Architecture

Delta Natural History Museum will flow like a river in Shenzhen

Delta Natural History Museum w...
Delta's green roof will include viewing terraces and areas for jogging and walking
Delta's green roof will include viewing terraces and areas for jogging and walking
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Delta will measure 42,000 sq m (roughly 450,000 sq ft) and will be located near a lake in Shenzhen, China
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Delta will measure 42,000 sq m (roughly 450,000 sq ft) and will be located near a lake in Shenzhen, China
Vistors to the Natural History Museum – aka Delta – will be able to walk on top of its curving, greenery covered roof
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Vistors to the Natural History Museum – aka Delta – will be able to walk on top of its curving, greenery covered roof
Delta's green roof will include viewing terraces and areas for jogging and walking
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Delta's green roof will include viewing terraces and areas for jogging and walking
"This building captures the unique atmosphere of a riverfront site and finds the timeless property of water as a concept," says Pritzker Prize-winning Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, a judge on the architecture competition that selected the Delta proposal. "The connection between function, site, concept, structure, material and space is very clear"
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"This building captures the unique atmosphere of a riverfront site and finds the timeless property of water as a concept," says Pritzker Prize-winning Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, a judge on the architecture competition that selected the Delta proposal. "The connection between function, site, concept, structure, material and space is very clear"
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Following an international architecture competition, 3XN, B+H and Zhubo Design have been commissioned to co-design the Natural History Museum in Shenzhen, China. The building's unusual form is likened to a river flowing over the delta by the architects and its green roof will slope downward into a ramp to allow visitors to stroll on top.

Due to be located next to a picturesque lake in the same district of Shenzhen as RMJM's upcoming New Pingshan Eye, and earmarked to become on of the area's "Ten Cultural Facilities of the New Era," the Natural History Museum – aka Delta – will measure 42,000 sq m (roughly 450,000 sq ft).

According to the team, the museum will be dedicated to interpreting the laws of natural evolution, explaining the geography of Shenzhen and its ecology, and advocating science. Its exterior will consist of a curving facade, with a rooftop park offering areas for the public to enjoy the view, walks, and jogging.

"3XN, B+H and Zhubo Design's winning design scheme, entitled 'Delta,' rises seamlessly from the river delta, inviting visitors and residents to journey along its accessible green rooftop," explains 3XN's press release.

"A public park extends throughout the roof and highlights the Natural History Museum's organic geometries. Like a river stream finding its shape in balance with the Earth, every turn frames a new spectacular view over the surrounding park, hills, and lake from dedicated viewing terraces along the roof park."

"This building captures the unique atmosphere of a riverfront site and finds the timeless property of water as a concept," says Pritzker Prize-winning Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, a judge on the architecture competition that selected the Delta proposal. "The connection between function, site, concept, structure, material and space is very clear"
"This building captures the unique atmosphere of a riverfront site and finds the timeless property of water as a concept," says Pritzker Prize-winning Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects, a judge on the architecture competition that selected the Delta proposal. "The connection between function, site, concept, structure, material and space is very clear"

The public walkways on the roof will lead visitors down into a large passage designed to resemble a cave. This in turn will connect to several cafes and public areas. Much of the remaining interior will be given over to exhibition space, including the display of eye-catching dinosaur fossils, ancient extinct species of animals, and other natural history.

3XN wasn't able to disclose to us when the project is expected to begin construction, but we do know it will cost in the region of 3.5 billion Yuan (roughly US$530 million), excluding some costs.

Source: 3XN

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2 comments
Vernon Miles Kerr
I went on a tour of China in 2006. We were in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Hanzhou. I was really amazed by the wild, wonderful and quirky architecture there. I guess one of the few up-sides to that govenment is that all you have to do is get buy-in for a project and if you get a Yes, then unlimited $$ are at your disposal. Some Architecture critic should go all over China getting pics of the whacky building. :) It would make an entertaining coffee table book.
Don Soards
I am impressed! Having the curving building match the delta's meanders is stunning, especially given its theme of a natural history museum.