Carnegie Science Center
It is said that today, scientific knowledge doubles every six months, but that this knowledge is largely additive and cumulative, rarely replacing or canceling earlier forms. In the same way, the new science center proposed in this competition entry would not "cancel" the older structure built several decades earlier, but rather encompass it, enlarging, extending, and metamorphosing its contours. The project suggests that the existing floors could be retained while the old facade was partly removed to allow for the extension of exhibition galleries. The resulting new outer skin simultaneously provides protection against the weather and support for contemporary electronically generated information.
Because the competition for the Science Center resulted from an existing structure that no longer responded to current needs, an important consideration in design was flexibility for the future. Therefore, a concept and visual identity were proposed that would remain equally strong regardless of size or scale, whether 130,000 or 190,000 square feet of space were added. The principle of an overall envelope circumscribing the existing floors while defining new spaces provided the basis of the project. The metal enclosure could be adapted to budgetary constraints, assuming either a cost-conscious “tight” fit or a “loose” one that provided additional square footage. Possible alternative layouts do not change the general concept, permitting the building to be extended in different directions on the site.
The arrangement of the new floor plates allowed for two main display floors that each accommodated 35,000 square feet of continuous horizontal surface, permitting flexible subdivision according to curatorial needs. The result offers an exciting view over both the space and the scope of scientific knowledge that it contains.
Visible from a major vantage point along the river as visitors approach by car, the Science Center was intended to have a hypnotic presence, like a single stone on a beach or an object fallen from outer space. back
Carnegie Science Center
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Kim Starr, Jonathan Chace, Anne Save de Beaurecueil, William Feuerman, Robert Holton, Valentin Bontjes van Beek, Joel Rutten, Kate Linker, Liz Kim. Consultants: Matt King, Nigel Tonks (ARUP) back