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CRANBROOK INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Bloomfield Hills, MI, United States, 1993-1998

PROGRAM: addition to and renovation of existing science museum and educational facility
CLIENT: Cranbrook Educational Community
ADDITION & RENOVATION: 30,000 & 64,000 sf
STATUS: completed

The new addition opens up the dead end circulation of the existing 1937 galleries; the Hall of Minerals and the Hall of Man. A slipped "U" shape, like the scientific diagram for "Strange Attractors," allows for multiple paths within the exhibitions and other programs of the Institute. The slipped "U" shape, like the scientific diagram for "strange attractors" allows for multiple paths within the exhibitions and programs. With this concept as an analog, Steven Holl Architects aims for a free and open-ended addition. Its circuits are unique, allowing for the potential that no visit to the new science museum will be a repeat experience, rather each engagement is provocative and unpredictable. The new Institute is centered around an inner garden where scientific phenomena are exhibited in the open air. Within this "Science Garden" is the Story of Water; water in liquid, solid and vapor is featured in flow pools, a "House of Ice," and a "House of Vapor." A "light laboratory" forms an entrance hall which functions as a changing exhibit. The "Story of Water" garden is divided into pavilions of liquid, solid and vapor.
'Holl is perhaps the only architect practicing today who habitually engenders his work through three interwoven heuristic devices: first, a particularly sensitive reading of the context in which the work is situated; second, an internalization of the proximities required by the brief and third, and most importantly, the evocation of a quasi-mythic narrative that endows the work with its lyrical thematic. Holl's Institute of Science offers the user a spatial sequence that is delicately articulated in didactic terms.'
-Domus 826, 05/01/2000
'The 'architectural promenade' which winds inside and outside the building does not simply offer spectacular views, masterfully framed by a delicate and fetching work of architecture: in fact, along the entire itinerary Holl's architecture succeeds in stimulating other sense apart from sight'.
-Area, Feb 1, 2000
'With the completion of a major addition to the Cranbrook Institute of Science, Steven Holl has produced fresh evidence of his architectural ingenuity. He has designed a splendid building of looping volumes, whose kinetic effects are the confident outcome of two decades of typological research. On a more tactical level he provides immediate, sensual rewards - unique encounters with eccentric, well-crafted details. At a time when there is dwindling confidence that architects can make much of a difference to either the quality of the environment, or the quality of life, Holl has produced a building that is unequivocally ameliorative'.
-Architecture, 'bob' Magazine / A&C Publishing Group, Mar 01, 2007
'As a museum of natural history and science that draws 250,000 visitors a year, the institute is by far the most public of Cranbrook's buildings, and Mr. Holl's addition, clad in bright, sand-colored Kasota stone and concrete block loses no time in performing its educational mission. Within, the plan is exceptionally open and draws visitors along sloping pathways bathed in natural light, past bursts of contrasting colors and playful display. By attaching a new structure to bridge Saarinen's U-Shaped plan, Mr. Holl created a courtyard and brought a sense of motion and circulation to a layout that had previously ended in cul-de-sacs'.
-The New York Times, Jun 3, 1998
AWARDS

New York AIA Project Award, USA, 1999
NYC AIA Design Award, USA, 1995
CREDITS

architect
– Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl (design architect)
Chris McVoy (project architect)
Hideaki Ariizumi, Tim Bade, Stephen Cassell, Pablo Castro-Estevez, Martin Cox, Janet Cross, Yoh Hanaoka, Lisina Fingerhuth, Bradford Kelley, Jan Kinsbergen, Justin Korhammer, Anna Müller, Tomoaki Tanaka (project team)

engineer
– Ove Arup & Partners
Guy Nordenson (principal in charge)

acoustical consultant
– Arup Acoustics

exhibition designer
– Cranbrook Architecture Office

lighting consultant
– L'Observatoire International
Hervé Descottes (principal)
Dusti Helms (project manager)

landscape architect
– Edmund Hollander Design
– Cranbrook Architecture Office
Peter Osler

civil engineer
– Johnson Johnson & Roy
Charles Gott (associate)

pool consultant
– Dr. Gerald Palevsky
Dr. Gerald Palevsky

light lab consultant
– James Carpenter Design Assoc.
– R.A. Heintges & Associates

house of ice collaborators/fabricators
– Dan Hoffman
Dan Hoffman, Alfred Zollinger

construction maganger addition
– O'Neal Construction

construction manager renovation
– Barton Malow Construction Services
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