MAI Construction Inc. Completes New Learning Lab For Computer History Museum

MAI Construction | Friday, July 12th 2019 | Blog

MAI Construction, Inc. is pleased to announce that we have just completed a major project with the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. We caught up with Gary Matushita, Vice-President of Operations for the Computer History Museum, and our very own Vice-President, Barry Paxton, as well as Mark Horton, the project architect, and Lauren Silver, Vice-President of Education for the Computer History Museum, to give us their thoughts and retrospectives on the project as the Learning Center officially opens.

If you’ve followed our previous postings about the Computer History Museum, you already know construction of the Learning Center was ongoing while the museum remained open to the public. Gary explained, “We have a lot of experience with this since we’ve worked on projects for eleven years with both Mark and Barry…we always do it with the museum open because we are a public institution. We have events here and different functions…we pretty much don’t shut down during construction. It takes a lot of coordination and a lot of teamwork between the contractors…our staff and the different teams who are working on different parts of the project.”

Barry remarked on the drastic changes MAI Construction worked in the space to convert it from the hollowed-out shell viewers saw in our last video to the fully functioning, interactive environment the Computer History Museum wanted. “The rough-in was really important to get all the electrical and infrastructure in place in order to have the [high-end] finishes fit just perfectly. It was a very detailed project. The ceiling was probably the highlight of this project. It’s a new product which just came out of 3Form, and it is the largest installation to date of this ceiling type, so 3Form is very interested in checking out how the ceiling went in…The coordination was very difficult. They actually had to lay the entire ceiling out on the floor, frame it out and then lift it directly up. Having all the infrastructure in place, all the fire sprinklers and mechanical, so that was a process that took several weeks to complete.”

Project architect Mark Horton was excited to see the finished product. “At the very start of this project, we went through a whole ideation process with Ideo, a design thinking firm in Palo Alto, to help the museum begin to understand the program and where they wanted this space to go…As Barry mentioned with regard to the ceiling, that 3Form ceiling I think is a really nice addition…When you come in and you look at the ceiling, it appears as though it’s great, it’s just there, but it was not as simple as that. It took quite a bit of time to get to where the ceiling is now in the design process.”

Lauren was very enthusiastic about the initial reception of the new space by Computer History Museum visitors and staff alike. “It’s been great! We had an all-hands kickoff for this space last week and the ceiling that Mark mentioned is getting a really great response. The carpet, I’m hearing that it’s warm, I’m hearing that it’s friendly, it’s welcoming. We have used [the space] in a couple of different ways so far and the flexibility that we built into it is exactly what we needed. It’s been a real privilege. I am lucky to have been able to work with Mark and MAI and our exhibit designers who are so experienced in the museum because it allowed the look and feel, while it’s very unique compared to what we have in the rest of the museum, but still has that feeling and the aesthetic of the rest of the museum…It’s still us.”

Guided by a client-centered approach, MAI Construction’s mission is to fuse our clients’ vision and goals into our planning and delivery, creating environments and spaces as unique and diverse as each of our clients. We believe, and the sentiments relayed by Lauren, Gary and Mark confirm, that we achieved this mission  once more with the Computer History Museum’s Learning Center. To learn more about how MAI Construction, Inc. can assist you in reaching your construction and space goals, we invite you to visit us at