Stretched for the Stars

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, July 26, 2011

(Courtesy Adler Planetarium)

When folks wait in line for the Adler Planetarium’s rehabbed space theater, they won’t be staring at a bland hallway. The new Clark Family Welcome Gallery, designed by Thomas Roszak Architecture, corrals the queue at the theater’s entrance. The goal for its design: “We wanted people to stop thinking about driving and parking, and start thinking about the mysteries of the universe,” says Adler president Paul Knappenberger. Roszak answered with a tensile structure of aluminum tubing covered by elastic polyester fabric—similar to his Burnham Pavilion with Zaha Hadid. The materials work as a projection surface—for educational and interactive digital games—and a backlit skin that signals the movie’s start by glowing in a rainbow of, appropriately, otherworldly colors.

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