"I hear and I forget;
I see and I remember;
I do and I understand.
A NEW SCIENCE MUSEUM FOR CHARLOTTE, N.C.
COVER: CONCEPTUAL SKETCH ONLY
CHRISTOPHER B. WHEELER MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE THESIS DESIGN PROJECT COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER FALL 1979 FALL 19B1
In 1966, the Arts and Science Council of Charlotte, North Carolina proposed a new science and nature museum for Charlotte, to be called Discovery Place. The museum was described as a place to stimulate wonder and imagination, to pose and answer questions. It will offer manifold exciting and enriching experiences of mind and spirit. It will help us to understand ourselves and our time and to shape the patterns of our future by explaining our past and the natural world around us. It will open horizons. It will challenge the constructive imagination".
The concept of a new science museum, which would be located downtown, quickly gained the support of the community and the city. The present museum, the Charlotte Nature Museum, was a tremendous success, serving a half-million visitors each year and turning away school classes due to lack of space. The Nature Museum could not be expanded due to a limited site, and thus a completely new museum was needed. This new museum would be able to display many new exhibits and many of the exhibits currently in storage due to limited space.
As for the city, they saw Discovery Place as a catalyst for major new residential and commercial development in the surrounding area. Currently, the city estimates the new development to be at least $35 million. In addition, the museum would be a valuable cultural asset to the downtown in particular and the city in general.
Planning for Discovery Place continued, and in 1972 a site search was begun, resulting in the selection of a site in the heart of the CBD. Soon thereafter a study grant was received for the programming phase of the museum. Later the issue was placed on a city-county ballot as a general bond of $7-1 for the museum and $2.5 million for Spirit Square (a performing arts center in an existing Baptist church). On April 19, 1977, both bond issues were passed, and Discovery Place became reality.
This thesis project is based on the actual building. The program which follows is a combination of the initial program for Discovery Place, and updated information from the director, staff, architect and consultants of the museum.
Discovery Place is to be located in Charlotte, North Carolina. North Carolina is a geographically varied state, with mountains in the west, farmland in the center and Atlantic beaches to the east. There is a 7000' change in elevation across the state, and commonly a 30 change in temperature. Rainfall is abundant, resulting in dense forests and rich agricultural land. Dominant crops are tobacco and cotton. Presently both manufacturing and tourism are becoming increasingly important to the state's economy.
Charlotte is close to the center of the state, with the mountains and beaches almost equidistant. With a population of over 300,000, it serves as the commerce center for North Carolina and part of South Carolina. Additional population is concentrated in the area, as over b million people reside within a 100 mile radius of the city.
Charlotte is a rapidly growing city, particularly in business, commerce and education Its Central Business District (CBD) is a vital, dynamic area, with many new high-rise office towers, shopping areas and "people places". Along with the new, there is extensive renewal and rehabilitation of the CBD and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Two of these neighborhoods, First and Fourth Wards, are directly adjacent to the CBD. They are extremely dynamic communities, with extensive restoration projects underway. While smaller in scale, they are quite similar in character to Capital Hill in Denver Tree-lined streets, Victorian houses and a strong sense of community are characteristics of these neighborhoods.
With the growth of Charlotte as a center for commerce and population, there is a grow ing desire for additional cultural facilities. The performing center of Spirit Square and the new Discovery Place are two great additions to the cultural life of the city. Both are extremely we 11-supported by the community and are distined to be very successful.
The site is located at the corner of North Tryon Street and Sixth Street.North Tryon Street is the central spine of the CBD,the center of which is located two blocks to the south at Trade and Tryon. It has heavy pedestrian, auto, and bus traffic, and the noise and odors inherent to these. North of the site on Tryon are numerous motels, primarily serving the city's conventioneers. South of the site, the office and commercial sector of the CBD begins. The scale of these increases gradually from three to twelve stories, with a few high-rise towers clustered around Trade and Tryon.
Tryon Street Pedestrian Hall:
Currently under discussion at the Planning Commission is a proposal to reduce the through traffic on Tryon Street and increase the pedestrian emphasis. Through traffic would be routed around the CBD, and the width of the street reduced. The proposal does not include any blocks north of Sixth Street, but could be extended to Seventh Street with sufficient reason.
