At-Bristol is a public science and technology "exploration" and education centre (what we used to call a museum). The centre is situated on the former Canon's Wharf. Wildwalk and the IMAX cinema occupied a modified 19th century former lead-works building, but are now closed, and Explore occupies a 1906 railway goods shed measuring 540 ft by 133 ft (165 m by 41 m). The goods shed was one of the first buildings to use reinforced concrete. The building includes a eutectic tank, which is a 10 metres (33 ft) high transparent tube filled with thousands of balls containing eutectic salts. As the temperature within the building rises, the crystals within the balls melt, taking in the heat and cooling the building. As the building cools, the salts crystallise again, giving out heat. In this way, the tank helps keep the temperature within the centre constant. At-Bristol has its own exhibition workshop on site. Many of the interactive exhibits on the exhibition floor have been made by the workshop team in house, including the distinctive 'Hamster wheel' of the 'Wet Move-it' exhibition. In recent years there has been a distinct change in style from the mechanical hands-on exhibitions of 'Wet Move-it' to more computer based exhibitions such as 'Inside DNA' and the Aardman Animations linked 'Animate It!'.
The exhibitions are themed into various areas, some of which are permanent features, others change on a periodic basis. Exhibition areas are sometimes intended for specific audiences, such as 'Jet Set Go!' aimed at under-7s or 'Inside DNA' a touring exhibition aimed at teenagers and older. There are different current exhibition areas: All About Us - This opened in Spring 2011 and has 50 interactive exhibits which allow visitors to discover how amazing the human body is. Real Brain - As part of the All About Us exhibition, At-Bristol has an exhibit that displays a real human brain. Real Brain has been produced to give visitors an understanding of medical science research. Animate It! - this exhibition was developed with Aardman Animations. Visitors can make their own animated films (2D and 3D), see a film set from Wallace & Gromit's 'A Matter of Loaf and Death', or make Morph spin in a Praxinoscope. Flight zone - Understand more about what factors affect flight and build your own flying object. Includes the Bernoulli Blower. All About Our World - Allows visitor to discover the world around us through investigation. Includes Icy Bodies, Giant Bubbles and the Turbulent Orb. The Planetarium - seasonal presenter-led star shows for over fives, and 'Little Stars' show for fives and under. Tiny Explorers - Exhibition areas for the under eights, these include storytelling and dress up.
Investigate - Lots of mini science experiments. Move It - The first large area when entering the museum, Move It deals with forces ( in the exhibit Naturally Newton) and flight (Dreams of Flight). Your Amazing Brain – The second large section on the ground floor, this area deals with the human brain, in particular optical illusions and memory. Curiosity Zone – Incorporating most of the upper level, this area deals with sound, light, force, magnets, and also includes a mock television studio. Space – This area includes a small exhibit about space travel, and the large Planetarium, in which 4-6 demonstrations are given daily. Live Science Zone – Visitors can watch live shows, join in debates, try the hands-on exploration stations or keep updated in news and views. A prayer room is available on request. Free admission for dedicated assistants. Level access, with lifts to all floors. Fully accessible on-site car park, adapted pay stations and fully-automated doors onto Millennium Square. Disabled toilet facilities throughout the venue. Wheelchair spaces are available in the Planetarium. Wheelchairs can be loaned for the duration of your visit (subject to availability). Guide and assistance dogs are welcome. Exhibits have been especially designed to cater for visually impaired visitors; this includes colour contrasts and font size on all the interactive exhibits. Hearing loop at the information and ticket desks, and in the Planetarium.
Location : Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5LL
Transport: Bristol Temple Meads (National Rail) then bus or taxi. Bus Routes : 8 and 9 to College Green. Ferry: Number Seven or Bristol Ferry.
Opening Times : Monday to Friday 10:00 - 17:00; Weekends + Holidays 10:00 - 18:00
Tickets : Adults £14.60; Children (3 - 16) £9.40
Tel: 0117 915 1000