Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences

The Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences measures 100,000 SF and includes historic restoration of the Imperial Tobacco Company processing plant and Braswell Library. The project was a historical restoration to the 100-year-old tobacco warehouse which had been vacant for more than 50 years, and required in depth coordination with the Department of the Interior to ensure accurate restoration. The new facility make use of the majority of the old tobacco company structures as well as the entire old library, housing the Children’s Museum and Arts Center. The theatre is united with visual arts and the Children’s Museum by a common plaza. This positions all the facilities as close neighbors with one another and with the new Braswell Memorial Library, creating a significant cultural complex with potential for interrelated projects and activities beyond the individual programming capacity of each part.

The project included the addition of a 1,600-SF planetarium, featuring a 360-degree dome. The planetarium included a full mechanical basement below grade and a vertical rise of 35 feet to accommodate the 40-foot planetarium dome. The facility also includes an animal habitat featuring a 1,200-gallon touch tank that is home to pythons, alligators and other animals.