Second Level Pedestrian System:
Charlotte is attempting to establish a second level pedestrian system. In the heart of the CBD, there are a few pedestrian bridges and a successful shopping mall already, and plans exist for the complete system. Currently this system terminates in the new parking garage adjacent to the site. The Planning Commission would strongly encourage a bridge from there to Discovery Place.
There are two buildings located on the north side of the site. One is a three story office building, presently occupied by an architectural firm and a construction company. The other building is St. Mark's Episcopal Church. The church is relatively small, but has significant architectural character and is a strong visual asset. Surrounding the church is a heavily landscaped mini-park, which is a very popular, intimate, people place. Immediately adjacent to the site are Spirit Square and the central branch of the Charlotte Public Library. Spirit Square is a major renovation of a large Baptist church building and a three story office building. It will be a "place for all ages to participate in the arts-rnusic, theater, dance, photography, painting, and ceramics". An 850 seat auditorium and rehersal space are included. A central atrium will be created between the two buildings as a main entrance lobby.
Pa rk i ng :
At present there are many small ground level park ng lots on the surrounding eight blocks. These contain 488 spaces. On street parking is permitted only on Tryon Street, and its quantity is negligable.
Future plans for the city include a major parking deck to be constructed on the block to the nortwest of the site. This will increase the available parking to 1850 spaces.
Even at present, the parking supply should be sufficient, since the heaviest influx of visitors to Discovery Place, during evenings and weekends, coincides with off-peak parking usage for commercial and office uses.
The site occupies most of the block. It is approximately 106,800 square feet net, or 2i acres.
All necessary utilities are located beneath all four of the surrounding streets.
The building must be able to expand 100% on the site for future needs. Thus the building may occupy 53,400 square feet at most. The implication of this is that there will have to be more than one level.
Space for 100 cars and 10 buses is required. Proper handicapped space and access must also be provided.
Sun : Winter 35 N Latitude
AM PM AZIMUTH ALTITUDE
12:00 180- O' 31-30'
10:00 2:00 1^9-30' 25- O'
8:00 ^4:00 126-30 8-30'
7:10 A:50 119- O' 0
Fall, Spring AM PM AZIMUTH ALTITUDE
12:00 180- O' 55- O'
10:00 2:00 135- O' kS~ O'
8:00 h:00 108-30* 2V- O'
6:00 6:00 90- O' 0
Summer AM PM AZIMUTH ALTITUDE
12:00 CO o o O 78-30'
11:00 1:00 127-30 720 30'
10:00 2:00 105"301 61-30
8:00 A:00 85-30 37- O'
b : 50 7:10 61O' 0
Wind: See accompanying diagram.
DAY AVERAGE NIGHT AVERAGE HEATING COOLING
J 45 CD 0 862 0
F 46 27 785 0
M 61 38 473 0
A 74 49 140 41
M 77 56 72 132
J 86 66 0 343
J 89 69 0 438
A 88 69 0 440
S 83 66 7 287
0 72 48 155 13
N 66 47 255 1
D 56 34 620 1
Prec i p i tat ion:
45" per year.
Snow minimal, but ice storms are a major problem.
The role of museums has changed. In the past, they were seen as storehouses for the protection and carefully controlled display of objects. The atmosphere was either that of an awe-inspiring temple or of a dusty attic. Today, a growing number of museums have seen that this approach puts severe limits on the contribution museums can make to an understanding of who we are and of the world around us.
The museum will be devoted to explaining science, natural history and technology, as they relate to man. A concept basic to this approach is that visitors can learn most through experiences in which they actively participate. This can take place on many levels, in many ways: A child helping care for an animal. A high school student trying a scientific experiment. Weaving cloth on a simple hand loom and comparing this process to that of a modern high-speed automated loom. Measuring your own pulse rate, blood pressure and other body rhythms. The possibilities are endless, but the emphasis is "hands-on" rather than "don't touch", "be quiet" and "just look". This approach has spelled success for the existing Charlotte Nature Museum, but the current limitation of space has confined these "hands-on" experiences mostly to small children.
This emphasis leads to new ideas about the design of buildings to house science and technology museums. There is greater concern that visitors see and understand how the museum itself works few areas are "off limits". The atmosphere should be informal, putting visitors at ease to reduce the barriers they may feel between themselves and what they are invited to participate in. Change and growth must be designed into the building, since there is less emphasis on static displays that remain in place for long periods of time.
