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Powerhouse Science Center

Discovery Museum Science and Space Center, Otto Construction

Sacramento, California

$87 Million

Interiors, Cultural, Education, Civic, Sustainable, Preservation, Transportation
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For half a decade, the PG&E Power Station B at 400 Jibboom Street has stood empty, an elegant, decaying hulk on the banks of the Sacramento River. Prominently visible from Interstate 5 just north of Downtown, this historic site will be transformed into a premier regional science center. The new riverfront complex includes eight interactive, content-rich exhibit spaces, a new full-dome digital theater, classroom/labs, a new Aerojet Challenger Learning Center, scientific discovery labs/classrooms, green roof, cafe with riverfront views and access by the American River Bike Trail.

The multi-faceted complex is projected to draw approximately 320,000 visitors a year. Dreyfuss & Blackford’s design carefully preserves the facade of the original 1912 Willis Polk-designed structure while adding decidedly modern building elements as counterpoints. The project is targeting LEED Platinum certification and includes several cutting edge alternative energy demonstration features.

In April 2011, a grant of $7M was awarded to the Powerhouse Science Center to build the new Earth & Space Science Center building which will house the new full-dome digital theater, the new Aerojet Challenger Learning Center and The Magic Planet interactive exhibits, among others.

In December 2011, Aerojet donated $1.5M for the new Aerojet Challenger Learning Center.

In May 2014, the City of Sacramento voted to pay $350,000 per year for 20 years in support of the project.


Interior project renderings by West Office Exhibit Design.