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Perkins+Will to design Suzhou Science & Technology Museum

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A design rendering of the Suzhou Science & Technology Museum designed by Perkins+Will.

Architecture firm Perkins+Will is to design the 600,000-square-foot Suzhou Science and Technology Museum that will be located northwest of Shanghai, next to Shishan Lake.

Perkins+Will’s concept for Suzhou Science and Technology Museum melds the city’s trading heritage with a contemporary look. Designed to look like a ribbon emerging from the base of Lion Mountain, the building twists upward and turns back on itself to cantilever out over the edge of Shishan Lake.

The lake will include several man-made, teardrop-shaped, planted Eco Islands, connected by a walkway to the museum. Signage along the walkway will guide children and adults to explore water purification, storm water management, and sustainable living.

There will be several different approaches for visitors to arrive at the museum. Those travelling by subway will be guided along a circular promenade that surrounds the park, while those who arrive by car or bus will enter through a formal plaza called Discovery Court.

The main entryway will feature a three-story atrium adjacent to a sunken water-filled courtyard that includes several small planted islands, similar to the Eco Islands in Shishan Lake. A key feature of the interior will be a 66,700-square-foot industrial exhibition hall, where exhibits will highlight the role of industrial development in enriching lives.

On the third level of the museum will be Lion Mountain Terrace, which will stretch out over the islands in the lake with views of the mountain in the distance.

The exterior of the building will be covered in a three-dimensional metal mesh skin that can transition from opaque to transparent to control daylight and solar gain to protect sensitive exhibits. The skin also allows interior light to filter through the façade at night, creating a glow that dynamically changes as visitors walk around the building.

Ralph Johnson, Global Design Director of Perkins+Will, said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to design the new Suzhou Science and Technology Museum. Our design recognizes the importance of Suzhou in China’s commercial history and underscores its role at the forefront of China’s emergence as a technology leader and innovator. The museum also draws inspiration from the natural environment surrounding it.”

Perkins+Will’s previously designed the Shanghai Natural History Museum, which earned international accolades after its opening in 2015.

Images: Perkins+Will.

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Sam McCaffrey

Journalist. Likes immersive entertainment experiences, museums, zoos and the odd go on a Waltzer.

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