MAD Architects has head in the clouds with new science and tech museum
It's fair to say that MAD Architects draws a lot of inspiration from clouds, with notable recent projects including the Aranya Cloud Center and the Cloudscape of Haikou. The firm continues this trend with the Hainan Science and Technology Museum, which will feature a cloud-like form wrapped in an unusual plastic facade.
The Hainan Science and Technology Museum will actually be located in the same area of southern China as the Cloudscape of Haikou and will be situated on a site surrounded by sports stadiums and wetlands. This contrast between the urban metropolis and the ancient landscape has helped inform the building's form, which will be defined by an unusual fiber-reinforced plastic exterior (Morphosis used the same material for its Kolon One & Only Tower), lending it a silvery appearance.
"MAD's design for the museum draws from the site's dual urban and natural context, one where a 'primeval rainforest and technology of the future meet,'" expands the firm. "Set against the backdrop of a rich tropical rainforest, the museum's main pavilion is shaped like a cloud in dialogue with nature. From a distance, the futuristic building appears to emerge from the city, while visitors entering in the museum area witness it floating above the jungle. The museum's facade of fiber-reinforced plastic makes the building distinctive from both near and afar with its silver, reflective exterior and visionary aesthetic."
The museum will feature 27,782 sq m (roughly 300,000 sq ft) of above-ground floorspace, including a permanent exhibition space, a planetarium, and a giant-screen theater. There will also be extensive landscaping.
Visitors will begin a tour of the museum by taking an elevator to the fifth floor, onto a 360-degree viewing platform. They will then explore technology and space-themed galleries before proceeding down a long spiraling ramp to the ocean and life science galleries on the fourth floor, the math and science galleries on the third floor, and the multimedia interactive experience area and children's playground on the second floor – with views out onto the surrounding landscape all the way down. The interior layout will also be arranged around a central atrium that will be naturally illuminated with a large skylight.
The Hainan Science and Technology Museum is expected to begin construction in the next week or so, as of writing, and should be completed in 2024.
Source: MAD Architects