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Guangzhou Science Museum

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos have won the design competition for The Guangzhou Science Museum against competitors like Steven Holl, Grimshaw and MAD Architects.

The Guangzhou Science Museum in the port city of Guangzhou will be part of a new cultural hub called Three Museums One Square. The Square lies on the new urban axis of the city. Apart from the Science Museum, the Square will have The Guangzhou Museum and an Art Gallery. It will be built on the south bank of the Pearl River near the Guangzhou Tower.

Courtesy of Nieto Sobejano

The design from Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos features an unusual concept- a sequence of nine ceramic vessels inspired from the Geyao Celadon of the Song Dynasty make up the museum. As stated by the architect, “the architectural concept, born of a simple additive process, admits multiple variations of a limited number of elements generating a complex space out of a combinatorial system.” Each vessel is a bioclimatic energy efficient technological vessel the roof of which is a garden.

Courtesy of Nieto Sobejano

Courtesy of Nieto Sobejano

The vessels have been designed to have the same pattern on the façade as the Geyao Celadon. However, the designers have created an interactive media façade that permits light only into certain spaces. Exhibition areas do not have natural light while offices do. Moreover, the pattern created is not random and has been created geometrically with a sequence of squares where each square has a particular pattern.

The vessels are not all created the same. A combination of four vessels has been used to achieve the design. The mouth of the vessel continues through all floors. Its purpose in the design of the museum however remains unclear- whether it is a light well or a circulation core or it has been conceived for some other purpose.

Courtesy of Nieto Sobejano

Courtesy of Nieto Sobejano

The functional program covers an area of 80,000 square meters and will house permanent as well as temporary exhibition halls, science and technology theatres and auditoriums.

By: Sahiba Gulati

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