Museum of Science & History

Columbus, GA | bARCH studio

The Eagle & Phenix Mill has been a part of Columbus since early in its history. In the mid-1800s, the first cotton mill was built on the site, and it soon grew to become the second largest mill in Georgia. Materials for Confederate uniforms and other critical goods during the Civil War were produced in the mill until it was razed in the last land battle of the War. In 1869 the newly rebuilt mills were christened the Eagle & Phenix, symbolizing their rising from the ashes.

As a tribute to the mills, the design of the Columbus Museum of Science and History is heavily influenced by avian features. The plan of the museum springs from a central axis connecting Broad Street and Front Street. Two circular nodes, housing the planetarium and omni theatre, anchor the north and south ends of the building. Wrapping around the nodes, wing-like roof structures give the building the appearance of taking flight. Two large bent-steel arcs form the central hall, designed to house large, aerial displays.

Rising from Chattahoochee River, the Columbus Museum provides a space for reflection on the town's history while bringing new inspiration to a burgeoning arts community.