September 2nd, 2019 marked the opening of the much anticipated ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. This cutting-edge 31,000 sq. ft. museum experience with interactive and immersive exhibits includes a 1,400 sq. ft. planetarium and a fossil gallery. Exhibits are comprised of an Ice Age diorama and theater, Founders of Science exhibit, Origins of the Universe, and geological exhibits of the Grand Canyon and Mt. St. Helen’s. The grounds boast a beautiful one-acre Discovery Park. The park has a covered outdoor eating area, a 24 ft. tall stainless-steel DNA helix sculpture, a reflecting pool, and nine concrete fossil relief sculptures on the building wall.
The ICR team, Dallas-based LARC (exhibit designer), the Beck Group, and COST worked collaboratively through shop drawings, 3D and physical modeling, fabrication, and construction of the naturalistic exhibit areas. These exhibit areas were developed using simulated rockwork, waterfalls, earthen textures, faux trees, flora, ice and snow, theme ruins, theme carpentry, and highly detailed models of Mt. St. Helen’s and the Grand Canyon.
“This museum project was really interesting and used many of our exhibit fabrication and theme construction skill sets”, says Greg Marks, COST VP of Project Management. “Our work was not limited to one particular finish; several dozen themed finishes were achieved using a number of materials from shotcrete, GFRC, FRP, epoxies, wood, as well as others”, states Marks.
To adhere to a tight construction schedule and minimize job site clutter, COST fabricated several elements in its Jackson, WI plant. Faux trees, rockwork panels, and other theme elements were built, dismantled, and shipped to the job site for a quick and seamless installation. Extensive coordination was needed to ensure both fabricated and site-constructed theme and exhibit features were integrated with lighting, A/V, interactives, and animatronic elements.
More information and videos can be found on the ICR Discovery Center Museum at discoverycenter.icr.org.
Photo courtesy of ICR.