Project Startup: Shiloh National Military Park


Formations is happy to announce that we are starting an exciting new project: the Shiloh National Military Park. The park includes Civil War battlefields, the Shiloh National Cemetery as well as the Shiloh Indian Mounds National Historic Landmark.


Our team had the pleasure of traveling to Shiloh, Tennessee to meet with the staff at Shiloh National Military Park as a first step in planning this project.


We will be designing, building and fabricating new exhibits for the visitor center that will provide engaging, accessible interpretation based on the current scholarship. Topics covered in the exhibit space include the slavery debate around the start of the Civil War, the Battle of Shiloh, and even pre-historic events in the area.

Team Formations is thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this exciting new project bringing history to life!

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Deputy Assistant Secretary of The Interior - Aurelia Skipwith, Refuge Manager - Lamar Gore, National Wildlife Refuge System Northeast Regional Chief - Scott Kahan, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission's Director of Outreach, Education, and Marketing - Steve Kralik, and Puddles cut the ribbon for new exhibits!

Deputy Assistant Secretary of The Interior - Aurelia Skipwith, Refuge Manager - Lamar Gore, National Wildlife Refuge System Northeast Regional Chief - Scott Kahan, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission's Director of Outreach, Education, and Marketing - Steve Kralik, and Puddles cut the ribbon for new exhibits!

This project’s design drew inspiration from the community it serves and the people that serve it—featuring touchscreen media programs that highlight the Refuge’s volunteers, a dimensional map of Philadelphia, incorporating the city’s skyline into design elements, and numerous interactive exhibits to tell the story of America’s First Urban Wildlife Refuge. 

Exhibits honored the unique relationship between nature and the sprawling metropolis visible from the Refuge, epitomized by the 12-foot-tall Great Blue Heron sculpture made of recyclable materials often found littered in the marsh—serving as a reminder that humans and wildlife are interconnected.

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Tillamook Creamery Visitor Center

The New Tillamook Creamery Visitor Center is open! Formations fabricated and installed approximately 7,500 square feet of exhibits designed by Olson Kundig Architects with graphic design by Studio SC.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony June 19th, saying “this new visitor’s center will serve as a greeting card not just for Tillamook but the entire state of Oregon.” The approximately 1.3 million visitors who will walk through the visitor center each year will get to experience a classic Oregon destination, enhanced.

Through new experiences that satisfy an appetite for engagement, learning, and fun—and cheese and ice cream—visitors discover the history of the creamery, get to know the people behind the products, and learn what it takes on the farm, and in the factory to create quality products. “Feed” a calf and “milk” a cow. Follow along the step-by-step cheese-making process from the viewing area above the factory floor—then sample the products at the cheese bar. And when you’re looking for more, the spacious food hall offers delicious items from classic grilled cheese to new wood-fired pizzas. If you’re still hungry, there’s a new yogurt bar, and, of course, don’t forget the ice cream!

We’re proud to be part of the great team that helped open the doors of the new Tillamook Creamery Visitor Center. We coordinated and worked with the design groups, building general contractor, and client to ensure a successful project, and joyful visitor experiences for generations to come.

Visit the Tillamook Creamery at:
4165 Highway 101 North
Tillamook, OR 97141

For more information about the Visitor Center Opening visit

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K-25 History Center moves forward with $5.3 million in new contracts

As part of the $5.3M in contracts awarded in K-25 project. Formations Inc. will create exhibits and displays that use graphics, audiovisuals, period artifacts and workers' oral histories. 

Plans for a history center at the former site of the Manhattan Project-era K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Oak Ridge are moving forward.

UCOR, the Department of Energy’s cleanup contractor for the site, has awarded three subcontracts totaling more than $5.3 million for construction, site improvements and building exhibits for the K-25 History Center at the East Tennessee Technology Park. 

The history center will occupy 7,500 square feet in the second floor of the existing, city-owned Oak Ridge Fire Station No. 4.

The building is adjacent to the footprint of the old K-25 building, which was once the largest building in the world. Uranium enrichment operations continued at the site until 1985, and the site was permanently shut down in 1987.

The footprint is now part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

The history center will include a theater and interactive galleries that display equipment, artifacts, and other media to highlight the site’s workers and the work during the Manhattan Project and Cold War-era.

UCOR awarded two subcontracts for construction and site improvements to North Wind Construction Services, LLC of Knoxville, Tennessee, and it awarded a third subcontract for exhibit fabrication and installation to Formations, Inc. of Portland, Oregon.

