Space Chase, Adventure Science Center

Nashville, Tennessee

To build on its leadership role in science education and enhance its appeal to audiences of all ages, the Adventure Science Center expanded its planetarium and added a wing dedicated to the exploration of space. Its new experiential and educational elements create a memorable setting for interactive adventures and strengthen its public identity. A two-story cutaway space station, visible from the highway through a 40-foot-high glass curtain-wall façade, has become the Center's icon.

Space Chase uses hands-on, body-on experiences, including multi-touch technology, games, and physical interactives. They serve as learning labs and are part of outreach programs developed by the Center that incorporate the local school curriculum. The Test Bed gallery is one part NASA space-science lab, one part astronaut-training center. Visitors experience the sensation of walking on the moon, discover the challenges of working in zero gravity, and launch model rockets to learn the roles of gravity, angle, and force in determining their trajectories.

In the Solar System Survey, a five-foot digital sphere, using internal digital projection, topographic maps, atmospheric data, and geological features, invites visitors to explore the relationships between the planets and their moons, to discover how much they weigh on Jupiter, and investigate why we have seasons.

Wonders of the Universe examines the visible and the invisible, the darkness of space and the brilliance of stars, infrared images of heat signature; it explores the electromagnetic spectrum, radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma rays.

The Nashville Business Journal named the Adventure Science Center one of the city's top tourist attractions.

Adventure Science Center

Tuck-Hinton Architects


13,000 square feet

  • GE Edison Award Competition, Award of Merit to RAA's Consultant, SBLD Studio, Lighting

  • GE Edison Award Competition, Award for Environmental Design

  • Nashville Business Journal, Nashville's Top 25 Tourist Attractions (#7)

  • GOOD DESIGN Awards

© 2014, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.