Museum of Science and Curiosity

Museum of Science and Curiosity


Museum of Science and Curiosity


Sacramento, California



LEED Status





$40.8 Million

Delivery Method


The design for the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC) – formerly the Powerhouse Science Center – re-envisions the historic riverfront structure as a hub for science education, exploration and promotion in the City of Sacramento. On the banks of the Sacramento River, the museum grows out from an abandoned power station building. As a principal component of the Riverfront activation, MOSAC anchors Robert T. Matsui Waterfront Park and borders the southern terminus of the 32-mile American River Bike Trail.

Vacant for over half a century, the 30,000-square-foot structure underwent a complete historic rehabilitation and the construction of a new floor level inside. A new two-story, 22,000-square-foot addition projects from the east side, containing a lobby, classrooms, offices and a cafe. A 120-seat planetarium is prominently on display with a zinc-clad hemispheric dome rising above the building’s mass. As a representation of our place in the universe, the facade is sectioned by multiple planes, creating continuous vector lines that extend across the building and site. From satellites to world landmarks, the lines form connections with local and global points of interest.

The original PG&E River Station B was designed in 1912 in the Classical Revival style by architect Willis Polk and was formally closed in 1954. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, California Register of Historic Places and the Sacramento Register of Historic & Cultural Resources. MOSAC is certified LEED Platinum.

Photography by Kyle Jeffers.


2022, California Preservation Foundation

Preservation Design AwardRehabilitation

2022, ULI Sacramento

Vision Honor AwardsBuilding Healthy Places

2022, LAI Land Economics Society

International Skyline Award

2022, DBIA National

Award of MeritRehabilitation, Renovation and/or Restoration

2021, AIA Central Valley

Regional Recognition Award

2022, ENR California

Best Project (Northern California)Renovation/Restoration

2021, Metal Construction News

Project Excellence AwardsRetrofit Metal Roof

2021, Sacramento Business Journal

Best Real Estate ProjectsAdaptive Reuse



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