Themed Exhibit Construction – Bringing Stories to Life

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Themed exhibits accomplish what many basic structures can’t – transport visitors to another place and time. Themed exhibits bring a building’s walls, floors and ceilings to life with innovative visual and interactive elements. Combined, these elements draw visitors in and immerse them in an entirely new environment that tells a compelling story.

At a zoo or aquarium, the story may be about exotic animals and how they live in the wild. At a retail entertainment center or store, the story may be about a company’s products and services.

Themed exhibits make the ordinary stand out, whether the attraction is at a museum, zoo, cultural center or retail entertainment center. No matter where it’s located, the goal is the same – to create a memorable experience while entertaining and educating visitors.

themed exhibits

At the National Aviary Penguin Point Exhibit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a themed exhibit introduces the audience to the world of the African Penguins. The setting is so real that only our non-feathered friends know they’re not in Africa.

themed exhibits

Thousands of miles away, visitors experience the natural wonders of a mountain range in an unlikely place – a retail store. Cabela’s in Lehi, Utah features an artificial rock mountain and babbling brook in the center of the store. Cabela’s wants you to feel they don’t just sell outdoor gear and clothing, they offer an exciting outdoor lifestyle full of adventure.

Creating a successful themed environment takes a multi-disciplinary team that includes the project owner, architects, graphic designers, fabricators, audio-visual engineers, content development experts and lighting experts. Once they develop their plan, they work with a themed construction company to carry out their vision.

During the design and construction phase, the themed construction company works closely with the team to ensure each element is carried out to exact specifications.

themed exhibits

By themselves, each element is interesting, but when the elements are tied together, the result is amazing. Seeing a gorilla close-up is pretty exciting, but seeing a lowland gorilla in a man-made replica of its wild habitat in the middle of Los Angeles, California, is nothing short of incredible. These critically endangered animals feel right at home at The Campo Gorilla Reserve at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Creating a habitat in zoological and aquarium exhibits that resembles an animal’s natural environment takes a deep understanding of that animal’s natural habitat. The construction team must develop a full understanding of its habitat in the wild, sense of territoriality, foraging habits and physical capabilities. Then, the team must take each factor into account when building the habitat to ensure the animal’s survival.

Themed environments use immersion techniques to tell a story, whether the story is about how an animal lives, or in the case of the retail store Cabela’s, the story of a corporation’s products and the image it wants to portray. It’s a story that project owners hope gets repeated again and again and creates hordes of people clamoring for a visit.

If you you’d like to learn more about constructing a themed exhibit for a museum or retail entertainment facility, or if you’d like to create a natural habitat at a zoo or aquarium, contact