The Arizona Science Center is a well-known landmark in the city of Phoenix. Its forms are a critical reinterpretation of “the southwest” in a uniquely urban and modern expression. This design by renowned architect Antoine Predock has left an indelible mark on our urban fabric. However, the principles driving the design have led to some unforeseen difficulties. In order to address these difficulties, Kendle Design Collaborative, ARCHITEKTON and designer Robert Morris were asked to propose a design solution. In addition to solving the programmatic and accessibility needs of the science center, this new design would have to make a fitting marriage with the existing architecture. To this end, the team began designing with Predock’s own future expansion studies, eventually bringing to light a vision of a crystalline expansion: a gleaming shard among the austere concrete.

Science Center visitors need no longer wait in the sun to gain admittance, nor do handicapped visitors need to use endless winding ramps. All are now welcomed into a magnificent gallery which opens on dining, shopping, and exhibit space. Here, patrons find the renovated science center has become both a part of the larger Heritage Park picture as well as a night spot featuring movies and fine dining. The hundreds of science camp participants now have their own protected entrance and a spacious garden court. All of the Science Center’s “behind the scenes” programs are now safely out of the public’s way, leaving curious eyes to be captivated by the wonders of the greatly expanded exhibits.

In all, this renovation not only draws forth a crystal out of the Science Center geode, it also dislodges the Science Center from its current limitations.

  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Square Feet: 63,000 
  • Services Provided: Master Planning, Architectural Design
  • Collaborators: Robert Morris Design Studio, Architekton