Museum of Science, Charles River Gallery Renovation

  • Project Type:Lobby Renovation
  • Owner:Museum of Science—Boston
  • Location:Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Architect:Cambridge Seven Architects
  • Engineer:BR+A/Howe Engineering
  • Project Dates:Fall 2015 – Winter 2016

The Museum of Science hired DCBA to renovate the back half of the its main lobby in order to accommodate new exhibits and to give the space a more contemporary feel. Before construction began, DCBA erected temporary walls to separate construction from public areas and an extensive scaffolding system to provide access to walls, the underside of pedestrian bridges, and the three-story-high ceiling. This project required careful coordination with the Museum in order to protect its many visitors (in 2015 alone, the Museum had 1.38 million) and employees (600 plus) from the overhead construction work. DCBA also had to continuously work with numerous exhibitors to make sure their displays were not impacted by construction. Demolition involved the removal of 18 granite panels (each weighing 1,200 lbs.). Electrical and tel/data infrastructure had to be modified to accommodate new high tech exhibits, including a kinetic three-story River Loom Sculpture, a Samsung display wall, Barco LED screens (which hung from the first and second floor pedestrian bridges), and a virtual river table exhibit. MEP connections to existing services were completed outside of the construction zone and required coordination with the Museum staff to access areas in active exhibits. Plumbing feeds were provided for the new Tenji Exhibit, which includes a fish and turtle tank, waterfall, and a green wall display with live plants. Fire protection and fire alarm system were upgraded to comply with current building codes. Architectural upgrades to the lobby space included perforated metal wall panels, skylights, back painted glass panels, Ecophon and Skyacoustic ceiling panels, and light fixtures. Immediately upon award, DCBA started collaborating with the Museum and its consultants to make sure the entire Project Team had a clear understanding on infrastructure, installation, and finishing needs.