Site, Building and Exhibits
The Perfect Place for Us
The City of Lake Charles has pledged its full support to the National Hurricane Museum & Science Center with a commitment of more than $4 million in construction as well as a prime location on its lakefront, at the edge of the central business district downtown, immediately adjacent to Interstate 10. Our architects, SmithGroup/Detroit, studied and made recommendations on two sites at that location.
By nestling up to the water, we hope to enhance the effectiveness of our wetlands exhibits by placing some of them outdoors, with direct access to shoreline habitat, grasses and open water. In the general election slated for Fall 2011, voters will have the opportunity to put their stamp approval on this perfect site.
And an Iconic Building...
You've seen our latest building renderings above on the Home Page, and here's a link to the Floor Plan: sites/default/files/floorplan.pdf
To be located on the eastern shoreline of Lake Charles, the National Hurricane Museum & Science Center's dramatic architecture includes a series of wave-like forms that will seem to crash into and over the building from the water’s edge. Each of these stainless steel panels combine to create a glistening image along the shoreline. When viewed from either the lake or the I-10 freeway, these forms will provide an iconic entryway to the city's central business district.
The main building is a simple rectangular form split by the leading wave-form creating the lobby entry. Individuals participate within the forms thru the lobby and out onto the boardwalk along the lake. The scale and placement of the forms identify the major museum components while expressing the enormous power of a hurricane. And, of course, the wave-forms and building will all be designed to withstand the impact of hurricane-force winds and water.
From the city side the museum is a living billboard where a large video screen projects information on current weather or news events, a hurricane watch or particular exhibits within the museum. It’s intent is to create a destination along the city’s lakeside promenade.
...to House Unique Exhibits
It is the ambitious interpretive goal of the NHMSC to educate and sufficiently prepare the general public for hurricanes. The NHMSC will be an active agent for public education, filling a much-needed role to engage the public and arm individuals and communities with both knowledge and action plans for surviving—and thriving—in hurricane country.
After visiting the NHMSC, people should be able to make better-informed decisions about the risk that they take when they build in, live in, or visit “hurricane country”. In all reality, that country is everywhere, as we are all affected by hurricanes in some way, and we all know at least one person who has encountered them personally.
The National Hurricane Museum & Science Center is more than a museum, because we consider history as a building block in order to look forward and teach activism, indeed, to become proactive.