Finally, there is a growing realization that the building itself is a significant object in a science and technology museum's collection and should be designed to further the museum's goals in an active way, rather than be a passive repository of objects and exhibits. The building should be designed as a "hands-on" exhibit.
A brief visit to the museum follows:
Upon entering, you will find an area full of activity. There should be an immediate sense of the things going on in the Museum. The main exhibit areas should be visible from the lobby, and there should be a sense of the way the building is organized and how you get to the various parts of the Museum. The lobby should be designed as a place for special exhibits such as student science projects, traveling exhibits, industry exhibits, and so on. There could be huge photographic wall maps of Metro-lina, taken by satellite, where visitors can locate their homes with colored pins.
As a special feature there will be a small orientation center to provide information and prepare the visitor for his self-guided tours.
The Orientation Point is seen as an effective way of giving the first-time visitor as well as the returning visitor a means for understanding the purpose and the physical layout of the Museum. It will present a short, continuous, exciting audio-visual program on the Museum's permanent exhibits, programs and special events.
Special gathering areas should be provided where groups of school children can have a place for orientation, rest and assembly.
Also recommended is a place where small children could stay while parents and older children visit the Museum. Special programs and activities could be offered, emphasizing aspects of the Museum scaled down to relate the world of young children. Examples might include films, puppet-making, computer games for children, making small working model sailboats, live animal talks, etc.
The Science Circus:
A carnival of "hands-on" exhibits conceived with the discovery and re-discovery of basic principles of science and technology, for visitors of all ages. The aim will be to break down the barriers of Jargon and specialized knowledge which surrounds much of science, and present concepts in a way which are fun, comprehensible and directly involve the visitor.
The possibilities are endless ....
Get an immediate impression of the human energy required to light a lamp, operate a TV set, listen to music, with the bicycle generator.
Experience the phenomenon of the computer.
Explore the laws of energy and momentum by starting and stopping spinning flywheels and pendu1 urns.
Compare the past, present and future transportation mediums to projected needs of the future.
Cot ton; from plant to modern fiber.
See your own voice on an osci11oscope.
See how everyday devices work: Locks, microwave ovens, electronic calculators, etc. Watch how solar collectors could use the sun's energy to heat and cool your house.
The Carolina Trai1/Piedmont Geology:
A "walking tour" of the Carolinas from the sea to the mountains, emphasizing the differences in climate, geology and plant and animal life. Typical plants and animals will appear along The Carolina Trail, each within their natural environment. Special visual and sound effects will create the sense of "being there".
The "Trail" might start in a darkened room, with the only sound the roar of the surf. The sun rises, the sound of birds is heard, as day comes to the Carolinas. At the end of the Trail, you may watch the sun set from a lofty mountain overlook, as you begin to hear the sounds of the mountains at night.
More different minerals and gems are found in North Carolina than in any other state Within the Charlotte area is the core of an ancient volcanic dike, giving evidence of some of the oldest mountains in the world and this was once the principal gold-producing area in the United States.
These facts provide the inspiration for an exhibit area on Piedmont Geology: In the Beg inning, recounting the geologic history of the earth and our region through special effects, and displays of fossils, gems and mineral specimens and earthquakes. Significant collections of gold and semi-precious stones await donation to the Museum pending proper dramatic and permanent display as the focal point of this exhibit.
Other displays can show the cutting and polishing of gems.
Carolina fossils also have an important story to tell about Carolina pre-history, and these can be displayed and related to animals and plant life of today.
Built into the exhibit areas will be small Mini-Theaters, accommodating perhaps 30 people in an informal seating arrangement, designed for special presentations related to those exhibits. For example, after seeing the Carolina Trail, a group of school students might gather in the adjacent mini-theater for a more detailed program discussion on the animal life of the Carolinas. Several mini-theaters are needed in the new Life Center to carry out an expanded program of health education for school children.
A unique and exciting way of putting visitors in close touch with the Museum's collections is the Collections Gallery. Displays of objects will be combined with sample drawers filled with thousands of artifacts and specimens of all kinds; many objects can be handled by the visitor. Certain drawers will contain teaching collections, concerned for example with the identification of plants and animals. Cassettes with taped narration, films, slide sets, books and pamphlets will be available to contribue to an understanding of the collections. If they wish, visitors will be able to take individual drawers to a carrel for more detailed study.
