Shanghai Natural History Museum, designed by Perkins+Will’s Global Design Director Ralph Johnson, has finally opened in Shanghai
The 44,517 square meter museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore the natural world through the display of more than 10,000 artifacts from all seven continents. The building includes exhibit spaces, a 4D theater, and an outdoor exhibit garden is consider to be one of the best museums in China.
The shape and building organization was inspired by the nautilus shell, one of the purest geometric forms found in nature. Natural elements are depicted across the building’s façades including the central cell wall representing the cellular structure of plants and animals.
“The use of cultural references found in traditional Chinese gardens was key to the design,” said Johnson. “Through its integration with the site, the building represents the harmony of human and nature and is an abstraction of the basic elements of Chinese art and design.”
“For people who grew up in Shanghai, the old nature museum has a special place in their memories,” noted Managing Director for Perkins+Will’s Shanghai office James Lu. “Likewise, there is much excitement surrounding the opening of the new museum, which will have a similar place in the hearts of both residents and tourists alike. The museum will bring a renewed experience of natural history to this city for generations to come. We are honored to have served as the architect.”