© Dero Sanford

Mid-America Science Museum Science Skywalk // Wittenberg Delony & Davidson Architects

Hot Springs, AR, United States

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Mid America Science Museum at the Donald W. Reynolds Center (MASM) is a science museum that was originally built in 1979 as one of the first interactive science centers in the country. Located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, MASM is a statewide attraction for families, students, educators and tourists.Mid America Science Museum (MASM), Hot Springs, Arkansas, was awarded a major grant from the Donald W.

© Wittenberg Delony & Davidson Architects

© Wittenberg Delony & Davidson Architects

Reynolds Foundation to renovate the existing museum, create new interactive exhibits and provide a new outdoor science skywalk that is focused on adventure & learning.The challenge was to create a unique visitor experience that utilized the museum’s natural wooded context & existing facility, while reinforcing science education through hands on learning and adventure play.The science skywalk is designed to project visitors into the landscape and engage the natural setting of the wooded site, while creating points of interest along the skywalk path for hands-on science exhibits.

© Dero Sanford

© Dero Sanford

Partially hidden from the main museum building, the science skywalk & tree-house icon exudes a mysterious quality, due in part to a periodic fog that is created along its primary bridge entrance. The series of bridges and ramps change levels and provide unique tree-top observation platforms along the elevated walkway.

© Dero Sanford

© Dero Sanford

The primary focal point of the circular platforms is the very popular circular cargo net. This circular net spans over the creek below and is totally accessible from the lower platform, perfect for sky-watching or hanging out on. The skywalk that elevates visitors 32 feet into the trees utilizes primary materials to blend in with the natural setting: cedar slats, weathering steel columns, heavy timber framing and rope netting.

© Dero Sanford

© Dero Sanford

In contrast, the tree-house icon is a cedar lined, white back-lit acrylic box with steel bracing that houses a musical bench and a cantilevered observation deck..

© Dero Sanford

© Dero Sanford

Mid-America Science Museum Science Skywalk Gallery

© noa* network of architecture

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