August 25, 2014

Exploration Place gets washed and sealed

There is a new look emerging at Exploration Place.

There is a new look emerging at Exploration Place.

The distinctive building at 300 N. McLean is getting a power washing and sealant added to its exterior, Christina Bluml, director of marketing, said Monday.

This is the first major maintenance work the science and discovery center has had on its exterior since its opening in 2000, said Sam Frey of Schaefer, Johnson, Cox, Frey Architecture, who serves on Exploration Place’s board of directors.

The building was designed by Moshie Safdie, a Boston-based architect with Israeli and Canadian roots. He has designed several prominent buildings throughout the world in recent decades, including the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo., and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Safdie designed Exploration Place to look like the vaulted nave of a cathedral with beams resembling the hull of an overturned ship, according to The Eagle in an article published in March 1999.

On Monday, as crews worked on the building’s exterior, Frey described the work as routine maintenance.

“In a facility that is as important as Exploration Place, we feel it is necessary to keep it in good condition,” Frey said.

Bluml said a colorant has been added to the sealant to give the building a more uniform look and to make it more resistant to graffiti. The white bands or stripes around the building will also be repainted.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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