BOKA Powell Designs Texas Discovery Center

Commercial News » Commercial Real Estate Edition | By Scott Kauffman | September 15, 2010 4:01 PM ET

(FRISCO, TX) -- BOKA Powell  LLC recently announced the near-completion of the new Frisco Discovery Center, an adaptive re-use project which converted a former aerospace manufacturing warehouse into an arts, education and cultural center.

Specifically, BOKA Powell provided full architectural services for adapting 25,000 square feet of empty warehouse space - part of a 150,000-square-foot building once occupied by rocket maker Beal Aerospace - into an exciting cultural destination for the City of Frisco and North Texas.  The open space is now the new home for Frisco Arts, a 100-seat Frisco Black Box Theatre, a Frisco Art Gallery, and the Sci-Tech Discovery Center, the hands-on science and technology learning center for students.

"People can't believe what this new space looks like, as we transformed it from an old aerospace manufacturing center to a kid-friendly arts destination," said Patrick Magill, associate principal at BOKA Powell.  "We designed the space to provide lots of energy, with interesting lighting and use of dramatic, bold colors and forms.  The new space is overwhelming and fun, and we expect it will attract lots of return visitors."

"The Frisco Community Development Corporation and the City of Frisco are delighted that this existing building has been redeveloped so creatively by BOKA Powell," said Ron Patterson, assistant city manager for the City of Frisco. "BOKA Powell's partnership with Balfour-Beatty has made this project effective and efficient, and the result is a contemporary and exciting facility from both a design and a community perspective."

BOKA Powell first put a new "front door" on the nondescript concrete tilt-up building to create a new identity and "brand" for this space, and distinguish it from the rest of the building.  The distinctive new façade is now "Frisco red" and is visible from the highway.  The interior includes a vivid lobby connecting the venues painted red up high to continue the exterior theme, with multiple colors below to provide playful variety.  Industrial lights shine up and down, and the ceiling has a "wave" design with shiny perforated metal set against a black ceiling.

"Much of the finished-out space utilizes vibrant color or floating ceilings at specified levels, with the remainder fading to black," says Magill. "The Sci-Tech Discovery Center space is full of angled, curved and half size walls to act as backdrop to event shows and facilitate interaction with the kids."

BOKA Powell's partners on this project include Balfour Beatty Construction, with oversight by the City of Frisco under the leadership of Patterson and facilities project manager Donnie Mayfield.  The project is funded by the Frisco Community Development Corporation.

The building, located at 8004 North Dallas Parkway in Frisco, is expected to be complete in mid-September, with a VIP preview on October 1, followed by a community open house on October 2.  The space will be managed by the Frisco Association for the Arts.

BOKA Powell is a full-service architecture, planning and interior design firm, with offices in Dallas, Ft. Worth and Austin, TX, dedicated to the creation of compelling, flexible, and cost effective design solutions that directly respond to the needs of clients.

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