The design of Discovery World Museum- Great Lakes Future by La Dallman Architects in Milwaukee located right on Lake Michigan merges Milwaukee’s industrial heritage with geomorphology to create a learning environment that all who enter will leave with a new understanding of the watershed they have being living on or near.
After listening to the lecture by Grace La at the University of Arkansas you see that the design intentions of the project were to marry low and high technology, show the layers of the city/watershed while displaying the industry, economy and territorial essence of Milwaukee.
You see these designed into the sidewalls of the exhibition where the dovetail connection and strong horizontal lines represent the stratification of the earths layers while the excavation of these layers for the exhibit spaces show just how the city use the earth for many different means.
The sky was used to let the users feel the atmospheric conditions while inside, this was communicated by placing LED lights that change the color of the sky to represent winter or summer sky for example. The sky also created a space that they titled “the sky room” which allows the people inside to get an aerial view of the watershed to understand it at another level.
The plan on the space encourages the visitors to meander through like water movement; the circulation plan is very organic which is an interesting contrast to the very geometric sidewalls and ceiling. I believe this contrast was intentional and a thoughtful execution of the beginning goals of marrying different levels of technology, layers of the earth and the industrial, economical and territorial identity of Milwaukee.
Example of High Technology software used for watershed area