Emphasis throughout the Museum will be on se1f-directed learning. Wherever the exhibits and collections of the Museum lend themselves to use for individual study and research, study carrels should be provided. These will allow one to retreat from the activity and excitement of the Museum for more thorough study of a particular subject.
Perhaps one of the most significant exhibit areas, will be Man on the Piedmont, concerning itself with our understanding of man, his artifacts, "his technology and the history of his relationship to his environment and to his technology. Discover what it was like to live here in earlier times, through involvement with actual activities and artifacts: grind corn, weave on a loom, pump water, attempt to make a stone arrowhead and operate a cotton gin. A second part of Man on the Piedmont will deal with man and his technologies today; textiles, furniture making, hosiery, photography, trucking, flight, etc. Some of these experiences can be se1f-directed, others will be supervised by "explainers" staff members trained to ask questions, explain and reinforce the learning experience.
The existing Hall of Health at the Nature Museum has demonstrated the value of a we 11-designed teaching facility on the functioning of the human body. An expanded version to be known as Life Center can offer programs for all ages and on subjects not now covered in the present exhibit due to limitations of space. Expanded exhibits and program facilities will make possible the addition of genetics, body chemistry, dentistry and expanded exhibits on the brain and nervous system and on human growth and development.
The Universe Sphere will be a new, exc iting and versatile form of the t rad i t iona1 planetarium, made possible by recent developments in optics and electronics. By combining these with special sound effects and temperature changes, a tremendous variety of special programs are possible all of which give you the feeling of being "right there". Some examples are:
- After a breathtaking journey through space, step onto the surface of one of Saturn's moons to witness the dramatic rise of the ringed planet behind a distant mountain range.
- While relaxing on a grassy meadow under a clear sky, watch the onset of a cloud formation. As you learn about cloud types and their meaning, a storm system develops and a thunderstorm begins, complete with lightning, thunder and the effect of falling rain.
- Travel to the tundra in the sub-artic region of earth to experience the 2^-iiour days and nights and their effect on plant and animal life and on the people of that region the Eskimos and Lapps their traditions and beliefs as affected by the sky.
The Science Theater will be a place for presenting special programs in an auditorium atmosphere seating over 300 viewers.
- Demonstration shows drawn from principles of science, technology and natural
history: Chemistry, electricity, animals, lasers, rockets, air cars, etc.
- Public meetings and demonstrations can be held here by such groups as the Charlotte Rock & Mineral Club, the Charlotte Astronomers Club, the Sierra Club,
the Mecklenburg Audobon Club and many others.
- Dramatizations of events in the history of science and technology, such as dis-of radium, or the invention of the telephone.
- Special films and other audio-visual presentations from the Museum's collection or from outside sources.
Flexibility should be a prime concern in the design of Discovery Place in order to accommodate growth and change. Rather than fixed walls separating one exhibit area from another, the focus should be on large open spaces. Within these spaces, individual exhibits can be separated simply by the display units themselves, or if necessary for sound or light control, non-structural partitions can be used. The imaginative use of lighting, color and graphics will relate one exhibit to another and guide visitors as they explore Discovery Place.
Discovery Place at Work is an important idea in presenting the "behind the scenes" areas of Discovery Place. Workshops, studios, preparation and cataloging of new collection items, all can be just as interesting and informative as the exhibits themselves to the viewer. If visitors have the chance to see these areas and watch the Museum staff at work, the richness of their experience can be increased through understand of how Discovery Place works.
Summary of Areas:
I. Primary Exhibit/Program Areas -relatively fixed
A. SCIENCE THEATER 5,000
B. UNIVERSE SPHERE 5,900
Primary Exhibit/Program Areas -relatively flexible
A. COLLECTIONS GALLERY 2,000
B. SCIENCE CIRCUS 6,300
C. CAROLINA TRA1L/P1EDM0NT GEOLOGY 8,100
D. HAN ON THE PIEDMONT A,800
E. LIFE CENTER A ,000
F. LEARNING LABS 2, A00
G. M1N1-THEATERS (areas included in A-G)
H. OUTDOOR EXHIBITS (not included in building a rea)
A. EXHIBIT PREPARATION 6,800
B. COLLECTIONS PREPARATION 6 STORAGE 7,000
C. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 1 ,900
Admi nistrat ion
A. ADMINISTRATION OFFICES 2,500
B. BUILDING OPERATIONS 600
V. Pub 1ic Areas
A. LOBBY, CONTROL 6 ORIENTATION POINT
B. RETAIL SALES
General circulation, walls, toilets, etc. Â§ 15%:
Mechanical @ 15%:
Future expansion is seen as taking place in three areas primarily:
- Expansion of general exhibit space.
