Charlotte, NC – Discovery Place and the City of Charlotte today announced the selection of the architectural team that will lead the analysis, planning and design of a new vision for Discovery Place Science in uptown Charlotte. The announcement follows last night’s approval by Charlotte City Council of the architectural contract. New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) will serve as design architect and will partner with Charlotte firm Jenkins•Peer Architects (J•PA) who will act as architect of record. Together the firms will oversee a team that will create a master plan and conceptual design to imagine the future of one of the Carolinas’ premiere cultural attractions.
Discovery Place Science, which first opened its doors on North Tryon Street in 1981, is a four-acre catalyst site in the North Tryon Vision Plan, an innovative vision to redevelop and re-energize the northern corridor of Tryon St. The plan was adopted by the City of Charlotte earlier this year. The new master plan will consider how a reconfigured and upgraded Discovery Place Science will interact with a new streetscape as well as service the growing need for STEM education in the region.
The DS+R and J•PA team will lead a process that will include workshops to engage the community and key stakeholders; an analysis of trends and models in science centers; an overview of experiential design concepts; an evaluation of the current Discovery Place Science campus; and an assessment of future needs and opportunities. Ultimately, the architect group will develop an inspiring conceptual design for the facility that will communicate the Museum’s mission to provide the community with educational and immersive opportunities in science, technology and nature.
DS+R completed two of the largest architecture and planning initiatives in New York City’s recent history: the adaptive reuse of an obsolete, industrial rail infrastructure into the High Line, a 1.5 mile-long public park, and the transformation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ half-century-old campus. Amongst the firm’s cultural projects are the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and The Broad, a contemporary art museum key to downtown LA’s recent revitalization. J•PA brings an impressive depth of experience in projects throughout the Carolinas and elsewhere with a special expertise in working with public sector clients. The firm has led multiple planning projects for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library system as well as the Jerry Richardson Stadium & Judy Rose Football Center at UNC Charlotte.
“DS+R is one of the world’s leading architectural design firms, well-known for their urban place-making as well as major civic and cultural buildings and campuses,” said Catherine Wilson Horne, president and CEO, Discovery Place. “We believe they bring a global perspective that will help define the North Tryon district as Charlotte’s center where curiosity begins, knowledge is advanced and innovation lives. We are delighted to partner with them and can’t wait to begin imagining new ways for our community to experience science.”
Discovery Place Science’s master planning process is anticipated to kick off in January and is expected to be completed in late 2018.
About Discovery Place
One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science, technology and nature. Discovery Place is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides STEM education to the Carolinas through four distinct museum experiences at Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature and Discovery Place Kids, interactive educational programming, professional development training and community outreach initiatives. In 2017, Discovery Place was named as a finalist for the National Medal by the Institute for Museum and Library Science.
Discovery Place is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.
About Diller Scofidio+ Renfro
Founded in 1981, Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) is a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. With a focus on cultural and civic projects, DS+R’s work addresses the changing role of institutions and the future of cities. The studio is based in New York and is comprised of over 100 architects, designers, artists and researchers, led by four partners—Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Charles Renfro and Benjamin Gilmartin. The studio is currently engaged in two significant cultural projects in New York: The Shed, New York’s first multi-arts center, and the renovation and expansion of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The studio was also selected to design the Centre for Music, which will be a permanent home for the London Symphony Orchestra located at the heart of London’s Culture Mile. Recent projects include the 34-acre Zaryadye Park, the first large scale park to open in Moscow in the past 50 years; the Museum of Image & Sound on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro; the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive at the University of California, Berkeley; the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center at Columbia University in New York; and The Juilliard School in Tianjin, China. DS+R’s awards include the Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award and Wall Street Journal Magazine’s Architecture Innovators Award. Founding partners Ricardo Scofidio and Elizabeth Diller were recognized as two of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time Magazine, and were the first in the field of architecture to receive the “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. Visit www.dsrny.com to learn more, or follow us on instagram (@diller_scofidio_renfro) and on twitter (@dsrny).
Since the Charlotte-based firm was established in 1978, J•PA has directed its efforts toward delivering integrated design solutions that influence how people live, learn, work, and play. This commitment is based on a highly collaborative approach that brings together the knowledge, talent, and resources to address client objectives and enhance our communities. J•PA’s ability to manage the planning and design process, guide informative discussions, and achieve consensus has been a key factor in the firm’s ability to maintain lasting client relationships and deliver dynamic projects that build community. Visit www.jenkinspeer.com to learn more, or follow us on instagram (@jenkinspeerarchitects), LinkedIn, and Facebook.