A new addition designed by SaylorGregg Architects at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute will open June 14. The 53,000 sq.-ft. Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion will showcase the connection between science and art through permanent and traveling exhibition galleries, distinctive architectural details, and special installations.
Clad in the same Indiana limestone used on the original building, the three-story pavilion’s façade features a kinetic "shimmer wall" by artist Ned Kahn that, through the use of 10,000-plus square aluminum panels, mirrors the sky and visualizes the wind. Inside, a sunlit atrium links the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial to the expansion.
Anchoring the pavilion is the signature 8,500-sq.-ft. Your Brain exhibition, highlighted by a two-story climbing structure that simulates a neural network and triggers lighting and sound effects via visitors’ footsteps. Traveling exhibit space will occupy the third floor, while a rain garden that mitigates stormwater drainage frames the new conference center.