- Addition of special exhibit units.
- Expansion of storage and display space.
I. Primary Exhibit/Program Areas A, SCIENCE THEATER
Seating (300 seats x 8 s.f.) 2,A00
Demonstration area 1,500
Projection/control room 200
Entrance/1ight locks A00
Storage (screened portion of demonstration area) 500
A flexible, 300-seat auditorium/theater for structured presentations to larger groups. Emphasis in layout should be a minimum sight distance to farthest seat.
Exhibit techniques include live demonstrations, lectures, films and slides, puppets, live drama and other.
Demonstration area consists of a large flat floor extending from front row of seats. Provide a series of curtains to reduce size of area as required. Projection screen required.
Access from exhibit preparation area for large demo-stration props.
B. UNIVERSE SPHERE Staff
Seating (200 under suspended 60 diameter t i1 ted dome)
Peripheral service area around and above
Control room 150
Entrances/1 ight locks *400
Director's office 200
Lecturer's office 150
Artist work room 150
Film/tape storage 100
A combination pianetarium/environmenta1 effects chamber, using a 60' diameter hemispherical projection shell tilted at approximately 22 to the horizontal, with tiered, directional seating for 200.
t Detailed design of this area must be worked out
in close cooperation with manufacturer of projection shell and equipment. However, the 5,900 s.f. total may be used as a basis for preliminary design, since most of the projection and computer space is located beneath the tiered seat i ng.
II. Primary Exhibit/Program Areas
Allocation of space to these individual areas is approximate at this time. However, the total of 27,600 square feet may be taken as a working basis for design investigation of flexible, organized, architecturally neutral space within which e>hibit/program units will be constructed, tentatively designated as follows:
A. COLLECTIONS GALLERY
Collections librarian 1
Explainers (number may vary)
A Library of Museum specimens and artifacts, arranged for display and use, in a modular combination of display units and storage drawers.
Emphasis is on the active use of Museum Collections for individual study.
Visitor types include:
1. Casual quick tour
2. Interested overview of Collections
3. Specific interest repeat visitor b. Researcher in-depth study
Public areas include:
1. Display modules for Collections storage and display
2. Feature display areas
3. Control/assistance b. Study carrels
Non-public areas will include a small work room.
Adjacent to the collections preparation and storage area.
Future expansion of Collections Gallery is en-v i s i oned.
B. SCIENCE CIRCUS
Explainers (number may vary)
Exhi bi ts Mini-theater
A carnival of "hands-on" exhibits emphasizing discovery of fundamentals of science and technology.
Visitor relationship to exhibit is direct, "hands-on".
Entire exhibit has public access.
Flexibility is required for addition of new displays and removal of old ones from time to time.
Access required from Exhibits Preparation area.
Minimum clear height: 15 feet; some portion with higher ceiling is desirable.
An introduction to the geological history, and the plant and animal life of the Caro-linas, and an introduction to the minerals and gems of the Piedmont region.
C. CAROLINA TRAIL/PIEDM0NT GEOLOGY
Exhi bi ts
Mini-theaters (2 @ 300)
D, HAN ON THE PIEDMONT
Exh i b i ts Mini-theater
Han: past, present and future, and his effect
on the Piedmont.
Mini-theaters will accommodate up to 30 persons, with informal seating, for small group demonstra-tions/programs. These will be built as part of the exhibits.
Entire exhibit has public access. Non-public access from exhibit preparation area is required.
Minimum clear height: 15 feet; some portions with higher ceiling are desirable.
E. LIFE CENTER
Di rector Expla i ners
Exhi bi ts
Min i-theather (*t)
An expanded version of the present Nature Museum Hall of Health, using and adding to the present exhibit material. This exhibit in particular functions as a major teaching adjunct to the Charlotte-Mechlenburg school system.
