The Mussel Hatchery at
Fairmount Water Works

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Planning, Exhibition Design

Hands On! Studio is proud to announce the opening of the interactive Mussel Hatchery at the historic Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia. Our design helped project lead Habithèque transform a working lab into a space of exploration, inspiration and empowerment.

The Mussel Hatchery project is designed to raise awareness about mussels, their role in freshwater systems, and the vital need for revitalizing and protecting these systems for the health of all living things—including us! As an active mussel nursery and learning lab, this space will be in constant flux, much like the natural environment that inspires it.

The “workshop” design of the Hatchery supports this need for flexibility with a transparency that integrates high-tech science into the historic structure of the Water Works elegantly. Collaborations with artists such as Stacy Levy, as well as 3-D printed artifacts, sandblasted glass “creature tiles” and welcoming media elements, enliven the space with the shapes, colors and stories of the natural world.

The result? A space that transforms visitors from spectators to caretakers of an environment on which we all depend.