Sunday, November 14, 2010

Magna Science Adventure Centre

Magna Science Adventure Centre is an educational visitor attraction.  It is located in a disused steel mill in the Templeborough district of Rotherham, England. The site is formerly home to the Steel, Peech and Tozer steel works (also known as Steelos).
The creative, development, funding and building process was led by Stephen Feber, who selected the design team, led by Wilkinson Eyre, architects and Event Communications, exhibition designers. Tim Caulton directed exhibition development, introducing spectacular exhibits that bridged science and art, such as Ned Kahn's fire tornado, "The Big Melt" and works by San Francisco 'artist in electricity' Cork Marcheschi.
This is the "Big Melt" in action.  I thoroughly enjoyed this place.  The steel making process has always interested me, and to explore a production facility of one of the greatest steel manufacturers in the world was awesome.  Everyone has heard of Sheffield Steel.  This is where it was made. The Templeborough Melting Shop, when opened, was the largest melting shop of its type in Europe and contained 14 open hearth furnaces where steel scrap was melted down  During the 1970's, the steel production output of this facility was the largest in the world.  In 1973 the Hot Mill achieved its highest throughput of 425,000 tonnes in one year.  Twenty years later in 1993, however, this giant melted its last, and was shut down forever.

The educational exhibits were brilliant, and quite advanced in content for younger children. The principal exhibits are divided into five pavilions, Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Power.  This is the entrance to "Water".
The kids may not have fully understood what they were seeing, but they looked like they were having a lot of fun.  The cavernous space and dim lighting created a spooky and ominous atmosphere that was pretty neat for adult, and I am sure that it would be mind-blowing for a kid.  There is truly a wellspring of creative energy in Sheffield that if if tapped into could provide inspiration for anybody with a passion to innovate.

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