Hands-on Science (4)

Science comes alive at the 9,300-square foot (864-m2) Charles and Linda Williams Children’s Museum addition to the 86,000-square-foot (7,989-m2) Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Fla. The addition is light and airy with modern architecture and a wow factor designed to appeal to young kids. The children’s museum opened November 21, 2008, and is the only hands-on science center between Jacksonville and Orlando. Featuring 15 hands-on exhibits, designed by Hands On! Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla., the museum encourages development of scientific reasoning in children. The exhibitions focus on simple science and modern technology, with kids being able to build a racecar, play a laser harp, or find out what it takes to become a doctor.

According to David Ogle, RA, LEED AP, NCARB, principal at Hawkins, Hall & Ogle Architects Inc., Daytona Beach, the goal was to create a totally new look for the museum that has historically been designed around a grid, or modular layout, which resulted in a very homogenous appearance. “The museum wanted this project to stand out and speak to the intended use of the building, which is a learning environment for children.”

Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga., supplied 4,500 square feet (418 m2) of 0.16-inch (4-mm) Reynobond Aluminum Composite Material panels with a PE Core in Custom Yellow on the exterior façade of the addition; 450 square feet (42 m2) of 0.16-inch Reynobond ACM, PE Core in Konig Blue for the underside of the canopy and soffits; and 450 square feet of 0.16-inch Reynobond ACM,PE Core in Brite Red for the columns. Each panel had a distinct curved radius, which was hand-rolled and then packed into custom-built crates with a cradle-type construction so they would maintain their radius during shipping.

“The metal panels were chosen for a ‘slick, high-tech’ look, which is in sharp contrast to the painted concrete block that dominates the rest of the museum,” Ogle said. “The three primary colors—yellow, red and blue—were to signify that the building was intended for small children in a learning environment, and to provide stark contrast to the muted colors used on the rest of the museum.”

Located on a 90-acre (36-hectare) Florida preserve, the MOAS is a Smithsonian-affiliated museum housing some 30,000 objects ranging from large collections of Cuban and Chinese art, to Americana and ancient animal bones. The children’s museum was funded by a donation from Charles and Linda Williams, Ormand Beach, Fla.; the Volusia County Ecological, Cultural, Heritage and Outdoors program; and contributions from other individuals, civic organizations and businesses.

Charles and Linda Williams Children’s Museum at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, Fla.

Architect: Hawkins, Hall & Ogle Architects Inc., Daytona Beach
General contractor: Hall Construction Co., Daytona Beach
Exhibit designer: Hands On! Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Panel fabricator/installer: The Miller- Clapperton Partnership Inc., Austell, Ga.
Metal wall panels: Alcoa Architectural Products, Eastman, Ga.,