Constructed for 1962 World’s Fair as the U.S. Science Pavilion, the Pacific Science Center is a six-acre, multi-building pavilion set around an inner courtyard. Made of pre-cast concrete slabs, the pavilion’s skeletal, cathedral-like walls mix a Gothic aesthetic with Modern simplicity.
The courtyard includes abstracted gothic arches, strong vertical elements, and contemplative plaza spaces with fountains that designer Minoru Yamasaki would later fully develop in his design for New York’s World Trade Center. The white courtyard walls, white sculpted arches, and concrete platforms “floating” in serene reflection pools created an abstractly classical and thoroughly integrated space. The concrete platforms offered intricate, cast-in detailing and ornamental patterning on their undersides while looking simple and sleek from above. The platform railings, architecture, sculpture, and foundations, though simple in design, were constructed using high-tech materials and fabrication methods.