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Cinnabar fabricates exhibits for Jet Propulsion Laboratory visitor center upgrade


Related: Cinnabar’s design/build approach helped fast-track production for new Age of Mammals exhibition / Cinnabar’s work at California Academy of Sciences honored with 2010 SEGD Design Award

Cinnabar Inc., a company of creative thinkers, artisan builders and imaginative problem solvers, providing integrated services to the museum, entertainment and cultural industries, was the fabricator of the recent renovation of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) von Karman Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center debuted in May 2010 at JPL’s annual Open House , which was attended by over 36, 000 people. The new exhibits provide visitors of all ages with a self-guided educational experience of the solar system, space exploration and the story of NASA/JPL.

Cinnabar collaborated with design firm C&G Partners and with JPL’s internal team. The project was administered by the JPL Education Office. Cinnabar supplied graphics, high security artifact displays, vitrines, model rigging, audiovisual integration and enclosures with support for monitors, sound sticks and a 103" touch screen. Cinnabar also fabricated sophisticated modular structures that allow for the easy updating of images, text, video and computer content, providing for flexibility in the exhibit for many years to come. 

JPL wrote and produced the media content in-house. 

"We were very happy to be part of this project, " says Cinnabar CEO Jonathan Katz. "Helping to create the JPL displays enabled us to support an institution doing vital scientific work and to collaborate with a very distinguished design firm. C&G’s design package was beautiful as well as functional. It answered the client’s needs, creating an aesthetically pleasing space that can be expanded in future."

Cinnabar’s museum portfolio

Cinnabar’s portfolio of museum projects continues to grow. Recent accomplishments include the lauded California Academy of Sciences, for which Cinnabar produced 35, 000 square feet of exhibits for the Kimball Museum of Natural History in close collaboration with architect Renzo Piano and which was recently honored with a SEGD Design Award and three IES Exhibit Lighting Design Awards. Jonathan Katz was executive producer of the Kimball exhibits, including the critically acclaimed "Altered State" exhibits on climate change. 

For the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM), Cinnabar provided fabrication and production of the new Age of Mammals permanent exhibition and the Haaga Family Rotunda exhibit "What on Earth?". Working closely with NHM director of exhibit production Simon Adlam and using a design/build methodology to fast-track the project. Another recent project was the Homelands traveling exhibit for the Autry Museum. The company’s other markets include themed entertainment, television, film, and public art.

"Teamwork is our strong suit, " says Cinnabar’s Andrea Whittier. "Because of the company’s background in fast-paced entertainment projects, we are seasoned in delivering optimal results in the face of tight budgets, quick redesigns and time crunches, whatever the project size or scope."

About Cinnabar

Cinnabar Inc. is a company of creative thinkers, artisan builders and imaginative problem solvers, providing integrated services to the museum, entertainment, and cultural industries. Founded in 1982, Cinnabar California, Inc. is one of the entertainment industry’s leading production and fabrication companies, providing specialty fabrication for television, film and themed venues. In recent years, Cinnabar has been at the forefront of developments that have seen the integration of innovative new approaches to the process and production of museum exhibitions. 

Operating from a 30, 000 square foot production facility, Cinnabar is able to provide its clients a complete range of in-house design-build, project management, and manufacturing services. We offer interpretive planning, content development, exhibit design and development, graphic design, and specialty fabrication. Our skilled production teams are comprised of numerous artisans and specialists dedicated to producing projects to the highest standards. Cinnabar has established itself as a quality supplier of attractions, exhibits, and environments that require a high level of artistic achievement, technical excellence, and finished quality. 

Cinnabar is a licensed General Contractor in California and Nevada, and has held GC registration in other states on an as-needed basis. Our company has completed projects across the United States and in several countries overseas.

Images from Top:

New Mars Exhibit fabricated by Cinnabar for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory visitor center Photo by Jeff Ingalls


New Exhibit displaying a moon rock and surveyor scoop fabricated by Cinnabar for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory visitor center. Photo by Jeff Ingalls


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