Entire exhibit has public access, except for a small office/workroom for the Director. Nonpublic access from the exhibit preparation area is required.
Minimum ceiling height: 15 feet.
F. LEARNING LABS
Staff: See Education Department
6 @ *400 s.f. 2,**00
Flexible classroom-type spaces which will be set up as facilities for the Museum's various organized educational programs and workshops.
Should also function as exhibits, with views through glass walls at activities within; they should therefore be in an area of public activity.
Access required from Education Department offices and Collections Preparation and Collections Gallery, which are the primary sources of objects and animals used in Learning Lab programs.
(Areas included in A-F)
Small, very flexible, information gathering areas built into the exhibit areas and to be constructed as part of the exhibits for special presentations.
Size to accommodate one school class (approximately 30) on lightweight movable seating, carpeted floor risers, etc.
Include simple film and slide projection facilities and other special presentation devices as required for the special functions of each mini-theater.
H. OUTDOOR EXHIBIT AREA
This space is not included in the building area, and the size is not defined by this program. However, this is seen as serving a variety of functions, such as:
Permanent display of large items; for example, a steam locomotive.
Outdoor concert performances, and public functions such as the Museum's "attic sale".
An area providing a change of pace and a "break" for the visitor.
Consideration should be given to the problem of providing controlled access to this area, both when the Museum is open and not open.
I I I Support Areas
A. EXHIBIT PREPARATION Staff
Exhi bits Di rector 1
Electronics engineer 1
Mechanical engineer 1
Di rector's office 200
Graph i cs/des i gn 300
Carpentry shop 1 ,200
Electrical shop 200
Paint shop 200
Molding and casting 200
Exhibit assembly 1 ,000
A/V and television studio 800
Workshop areas for designing, constructing repairing and storing materials for exhibits and demonstration props.
Visitors should be able to look into this area and to see how the Museum functions "behind the scenes".
Access for moving exhibits and materials is required to:
main exhibit areas under I and II, lobby exhibit area, loading dock.
All partitions ir. this area, including offices, should be demountable/movable, or of inexpensive construction that can be torn out and relocated at minimum cost.
B. COLLECTIONS PREPARATION AND STORAGE
Collections Director 1
Collections preparator 1
Di rector1s office Secretary Work area Research labs Live animals Storage
Primary area for receiving, cataloging, storing and caring for Museum collection items which are not on public display in exhibits or in the Collections Gallery.
The Collections Gallery functions as the public contact area for Museum collections. It must be located close to this area and is under administrative control of the Collections Director.
The live animal room is not an exhibit area, but serves for holding and care of animals not on display in exhibit areas. Special ventilation, temperature and humidity controls and lighting are required. Should include a small storage area for feed, litter, etc.; a small examinat ion/treatinent room; and a small isolation room for sick animals.
Access from loading dock is required.
This area must be located to allow major future expansion to accommodate an increased Museum Collection.
C. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT Staff
Education director Secretary
Schools program assistant
Youth program assistant 1 Adult program assistant 1 Demonstrator 1 Hall of Health director 1 Explainers + 15
Director's office 200 Staff offices, 5 @ 150 750 Secretary 100 Staff work room 300 A/V storage and workroom 150 General storage *00
Primarily office space for Education Staff.
Should be located near Collections Staff area and Research Labs; and Learning Labs.
The Explainers work in the exhibit areas of the Museum; however, they need some desk space in the Staff Work Room and a place for coats, etc. They are under the administrative control of the Education Di rector.
Admin i st rat ion A. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE Staff
Executive director 1
Administrative secretary 1
Information/public relations director 1
Information secretary 1
Volunteer coordinator ' 1
Interpretations director 1
Administrative secretary and typist 200
Information/public relations 150
Volunteer coordinator 100
Interpretation director 150
Board/conference room *50
Docent lounge and library 300
Work room/files 300
Should be accessible from public lobby and have easy access to rest of Museum.
Should be an open-plan area.
