Seacoast Science Center (SSC) announces that it was selected as a 2022 recipient of a New England Museum Association Excellence Award, chosen for their newly opened exhibition, Our Dynamic Gulf of Maine: A Place of Urgency and Hope.
“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Jim Chase, Chief Executive Officer. “The Gulf of Maine is a vibrant and productive ecosystem, yet it is particularly impacted by climate change and is warming faster than most of the world’s oceans. By showcasing the Gulf’s astounding beauty and biodiversity, and sharing stories of the implications of climate change and mediation efforts taking place, our goal is to evoke a deep appreciation for this ecosystem and motivate people to take action to preserve and protect the Gulf of Maine and World Ocean.”
The concept, interpretation and fabrication of Our Dynamic Gulf of Maine—from plumbing to lighting—was done in house by SSC staff. Multidisciplinary architecture and design firm, Winter Holben, was a close partner helping to bring SSC’s conceptual vision to life, leading the architectural renovation of the highly complex space and developing the experiential design of the exhibit itself.
Beyond a dramatic new entryway, visitors encounter a compelling expanse of complimentary colors. Deep blue walls and glowing tanks emulate our cold, underwater marine environment while vibrant oranges represent the growing presence and urgency of warming temperatures. Waves flow through the exhibit as shapes on the walls and forms in the furniture—currents connecting all of these elements in a cohesive way. The tanks, the true focal point of the exhibit, are now staged as a unified system of whimsical walls and three-sided encasements.
Curated moments like The Lobster Trap teaching station, Adrift in the Deep’s beautiful jellyfish and Cashes Ledge: Crown Jewel of the Gulf of Maine, which highlights this biological hotspot that supports a plethora of life unlike anywhere else in the Gulf, educate and delight both children and adults.
Special thanks go to Davis Conservation Foundation, Partners Bank, UNH Sea Grant, and the individuals and SSC Board of Directors, who generously supported this project. Thanks also go to Gaia Live, GetMaineLobster.com, Perch Design Studio, Portsmouth Quality Flooring, University of New Hampshire School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, and Winter Holben Architecture + Design for generously donating time and services.
For more information about the architectural and experiential design of this project, visit www.winterholben.com/work/project/gulf-of-maine.
Seacoast Science Center, open Wednesday-Sunday 10am-4pm (winter hours) is located in Odiorne Point State Park, 570 Ocean Blvd., Rye, NH. For more information and tickets, www.seacoastsciencecenter.org.