Hainan Science and Technology Museum

MAD Architects as Architects

MAD Unveils Design for Hainan Science and Technology Museum Where Nature and Technology Meet
MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, unveilstheir design forthe Hainan Science and Technology Museum in Haikou City, Hainan. Located on Haikou’s west coast, surrounded by sports stadiums and a NationalWetland Park, the museum is MAD’s second major public project in Hainan following the Cloudscape of Haikou, which openedin April 2021. An important science venue and a major tourist attraction for Hainan's free trade port, the Hainan Science and Technology Museum will break ground in late August 2021 and is scheduled to be completed and open to the public in 2024.

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MAD’s design for the museum draws fromthe site’s dual urban and natural context, one where a "primeval rainforest and technology of thefuture meet." Set against the backdrop of a rich tropical rainforest, the museum’s main pavilion is shaped like acloud in dialogue with nature.From a distance, the futuristic building appears to emergefrom the city, while visitors entering in the museum area witness itfloatingabove the jungle. The museum’s façade of fiber-reinforced plastic makes the building distinctive from both near and afar with its silver, reflective exterior and visionary aesthetic. 

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Encompassinga total area of 46,528 square meters, the museum willfeature 27,782 square meters of above-groundfacilitiesincluding permanent exhibition space, a planetarium, a giant-screen theater, and a flying theater. The museum’s interior structure consists of three floor-to-ceiling cores, curved trusses, spiral ramps, and a roof, all exposed to achieve harmony between the architectural forms and structural system. A skylight in the museum’s dome bathesthe spacious atrium in natural light, creating a bright and transparent environment. A spiraling, sloping exhibition space ascends from the central hall over five floors, connecting visitors across the museum.

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The exhibition experience begins on the fifth floor, where the elevator opens to a 360-degree viewing platform with the sea and cityscape visible in the distance. Visitors on this uppermost floor will begin by exploringthe technology and space galleries before proceedingdown the ramp to the ocean and life science galleries on the fourth floor, the math and sciencegallerieson the third floor, and the multimedia interactive experience area and children's playground on the second floor. As visitors travel down the ramp, they can simultaneously enjoy the scenery and the exhibitions, anda galleryrunning alongside the rampextends the viewing experience.

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Outside, an undulating canopy extends from the main pavilion in all directions to create a space specifically conceived to accommodate the public in Haikou’s humid and rainy climate. The north side of the canopy also hoststhe giant screen and flying theater and,in the southwest corner,the planetarium and observatory. The museum’s various outdoor public spaces, including a crater-like sunken plaza and reflecting pool,offer areasfor rest and relaxation. The diversity of the surrounding tropical plants makes this anideal setting for learning about nature, offeringvisitors more than simply an exhibition-viewing experienceby also providinga pleasant environment to freely enjoy and experience nature.

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Oncecompleted, the Hainan Science and Technology Museum will serve asa destinationfor theexploration of science, technology, and nature, encouraging visitors to seek inspiration from both the urban and natural setting.

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