Computer nerds, it’s time to get excited. Finally the Computer History Museum—long an institution without a home—has opened a permanent location in Silicon Valley. The museum exhibits items like old Palm Pilots, early Apple computers, the famous code-breaking “Enigma Machine,” an early wooden computer mouse from 1963, and the first mechanical and programmable computer—the Babbage Difference Engine, designed in 1821.
Mark Horton Architecture built the museum into a former office building that once belonged to tech giant Silicon Graphics in Mountain View, transforming the first floor into a new entrance hall, orientation theater, café, bookstore, and 25,000 square feet of exhibition space. In addition to organizing the space, Horton introduced a super clean aesthetic featuring white glass walls and ceilings and terrazzo floors, with graphics that are drawn from binary code. In fact the pattern on the walls actually spells out the museum’s mission statement from a computer punch card. Exposed steel bracing provides a structural feel to the museum and contains the flashy and colorful exhibits designed by Van Sickle & Rolleri. And this is just the beginning: Horton is planning a 12,000 square-foot addition, to be completed by next summer.