When the 115-year-old Turbine Hall underwent an audit of all its exhibitions, OMSI saw an opportunity to redesign and rebuild their original Shake House simulator to empower their visitors to use science, technology, engineering and mathematics to learn, make and test sustainable solutions to real-world problems. The new Epicenter replaces fear with knowledge and confidence to stay safe during “the big one”.
The form of The Epicenter is derived from familiar structures and evolves from each viewing angle, inspiring active physical and visual engagement both outside and inside of the exhibit. The open pavilion-esque structure helps to eliminate claustrophobia.
We worked closely with structural engineers in order to reuse the base from the original Shake House. The fabrication process started from the foundation up, with special engineering considerations for the century-old sloping floor at the installation site. The new reactive sympathetic platform allows for more visitors and ADA accessibility.
Museum guests are invited to enter the exhibit through a combination of audio, lights and motion. They can choose from three different quakes from Oregon, California and Japan, up to a magnitude of 9.1, simply by hitting a button. The button interface also triggers an area on the illuminated wall map for history about each earthquake. The lit graphic panels directly relate the content to the haptic experience for real-time education.