California Academy of Sciences: Earthquake House

Background 

California Academy of Sciences (CAS) wanted an unforgettable, signature experience for the Earthquake Exhibit in their new building. So OMSI gave them a 25-foot shaking house! OMSI created a landmark experience for CAS based on OMSI's Earthquake House which has been a signature museum experience for over 25 years.

Challenges 

Dramatically change the scale of the engineering and infrastructure of OMSI’s Earthquake House and enhance the educational and playful elements that successfully engage visitors. Deliver and install the massive new structure onsite at CAS.

Solution 
Planning

OMSI’s experience building similar exhibits gave our engineers and designers the background to create the new, massive exhibit. We worked closely with the California Academy of Sciences to create an exhibit that would fit their needs and last for years.

Custom Exhibits

The CAS Earthquake House lets visitors experience the sustained tremors of two of the city’s biggest quakes, the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake and the 7.9 magnitude Great San Francisco quake of 1906. Visitors enter the dining room of a classic Victorian home and travel back in time to experience and compare the famous local earthquakes. Immersed in the historic experience, visitors feel the shaking of a large earthquake and see and hear a swinging light fixture, rumbling fish tank and rocking pictures.

Fabrication

The OMSI design and production teams worked together to create an exhibit that would stand tall in the California Academy of Sciences, while also standing the test of time. The team's experience building similar exhibits supported a short development timeline as staff knew what approaches to take in engineering and design. New methods and materials were also considered and included. OMSI delivered on a quick project turnaround with excellent results.