North Wind is responsible for partial demolition services and installing an awning, a new entrance, and a new emergency exit. It also covers exterior and interior architectural work, electrical power, lighting, plumbing, HVAC, an alarm system, and site improvement work like grading, utility connections, and parking and accessibility work.

Formations Inc. will create exhibits and displays that use graphics, audiovisuals, period artifacts and workers' oral histories.

The K-25 History Center is scheduled to open in 2019.

The History Center's construction is part of a larger historic preservation agreement that DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management signed in 2012 with local, state, and federal historic preservation partners, is scheduled to open in 2019.

In the agreement, the agency is also responsible for constructing an equipment building and viewing tower next to the K-25 History Center.

The equipment building will be a full-size representative cross-section of the former building, and the viewing tower will provide visitors a view of the site from 70 feet above the K-25 building's concrete footprint.

For more historical information about K-25, visit the K-25 Virtual Museum online at

(originally published at Feb. 7, 2018


Zoo's New Education Center Earns 'Top Project' Awards

For the second year in a row, the Oregon Zoo earned three major honors at the Daily Journal of Commerce's annual TopProjects ceremony, held at the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.

The DJC TopProjects program, now in its 22nd year, honors outstanding building and construction projects in Oregon and Southwest Washington, selected by a panel of industry leaders in architecture, construction and engineering.

The zoo's new Education Center — designed to inspire young minds and serve as a regional hub for conservation — won the Energy Trust of Oregon's High Performance Building Award for new construction, as well as third-place honors for public projects and the People's Choice Award for public projects, voted on in real time by event attendees.

"It's deeply gratifying to be honored like this two years in a row," said Heidi Rahn, bond program director. "Our community created something truly special when it passed the zoo bond measure in 2008. Children are the key to our future, and the Oregon Zoo Education Center was designed to inspire generations of young conservationists to take action on behalf of wildlife."

The Education Center was the fifth of eight major projects made possible by the community-supported bond measure promoting animal welfare, education and sustainability. The first of these improvements — the zoo's veterinary medical center — was also a TopProjects winner, taking first-place honors for public buildings in 2012. And last year, Elephant Lands was named 2016 Project of the Year while also earning the top award for public projects and runner-up honors for the People's Choice Award.

With five of the bond-funded upgrades now complete, the final three projects — improved habitats for primates, rhinos and polar bears — will be managed as a single construction project to save costs and increase efficiency.

The Education Center provides a welcoming entry and staging area for the thousands of children who participate in zoo camps and classes each year, and expands the zoo's conservation education programs and activities through partnerships with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, National Wildlife Federation, the Intertwine Alliance, Portland Audubon and more.

The center's many earth-friendly design features — including more than 700 solar panels, salvaged building materials, bird-friendly glass and a rain-harvest system —model sustainability measures and make the facility itself a teaching tool. The zoo is applying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for the new center, the highest rating from the Green Building Council. To learn more, visit

"We're very grateful to our design and construction partners, who helped make this vision a reality," Rahn said. "Especially our general contractor, Fortis Construction, and our design team led by Opsis Architecture, and including Formations, Jones & Jones Landscape Architects, Catena Consulting Engineers, KPFF Consulting Engineers and PAE Consulting Engineers."

(originally published at

New Exhibits Open at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

On Friday December 2, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park hosted a grand opening event debuting new exhibits at the visitor center and museum. About 65 members of the Skagway, Alaska community explored and gave rave reviews of the new exhibits. The grand opening marks the conclusion of a year­long series of events commemorating the National Park Service Centennial at the park.
After three years and a $900,000 contract with Formations Inc. of Portland, OR, the NPS Visitor Center and Museum now feature interactive and accessible exhibits. Visitors can smell sourdough and eulachon oil, step into a muddy boot print, “raft” down the Yukon River, and spin a game­show style wheel to see if they strike it rich…or die. “It’s been a long process and we’re really proud of the final result,” says education specialist Jason Verhaeghe. “These exhibits tell the story of the gold rush by following five real characters, helping visitors feel like they’re on a journey themselves.”
In addition to being fun and tactile, the new exhibits are now legally accessible. There is ample room for wheelchairs to maneuver and text is low and large enough for kids and seated visitors to read. Selected text is duplicated in braille and there will be an audio description of the exhibit to aid visitors who are visually impaired by summer of 2017. Large, colorful graphics convey the main concepts and emotions of the gold rush even to visitors who don’t read English fluently.