This is my first major project at the Maryland Science Center.
This exhibit started with the general idea of having a “Makers’ Space”. The education department came up with a general floor pan for the octagonal room the exhibit would occupy, and I designed “The Shed” from that starting point.
I wanted “The Shed” to be a proper structure – a set piece, surely, but more than just that. The Shed has its own floors for both practical and design reasons: it allowed us to run information cables to the monitors next to each work station and also provided the “clomp-clomp” sound that one experiences when walking around a real, old-fashioned shed.
I felt that exposed 2x4s in the walls would add to the woodshop feel, but I needed to add wainscoting (not a feature seen in the typical woodshop, granted) for practical reasons: it facilitated the running of the aforementioned cables and allowed me to hide the large steel braces that support the walls. Fortunately, I don’t think the wainscoting detracted from the workshop vibe.
I wanted a roof, so I added just a couple of feet of faux tin roof, the rafters of which gave a good place from which to hang the lights for the workbenches.
A note on the workbenches: to add to the thrown-together workshop feel I was going for, I made each of the workbenches different. I did not want to use plywood for the work surfaces because I didn’t think it would look right. But I underestimated the amount of abuse the work surfaces would receive; the tabletops were beaten to a pulp in just a few months. So I redesigned the tables with plywood tops that could be easily replaced every few months.