Taking to the skies, Ennead Architects have released drone footage of the construction progress on their Shanghai Planetarium project. The international competition-winning design celebrates the continuum of time and space: it is modern and forward-looking while at the same time presents a link to the past, mirroring both the rich history of Chinese astronomy and the future ambitions of China’s space exploration program.
“In linking the new Museum to both scientific purpose and to the celestial references of buildings throughout history, the exhibits and architecture will communicate more than scientific content: they will illuminate what it means to be human in a vast and largely unknown universe”.
Drawing inspiration from astronomical principles, the design strategy invokes the experience of orbital motion. Each of the building’s three principal forms – the Oculus, the Inverted Dome and the Sphere – acts as an astronomical instrument, tracking the sun, moon and stars and reminding visitors that our conception of time originates in distant astronomical objects.
The building form, program and circulation support the flow of visitors through the galleries and the experience of the three central bodies.
Set within an expansive green zone, the Museum grounds include exterior exhibits, including a seventy-eight-foot-high solar telescope, as well as evening activities at a Youth Observation Camp and Observatory.
The Museum will elevate scientific and technological capacity while redefining the Langang area, about forty-five minutes from downtown Shanghai. The Planetarium is on track for final completion in 2020.
Architects: Ennead Architects
Location: Shanghai, China
Size: 420,000 GSF
Program Permanent: Exhibit Galleries, Temporary Exhibit Galleries, 68-foot Diameter Digital Sky Theater, 60-foot-Diameter Optical Planetarium, IMAX theater, Education and Research Center, Solar Telescope, Youth Observation Camp, and Observatory
Design Partner: Thomas Wong
Management Partner: V. Guy Maxwell
Project Managers: Grace Chen, Stefan Knust, Weiwei KuangCore Design TeamAnthony Guaraldo, Na Sun, Eric Tsui, Charles Wong, Charles Wolf
Design Team: Jorge Arias, Margarita Calero, Michael Caton, Christina Ciardullo, Eugene Colberg, Regina Jiang, Jörg Kiesow, Francelle Lim, Xiaoyun Mao, David Monnar, Nikita Payusov, James Rhee, Yong Roh, Miya Ruan, Stephanie Tung, David Yu, Fred Zhang
LDI: Shanghai Institute of Architectural Design and Research
Project Description and video courtesy of Ennead Architects