A festival-like spin on art and science
Part science centre, part art gallery, part museum: Sirius Art & Science Park is the ambitious conversion of the Olympic Media Centre in the Russian city of Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The goal is to transform the disused venue into an enriching attraction to which visitors will want to return. Spanning a whopping 40.000 m2, the project – Journey of Imagination – comprises a series of highly innovative interactive exhibitions as well as venues for a festival-inspired event programme.
All out in the open
Journey of Imagination is a hybrid environment that unites education and industry goals in a public arena. The community can peek into the worlds of scientific research, innovative industrial developments and up-and-coming talents – experimental work they wouldn’t normally encounter in daily life. Perhaps visitors have seen a documentary on self-driving cars but have never actually taken a seat in one. They know about satellites but aren’t typically able to touch one, or have heard of plant hacking but haven’t yet tasted the results. Journey of Imagination isn’t just about calling attention to these innovations; it’s also about boosting progress. The Sirius Talent Programme links prodigies in the fields of mathematics, science and innovation to professionals, offering the former both mentorship and connections in the industry.
From microcosm to macrocosm
The scheme is divided into four main thematic zones that take visitors on a multisensory journey to uncharted territories, from inside their bodies to outer space. After travelling with an astronaut to the edges of the universe, gallery-goers can immerse themselves in the cycle of water in the rain room, stand at the nucleus of a tornado and experience antigravity. They can learn about the earth’s variety of life forms, from dinosaurs to the microscopic cells that bred creation. In addition to seeing the latest developments in urban agriculture, visitors can actually taste the results. In the making labs, on the other hand, kids can produce their own creations – scenery for a science-fiction movie, perhaps, or a work of art made from living material – while surrounded by contemporary pieces from both local and international artists.
The unique combination of art and science is sewn together in a festival setting, stimulating creativity and drawing inspiration from the greatest minds in Russian’s past and present. Sirius Art & Science Park will also include a planetarium, food court and a large external area complete with outdoor cinema and observatory, which will become a community hub that bustles with activity.