CEBRA, the Danish architecture studio known for out-there churches, playgrounds, and domes, has completed a major refurbishment and expansion of Experimentarium, a science center in Hellerup, Copenhagen.
Doubling the size of the exhibition area (accommodating a total of 16 interactive exhibitions) and creating a large roof terrace, CEBRA transformed what was once an “introvert” building to an “extrovert” one. This expression is manifested most clearly in a massive staircase that spirals up through the center’s four floors.
Inspired by the helix of a strand of DNA, the 100-meter-long (328 feet) staircase is made from 160 tons of steel and clad with 10 tons of gleaming copper. It greets visitors as soon as they enter the center, declaring that they have, in fact, stepped into a world celebrating science and technology.
The building itself appears to be made of a series of “stacked boxes” that are clad in a skin of perforated aluminum panels and perch on the original brick base. Sections of glass windows look toward the city while offering a glimpse inside.