When Discovery Place was built in downtown Charlotte in 1981, it had 72,000 square feet of space. Additional exhibition space was added in 1986 and the IMAX® Dome Theatre was built in 1991, which brought the total square-footage to 160,000.
Rodgers began a comprehensive renovation of Discovery Place. This included updating all exhibit space finishes and mechanical systems, while keeping the Living Rain Forest Exhibit intact. The team added connecting mezzanines and created a centralized entry and grand entry marquee. Highlights of the project included a 20,000-gallon aquarium, a new 3-D science theater, and a flexible exhibition space for large traveling exhibits.
At the Owner’s request, the Rodgers team accelerated the schedule by working two shifts and phasing the project to limit the amount of disruption of the museum—thereby allowing Discovery Place to remain open on a limited basis throughout construction.