Project Name: Wiess Energy Hall 3.0 – Eagle Ford Shale Experience
Location: Houston Museum of Natural Sciences
Designer: Paul Bernhard Exhibits, Architecture Experience Inc.
Client/Owner: Houston Museum of Natural Sciences
Project Types: Science Museum Exhibit
Project Scope: Design, Fabrication, Installation
Builder: Paul Bernhard Exhibits
Partners: Regina Ostrowski
Photography: Houston Museum of Natural Sciences
Our contribution was digital modeling and design assistance for the installation of the Wiess Energy Hall exhibit area Eagle Ford Shale Experience.
More information on this project from HMNS:
“Dubbed Wiess Energy Hall 3.0, the third iteration of this popular hall has been enlarged from its previous 8,500 square feet to an expansive 30,000 square feet—almost the size of a football field. Joining the completely redesigned “classic” displays is a bonanza of entirely new exhibits, making the new hall the most contemporary, comprehensive and technologically advanced exhibition on the science and technology of energy anywhere in the world.
“Entering the new Wiess Energy Hall, visitors step off of the elevator into a dynamic floor of a 21st century offshore drilling rig populated by a motley crew of sci-fi robots. Near the center of the cavernous new hall, a replica of a tricone rotary drill bit—fourteen feet in diameter—spins vigorously overhead.
“Not far away, the completely reinvented Geovator takes visitors on a reimagined fantastic voyage plunging down through the Museum floors into the earth, then back in time to the Cretaceous Period for an attack by hungry pteranodons and a meteor strike.
“The new hall also features “Energy City,” a 2,500-square-foot 3-D landscape representing Houston, the surrounding Gulf coastal waters and the terrain of southeast and central Texas. This vibrant “white model” uses bleeding-edge projection mapping technology to bring to life the energy value chain.
“Adjacent to the Unconventional Resources Gallery, the mammoth presence of the Eagle Ford Shale Experience, a.k.a. the “EFX 3000,” beckons visitors to step aboard for a wild ride out to prime Texas shale oil and gas drilling country and down into the borehole of an oil well, made real with curved projection techniques and mechanical motion effects. Reduced to microscopic size, the craft ventures into the narrow spaces of a hydraulic micro-fracture, surrounded by seemingly massive grains of proppant. Things may get a little dodgy for a bit, but the EFX makes a safe return to the Museum!
“Wiess Energy Hall 3.0 features a sizable new gallery called “The Unconventional Hydrocarbon Revolution” that enlightens visitors on how shale oil and shale gas have transformed the U.S. energy picture. A vast island in the center of the Wiess Energy Hall with a unique Möbius strip-inspired design invites guests to delve into the growing importance of renewable energy sources, as well as experimental and cutting-edge technology happening right now—and in the future. Highlights include a detailed exploration of solar energy and wind energy, two sources in which Texas is a national leader, as well as various forms of ocean energy, fuel cells, geothermal energy, and fusion power.
“Finally, not to be missed is the “Energy Jukebox” featuring “PowerPlayz,” a collection of ten inescapably catchy songs that explore topics including conservation, renewable energy, biomass, hydrogen power, nuclear fission, oil, natural gas, unconventional hydrocarbons, electricity and thermonuclear fusion.