Zaha Hadid Architects' Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum shuns linearity

Located within the Guangming Science City in China, the museum designed by Zaha Hadid Architects has already begun construction and will open to the public in late 2023.

by Anmol AhujaPublished on : Dec 02, 2020

Intended to further strengthen Shenzhen’s global standing as a leading centre of innovation and technology, the upcoming Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum will form a part of the extensive Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science Technology Innovation Corridor, within the Guangming Science City, and will be tied to China’s top schools, universities and innovation centres to serve as a landmark institution to further the cause of science and technology and its impact on our lives. The latest visuals by Zaha Hadid Architects showcasing the museum’s design make it fall well within the global firm’s easily identifiable repertoire and style of work, while ensuring that the scale, grandeur and technology employed are all in keeping with the museum’s significant mission.

  • The arms of the U-shaped building cascade down into successive terraces | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The arms of the U-shaped building cascade down into successive terraces Image: Visualisation by BRICK
  • The urban context of Guangming Science City | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The urban context of Guangming Science City Image: Visualisation by Slashcube

At a total built area of 125,000 sq.m, the museum is U-shaped in response to the location of the site adjacent to the Guangming Park and will share its grounds as an extension of its own public space within the Science City. It has a closed atrium at its centre, held in by a fully glazed curtain wall facing the west. The arms of the ‘U’ wrap around the atrium in the same direction, culminating in a series of layers of terraces, gradually descending into the Guangming Park landscape. The U-shaped plan is intended to inspire intuitive orientation and navigation around the spaces the museum houses, including galleries for exhibition, a wide array of public spaces and facilities, and educational facilities for students, all centred around the central atrium courtyard, “defining a journey of discovery that unites the city and park with the museum’s inspirational exhibitions,” according to an official release.

  • The north side of the Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The north side of the Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum Image: Visualisation by Slashcube
  • The south side of the museum is also connected to the Guangming Park | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The south side of the museum is also connected to the Guangming Park Image: Visualisation by BRICK
  • The east side of the museum is relatively less porous, with the outward curves reflecting the many curvilinear urban routes in that direction | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The east side of the museum is relatively less porous, with the outward curves reflecting the many curvilinear urban routes in that direction Image: Visualisation by BRICK

ZHA also states that the fluid building’s design incorporates maximum adaptability as a basic design principle, with the curved geometries and proportions of each gallery and their spatial experience lending themselves to a rich, new experience every time patrons visit. The galleries will house both permanent and changing displays, depending on the exhibition the museum is hosting at the time.

  • The museum’s displays utilise the latest technology in keeping with the objectives of the museum | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The museum’s displays utilise the latest technology in keeping with the objectives of the museum Image: Visualisation by Slashcube
  • The U layout inspires intuitive orientation and navigation in the museum | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The U layout inspires intuitive orientation and navigation in the museum Image: Visualisation by Slashcube

The museum’s geometry, envelope, and volume are defined by its spatial programme and distinct conditions of the site. The design has a solid, relatively non porous outwardly curved façade towards its east side, its non-yielding curvilinear geometry echoing the many urban circulation routes of the city in that direction. The museum’s curves are gradually elongated along the north and south sides, the arms of the ‘U’, and have been punctuated with generous openings to offer a view of the activities inside. The west, as stated above, forms the edifice of the museum building, with the massive glazed wall front and the cascading terraces defined by a further extension of the curve of the museum’s geometry.

  • The museum will house both fixed and changeable displays in its extensive exhibition galleries | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The museum will house both fixed and changeable displays in its extensive exhibition galleries Image: Visualisation by Slashcube
  • The museum will also include student facilities and tie with major schools and institutions across China | Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum by Zaha Hadid Architects | STIRworld
    The museum will also include student facilities and tie with major schools and institutions across China Image: Visualisation by ZHA

As an important building for the city and a landmark centre for youth education, the building is also planned as a beacon for sustainable design, activity and operation. Extensively carried out digital modelling of the building and wind tunnel testing have allowed the designers at ZHA to comprehensively monitor the building’s thermal performance, natural lighting levels, wind levels and ventilation, and internal air quality, to ensure an optimum balance between energy consumption and visitor comfort, while at the same time encompassing the preservation of its collection. The building also employs both active and passive solar measures to shield its envelope and building interiors from Shenzhen’s hot and humid summer, including high efficiency glazing, innovations in HVAC and lighting, and smart building management systems. The designers also claim to have completely considered the museum’s procurement, full life cycle performance and future adaptability in assessing and evaluating the building’s performance, reducing its embodied carbon footprint, and achieve the maximum rating for China’s Green Building Evaluation Standard.

The Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum is the second building in Shenzhen this year to be unveiled by Zaha Hadid Architects, apart from the OPPO Headquarters earlier this year.

Project Details

Name: Shenzhen Science and Technology Museum
Location: Shenzhen, China
Client: The Bureau of Public Works of the Shenzhen Municipality
Status: Under Construction
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Built Area: 125,000 sq.m.
Design: Patrik Schumacher
Project Directors: Charles Walker, Paulo Flores, Simon Yu
Project Architect: Edgar Payne
Project Team: Berkin Islam, Cheryl Lim, John Kanakas, Sven Torres, Michael On, Yuxuan Zhao, Enoch Kolo, Karina Linnsen, Boyan Hrislov, Bechara Malkoun, Mansel Haynes
Façade: GYAC Shanghai

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