The Luxembourg Science Center has retained SKOLNICK Architecture & Design Partnership to design a new Interactive Science Museum and Education Center in Differdange, Luxembourg. The new museum will be a chance to adaptively re-use the site and existing buildings that had been part of an historic steel mill and to create a bold, exciting tourist destination for the city. An undulating diagrid structure, covered in planted earth in some areas and glass in others, will connect and integrate the historic structures; the design respects their integrity while explaining the bright promise of cutting-edge engineering and design. A series of glass bridges and elevators between the buildings will allow visitors to move back and forth freely and to access an outdoor Science Park with large scale interactives. Several smaller buildings on the current site will be replaced with new structures to fit the expanded program.
In addition to creating the master plan, architectural concepts, and exhibit planning, the SKOLNICK office will be designing a new entry, orientation, reception, theater, restaurant, and administrative offices, and weaving them together into a cohesive and integrated complex. The Center is scheduled to open in 2022 as the centerpiece of Luxembourg’s designation as that year’s European Capital of Culture. The mission of the new Science Center is to provide all visitors, especially young ones, with hands-on opportunities to discover science and technology, and to explore related careers. Building on the success and drawing power of its pilot location at a nearby site, the new museum will incorporate two historic buildings -- the 1905 Gas Machine Building and the 1950’s Power Plant -- which will be preserved and renovated to include an exhibit hall and a variety of vocational workshops and presentation spaces. Differdange is known as a center of Luxembourg's steel production; it remains an important industrial center, with still-active factories owned by ArcelorMittal. the world's largest steel producer.