Connecticut Science Center Design Competition
Designers and architects in SBA's Connecticut office spent Sunday, January 25 brainstorming ideas for the Connecticut Science Center Ticket Counter & New Entry Point Redesign competition. The new design involves concepts that aim to improve pedestrian flow, customer service, and maximize available space in the lobby.
The new Ticket Counter is designed to provide a new identity within the lobby which can easily be seen by visitors as they approach. The front of the desk curves out past the existing column to unify the counter (making it one element as opposed to two) and provide staff with better visibility. The height of the work surface is lowered to 30” with a raised area for the point of sale monitor and cash drawer. This allows for increased and simpler interaction with visitors.
The materials of the Ticket Counter range from natural aluminum on the face of the counter and the signage/wall panel, to solid surface counter tops for the work surface, to high-wear laminate for the cabinets and drawers behind the counter in the staff area. The colors are silver (aluminum) and purple (panels) with circular highlights utilizing colors from the CT Science Center logo. Vertical panels provide a visual cue to visitors on where to approach and stand for transactions.
A curved metal panel is mounted to the existing wall and follows the shape of the desk below. Signage integrated into the soffit is made of translucent acrylic with LED lightings and provides immediate recognition to visitors as they arrive. The metal panel continues down the wall, framing the Ticket Booth and providing a pocket for a side pull security grill that can close off the desk.
The new entrance to the Exhibit Galleries is designed with a single entry and egress point to eliminate confusion. The entrance is constructed of steel which follows the same gentle curve of the Ticket Counter. The top of the steel matches the frame height of the passenger elevators, except at the entrance portal which is raised to designate the entrance and to allow for movement of large equipment and material into the galleries.
To each side of the entrance, simple benches provide a moment of respite for visitors and a visual break between the lobby and the galleries, further reinforcing the entrance. Glass panels mounted to the steel above the benches provide locations for donor signage.
The door into the Exhibit Galleries is designed to lift vertically, completely out of the path of visitors. A glass guillotine door, that stacks as it’s lifted, can be used as additional signage to help with wayfinding. The colors of the new Point of Entry match the scheme that proposed for the Ticket Counter. The steel is purple to coordinate with the Counter’s panels. The benches and its cushions would follow the highlight colors taken form the logo.