The Largest-Ever Astronomy Museum has opened in Shanghai. Designed by US Firm Ennead Architects, at 420,000 square feet, the Shanghai Astronomical Museum boasts an observatory, planetarium, and a 78-foot solar telescope.
The museum was designed without straight lines or right angles, echoing the geometry of the universe and the dynamic energy of celestial movement.
From a certain angle, this museum resembles a deconstructed spaceship.
Visitors are greeted with an open entrance to a sprawling oculus that doubles as a sundial, projecting the shape of natural light on the ground to indicate the time and season.
Pathways then lead visitors across campus to a giant sphere that emerges from the building’s roof like a moonrise: the planetarium. The underbelly of the massive structure appears to float weightlessly, with room to walk beneath.
And lastly, museum visitors are brought to the top of the building, where an inverted glass dome opens up to the night sky, which is a press release described as “a real encounter with the universe to conclude the simulated experience within.”
This building is the embodiment of architecture inspired by astronomy. By foregoing straight walls in favor of arcing lines, Thomas J. Wong (lead designer) and his team hoped to show that everything in the universe is in constant motion and governed by an array of forces.