The Clark Family Welcome Gallery at Adler Planetarium creates as multifunctional space that provides a welcoming gathering area while initiating an exciting pre-show experience necessary in optimizing the planetarium's main event, the Sky Theater.
In order to do so, the design team considered creative and innovating ideas, most notable their use of abstract materials and the creation of space that feels different and other-worldly. Using aluminum tubing and polyester fabric constructed walls provided a cost effective alternative while creating a high-impact, and highly dramatic design. The team layered fabric in alternating areas creating darker and lighter 'slices' along the visitor's pathway with each section representing a 'time slice' in outer space. It was necessary for the fabric to have the ability to reflect the space's LED lighting system, but also absorb light where mixed-media video is projected on the fabric walls. The design's floor plan is laid out such that by shifting one's position in the gallery the perception of space changes as the voids separate, join, expand and contract.
Extensive collaboration with experts in video, animation, sound and lighting inspired interactive exhibits with layered projected images, motion-detecting light and sound effects, and unusual display technologies around every corner.