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Science center shades rooftop exhibit area with aluminum dome. (Engineering Notes).

A colorful Temcor (Gardena, California) aluminum dome has become an architectural icon at the Explora Science Center and Children's Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The perforated 60-ft diameter dome is part of the new $10-million facility, and provides shade for the 700-sq ft multi-purpose deck on the second floor roof of the museum.

"The original plans for the building included a domed theater, but when that feature was taken out of the new facility, we wanted to keep the dome in the plan because the street corner it's on doubles as an entry point for the museum district," said David Mahlman of Mahlman & Miles Architects, the facility's designer. "The dome works as an icon."

A window screen effect from the dome is achieved by drilling thousands of holes through the panels, starting with smaller holes at the top and larger holes toward the base. "The dome provides a good deal of protection from the sun, but you can still look up and see the clouds go by," continued Mahlman. The triangular panels of the 28-ft high dome are finished in four colors, giving the structure a whimsical appearance.

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Title Annotation:Explora Science Center and Children's Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Publication:Public Works
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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