California Science Center Phase II Expansion – Ecosystems

California Science Center Phase II Expansion – Ecosystems

The 170,000-square-foot expansion of the California Science Center included the construction of a new pavilion to house exhibits, office space, and back-of-house support areas. “Ecosystems” brought to life Earth’s varied landscapes through the creation of eight distinct zones with exciting spaces for learning and exploration such as a desert environment with a bat cave and flash floods, a polar zone with an ice wall, a rot room, a river zone and reef zone, and a 188,000-gallon kelp forest tank with a walk-through tunnel where visitors can experience the beauty and wonder of the world beneath the ocean’s waves.


BIM modeling was extensively utilized to coordinate the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life support systems, as well as to guide the installation of 16,500 cubic yards of concrete. Utilizing BIM planning, the team built a full-scale mock-up of one of the most difficult sections of the cast-in-place concrete tank wall to confirm architectural intent and test constructability.


Construction was completed in less than three years with minimal disruption to the existing museum and its programs at Exposition Park.


Project Size:

170,000 gsf


California Science Center Foundation


Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects/EHDD Architecture


  • Los Angeles Business Council Architectural Awards – Civic Award
  • ACI Pankow & Concrete Awards (Southern California Chapter) – Outstanding Performance in Design & Engineering

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