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Virginia Marine Science Museum

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1982–1986, Shriver and Holland with E. Verner Johnson Associates. 1994–1996, remodeling and expansion, E. Verner Johnson and Associates. 717 General Booth Blvd.
  • Virginia Marine Science Museum
  • Virginia Marine Science Museum

The short-lived deconstructivist movement of the early 1990s inspired the exterior of this delightfully sculptural building. Positioned on a narrow strip of land between General Booth Boulevard and Owl Creek, the museum resembles a large and colorful container ship pulling into dock. The focal point of the entrance driveway is a dramatically suspended steel canopy that shields a swimming pool for seals, giving the visitor a glimpse of the many live exhibits within the building. Splashing fountains line the entrance walk to the right; to the left, the enormous concrete bulk of the museum's theater is relieved by brightly colored, corrugated metal panels and stainless steel buttresses that support a six-story IMAX projection screen. Together, the combination of colors and shapes communicates abstractly the excitement of scientific discovery. Although a relatively young institution, the museum is already one of the commonwealth's most popular tourist attractions. Another major expansion is in the planning stage.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Richard Guy Wilson et al.
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Citation

Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Virginia Marine Science Museum", [Virginia Beach, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VA-01-VB13.

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 458-458.

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