Telus Spark: The New Science Centre Outdoor Park Master Planning and Exhibit Design
Client TELUS Spark
Location Calgary | Alberta | Canada
TELUS Spark: The New Science Centre is a new science centre facility located on a 15-acre site in the Nose Creek Valley, north of the Calgary Zoo. The 130,000 ft2 centre, which opened to the public in 2011, is Canada’s first new science centre in more than a decade and features an outdoor science-based exhibit park in addition to several indoor exhibit galleries.
In the initial development of the site and building, O2 was responsible for all civil engineering and landscape architecture. The design includes the outdoor park, a stormwater collection and retention system, parking and drop-off plaza areas, and provision of all utility servicing. O2 based the integrated design upon the key concepts of sustainability, education, and creativity. The design incorporates outdoor learning spaces set within sculptural landforms.
After the facility opened to the public, O2 was engaged through a separate request for proposals process to provide master planning, exhibit design, prototyping, fabrication and installation of interactive exhibits in the outdoor park space. As part of a consulting team that includes exhibit designers and fabricators, O2 has worked closely with TELUS Spark staff to design a series of interactive learning and play opportunities that will draw visitors into the outdoor park and add a new layer of experience to the Science Centre. O2 has been responsible for master planning of play structures and play spaces, locating interactive exhibits within themed areas of the park, and designing gathering spaces, visitor infrastructure, and upgrading the material finishes required to support the increased level of visitorship while enhancing the original design vision for the park.
The first phase of outdoor park exhibits and play structures will be constructed in 2014, with a second phase to follow in 2015.