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Museum Design

The Triangular Grid System: How To – Part 2

Designing The Pathway GRID WITH WALLS
Taking a lesson from Architectural design, think of developing the rooms of your attraction first. The “rooms” of a triangular grid attraction are not square due to the angles of the grid. They tend to be hexagonal, elongated hexagonal, or the shape of superman’s logo. Set the props or furniture onto the grid for that the entrance, exit and pathway through the room are functional. Then arrange the rooms in the attraction area and draw hallways to connect the rooms. You’ll notice very quickly into the design of your haunt that there tend to be “dead” triangles that do not fit in the walkway or in a room. Sometimes wasted space, these “dead” triangles can be used for security to get out of the way of patrons or to display props.
Try not to have more than three panels in a straight line in the design, as they tend to be unstable during installation and because the more twists and turns in the pathway, the better. Once you have the full layout drawn up, you are ready to transfer the drawing to full scale.

The Grid On-Site
Transferring the design to your actual haunt space is fairly easy after it has been designed on paper. To mark the grid on-site, gather an assistant, tape measures (both a 25’ and a 100’), chalk line and 1/2” masking tape. Follow the same steps as you did on paper, only now you’re marking the floor using your drawing as a “road map”. (If you are planning to use carpet underlayment for your Haunt, it must be installed first so that the grid can be marked on it.

Follow the description above, using the chalk line to mark the bay lines and small pieces of masking tape for the dots. You do not have to chalk out the diagonal lines, unless you want to. The masking tape dots are enough to copy your layout from the paper to the space. Use 1/2” masking tape to “draw” where the walls of the attraction will be located, and you are ready to start setting up the panels.

Wall Panels
The thing that makes a corridor a corridor is of course, walls! Haunt walls are typically modular panels and 4’ wide by 8’ tall (the same size as a sheet of plywood). A modular Triangular Grid System wall panel consists of a frame of 2x lumber. Sandwiched between 2 sheets of 1/4” to 1/2” plywood or OSB, (Figure 3), are two verticals (2×4 or 2×3) laid flat on the “face” of the board, rather than on the “spine” of the board like a normal wall would be framed, and a top, center and bottom member (2×4, 2×3, or 2×2) to complete the structure. The plywood faces are attached to the frame with drywall screws. The frame of the wall panel is held together only by the plywood screwed to them, the 2x members are not connected to each other directly. You can build one-sided walls but plywood gussets plates should be added at all 2x connections for strength.
Using screws only will make the panel easier to modify or repair than a panel that is assembled with nails or adhesive. The finished panel is a sturdy, double-sided wall that has a finished nominal thickness of 2”. Utilizing the same construction method, panels can also be constructed as doorways, special openings or with windows in them. READ MORE