Contractors Fitzgerald and Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum celebrate the project through a turf cutting ceremony at the new Science Garden site.
Acting Chief Executive for Thinktank, Stewart Dobson comments; “It’s great to see the Thinktank Science Garden begin to take shape. This is the first city centre outdoor science space of its kind, and we’re sure it will be a great hit with our visitors when it opens next year.”
The Science Garden will be a 2,750m2 outdoor space located at the front of Thinktank. The garden will encourage visitors of all ages to get ‘bodies on’ with large scale exhibits and to explore some of the key science and engineering principles that shape the world we live in. Working in close collaboration with Birmingham City Council, the Science Garden will form part of the Eastside City Park, the first major new city centre park in Birmingham for more than 100 years.
The work being done by Fitzgerald Contractors includes a variety of different elements of landscaping, with the principal features being the exhibits and central stream water feature which runs through the garden. The whole area is controlled from a new plant room building which has a green roof, then through the underground system of ducts and pipes which are being put in early in the construction. Next to this new building is the teaching area for group learning with seating and an architectural feature canopy cover. Then across the main garden, the three separate exhibit areas of Energise, Mechanise and Mobilise have different surface types to reflect the use, function and environment of the differing exhibits. To help delineate these different exhibit areas, there are various areas of planting and then surrounding the whole garden is ornamental fencing, some with intricate patterned detailing.
Alex Fish, Operations Manager at Fitzgerald Contractors said; “It is a great pleasure to work on such a prestigious project. The new Science Garden is quickly taking shape, and we look forward to seeing the results of everyone’s hard work when it’s completed.”
The Science Garden will be full of giant exhibits for all the family. Visitors will be able to; harness natural energy to power a central water fountain in Energise; work together to fuel an 8m high ‘Terminus’ machine to set off an explosion of dancing balls and whistles in Mechanise; and ride on a vehicle with square wheels in Mobilise. In addition to these interactive exhibits there will an outdoor classroom – Garden Arena, where shows and workshops for schools will take place.. The Science Garden will be unique to the UK, building on the success of outdoor science play areas around the world, such as that in the New York Hall of Science and Danfoss Universe in Denmark.
The overall Science Garden project worth £2.8m is supported by Biffa, having won the Biffaward Cultural Flagship project award in 2010, by Millennium Point Trust, and a range of other charitable trusts and foundations including an award of £500,000 from the Welcome Trust.