The Hartford skyline has been redefined with the distinctive Connecticut Science Center building, designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli.
Cesar Pelli & Associates was selected to design the Connecticut Science Center in September 2004 after a competition among architects from around the world. Mr. Pelli, whose offices are in New Haven, Connecticut, proposed a building concept that is strongly reflected in the final design of the Center. “The Connecticut Science Center”, Pelli said, “will be a building that will communicate the excitement of science to the surrounding streets, river, and highway. The forms are ambitious and dynamic. They appear to reach out, beyond their physical limits.”
The building is a total 154,000 square feet. The Pfizer Foundation Science Discovery Center is located on street level and faces Columbus Boulevard; this area is home to four educational laboratories and a community room. The 460-space, three-floor Science Center / Riverfront parking garage is directly adjacent to the Discovery Center, along with back-of-house support services such as the loading dock and recycling facility.
Directly above the parking garage is the main structure of the Science Center and a plaza which connects to the riverfront and downtown Hartford. In mid-2010 a pedestrian bridge will open between the Science Center plaza and the Connecticut Convention Center.
During normal operating hours guests can enter the Science Center from four locations: the parking garage elevators, from the Columbus Boulevard / Discovery Center entrance, and from two plaza entrances at lobby level.
The lobby level is home to ticketing, general information, a 3D theater and a gift shop and café; a ticket is not required to enter the shop and café. A signature feature of the Connecticut Science Center is the Magic Carpet Roof, under which is a soaring, light-filled atrium that is 143-feet at its tallest point. The atrium separates two towers filled with attractions, events, visitor amenities and 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits.