetarium located within a blue-glazed brick cylinder topped with a geodesic dome provides a strong visual identity. Much of the addition was placed below grade which reduced construction costs while maintaining the important visual elements of the original structure. Continuing the industrial imagery, the interiors are very direct, which also minimized costs.
The popular IMAX Theater was renovated. A new glass enclosed elevator and monumental stair rises through the new exhibit spaces to connect with the IMAX entrance lobby and the existing elevated exhibit hall, creating a unified vertical transportation spine that ties all public spaces together.
Honor Award, AIA Michigan Honor Award, AIA Detroit Outstanding Achievement Award, ESD The Engineering Society of Detroit