University City Science Center, the nation’s largest and oldest urban research park, has continued expanding its footprint. The exit design team was originally commissioned to create a wayfinding program to help visitors navigate the campus. However, exit identified a broader opportunity to connect the Science Center with the larger University City District. The 37th Street walkway—named Innovation Plaza—is now a welcoming hub of learning and leisure. Designed in partnership with leading landscape architecture firm, it reflects the Science Center’s dynamic energy and entrepreneurial spirit. Red portals, illuminated at night, not only draw people through the Plaza, but they also symbolize the narrative of the Science Center as an invitation into the future. The exit design team anchored Innovation Plaza in a design principle known as the Golden Section, an underlying structure found in elements of nature, which has been inspiring architects, scientists and artists for millennia. It’s used throughout the Plaza’s landscape and sculptural designs, including wayfinding, donor and sponsor recognition signage. The Innovators Walk of Fame, a striking installation of stained concrete blocks, celebrates Science Center award winners while providing spaces to sit and gather. With Innovation Plaza, the team designed a landmark experience that encourages connection, enhances campus navigation and exemplifies the Science Center’s ongoing legacy of ingenuity.
Alan Jacobson (Principal in Charge), Amy Rees (Project Manager), Luis Aparicio (Senior Designer), Jackie Schlindwein (Designer), Karen Budke (Designer)
27,000 sq ft
Andropogon Associates (landscape architecture)
City Sign Service (portals, blocks, wayfinding and donor signage)