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The world's largest astronomy museum gears up to launch in Shanghai
The world’s largest astronomy museum is gearing up to open in Shanghai.
A strand of Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, the new 420,000 square feet location is set to be the world’s largest museum dedicated to the study of astronomy.
A host of world-class exhibits and experiences have been installed in the museum’s expansive green zone. This includes an optical planetarium, a 78 feet solar telescope, observatory and digital sky theatre. There will also be an education and research centre and plenty of immersive environments, artefacts and instruments themed around space exploration.
As well as state-of-the-art exhibits, the whole look of the museum is a feast for the eyes. After winning the international design competition in 2014, Ennead has successfully delivered an architecturally ambition design.
The museum has been designed to showcase an Oculus, Inverted Dome and Sphere, inspired by the sun, moon and stars.
The Oculus, suspended above the main entry to the Museum, demonstrates the passage of time by tracking a circle of sunlight on the ground across the entry plaza and reflecting pool.
Meanwhile, The Sphere which houses the planetarium theatre is half submerged into the building. The spectacular design evokes the illusion of minimal visible support, which encapsulates the theming of weightlessness and anti-gravity.
Commenting on the vigorous design process, Thomas J. Wong, Design Partner at Ennead Architects said: "In making this building, we wanted to create a place where the institutional mission is fully enmeshed with an architecture that itself is teaching, and finds form in some of the fundamental principles that shape our universe.
"The big idea of the Shanghai Astronomy Museum was to infuse a visceral experience of the subject matter into the design, and to deliver that before you even enter the building. And at the end of your visit, there is this culminating moment directly with the sky, which is framed and supported by the architecture."
A ceremony to celebrate the museum's opening will be held this weekend (July 17) before opening to the public July 18, 2021.