Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention

Gainesville, FL

Permanent and traveling interactive exhibits
Classroom/multipurpose space, gift shop, outdoor event terraces
Designed to integrate future phases of gallery expansion
Sustainable design features
Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention
Programming, Site Analysis, Fundraising Materials, Community Involvement, Cost Estimating, Sustainable Design, Interior Design, Full Design Services, Construction Administration, Building Information Modeling

"I am part of all that I have met; yet all experience is an arch where through gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades forever when I move."

—Tennyson's Ulysses

The Cade Museum’s design was conceived as a metaphor for the human brain. Just as experience fosters creativity, and creativity leads to invention, neurons in the brain grow and make new connections—in new and different ways—with every new experience. Like some of history’s greatest inventions that became platforms for future inventions, the brain is where experiences are reformulated to create new ideas that in turn influence others—leading to invention.

The building is organized around one space—the main hall—where all experiences come together. Like Ulysses in Tennyson’s poem, this space is a part of all of the spaces in the museum, yet at the same time becomes the foundation upon which they are experienced. A distinguishable form, the main hall draws visitors in from Main Street with views into and through the museum. It is clad in overlapping panels of textured metal, symbolic of ideas and experiences coming together, with the individual wedge-shaped galleries growing organically from its core. Inside, it is a vortex of creative energy. An oculus to the sky, symbolic of Tennyson’s “arch,” opens the space to the universe and all that it holds, while a prominent link to a large outdoor gathering plaza forges a connection with the surrounding Depot Park.


AIA Baltimore Design Award Honorable Mention (Unbuilt)

City Beautification Board Outstanding Institutional Award

Engineering News Record Southeast Best Small Projects Award (under $10M)

Engineering News Record Southeast Best Overall Regional Project of the Year Award

Many times during collaborative design charettes and early research phases, clients elaborate on stories that would not have been identified without them. Here, the client had a keen interest in the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Spiral and their occurrence in nature and science. During design discussions the team was able to capitalize on this idea of Fibonacci in nature, and intertwine it into the form and story of the Cade Museum. The image to the right shows the Fibonacci spiral overlaid on the museum’s floor plan, illustrating how the building seems to unwind as the spiral unfolds, similar to leaves on a stem or the curve of a shell.

What Our Clients Say

"I think this project can change our community."

—David Molyneaux, Board Member, Cade Museum Foundation

The project was designed to be constructed in multiple phases to allow time for fundraising. The first phase is fully-functional, while the second phase—which will grow organically from the building's core—will incorporate additional gallery space and classrooms.