The California Science Center—a hands-on science center in Los Angeles—recently broke ground on its Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. At 200,000 square feet and 20 stories high, the Air and Space Center will almost double the California Science Center’s educational exhibit areas.
The new addition to the Science Center will contain 150 interactive, educational exhibits in three multilevel galleries. The hands-on exhibits will be designed to encourage visitors to investigate scientific and engineering principles of atmospheric flight and the exploration of the universe. The Air and Space Center’s collection of aircraft and spacecraft will be selected to illustrate a key concept on each of its three multilevel galleries—air, space, and shuttle—across four floors and 100,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The Air and Space Center also will become the permanent home of Space Shuttle Endeavour, one of three remaining flown space shuttle orbiters. Endeavour will be presented in a “ready-to-launch” vertical configuration that will include solid rocket boosters and an external tank—the world’s only display of an authentic space shuttle system, according to the Science Center. The June 1 groundbreaking event coincided with the 11th anniversary of Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final touchdown.
The Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center marks the third phase of the California Science Center’s three-phase, three-decade master plan to develop one of the world’s leading science learning centers. Now underway, construction is expected to last three years. At about a year and a half into construction, Space Shuttle Endeavour will be positioned in the Air and Space Center. Architectural design is by ZGF, construction by MATT Construction, and exhibit design by Evidence Design.
On the project team:
Owner and developer: California Science Center Foundation
Design architect and architect of record: ZGF
MEP engineer and structural engineer: Arup
General contractor/construction manager: MATT Construction