The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute, one of the nation’s oldest science education centers, hosts an array of exhibitions and programs focusing on science and technology as well as community outreach. Located in Philadelphia’s Parkway Museums District, the Institute recently inaugurated the $ 41 million, 3-story, 53,000-square-foot Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion which houses state-of-the-art education and conference centers; an 8,000-square-foot, rotating exhibition gallery; and a permanent, interactive exhibition on the human brain.
The Institute was in need of an unconventional design solution for a donor recognition program honoring over 100 major donors whose generous contributions made the new Pavilion possible. The program focuses on the fractal—a natural phenomenon and mathematical set consisting of complex, infinite, patterns exhibiting self-similarity displayed at all scales.
Dynamic, large-scale bas-relief sculptural treatments comprised of cast resin, triangular fractals are arranged along two 28-foot-long travertine-clad walls that frame the interior entrance of the new Pavilion. All donor names are silkscreened onto the panels in varying type sizes to distinguish the levels of donors.
The installation not only recognizes the major benefactors of the Pavilion, its kinetic patterns engages visitors and sets the tone for the interactive experiences within.
Client: The Franklin Institute
Architect: SaylorGregg Architects/JacobsWyper Architects