Knoxville Science Museum unveils design plans for $100 million project

Three concepts were chosen to proceed further through the design process. / (BarberMcMurry)
Three concepts were chosen to proceed further through the design process. / (BarberMcMurry)(WVLT)
Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 4:24 PM EST
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A year after Jim Clayton announced plans for the Knoxville Science Museum potential designs have been released.

The multi-million dollar proposed museum will be constructed on the site of the city's police headquarters on Howard Baker Jr. Avenue.

A team from BarberMcMurry Architects created seven conceptual designs for the proposed Knoxville Science Museum. Three of the designs were chosen to go further in the design process.

Each concept features designs set on the same site. The buildings range from two to four stories in size. The designs feature classrooms, exhibit spaces, and auditorium or amphitheater, learning spaces and indoor and outdoor dining.

The designs are pedestrian-friendly and giving access to existing parking garages, the Mary Costa Plaza and the planned Urban Wilderness connector.

The designs are not final and no exhibits have been designed yet.

Here's a look at the proposed designs:

Concept 1:

The first design follows a more traditional approach with the incorporation of stone, metal and wood. The two-story design will feature a walkable green roof and a 200-foot-tall glass tower. Museum visitors would be able to walk along the roof while looking down into the museum through skylights. The glass tower will feature panoramic views of the city.

Concept 2:

The second design was inspired by Knoxville's recognition as the Maker City. The museum would be built using locally-sourced Tennessee marble, painted metal, and a perforated terracotta screen. The proposed design has three stories of exhibit space and a two-story maker space with downtown views. A possible atrium would bring in natural light and connect all three floors of the museum. The design features an on-site greenhouse for agricultural and biological learning opportunities. With the proposed design, visitors would be able to have views of downtown, the riverfront and the mountains from an indoor-outdoor cafe.

Concept 3:

The third design is themed around the elements: air, water and fire. The building would be constructed of stone, metal and glass. The concept would include a green roof, social terrace and a treehouse with views at the top of the mountain. A wandering pedestrian walkway would allow access to public and ticketed outdoor exhibit and event spaces.

Clayton said crews should begin moving dirt in 2020.

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