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