B. BUILDING OPERATIONS Staff
Maintenance supervisor 1
Building equipment technician 1
Securi ty officer 1
Maintenance supervisor office 100
Security office 100
Men's locker and toilet 100
Women's locker and toilet 50
Building supplies storage 100
Equipment maintenance shop 150
Pub]i c Areas
A. LOBBY AND CONTROL, ORIENTATION POINT
Information desk 2
Check room 1
General area, exhibit, orientation Moo
1nformat ion 100
Group assembly areas 700
Check room 200
Young children's area 500
The lobby will function as an exhibit area for special and traveling exhibits, etc. It is extremely important that visitors begin to feel excited and involved with Museum activities and exhibits, and begin to perceive the whole scope of the Museum, as soon as they enter the building
Access from the lobby should be to and from:
Main exhibits (via control point),
Universe Sphere (via control point),
Reta i1 store,
High ceiling is desirable. Use of lighting to achieve large scale or intimate scale, depending on the current exhibit, should be investigated.
The Orientation Point should be accessible to visitors from the lobby. This area will offer a short continuous A/V presentation on the exhibits, programs and current events at the Museum. It should accommodate 80 people.
Young children's area should be separated but visible and should have a very colorful, festive atmosphere.
A child-scaled structure of several levels might perhaps be built in this area, with different activities on the various levels. A small storage area and children's toilets are needed.
Group assembly areas are the "home bases" for assembling school groups brought to the Museum. They would be carpeted in different colors, perhaps to match children's name tags, etc.
Consideration should be given to the problem of flexibility required to handle large crowds at peak periods vs. light attendance at off-peaks.
B. RETAIL SALES
1 ,200 1,200
This floor space may be taken as a working basis for preliminary design. Food preparation facilities will be for 1i ght meals.
The Museum shop is a potential major source of income for the Museum. It should be located at a point of maximum traffic flor, especially of visitors leaving the Museum.
In addition to above, it is important that the res taurant, and especially the Museum shop, contribut to the theme of the Museum.
- no setbacks required on public streets.
- side setback = V-0".
He i ght:
- height limit = 80'-0" (must include minimum 2'-0" parapet).
S i gns:
- no limit on number or size.
- if less than 10-0" clearance, sign may project 6" into public right-of-way; if greater than 10-0" clearance, it may project 1'-6".
- 1 space for each 150 square feet of public space plus 1 space for each 2 employees.
- minimum space dimensions: 8'-6" x 17'~0.
- underground parking is permitted.
- minimum of 2 per story.
- 150'-0" maximum to exit.
- exit stairs must lead directly to an exterior open space or to an enclosed passageway to an exterior open space.
- maximum dead end corridor is 50' in office areas; no dead end corridors are allowed in the exhibit areas.
- width of stairs and corridors: 30 square feet per person = occupancy load. Persons per limit of extra width (22") stairs 75, corridors 100. Minimum widths -stairs 3,-6", corridors 3'0", exterior doors 6'-0".
- stairs: tread 7" or wider, risers 9-1/2" or less, landings required at 12* intervals, railings required.
- all doors must swing in direction of exit travel.
- emergency lighting required.
Aisles and Seating:
- every aisle shall lead to an exit door or to a cross aisle leading to an exit.
- aisles shall be at least 3l-0" wide, plus an increase of 1-1/2" for every 5 in length.
- maximum slope is 1 in 10.
- maximum of lA seats between aisles; maximum of 7 seats in dead end row.
- no steps permitted.
- row spacing: back to back 30" or greater, 12" minimum between back and front of next seat.
- building must be accessible to handicapped.
- ramps: 8.33% slope maximum; V-0" wide minimum; 5"0" platform required every 30* of ramp, and at changes in direction; handrail required.
- doors: 32" minimum width; 6-6" clearance between doors; 5'0" level floor before door; I'-O" level floor behind door.
- corridors *12" wide minimum.
- elevators: required; minimum size 3'8" x 6'-0" deep.
- seating: \% for handicapped, level.
- toilets: 1 fixture of each type must be accessible to handicapped; stalls 3~0" wide, 6'-0" deep, 32" door, b2" x 36" wide space in front of door; minimum clear floor space is 5l-0".
- parking: 2% of total spaces for handicapped (bt preferred); 12'-6" wide.
PIumb i ng:
- fixtures, minimum requirements:
No. of People Water Closets Lavator i es
1- 15 1 1 1
16- 35 2 2 2
36- 55 3 b 3
56- 80 b 5 b
81-100 5 6 5
101-150 6 8 6
1 for each b0 1 for each b5
ext ra people extra people
- 1 water fountain required for each 75 people.
