In 2015, after five years of Copernicus’ operations, the time came to make changes – extensive modernisation works inspired by the expectations of visitors and our desire for improvement. Rich in experience and the results from our research, we began the process of comprehensive changes, spread over several years. Here are its stages.
Stage I – Changes in the Buzzz! exhibition
In 2015, we dealt with understanding the needs of both the youngest visitors to the Buzzz! exhibition and the adult guardians who accompanied them. Thinking about the children, we improved, among others, the water exhibit, so that turning the lift was easier. We also renovated other exhibits and removed two of them altogether. For adults, we introduced descriptions written specifically for them, discussing how each exhibit developed certain skills in children, what they should pay attention to while observing their child experimenting, as well as how to support their child in this experience.
Stage II – Changes on the upper floor (New On the Move exhibition)
We closed the exhibition in December of 2015 and reopened it in a new arrangement in March of 2016 as the New On the Move.
(The name ceased to function in April 2018 as the exhibition became part of the Experimental Zone, which takes up nearly all of the upper floor).
What did we change?
- We focused on making the exhibits present the phenomena as precisely as possible, making them easier to use, more intuitive, less burdened with multimedia, and giving more opportunities for various experiments, independent research and drawing conclusions, and above all, real experience of the laws of nature.
- We built some of the exhibits independently in our workshop, significantly improved many more, as well as imported others from the best designers in the world.
- We introduced thematic zones. They group exhibits presenting a given phenomenon from many sides, which makes it easier to combine different themes and offers a better understanding of the complex processes taking place in nature.
- We toned down the design to eliminate as many unnecessary stimuli as possible and focus the attention of the visitors on the content and not on the form of the exhibit. To achieve this, we abandoned bright colours and used materials that gave lightness to the exhibits: plywood, steel, glass and plexiglass.
- We also ensured better visual and substantive communication of the exhibits: all rods and buttons are now the same yellow colour, which makes orientation easier, while the new instructions are clearer – the descriptions of specific phenomena are preceded by illustrated instructions.
- In the middle of the exhibition, we erected a blue pavilion referring to the characteristic shape of the Heavens of Copernicus planetarium. Inside, there are exhibits that require darkness. The pavilion also serves as a landmark for easier orientation.
- We also organised a relaxation corner, where you can regain your strength for further visit. It offers a handy library with magazines and books, available while you take a break.
Stage III – Renovation of the Copernicus entrance area
This stage lasted from December 2016 to January 2017. We swapped the entrance and the exit, installed new entrance gates and introduced electronic tickets, so that visitors do not have to wait in line to pick them up. The space is now more open, and the decor is simple and toned down. To ensure the comfort of our visitors, we also modernised the coat check and ticket desks, as well as the accompanying visual information system. We also rebuilt the shop, which is currently located in the ticket zone, as well as the Wiem Bistro. Both locations have gained a new colour scheme and arrangements.
Stage IV – Changes in the planetarium
In April 2017, after a short break, we reopened the Heavens of Copernicus planetarium. During the modernisation works, we transformed the entrance area to be more spacious, better marked and more comfortable. At the same time, we gave the newly moved ticket counter island a more modern form. The break was also used to install six new projectors, which make it possible to watch video in 8K resolution (16 times higher than full HD television sets!). Thanks to this, all the shows have gained a completely new quality and allow visitors to immerse themselves in the Cosmos as never before.
Stage V – Changes on the upper floor (Humans and the Environment and Light Zone exhibitions)
In December 2017, we closed the second part of the upper floor, which housed the Humans and the Environment and the Light Zone exhibitions. This space was made available in April 2018 in a completely new appearance – with a large orange pavilion and thematically grouped exhibits. It is now the eastern section of the Experimental Zone. We continued the changes implemented two years earlier in the western section of the upper floor (previously known as the New On the Move). As a result of the rearrangement, the entire floor now forms a single visually and thematically coherent exhibition, devoted to humans and nature.