Magna Science Adventure Centre

Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Rotherham, 2001


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Entry is via the former concasting bay. Templeborough Works is typical of its breed 

Tim Soar (website)     Download Original

  • Entry is via the former concasting bay. Templeborough Works is typical of its breed    
  • A workmanlike container once clad in corrugated sheet steel, but now reclad in black-painted steel sheeting and red GRP    
  • Exposed structural steelwork of the centre, background hovering air pavillion    
  • Hovering air pavillion    
  • The Air Pavilion- Integration of building services, the exhibition and architectural detail resulted in the floor becoming an offset grillage of many small members and steel floor plates    
  • The Water Pavilion- The asymmetry within the arches of this Pavilion is reflected in the foundations, which combine spread footings and a steelwork grillage    
  • Visitors pass through an entrance area which is sleek    
  • Hovering air pavillion    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Long section    
  • Earth Pavillion- Structural economy was achieved by introducing new columns and foundations to complement the available existing stanchions    
  • The Fire Pavilion- The depth of the three-dimensional steelwork floor structure was selected to house a plantroom, contain walkways and to support the perimeter cladding    
  • Detail section of pavilion clad with ETFE Cushion    
  • Key cross-sections    

Transformation of a redundant steelworks into a cultural centre to house a series of pavilions showcasing steel production

Wilkinson Eyre architects and exhibition designers Event Communications developed the Magna Centre in 2001, introducing exhibits that bridge science and art, such as Ned Kahn's fire tornado, 'The Big Melt' and works by San Francisco 'artist in electricity' Cork Marcheschi.

The design concept placed four pavilions – earth, wind, fire and water – within the 400m long, 35m high main shed, connected by steel bridges and walkways.

Each pavilion is designed to relate to its theme in a poetic way. The earth pavilion, for example, is located in the basement below the
round slab while the air pavilion is designed as a huge dirigible airship which seemingly floats in the space.

Meanwhile the fire pavilion is a matt black box containing a tornado of flame, and the water pavilion is enclosed by an coolly-lit wave formed from steel.


  • Begun: Aug 1998
  • Completed: Apr 2001
  • Sectors: Education, Sports and leisure
  • Total cost: £43M
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: Construction Management
  • Address: Sheffield Road, Templeborough, Rotherham, S60 1DX, United Kingdom

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