Global architecture firm, Perkins+Will has released images showing Suzhou Science and Technology Museum currently under construction. The museum is destined to be the centrepiece of a new cultural district in Shishan Park, about 100 km northwest of Shanghai.
Inspired by the traditional Chinese paintings of Shan Shui, the project aims to reflect harmony that exists between science, technology, Nature and man. The infinity loop form of the museum emerges from the base on Lion Mountain, twisting upwards and turning back on itself to cantilever out over the edge of Shishan Lake.
The design, through terraces, outdoor roof gardens and its building form, creates context-responsive design, balancing-built form and natural environment. The museum also includes a 66,700 square-foot industrial exhibition hall, which aims to highlight the role of industrial development in enriching lives.
“We look from the museum to Lion Mountain for inspiration and a never-ending example of the importance of our Chinese culture to be inspired by the country’s leadership in innovation, technology, science…and a future filled with possibilities,” Perkins+Will told Design City.
Inspired by the flowing silk scarf, most famous export from the region, the ribbon-like form of the museum in the masterplan also includes several man-made eco-islands, connected by walkway and filtration system around the lake to encourage visitors to explore and learn about the project’s environmental strategies. The project’s highlight is its sweeping terrace, which acts as public space providing different vistas for visitors to explore. A series of forested landscape and sweeping gardens continue to the top of the building, where visitors get to see the gardens transitioning from organic into more technological patterns mixed with photovoltaics.
The masterplan incorporates several sustainable strategies, including the sunken courtyard gardens which is at the heart of the building. The courtyard helps bring daylight to every part of the museum while the three-dimensional metal mesh skin that transitions from opaque to transparent controls daylight and solar gain to protect sensitive exhibits. The landscape is designed as a large sponge, allowing rainwater to percolate directly into the ground or directed towards the planted vegetation for natural filtration. The extensive green roof continues the landscape into vertical dimensions and helps mitigate the hot island effects and capture stormwater to create habitats rich with flora and fauna.
The design uses landscaping to create sustainable urban frontage and create buffer from the pollution and the city, to create an urban oasis. The ring of trees defines the outer ring promenade, shading the plaza and frames the space towards the landscape, encouraging movement, gathering and exterior learning.
The Suzhou Science and Technology Museum aims to join the league of new age museums which aims to educate the visitor but also acts as a place to meet and celebrate by becoming anchors in the communities. The museum aims to soften the threshold between man-made and Nature, enriching people’s life.
Perkins and Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm established in 1935 and founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives and enhance communities. Each of the firm’s 24 offices focuses on local, regional, and global work in a variety of practice areas. With hundreds of award-winning projects annually, Perkins and Will is ranked among the top global design firms. The firm's 1,600 professionals are thought leaders developing 21st-century solutions to inspire the creation of spaces in which clients and their communities work, heal, live, and learn.
Perkins and Will is recognized as one of the industry’s preeminent sustainable design firms due to its innovative research, design tools, and expertise, and was ranked Best Large Architecture Firm in USGBC’s 2014 Best in Building Awards. Social responsibility is also a fundamental aspect of Perkins and Will’s culture, and every year the company donates 1% of its design services to pro bono initiatives.