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Discovery Park of America

Union City, Tennessee

Role: Architect & Museum Planner for New Museum; Led team of engineers and specialist consultants; Led team of Exhibit Designers (Thinc Design) and Fabricators (Maltbie)

Program: Interactive science, history and art exhibits (60,000 sf), theaters, lobby, cafe, gift shop, function space, classrooms, exhibit support, and offices

Building Area: 100,000 sf

Status: Opened in November of 2013

Description: Located in a lush 50-acre park at the edge of a small rural town in western Tennessee, the new Discovery Center has become a landmark that is completely unexpected in its context. Its white curving forms and soaring tower can be seen from miles away in the flat farmlands that surround it, especially when illuminated at night.

The 200-foot tall observation tower offers a unique perspective from within the Museum to the world beyond the region, inspiring visitors to “look beyond” the...


...constraints of their own lives to what is possible. With its multi-story atriums filled with dinosaurs, airplanes and a giant climb-through fisherman sculpture, families feel both welcomed and engaged.

A curved glass oval-shaped space offer open vistas from the surrounding park into the exhibit atrium. Designed using flowing organic curves silhouetted against the blue sky and green park space, the architecture takes on many playful and mysterious connotations that suggest a place filled with adventure and exploration.

This new educational and entertainment complex offers learning and recreational experiences rarely available outside of urban areas. The Center’s nine exhibition galleries interpret topics as diverse as natural history, regional history, space science, alternative energy, military history, and Native American cultures. Signature exhibits include an earthquake simulator, an interactive starship, and a secret vault that houses treasures from around the globe. A children’s exploration area features a giant climb-through human body, water play, and building block activities.


Project pdf file

Museum web site

Exhibit Design