When staying in Cardiff, the Techniquest is the place to discover if you are a science and innovation fanatic – a place with entertainment for the whole family.
Finding the right location
Located close to the Welsh Assembly and the Wales Millennium Centre in the Cardiff Bay with beautiful waterfront views, the Techniquest is the longest science center in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1986 by Professor John Beetlestone and his colleagues from Cardiff University to bring the latest in science to the public. When they first opened, the venue was housed in the old British Gas showroom, featuring only 48 exhibits that were designed and built by the staff at Techniquest. It was a great success, and after only seven weeks of opening, they had received 10,000 visitors.
Two years later they had to move next to the Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum, but this location didn't last long, as the construction of the waterfront shopping, the Mermaid Quay, began and they had to find a new place.
Finally, it was in 1995, that they found the permanent location they preserve to this day and they constructed its headquarters.
Acclaimed architectural building
You will observe that the building is made of steel. This framework is true to the original structure of 1986, designed by the architect Paul Koralek of ABK Architects, who wanted to evoke the old building in the new one.
The construction of 1995 was specially made to fulfill the purpose of having a science discovery center in Cardiff, making it the first purpose-built building in the whole United Kingdom.
What to see
Techniquest has over 120 interactive science exhibits, a science theatre, a planetarium, and a discovery center. You can try launching a rocket, sinking an oil rig, moving half a ton of granite and gazing at the stars. During the weekends and holidays enjoy shows hosted at the fully-equipped theatre with excellent video and audio facilities. In the Planetarium, take a tour of the sky during the night to see the stars, the planets, and distant galaxies. The Big Machine exhibition is among the highlights of the museum and it is the largest exhibit you can find – standing 4-meters tall. It was brought from the Science Museum in London and, it is a great opportunity to get hands-on into the world of engineering. Working in a team, visitors will operate an Archimedes screw, rotate a giant wheel, and moving conveyor belts.Elsewhere, the laboratory section hosts workshops for children and adults, so, make sure to check their calendar to see what's on.
Good to know
When you buy your ticket at Techniquest, you can go in and out during the day with your wristband. So, if you feel like taking a break, go for a walk through the Bay and come back for more! Find puzzles, books, science kits and science games at the shop.