- sprinkler system required.
The 1977 bond issue included a budget of $7-1 million for Discovery Place. Budget figures are as follows:
Bui 1d i ng Exh i b i ts Fees
$1 ,750,000 3,784,000 1 ,123,000 M3,000
Average Cost/Square Foot** $ 44.00
Annual operating costs will come from admissions, memberships, retail sales and both city and county funding.
* Accounts for inflation on 1977 figures.
** Building only does not include exhibits.
The building itself is an exhibit of the Museum, and it should be technologically advanced in such areas as structure, use of energy sources, conservation of energy and resources and reclaiming and reduction of waste products.
The requirement for exhibit design and flexibility implies large open spaces without well-defined boundaries ("black boxes"). There is a need for close attention to "visual relief", views and access to the outside, changes of design "pace" and areas of intimate scale, if visitor fatigue is to be avoided.
It is intended that the visitor be free to explore and discover as much as possible of the Museum on his own without being lost, and there is a need for strong organization to make the whole comprehensible, and any conflict between organization and flexibility must be resolved in the design. The organization should begin to be readable to the visitor when approaching and after entering the building.
The building will be a focal point of the central city. There is a need to give it design importance through its sensitivity to the need of people, and to the possibilities of restoring life to an arid urban site, rather than through monumentality, in order to meet the goals of the Museum.
Since the requirements for parking, future expansion, and large exhibit spaces are in conflict with the restricted size of the site, the design must address and resolve these conflicts imaginatively.
The requirements and goals imply both a feeling of activity throughout the building and a need for a feeling of intimacy in the visitor's relation to individual exhibits so the design must address and resolve this possible conflict.
People must want to come again and again to the Museum for it to be a success, and consideration must be given to such intangib1e design qualities as "surprise", "drama" memorability", "welcoming", "diversity" and "change".
There may be very large crowds at peak times, and small goups of visitors at off-peak so the design must resolve this need for enough feeling of activity in the one case versus the need to loosen density and allow people "escape valves" from the crowd in the other.
It is desired that the visitor feel an immediate sense of being caught up in the activity of the Museum when entering. The design must solve the problem of providing a sense of immediacy in the relation of lobby area to exhibit areas, versus a need for control.
Since there is a need for a certain level of overall security against vandalism, the design must solve this problem while at the same time retaining the need for a feeling of openness and welcome.
Meet i ngs:
- Steve Griffin, Principal Planner, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission.
- Jerry Abrams, Architect, Clark, Tribble, Harris, and Li, Architects.
- Russell Prethman, Director, Discovery Place.
- Joe Sonderman, Exhibit Designer.
- Ken Simback, Central Area Coordinator, City of Charlotte.
- Reverend Huntington Williams, Jr., St. Peter's Episcopal Church.
- John Goyette, Director, Spirit Square.
- Arial Stephens, Director of Charlotte Public Library.
- Transpotation Planning Office.
- Chamber of Commerce.
Architectural Record Architectural Forum Progressive Architecture A.I.A. Journal
L1 Architecture D1Aujourd1hui
19^8-1979 1956-1972 1961-1979 1968-1979 1975-1979 1963-1979 1959-1979
Hands On Museums: Partners in Learning, published by Educational Facilities Laboratories, 1975.
The New Museum, by Michael Browne, 1965-Museums For The 1980's, by Kenneth Hudson, 1977.
The Uptown Pedestrian, Charlotte Planning Commission.
Comprehensive Plan 1995, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission.
Ponte-Travers-Wo1f Plan, 1971.
Neighborhoods in Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission.
Site Utilization Study, J. N. Pease Associates, 1976.
Science Centers: Potential for Learning, by Lee Kimche.
MEMS Report, Wolf Associates, 1976.
Discovery Place Program, Mi 11er/Steever/Finch, 1976.
Program Development Report, by James B. Thompsen, Program Director, 1979. Charlotte News and Observer.
Time Saver Standards Graphic Standards Charlotte Zoning Code North Carolina Building Code
A NEW SCIENCE MUSEUM
CHARLOTTE C.B.D. LOCATION
LEVEL 1 PLAN
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