Academy Studios - Museum Exhibit Designs

W | A Associates, Structural Engineering Services
Designers: Academy Studios


The T-Rex Exhibit, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

W | A Associates provided structural engineering services to analyze the existing skeleton of the T-Rex exhibit, and design a new steel plinth to resist seismic loads. Through physical testing and computer modeling we were able to demonstrate how the skeleton would behave during a seismic event, and work with the client to develop a successful plinth design.


The Whale, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

W | A Associates designed the structural steel armature that supports the skeleton of the hanging whale exhibit. Most of the existing whale bones were previously displayed in Golden Gate Park for decades with partial exposure to the weather, so many of the pieces were cracked and brittle. Creating custom steel forms to cradle the fragile skull bones required close collaboration between W/A and the welder throughout the process to ensure the supports were both inconspicuous and strong enough to support the exhibit's weight.

Various Other Exhibits, Various Locations

W | A Associates has also provided structural engineering services on several other projects for Academy Studios, a museum exhibit design firm located in Novato, California.

Projects have included an International Wetlands Park in Tin Sui Wai, China; engineering design of the Bostic Shelter & Kiosk at the Las Vegas Valley Water District, Las Vegas, Nevada; Clark County Wetlands Park, and most recently a project for the Smithsonian Art Museum in Washington, D.C.