Museums | Facilities | Adler Planetarium |

Deep Space Adventure

Adler Planetarium | Chicago, IL | 2011

Visitors to Chicago’s Adler Planetarium will experience their own Star Wars journey when they enter Deep Space Adventure in the Grainger Sky Theater.

What It Was

Visitors to Chicago’s Adler Planetarium will experience their own Star Wars journey when they enter Deep Space Adventure in the Grainger Sky Theater. Designed like the observation deck of a starship, the theatre is a space simulation environment like no other. Images created by powerful supercomputers and observations from the most advanced telescopes available display planets, stars, galaxies and more in a 360-degree format using a range of emulation so great that images from any time, place or distance in the Universe are possible. Curious explorers enter in between light-shifting, interactive walls of the Clark Family Welcome Gallery.

What We Did

The Clark Family Welcome Gallery and the dome and floor in the Grainger Sky Theater were optimized by fixture and control choices to allow lighting flexibility while providing essential program support. The 125 LED lights of the Gallery are capable of producing 16 million different colors in two billion combinations; they backlight 20,000 square yards of spandex-type fabric to create a panorama that supports an interactive multimedia environment. The Theater, which can display the largest seamless digital image in the world, has a floor embedded with 400 individually controlled and programmable LED’s. In addition to completing 360-degrees of projection capability, the floor also provides a fully customizable component for special events using a floor-mounted truss system that can be modified in any way.

Why It Worked

Time spent in design mock-up and attention to practical detail provided superior end results. The Clark Family Welcome Gallery transitions guests subtly from bright to dark light, bringing audiences to the Grainger Sky Theater in the pupils-wide-open state desirable for optimum deep space viewing, a detail that - along with other subtle supports - is a hallmark of this thoughtful Lightswitch design.