Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is a world-class museum housing fossils extracted from the Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Bonebed, an active research site and one of the most significant sites of horned dinosaurs ever discovered.
- Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Initiative
- Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum
- 38,000 sq. ft.
- Exhibit Design, Graphic Design, Master Planning
- Grand Prairie, AB, CA
- Year Completed
The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum was purpose-built and designed to display the vast fossil evidence found at Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Bonebed. The dynamic, evocative building and its exhibits make for a powerful experience.
R&P worked on many aspects of the Museum. R&P was the museum planning specialist, part of the Teeple Architects / Architecture ATB architectural team. Working directly with the Museum, R&P was the exhibit Master Planning consultant and subsequently the exhibit designer, taking the project through to opening. Our role on the building team was to help shape the visitor experience and circulation through careful pacing of exhibition spaces. We developed all exhibits as a new experiential benchmark for paleontology museums, generating awe and attracting tourists to this remote site . Finally, we advised on infrastructure and technology systems to support future exhibits.
The exhibits designed by R&P are seamlessly integrated with the architecture, a remarkable building itself of bold geometry that is suggestive of a hulking dinosaur moving across the landscape. The prismatic exhibit design compliments the architecture, creating a stunning presentation of the fossil evidence of life in Cretaceous Albetra. The design is a unified experience where the building and the exhibits work hand-in-hand.
The exhibits give visitors a complete experience from the discovery of fossils within a bone bed through analysis, to a holistic view of the ancient world. Visitors can explore the work of scientists within the fossil lab, discovering bones and using digital media to learn how individual fossils fit into the complete picture of a specimen. Beyond the lab, the main gallery is dedicated to the Creataceous era. Fully reconstructed dinosaur specimens create an exciting environment that is futher activated by state-of-the-art digital animations of the specimens on display in the context of their natural habitat. A massive carnivorous Gorgosaurus specimen appears on screen, the fearsome predator chases down a riverbed towards Edmontosaurus and Pachyrhinosaurus prey.
The exhibit media offers visitors a fresh new perspective seldom seen in the world of museums, borrowing from film and virtual reality. The fossil material is richly complemented with digital media giving visitors a view into the world of the dinosaurs of the region.
The R&P team led the client through the design process to realize a bold new concept for the exhibits. Committed to the vision, the client embraced contemporary design and a non-traditional approach to the content. As a new museum with staff that had never realized a project of this scale, R&P worked extensively with the client to help them develop an understanding of museum issues and opportunities. R&P designed both the exhibit and school programming, with supporting components such as interactive games. R&P is thrilled to have worked on this award-winning project, which has been featured in enRoute Magazine’s “World’s 14 Coolest New Museums.”