CSTM: Artifact Alley
Artifact Alley is the dazzling central spine of the transformed Canada Science and Technology Museum, connecting the museum through collections, installations, and demonstrations.
- Canada Science & Technology Museum
- Artifact Alley
- 21,700 sq. ft.
- Design-Build, Exhibit Design, Graphic Design
- Ottawa, ON, CA
- Year Completed
Artifact Alley is an object-rich installation creating the main circulation path through the re-planned museum. The Alley is anchored by the Northern Lights, a sound and light installation at the front doors, the Demo Stage and Hub at its center, and the Temporary Gallery, at the end. Entrances to other galleries are placed along its path, intermixed with artifacts and interactives.
To develop this jaw dropping visual journey. R&P worked with The Taylor Group who led our design build team.
The Northern Lights, an interactive sound and light art installation welcomes visitors at the front doors of the Museum. This dramatic introduction speaks to the beauty of the Canadian landscape and showcases the use of technology in art and design. The interactive columns each affect a color of the LED lighting and together through sound create a joyful harmonic soundtrack.
Artifact Alley is a visual journey showcasing the Museum collection. It expresses an appreciation for the elegance found in each object and for Canada’s rich history of technological achievement. Paired with the casework displays are hands-on mechanical and multimedia interactives for all ages. Visitors can take a photo op with a swimming arctic seal, captain the bridge of a spaceship, work with wood tools or learn how to write with braille.
Throughout, close attention is paid to the accessible features of the exhibits. The team consulted widely and worked closely with the Museum’s new accessibility standards to carefully shape the physical elements, adding braille and raised graphic elements, including alternative media controls and choosing inclusive storylines throughout.
The Demo Stage at the heart of the museum has been custom designed to facilitate the hourly turnover of public programming. The 100+ seat theater, back-of-house support space and its technology have been designed to manage it all; from exploding scientific experiments to web broadcasts to interactive robotic demonstrations.
The Museum has reinvented itself as a dynamic new player within the national capital. It has been embraced by the city and at 640,000 visitors, attendance in its first year well exceeded expectations. Our work at the Museum is regularly featured on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook reinforcing its popularity in creating an aesthetically-focused installation. The Museum was also the first public institution to receive the Accessibility Certified Gold rating from the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification Program.