Computer History Museum / Mark Horton / Architecture

© Mark Richards &

The birthplace of Pong. The home of Facebook. The epicenter of the Cloud.

Mark Horton / Architecture (MH/A)’s renovation of an existing former Silicon Graphics office building in Mountain View, , into the new home of the Computer History Museum is genius loci made physical.

Architect: Mark Horton / Architecture
Project Team: Mark Horton, Principal; Daniel Mason, Project Architect
Location: Mountain View, California, USA
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 25,000 sqf Primary Exhibition Space; 6,000 sqf Multi-use lobby / café / reception / gift shop
Photographs: Mark Richards, Ethan Kaplan Photography, Daniel Mason, Mark Horton / Architecture

© Ethan Kaplan Photography & Mark Horton / Architecture

The transformation of the first floor of the building into a new entrance hall and orientation theater, a café and bookstore, and a 25,000 sqf exhibition space housing Revolution : The First 2000 Years of Computing is the perfect re-use of a formerly high-flying computer company in the perfect location.

© Ethan Kaplan Photography & Mark Horton / Architecture

Surrounded by a who’s who of computing – Google, Apple, HP, Cisco- the Computer History Museum attempts to document a work-in-progress. Exhibiting everything from an ENIAC to an Enigma Machine, from an early (wooden) computer mouse (1963) to the first mechanical and programmable computer – the Babbage Difference Engine (designed in 1821), and from an Apple 1 to a Palm Pilot, the museum is a testament to the exponential evolution of computing and the truth of Moore’s Law.

© Ethan Kaplan Photography & Mark Horton / Architecture

The architectural transformation of the front portion of the existing building into an inviting and sophisticated lobby is the initial experience of the museum-goer. Semi-public amenities, including a café and a bookstore, reinforce this initial impression. An orientation theater and a transitional connection to the exhibition space move the visitor along to the 25,000 sf exhibition space.

© Ethan Kaplan Photography & Mark Horton / Architecture

Computers pervade our world today. MH/A feels lucky to have made its mark
on that world.

© Ethan Kaplan Photography & Mark Horton / Architecture
© Mark Richards & Mark Horton / Architecture

Exhibition Designer: Van Sickle & Rolleri, Ltd.
Exhibition Project Team: Dennis Van Sickle, Principal; John Hutchinson, Project Designer
General Contractor: MAI Industries, Inc.
Contractor Project Team: Chris Dettner, Project Manager; Barry Paxton, Vice Principal in Charge
Exhibition Fabricator: Exhibit Concepts, Inc.
Fabricator Project Team: Jerry Spangler, Partner in charge; Duane Landes, Project Manager
Structural Engineer: Citta
MEP and Fire Protection Engineer: WSP – Flack + Kurtz
Lighting Designer: Lightswitch
Acoustic Consultant: Michael Stocker Associates
AV Specification: Electrosonic, Inc.
AV Integration: Bowen Technologies
Kitchen Consultant: Meyers Restaurant Supply, Inc.
Restaurant Consultant: Modern Taste
Code Consultant: The Preview Group, Inc.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Computer History Museum / Mark Horton / Architecture" 31 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>