Look up to the skies and you'll be in for a nice surprise


As work progresses on site to install our amazing new visitor experience, we’re excited to share another update on some of the changes that you may not immediately see, but that you will definitely notice.

We recently moved the fabulous Airbus Zephyr 6, an unmanned solar powered aircraft that had previously been watching over our welcome area. The world record-breaking aircraft flew continuously for 82 hours, 37 minutes and 7 seconds between 28 and 31 July 2008 and has now taken flight to a new location overlooking the South Downs National Park. It has been joined by some fabulous new additions in the form of fluffy white and grey clouds, handmade by Somerset based Woolly Shepherd, an industry leader in sustainable acoustic treatments.

However, these clouds aren’t just visually impressive pieces of scenery, they are Sound Clouds and play an important part in helping to solve some of the noise issues that our visitors had often remarked upon. With a unique pyramid-shaped building constructed predominantly of concrete, steel and glass, sound would often bounce around the Science Centre creating an overwhelming environment for some. 

As part of our mission to create an accessible day out for everyone we worked with an expert to identify noise hot-spots around the venue and source products that would help solve these issues. Woolly Shepherd’s clouds not only look fun but being made of entirely of natural fibres (90% UK grown sheep’s wool and 10% compressed wood fibre), they are also acoustically absorbent and a sustainable solution.

The acoustic performance of the clouds is measured in a reverberation chamber at ISVR Southampton and the materials used to make them have been chosen by Woolly Shepherd for their sustainability. In fact, as well as installing the clouds, we have been able to fill the tip of our sonic rocket exhibit and the new walls being installed on the upper floor with wool off-cuts to provide an additional acoustic benefit for our visitors.

We can’t wait for you to hear the difference!